With the New York Giants 24-20 victory over the Oakland Raiders, the team is back in a familiar position: In the hunt for a spot in the playoffs and no one giving them a chance to make the tournament. Yes, the win wasn’t pretty, and there were times that I felt as if the team was doomed to lose. However, at this point in the Giants’ season, no matter how many points are scored, a win is a win. There were a few aspects of this game that they must use as motivation to keep moving up the NFC East rankings.
For the second-consecutive game, the Giants’ defense did what it had to do in order to give their team a chance at a victory. Coming into the game, Terrelle Pryor had the most rushing yards as a quarterback with 508. When facing the Giants, Pryor was, not only held to only five carries for 19 yards, but also sacked four times. One of those sacks came from Antrel Rolle, who had his best game of the season versus the Raiders. He led the game with 10 tackles and now leads the team with 53.
Another great sign of the defense getting back into form was the effective play of Terrell Thomas. While he only had one interception, that was a turnover that changed the outcome of the game. After Thomas made the interception at his own 30-yard-line, he ran it back 65 yards to the Raiders five-yard line. It took two plays for the Giants to get their second touchdown of the afternoon, courtesy of an Andre Brown one-yard run into the end zone. That score practically sealed the game for the Giants. If he can continue to build off that critical interception, the Giants might have a decent secondary to back up their physical front line.
Speaking of Brown, I don’t think anyone could’ve predicted the immediate impact he had this week against the Raiders. Coming off a leg injury, Brown led the game in rushing with 30 carries for 115 yards and one touchdown. This is great news for a Giants team that relies heavily on the run game. If they can find a way to create a rotation of Brown and Peyton Hillis, they are going to be a tough team to stop on the ground in weeks to come.
Finally, another important moment of the day for the Giants was the Dallas Cowboys losing to the New Orleans Saints. With the combination of the victory over the Raiders and the Cowboys losing, the Giants are only two games back in the division. Most importantly, if they can pull out another victory this week over the Green Bay Packers, who are without Aaron Rodgers, the Giants have a chance to get within one game of first place when they face the Cowboys in Week 12.