Quite a game tonight at the Meadowlands. Tony Romo gave a gutsy performance, given that his hand was the size and color of an eggplant, but the Giants pass rushers came to play tonight. So did Eli, Hakeem, and especially Victor Cruz. I've been singing this kid's praises since the beginning of the season. Was I right, or was I right?
The game looked like a laugher in the first half, the Giants dominating on both sides of the ball and running up a 21-0 margin. That all started with Cruz, again, when he turned a short third-and-one pass to the flat into a 70 yard touchdown scamper. And the D did the rest. Osi, Kiwi, Canty, JPP, Tuck... they never gave Romo time to breathe.
Third quarter, though, things started to sour. Suddenly the momentum shifted, as it will in the NFL. Suddenly it was the G-Men going three-and-out and the Cowboys driving down the field. They made it 21-7, stopped the Giants, got the ball back, drove down to the shadow of the goalposts, then went for it on a fourth-and-one instead of taking the chip shot field goal. The Giants stuffed 'em and got the ball on downs, and you'd think that would have shifted the momentum back... but it didn't. The Cowboys D shut down the Giants in another three-and-out, the punt was short, a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty got tacked on, and wham, bam, Romo led them down and now it was 21-14.
At that point I was sweating bullets and moaning, especially when the Giants got the ball back and went nowhere on their first two downs. Suddenly it was third-and-ten, and it looked as though we'd have to give the ball back to the Cowboys again, with all that momentum. Falter now, and we were staring down the barrel of a tied score. Then the ball was snapped, Eli faded back, rushers came crashing in all around him, it looked dire... but somehow Eli spun away, just as he did in the Superbowl, and he heaved the ball way way downfield, and instead of David Tyree it was Victor Cruz, and the kid went way up in the air above the defenders and snatched that ball for a great catch... and just like that, the Giants had the momentum back.
There was more excitement to come. A fumble near the goal line that stopped my heart (but thankfully the Giants recovered). More Giant sacks. More great Victor Cruz catches. A couple nifty catches from Hakeem Nicks. Great play for Eli. The final strip/ sack of Romo. But that long Eli-to-Cruz bomb, under heavy pressure, just when things looks darkest... that was the fulcrum on which the game turned.
And now the Giants are in the show, and live to play another week, facing the Falcons next Sunday at MetLife Stadium. And Jerry Jones is flying home wearing his pissy face. You have to love Jerry Jones in his pissy face.
Ah, football. Nothing like it.