Manning Bowl lived up to the hype. Great back-and-forth game between two upper-echelon teams.
Big Blue really blew one here, as they dominated play from the middle of the second quarter on, but couldn't come up with the victory. Numerous stupid penalties, a missed field goal, horrible turnover on a botched handoff, poor clock management at the end of the game.
One thing apparent, the Giants may have the best offense in the NFL, or at least the best collection of personnel. Plaxico showed off his unique skill set. Tiki continues to look dominant. Shockey remains a matchup problem. Toomer is safe. And if Brandon Jacobs is taking a step forward, he adds a whole other dimension. We didn't get to see Carter much (except on that crucial PI call) or Sinorice Moss. So while it's tempting to say they dominated a Colts defense, this team should be able to put up points against anyone. Especially impressive/encouraging was the job the tackles did on Dwight Freeney and the rest of the D-Line.
The defense, which is the x-factor this season, looked ok. Sam Madison did a nice job locking down Reggie Wayne. Wayne's only big catch was on a play action where Peyton had all day to throw. Webster held his own against Harrison. This is about as good as it gets in the NFL in terms of passing offense, so it's ok to be ok. We dropped three very catchable interceptions, and did a lot of bending but not breaking. Colts running attack clearly looked feeble, but I expect that to be more of a reflection of the Giants run D with Pierce and Arrington healthy, as opposed to the ineptitude of Addai/Rhodes. Addai showed some explosiveness, he'll be formidable by year's end in that system. Barry Cofield made his presence known early, and they started running more to the outside.
All in all a positive game as a measuring stick, Colts are a perennial contender, "best regular season QB in the league" ... but we weren't looking to prove we don't suck, lookign to prove we can beat good teams. The Giants are all about Eli this year. The supporting cast is there. He just has to live up to it. Game one continued to reinforce that point.
Giants vs. Philly is a big one next week. Question is if Philly's D is still championship caliber.