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New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning celebrates after the Giants scored a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders this Sunday.
Eli Manning and his hurting heel, even for less than a half, were more than enough for the New York Giants against the hapless Oakland Raiders.
After a week of concern over whether he would make his 83rd straight start, Manning threw two scoring passes and led the Giants on touchdown drives on their first four series in a 44-7 win that has New York (5-0) off to its best start since winning the Super Bowl in 1990.
Manning tossed touchdown passes of 30 yards to Mario Manningham and 9 yards to first-round draft pick Hakeem Nicks. He finished 8 of 10 for 173 yards before donning a baseball cap late in the second quarter for a well-deserved rest on a day the Giants gained 483 yards in total offense.
Backup halfback Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 110 yards and scored on runs of 1 and 9 yards. David Carr, who replaced Manning, scored on a 12-yard scramble and Lawrence Tynes added three field goals.
Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell lost three fumbles and was sacked six times as the Raiders' league-worst offense was limited to 124 yards. Russell was 8 of 13 for 100 yards.
Michael Bush scored on a 5-yard touchdown run, a drive set up when the Giants' Sinorice Moss fumbled on a punt return at his 15.
Manning's availability was the Giants' biggest concern all week against Oakland (1-4). He sustained a painful injury to his right heel in the win over Kanas City last weekend. The 2008 Super Bowl MVP missed two days of practice and then took half the snaps Friday, giving the indication he would go on Sunday.
Two hours before the game, Manning was on the field warming up and he showed no ill effects of his injury.
Any doubts were answered on the first play from scrimmage when he made a play-action fake and hit tight end Darcy Johnson for 9 yards.
It was the first play on a 14-play, 77-yard march that Bradshaw capped by slamming in from a yard out on fourth down.
The next three Giants possessions were lightning fast. The second drive was three plays and 79 yards, featuring a 43-yard pass to Steve Smith and runs of 17 and 19 yards by Bradshaw.
The third score came on a five-play, 94-yard jaunt that featured a 55-yard screen pass to Bradshaw on a third-and-24 play. Manning found Manningham in the right corner on the next play and the rout was on.