The Good, Bad and Ugly of New York's Football Weekend - NBC New York

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The Good, Bad and Ugly of New York's Football Weekend

Eli Manning wins the weekend



    Inspiring Stories of Hope
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    It's Eli's world and the rest of the Giants are alive because of it.

    Tom Coughlin got a lot of questions about his team's brutal schedule on Sunday afternoon and bristled at having to discuss anything other than his team's 20-17 victory over the Dolphins.

    "Can we enjoy this one first?"

    No one asked the natural follow-up, so we'll do it here. What in the world was there to enjoy? 

    Coughlin preaches so many things that the Giants don't do that it is hard to keep track, but we know he likes a disciplined football team that doesn't take anything for granted by playing hard for 60 minutes.

    He got none of those things on Sunday from anyone other than Eli Manning and he's gotten none of those things for most of this season, leaving you to wonder just what he enjoyed about a skin-of-the-teeth win over the worst team in football.

    It must have been Eli Manning. When you're talking Good, Bad and Ugly from Week Eight, he's the leader of the list.

    GOOD: Much too much was made of the word "elite" when Manning dared utter it this offseason, because it is too hard to use one word to describe a top NFL quarterback. But the least you could ask of a quarterback in the mix at the top of the league is to carry his team to a win on a day when no one else shows up. That's what Manning did Sunday and it is what he's done in each of the last four games.

    BAD: Reggie Bush has run for 100 yards twice in his NFL career. Both of those games have been against the Giants, but the first one was nowhere near as embarrassing as watching the inept Giants defense trying to catch him on Sunday.

    UGLY: Will this finally be the performance that shuts Brandon Jacobs' mouth? Two weeks of whining about his playing time leads to such a pathetic effort that the Giants put Ahmad Bradshaw back into the game with a foot injury because the thought of playing Jacobs one minute longer made them sick.

    GOOD: The Giants pass rush is certainly sprightly when it wants to be, with four sacks of Matt Moore on the final two series of the game after giving him a chance to make plays all day. We'd wonder why they can't show up from the first moment, but at least they showed up.

    BAD: It looks like the Eagles are back, boys and girls. In a game they had to win, the Eagles did more than that by routing the Cowboys and flashing every bit of the team they were hyped to be when the season got underway.

    UGLY: Antrel Rolle gets a spot here weekly and this one comes thanks to his horse collar tackle on Bush once the Dolphins running back was already out of bounds on one of his dashes through the tacklephobic Giants defense. It should have been two penalties, but drew just one for one of the Giants' most consistently disappointing players.

    GOOD: Two of the next four teams the Giants have to face looked absolutely awful on Sunday. The Patriots can't stop the pass, which would make Eli giddy if it were possible for Eli to be giddy, and the Saints got routed by the winless Rams while fighting among themselves on the sideline.

    BAD: Hakeem Nicks left the game with a hamstring and said Sunday night that he doesn't think he'll be able to play against the Patriots next weekend. That would be a massive loss for the Giants, especially if, like other hamstring injuries, it becomes a weekly guessing game about his availability.

    UGLY: The call helped the Giants, but bad refereeing should gall every football fan no matter which team is hurt by it. Calling offensive pass interference on a Brandon Marshall catch in the fourth quarter that would have extended a Dolphins drive should lead to the firing of the official who called it because he simply doesn't understand the rules of the game he is supposed to be watching.

    GOOD: Manning deserves another spot in this column. When you're the only good thing about a day, you get double credit.

    BAD: Coughlin had to use a timeout because the Giants thought it was a gas to line up with 10 players at one point. There was also a stretch of eight plays that saw the Giants commit four penalties, making you wonder whether anyone on the team listens to anything Coughlin has ever said in his life.

    UGLY: The coming schedule.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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