Tom Coughlin leads the NFL’s best team; Source: Brian Bahr/Getty Images North America
The Giants put their stamp on as the “Best Team” in the NFL right now. While it doesn’t get you a parade for being the best team after Week 6, every team knows it now.
Houston finally played a team with a legitimate QB and they got exposed. The loss of LB Brian Kushing with a torn ACL will be tough for the Texans to overcome. The Falcons are now the lone undefeated team at 6-0. They tend to suffer from the same thing the Giants do, and that is playing down to the level of competition. They’ve narrowly escaped with wins at home against Carolina and Oakland. If Atlanta and New York played this Sunday, the Giants would control the game much like they did in the playoffs last year against the Falcons. They Giants have too much experience, and their defense is just a level above.
The San Francisco 49ers led by HC Jim Harbaugh got punched in the face yesterday. It was a beating that Mike Tyson used to give to his opponents in his prime. The 49ers wake up today bruised and battered. They took a direct hit to their ego. Prior to being embarrassed yesterday, the 49ers were definitely in the conversation of who is the best team in the league. No more.
The 49ers came into yesterday’s game having outscored their last two opponents 79-3, albeit against the Jets and Bills. San Francisco could only manufacturer a field goal, at home, with huge revenge and that makes this Giants victory so much more impressive.
Alex Smith and the “high powered” San Francisco offense never got it going. Smith finished the game 19-30 for 200 yards and three interceptions. Smith threw five interceptions all of last season. Eli Manning finished the game with a pedestrian 193 yards passing with one TD. Ahmad Bradshaw added 116 yards on the ground with a TD. The Giants played from ahead yesterday, so there was no need for Manning put it up 50 times. The Giants defense was the real story picking off three passes, and adding six sacks. Antrel Rolle led the Giants with two picks, and Jason Pierre-Paul added two sacks.
The Giants have no layups the rest of the season. The easiest game remaining might be against the New Orlean Saints at home in December. The Giants definitely circled that game at the beginning of the season after last year’s 49-24 drubbing in New Orleans. The Giants will also face Green Bay and Pittsburgh at Metlife, meeting Atlanta and Baltimore on the road. The view from the top starts this week at home against the dynamic Robert Griffin III and Washington Redskins. Coach Tom Coughlin should have no trouble motivating his team this week as the Giants fell twice to the Redskins last year led by Rex Grossman. The Giants are probably tired of hearing about RG3. If Jacksonville were coming to town this week, the Giants might be in trouble.
This might be Coach Coughlin’s biggest challenge since being name the Giants coach in 2004. The recent Giants teams have played under the radar. Both Super Bowl Championship teams had to play Wild Card games. In both cases, going all the way was not predicted or expected. The Giants and Coach Coughlin seem to relish that position. The 66-year-old coach is on top of his game, but the season’s goals and expectations rose dramatically after yesterday’s performance, at least in the fans eyes. It will be interesting to see how the NFL’s best team handles the pressure.