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The Giants Cruz-ed (bad pun, sorry) to a victory last week against the vaunted Philadelphia Eagles. Now they are in a three-way tie with the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins at the top of the NFC East. Their matchup in Week 4 against the Arizona Cardinals will close out the first quarter of the 2011 season, and the boys in blue need a strong start to the season since the second half features games against the Eagles, Saints, Packers, Redskins, Jets and Cowboys (twice).
Mario Manningham is back from his concussion, and although the Giants got a lucky superstar performance out of temporary replacement Victor Cruz last week, they have to be glad to see their No. 2 receiver back in uniform. Before the injury (suffered in Week 2 against the St. Louis Rams), Manningham had amassed 105 yards and was averaging 15 yards per catch. He has yet to see the end zone this year, so look for Manning to make that happen.
Manningham and Hakeem Nicks are both banged up, but the Arizona Cardinals have one of the worst passing defenses in the league so they shouldn’t have too much trouble downfield. Eli Manning has put up some monster numbers so far this year (like throwing for four TDs with a depleted receiving corps against the Eagles last week), and he will continue to do so against the Cardinals.
That’s right, Osi Umenyiora, the troubled veteran, traveled with the team to Arizona and could see his first field time of 2011. Umenyiora has been recovering from knee surgery and a bruised ego (from the team not giving him a bigger contract). Even if we see Osi on the field, it’s not known whether we’ll see the dominant player of a few years ago. This storyline has been playing out all season and could finally reach some sort of conclusion on Sunday.
The New York Giants could very well see themselves atop the division with a win this week. The Cowboys are facing a fierce Detroit squad, and the overachieving Redskins are due for a collapse. With the first quarter drawing to a close, the contenders are becoming more apparent. We will see if the Giants are among that bunch.