Giants 30, Raiders 21

Giants Insider
Posted Jan 1, 2006


Fast facts Giants record: 11-5 This time last year: 6-10 Time of game: 3:32 Attendance: 44,594 Stat worth noting: The Raiders finished with more first downs via the air (19) than the Giants had total first downs (13).

Stat worth noting II: The league’s two most penalized teams finished with a combined 17 infractions for 124 yards.

Turning point: With the Giants clinging to a tenuous 10-7 lead midway through the second quarter, Eli Manning uncorked a terrible pass to Plaxico Burress, with the ball bouncing to the wide-open receiver. Not to be denied on a third-and-six, Manning went right back to Burress on the next play and the Giants’ go-to receiver caught the pass, beat safety Stuart Schweigert and sprinted to a 78-yard TD to give New York a more comfortable cushion.

Play to remember: With the Giants backed up at their own 5-yard line midway through the opening period, Tiki Barber took things into his own hands and feet. He took a handoff up the middle, bounced outside and swept all the way down the left sideline for a 95-yard score and a 7-0 Giants lead. Barber used good patience in waiting for downfield blocks, especially from Plaxico Burress, who walled off multiple potential tacklers in escorting Barber to paydirt.

Play to forget: With the Giants sitting on a seemingly insurmountable 27-14 lead late in the third quarter, Kerry Collins and Randy Moss combined to get the Raiders right back into it. Collins fired a laser and hit Moss in stride streaking down the right sideline for a 44-yard TD.

By the numbers

0: Previous number of games played this season by Kevin Lewis, who was signed only days earlier and posted four tackles as New York’s starting middle linebacker.

2: Number of sacks by Pro Bowl defensive end Osi Umenyiora, who finished with 14.5 on the season.

5: Years since the Giants donned NFC East Champion hats and t-shirts.

25: Total number of rushing yards by the Raiders, on 17 carries.

What they said

“We won the game and we are the NFC East divisional champions and we’re very proud of that.” – Giants coach Tom Coughlin

What went right

Tiki Barber was, well, um, Tiki Barber. He set the game’s tone early on with the longest run of his career, a 95-yard sprint, and continued to help New York work the clock and salt the game away.

The Giants played turnover-free football. Eli Manning navigated his way through a pick-free evening and the Giants were fumble-free as well. No TOs on the road is a good recipe for success.

Chad Morton made the game-changing play. Late in the third quarter, Morton retuned a punt 58 yards all the way to the Oakland 3-yard line. That led to New York taking a 27-14 lead.

The Raiders are pretty bad, which turned out to be huge for Big Blue because the silver and black played like they were the club with postseason positioning on the line.

What went wrong

Kerry Collins was loaded for bear. He threw downfield early and often and was able to keep New York’s secondary running around all evening long. The former Giant finished with 331 passing yards.

The Raiders didn’t look for Randy Moss often, but when they did he hurt them badly. Moss finished with seven catches for 116 yards while Doug Gabriel added 100 yards on eight grabs.

The Giants offensive line was unable to stop Derrick Burgess from breaking the Raiders all-time single seasons sack record. He recorded his 16th sack of the year late in the third period.

The Giants still need some work sharpening their killer instinct. Time and again it appeared New York was primed to pull away, but every time Big Blue let the Raiders right back into it.



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