1. Starting off on the right foot
Week 1 vs. Washington – The Giants started 2008 off with a bang. New York took its season-opening possession and rammed it right down Washington’s throat. The 84-yard drive that was capped by Eli Manning’s one-yard TD run included back-to-back big catches by Plaxico Burress (for 30 and 19 yards) only hours after he signed his new contract extension.
2. Tuck’s big rumble
Week 2 at St. Louis – New York was in a much tighter than expected contest with the Rams. That was until DE Justin Tuck stamped his name as New York’s new LDE. Tuck was able to get his hands on and then pick off a Marc Bulger pass. He rumbled 41 yards for a touchdown that stretched Big Blue’s lead to 34-13.
3. Carney kicks the way
Week 3 vs. Cincinnati – The Giants had absolutely, positively no business allowing the Bengals to force overtime at Giants Stadium. But at least they emerged victorious. John Carney was still getting comfortable in his new uniform when he was called on to kick the game-winning 22-yard field goal in overtime. As he has done practically all throughout this Pro Bowl season, Carney split the uprights with relative ease.
4. Domenik’s big day
Week 5 vs. Seattle – In foreshadowing of what was to come later this season, Domenik Hixon was thrust into the starting lineup in place of the suspended Plaxico Burress. He more than responded as New York drubbed the Seahawks. Hixon’s beautiful 32-yard TD grab in the front left corner of the end zone capped the Giants’ first drive and was one of his four grabs for 102 yards.
5. Giants take safe route to victory
Week 8 at Pittsburgh – It was getting late and the Steelers still had a slight lead on Big Blue. However, Pittsburgh’s emergency snapper James Harrison snapped the ball out of the end zone on a punt try and the Giants had the safety and two points they needed to tie the game. On the ensuing drive, Eli Manning connected with Kevin Boss with little more than three minutes to play and Big Blue had won its biggest road game of the year.
6. New York’s pick party
Week 9 vs. Dallas – A pair of Corey Webster interceptions and another from James Butler set up three Big Blue touchdowns as the Giants embarrassed the Tony Romo-less Cowboys and took a commanding lead in the NFC East. Eli Manning threw TD passes to Kevin Boss, Steve Smith and Amani Toomer as the Giants dropped Dallas into the division basement.
7. Chase’s big stop
Week 10 at Philadelphia – The Giants just needed one final stop and they’d leave Philly’s Lincoln Financial Field with a two-game cushion in the NFC East. The Birds had the ball at their own 45-yard line with slightly less than two minutes remaining. You had to figure the ball was going to the ever-dangerous Brian Westbrook. The Giants are sure glad that Chase Blackburn thought that way. On fourth-and-one, Blackburn sliced in and dropped Westbrook well short of the marker and the game was New York’s.
8. Brandon batters Baltimore
Week 11 vs. Baltimore – The Ray Lewis-led Ravens entered the game as the NFL’s stingiest run defense. It didn’t take long for Brandon Jacobs to show Baltimore who was boss. The Ravens averaged allowing a mere 65.4 rushing yards per game. Jacobs gained more than half of that on one run, as he busted off a 36-yard rumble that set the tone as New York rolled up 207 ground yards against the previously-impenetrable Ravens.
9. Ward’s off to the races
Week 16 vs. Carolina – The Giants held their collective breaths as John Kasay’s 50-yard field goal try sailed wide left as regulation time expired. By the time the Panthers had caught their breath in the extra session it was already too late. Derrick Ward ripped off a 51-yard run on the Giants first offensive play of their second OT possession to set up Brandon Jacobs’ two-yard TD run that gave New York a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
10. Ward joins Jacobs in winner’s circle
Week 17 at Minnesota – Yes, this was the only top moment that came in a loss, but we all know the season finale was meaningless. When Derrick Ward busted off a five-yard run in the third quarter at the Metrodome he and Brandon Jacobs became only the fourth RB tandem ever in NFL history to each top 1,000 yards in a season. Jacobs, who sat out the Vikings game, finished the season with 1,089 yards; Ward with 1,025.