Don’t count out the New York Giants quite yet. Left for dead after losing their first two games, the G-men are suddenly back at .500 after steamrolling Washington on Thursday night. Eli Manning threw for four touchdowns and ran for another, the defense picked off Kirk Cousins four times and the Giants cruised to a 45-14 win on the road.
A New York offense that looked alarmingly similar to last year’s helpless version just two weeks ago piled up 449 total yards and put up its highest point total since Dec. 9, 2012. Manning threw three first-half touchdowns to tight end Larry Donnell to head into the half up, 24-7. A 20-yard scoring run by Alfred Morris on the opening drive of the third quarter cut the deficit to 10 and threatened to make it a ball game, but consecutive interceptions by Cousins allowed New York to cruise out to a comfortable margin.
Here are the three things we learned from the blowout:
Manning was crisp with his reads and even crisper with his accuracy, completing 12 of his first 13 passes (and that one incompletion was a drop) as he carried over his newfound ability to carve up defenses underneath with quick, rhythm throws. He hasn’t lost his touch on those deep passes either — save for a couple of overthrows, he delivered dimes when called upon to push the ball downfield.
Eli did have one pick, but it came on a fluky deflection on a ball that should have been caught by Rueben Randle for a touchdown. He finished 28 for 39 and 300 yards.
The offense kept the pocket clean and the running game provided 154 yards on the ground. If this offense can keep playing like this, Eli could be in for a major bounce-back year.
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