New York Giants come back to play like champions
Associated Press in East Rutherford, New Jersey
A week off, some rest and a poignant plea from a 15-year-old cancer patient got the New York Giants back on track.
Now the rest of the NFL has something to worry about. The Giants are playing like champions again.
A refreshed Eli Manning came back from the bye week and threw three touchdown passes as the Giants embarrassed Aaron Rodgers and the streaking Green Bay Packers 38-10.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak and gave the Giants (7-4) a two-game lead in the NFC East with five games left in the regular season. The dominating performance also ended a five-game winning streak for the Packers (7-4), who fell a game behind Chicago in the NFC North.
"We just had to go out there with a lot of confidence and play like we are capable," Giants centre David Baas said. "I felt we did that. We showed everybody. People that counted us out, they better wake up."
No one was more pleased with the Giants than Adam Merchant. The 15-year-old fan attended last Friday's practice and the game, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Merchant spoke to the team after practice and seemed to remind them what it's all about.
"I told them to go out and play like world champs," he said, sitting at a locker next to defensive captain Justin Tuck.
When asked why he gave the message, he shot back: "Because we really needed to go out and play like world champs."
Against the Packers, the Giants did.
Manning, who had not thrown a touchdown in three games, had scoring strikes of 16 yards to rookie Rueben Randle, nine yards to Victor Cruz and 13 to Hakeem Nicks. The last one gave him 200 for his career, breaking the team record held by Phil Simms.
"The thing I'm most proud of tonight is the way we played and getting a win," said Manning, who was 16-of-30 for 249 yards. "This was a big game, we needed to come out and play well and get a win. We finally got back to playing offence, defence, special teams, all of us playing at a high level, playing as a team, and hopefully we can build off of this momentum."