Giants offense benefitting from improved defense

Eli Manning
Eli Manning had a workmanlike performance against the Vikings with 200 yards passing and one touchdown.
Credit: Getty Images

The Giants defense isn’t the only unit feeling good about itself following its Monday night win over the Vikings.

Big Blue’s offense wasn’t pretty in the victory, more methodically effective, but it has plans on improving each week much like their defensive brethren, who haven’t allowed a point in its last six quarters.

“It does make a difference for us and change our game plan a little bit when we’re pressing,” said Eli Manning. “But the defense has been outstanding. When they’re dominating the line of scrimmage and the game, and the [opposing] offense can’t get much going, it does help us. It helps when we build a little bit of a lead and then can be patient … not giving [the defense] a short field and not forcing anything.”

Manning was very efficient on Monday. It took him until Week 7 to have a turnover-free game, so the quarterback is hoping to use that performance as a springboard in preparing for Sunday’s tilt in Philadelphia.

One of Manning’s favorite targets, wideout Victor Cruz, thinks Monday night was a sign of things to come for Manning and the offense as a whole.

“I think you see a renewed energy from this team and guys kind of feel that first win and want to continue to feel that. I think our momentum and our energy is in the right direction and we just have to keep it going and keep flowing off week to week,” said Cruz. “This is a resilient bunch [and] I’ve been saying that all year long. We fight, scratch and do everything we can to be in position to win.”

Such preparation starts on the weekdays. And the Giants have put in “good work” so far this week, according to head coach Tom Coughlin.

The Giants only had a walkthrough practice on Wednesday, and used their Tuesday off day for film work, meetings and training room recovery. But for Manning, that was just as good as any kind of physical work this week.

“Our preparation has been good every week, not just this week, [but] we just have to keep doing it. If we do the right things, it will come around. You will start to play the way that we know you can,” said Manning. “You work so hard each and every week and you try to have a good game and feel like you put a lot of work into it, and not always get the results that you want. But we feel good about our work put in. … We talked about it with our coaches that we’re doing all the right things.”

One guy who is doing all the right things in practice and the meeting room, but has yet to see it translate on the field is wide receiver Hakeem Nicks. The wideout has tallied just 27 catches for 470 yards and no touchdowns, and has seen his share of drops this season — not to mention a dislocated finger and the possible distraction from a contract season.

“Let’s just get him going. Let’s go, let’s play better. I haven’t had a sit down with him, but the competitor that he is, he’s very much aware [of his poor play]. I wouldn’t offer an excuse, and I’m sure he wouldn’t, either. He’s got to improve. He’s got to get better. He’s got to get to a point where the reliability factor is there as strongly as it always has been [because] we count on this guy,” said Coughlin. “I’m not [concerned about contract issue]. Anybody who thinks that way, fundamentally, you better take care of your business on the field. You better be physically and mentally ready and get your job done to the fullest of your ability.”

Big Blue notes …

» Center David Baas (knee) was placed on season-ending injured reserve. This will be the first time in his career that Baas will play fewer than 11 games in a season. He has played in all 16 games five times in his nine-year career. Baas is the second starting offensive lineman to go on IR this season. Right guard Chris Snee was also placed on the list with a hip injury on Oct. 4. Third-year pro Jim Cordle, who took over for Baas for three starts earlier in the season, will again be the starting center.

» The Giants re-signed linebacker Darin Drakeford to their practice squad. He was on the squad from Oct. 8-15. Drakeford takes the place of linebacker Emmanuel Acho, who was signed earlier this week to the Eagles’ active roster.

Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.



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