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Giants make it look easy on Manningham's touchdown

New York started and finished last Monday night's game in Dallas like a winless team, committing turnovers on their first two possessions and two more in the fourth quarter. But in the middle they looked unbeatable, sandwiching five touchdown drives between those four turnovers, on their way to a 41-35 victory.

"We need to play smarter", coach Tom Coughlin said after the game.


But brilliant would be a good word to describe the Giants' performance in the second and third quarters. They went into halftime leading 24-20, with 17 straight points and all the momentum. They kept rolling on their opening possession of the third quarter, with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Mario Manningham.

The quick screen was set up nicely by offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride and blocked perfectly by the Giants.

New York first aligned three receivers to the left, then motioned Manningham to the right. The motion worked as a buffer for the quick screen, allowing more space for the completion and blocking to occur.

It is harder for a defensive back to jam or press a receiver in motion. So when cornerback Terence Newman mirrored Manningham across the field, he kept his distance from the line of scrimmage -- about 6 or 7 yards away from Manningham -- which was plenty of space for the pass to be completed and for tight end Kevin Boss to make his kick-out block on Newman.

Right tackle Kareem McKenzie placed a textbook cut block on outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware. McKenzie's low block forced Ware to put his hands down to protect his legs, allowing Manning a clear path to deliver the football.

The next critical block was made by right guard Chris Snee, who leveled linebacker Bradie James. Snee caught James off-balance, as the linebacker was coming under control to make a tackle. James never saw or felt Snee approaching until it was too late.

Manningham made one very nice cutback move, between hustling defensive linemen Marcus Spears and disinterested safety Gerald Sensabaugh.

Mike Mayock says in the "Anatomy" video, "Great effort by Marcus Spears ... but it's totally negated by the horrendous effort by Sensabaugh."

Horrendous is a good way to describe the Cowboys' 1-5 start, their defensive performance against New York and their execution on Manningham's touchdown. But give credit to the Giants, who made the play look easy.

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