Week 17 hero (USAT)So much for the slumping New York Giants offense. A date against Philadelphia cures everything in 2012.
Eli Manning & Company are rolling merrily along through one half of play Sunday, holding a 35-7 lead over Andy Reid's Lame Duck Eagles. Manning's thrown four touchdown passes on the day, posting a tasty 11-for-16 line with 196 yards. Rueben Randle spiked twice in the first quarter (if you started him, we welcome your victory lap in the comments), with David Wilson and Victor Cruz adding touchdown receptions later.
The Giants have been productive on the ground as well: Ahmad Bradshaw has seven carries for 67 yards and a score, and Wilson collected 37 yards on his seven rushing attempts. Whatever you want to do on offense, the Eagles show no ability (or interest) in stopping it.
Manning wasn't an easy fantasy pick entering the day, given how poorly he's played during most of the past two months (a 2-5 stretch for the Giants). But the Eagles have been utterly clueless in pass defense since swapping defensive coordinators after their Week 7 bye. Check out the passing numbers Philly has handed out since interim coordinator Todd Bowles took over for Juan Castillo: 2,229 yards, 126.1 rating, 25 TDs, 1 measly pick, 8.8 YPA, 67.2 completions. You can't post those numbers in Madden.
Randle's 3-yard touchdown kick-started the blowout, an easy pitch-and-catch in the middle of the end zone. Philadelphia safety Colt Anderson was beaten badly on the play. Randle added a 38-yard score four minutes later, making a pretty adjustment on the left sideline while Nnamdi Asomugha couldn't locate the ball.
New York's play design led to the third score, with Wilson burning linebacker Jamar Chaney on a wheel route down the right flank. Wilson did his celebration flip afterwards, much to the joy of the Meadowlands crowd (and probably to the chagrin of old school Tom Coughlin).
The Eagles briefly entered the fray on a Jeremy Maclin touchdown (one of the few crisp throws Michael Vick produced in the first half), but the Giants answered back with two more scores of their own. Bradshaw punched in a 1-yard score with 6:26 left, and Victor Cruz tackled on an easy 24-yard touchdown, picking on Anderson again, with just four seconds remaining in the half. Giants fans can spend the rest of the day tracking out-of-town scores and New York's help-required playoff longshot; this ballgame is over.
Gamers, now it's your turn to enter the discussion. Did you have the foresight to roll with Manning in this spot? Is New York's offensive clinic (20 first downs, 306 yards) paying your fantasy bills, or are you frustrated by those not yet invited (Hakeem Nicks hasn't seen a pass, while Martellus Bennett has no catches on three targets). Discuss your Meadowlands Miracle (or mistake) in the comments.