Pressure is off Giants for at least a week after first win Print
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Monday, 24 September 2007 11:45
NFL Headline News

 EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -Plaxico Burress sent Donovan McNabb a text message late Sunday night, congratulating the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback on a good game while adding a warning.
``I'll see you next week,'' the New York Giants receiver wrote his longtime friend, referring to next Sunday's game at Giants Stadium. ``I hope you don't come up here looking for a win.''
Burress didn't say how McNabb responded, but it was obvious the message was meant to be humorous and both players enjoyed it.
Winning makes for good conversations, and Burress and his teammates were in a good spirits Monday after the Giants avoided the dreaded 0-3 start by rallying from a 14-point halftime deficit for a 24-17 win over the Washington Redskins.
``We just want to keep this feeling going, just win games,'' Burress said Monday. ``It makes you feel a little different. You hold your head up a little higher. You try to do all the things you did the week before and get yourself to feel like this the next (Monday).''
After horrible performances against Dallas and Green Bay that put the team under a media microscope, the Giants had a major turnaround against Washington.
The defense, which had given up 80 points in the first two games, blanked the Redskins in the second half, sealing the game with a goal-line stand in the final minute.
The offense, which gave Washington 10 points with first-half turnovers, scored touchdowns on three of its first five second-half possessions while controlling the ball almost 20 minutes.
``The whole week we just talked about winning the game,'' said Burress, who had all five of his catches in the second half, including a game-winning 33-yard touchdown catch and run with 5:32 to play. ``We didn't think about losing or anything or all of the bad things that everybody was saying about us. Our whole thing was 'win, win, win, win.'''
While pleased with the win and somewhat relieved, quarterback Eli Manning downplayed the thought that the Giants had salvaged the season.
``I think we went out there and played football and found a way to win the game,'' said Manning, who completed 21 of 36 passes for 232 yards and two interceptions. ``And that is all it is. I'm not making it a bigger deal than it has to be. We still have a long season left. That game was a big win for us, but we still have a lot more games and we are going to have to get some more wins.''
Coincidentally, the Giants started the 2006 season by winning one of their first three games. They then went on a five-game winning streak.
What should be noted this year is New York opened the season against three teams that have a combined 8-1 mark. Their next five games are against teams (Philadelphia, the Jets, Atlanta, San Francisco and Miami) that are a combined 4-11.
``Hopefully, we can get on a little bit of a run and get the confidence going,'' center Shaun O'Hara said.
The biggest improvement this past week was the play of the defense, which forced Washington into three straight three-and-out series at the start of the second half.
``I feel like we stood up as a D,'' said rookie cornerback Aaron Ross, who moved into the starting lineup in the second quarter. ``In games one and two, when the offense turned the ball over, we as a defense ... went out there slow, I guess feeling sorry for ourselves.
``But this game, you can tell everybody ran out there happy to be on the field, even if it was a turnover close to our goal line.''
Veteran cornerback Sam Madison also said the defense knew exactly what it was doing this past week. There was no confusion handling new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's new system.
That was never more evident than when the Redskins got a first-and-goal at the Giants 1 with less than two minutes to play.
With no time outs left, Washington spiked the ball on first down to get its power unit on the field. However, Jason Campbell misfired on a short pass on second down and the Giants stopped Ladell Betts cold on runs to the left side on the next two plays.
``There is no better feeling than a win,'' Manning said. ``Coming in Monday, everybody is definitely excited about our first win. We definitely needed one. The way it happened, everybody is in a good mood and excited. We just have to keep that up.''
 

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