No Plaxico? No problem. With star receiver Burress out while serving a one-game suspension, the Giants' Eli Manning simply made do. On the opening drive, he hit Domenik Hixon -- Burress' replacement -- with a 32-yard touchdown. Sinorice Moss stepped in when Hixon suffered a concussion and Manning connected with him on a 23-yard score. It used to seem like the Giants won despite their quarterback, but something started to click during New York's Super Bowl run last season. Manning's sharp performance (267 yards, no picks and a career-high passer rating of 136.6) without his top target indicates he's close to running an offensive machine like his brother Peyton's Colts or Tom Brady's Patriots. I'm serious. He's already thrown six TDs vs. just one pick. When Burress returns next Monday against the Browns, look out.
That 16-point spread against the lowly Bengals probably lowered your expectations anyway -- a Cowboys blowout was sure to bring lots of second-string garbage time. But Cincinnati provided a scare at Texas Stadium, hanging around till the very end of a 31-22 Dallas victory. Tony Romo's three-TD day was solid enough, but those should have been his first-half numbers. He threw for a season-low 176 yards with an interception. In four quarters against this team? C'mon. And there's also trouble afoot with Terrell Owens. The receiver was only targeted five times, with two catches. One of those was a 57-yard score, but team owner Jerry Jones still found it necessary to visit him on the bench during the third quarter to make sure everything was OK. So expect the Romo-T.O. drought to end in the Arizona desert next week.
Gimme the ball, coach. That seems to be Larry Johnson's mantra, oh, several times a season. The Chiefs responded and so did LJ, running for 319 yards and three TDs in two games. Sunday was another story: 2 yards. Total. His fruitless day forced Kansas City to turn to Damon Huard and his 86 yards passing, two picks and two fumbles. Yuck. The end result was another embarrassment, this one a shutout. But don't blame the running back entirely. The Panthers defense deserves a tip of the cap; Johnson only joined LaDainian Tomlinson, Matt Forte, Adrian Peterson and Michael Turner in failing to gain 100 yards against them. K.C. is off next week, then hosts the Titans. Expect more of the same.
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