Before the New York Giants kick off the second half of their schedule on Sunday, November 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium (4:25 p.m. EST), let's take a look back at five key plays from the first eight games of the season. Without them, the G-Men most likely wouldn't be sitting at 6-2 and in first place in the NFC East.
San Francisco Treat (Oct. 14) -- In their most impressive win of the first half, the Giants destroyed the San Francisco 49ers, 26-3, at Candlestick Park in week six. However, a key moment in the blowout was Prince Amukamara's interception of Alex Smith early in the second quarter with the Giants trailing, 3-0. The Giants scored a touchdown on their ensuing possession -- a six-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz from Eli Manning -- and never looked back in a 26-3 victory.
Pierre-Paul Pick Six (Oct. 28) -- Jason Pierre-Paul's 26-yard interception return and goal post dunk against the Dallas Cowboys in week eight gave Big Blue a seemingly safe 23-0 lead. However, behind Tony Romo, the Cowboys stormed to take a 24-23 late in the third quarter. In the fourth, Lawrence Tynes booted a pair of clutch field goals and the Giants held on in the final seconds, as Dez Bryant's potential game-winning TD was reversed by replay. Turns out, JPP's pick-six was imperative.
Bang for the Bucs (Sept. 16) -- The Giants were trailing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 27-19, and looking down the barrel of an 0-2 record when Manning hooked up with Cruz for an 80-yard touchdown with 6:48 left in the fourth quarter. New York added the two-point conversion to tie the game at 27. The Giants pulled out the win, 41-34, but Cruz's long touchdown provided the spark.
Brownie Points (Oct. 7) -- In week five at MetLife Stadium, the Cleveland Browns led the Giants 17-10 and were driving for more points when Stevie Brown picked off Brandon Weeden and returned the ball 46 yards. Two plays later, Ahmad Bradshaw ran for a four-yard touchdown to tie the score. The Giants scored the next 17 points of the game and never looked back, beating the Browns, 41-27.
Victor-y Cruz (Oct. 21) -- In the most thrilling single play of the first half, Manning found Cruz for a 77-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter, as the New York Giants overcame a late touchdown pass from Robert Griffin III to beat the Washington Redskins, 27-23. Cruz's touchdown saved the Giants from a crushing third division loss. Instead, they seized control of the NFC East with a win in Dallas.
Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer who proudly wears his Rodney Hampton jersey on Sundays during the football season. He grew up in Queens, N.Y. rooting for the Giants despite being surrounded by Jets fans. Adam follows back Giants fans on Twitter @PegCitySports.