The Giants found out two hours before kickoff Sunday that they’d be facing the top team in the NFL without a key contributor on offense.
Center David Baas was ruled out of the game due to headaches. The call was made around 2 p.m., further decimating a line already without starting left tackle William Beatty.
With Baas out, Kevin Boothe shifted from left guard to center and Mitch Petrus made his first NFL start at left guard.
And the patchwork line worked well.
The Giants ran for 100 yards on 20 carries, the first time they’d reached the century mark since their Week 9 win over New England.
Eli Manning was hit just three times - - once on a forced fumble by Clay Matthews.
“I give credit to a lot of the players that coming into the stadium didn’t know they were going to play in the positions that they played in,” Coughlin said.
Added starting left guard David Diehl: “Guys stepped up and guys came to play this week.”
Diehl insisted that the Giants didn’t change anything with the replacements in.
“We ran the same game plan,” he said.
Reserve Jim Cordle was called upon as a blocking tight end on several occasions.
And he, Petrus and Boothe may be forced to do the same next week in Dallas.
It is unclear at this point if the headaches will keep Baas from playing.