Now that’s more like it. The Giants came out yesterday with an intensity and crispness that was lacking last Friday and dominated the Chiefs during the few series’ the starters played. On both sides of the ball, the Giants looked really good. Here are some impressions of last night’s game.

Disclaimer: Because I was traveling to Erie, PA to visit family, I couldn’t watch the game and instead listened to the WFAN broadcast. So all of my impressions are coming second-hand from Bob Papa, Carl Banks and company.

–The much maligned defensive front stepped up in a big way. On the game’s second play, Fred Robbins busted up a Larry Johnson run for a four-yard loss. On the next play, Osi Umenyiora got pressure on Trent Green and forced a weak, fluttering pass to Johnson. After a discouraging first series against Baltimore, the Big Blue D had posted a three-and-out. (All told, the Giants held Larry Johnson to 8 yards on 3 carries.)

–And then the offense went to work. Tim Carter picked up 20 on an end-around, and the G-Men swiftly moved downfield from there, both on the ground and in the air. Tiki looked good, Eli looked good (he went 11-14 for 80 yards), and the receivers looked good, especially Carter, who continues to play the best football of his life.

–The O-Line was also encouraging. They did an excellent job picking up blitzes and giving Eli the protection he needed to get into a good rhythm with the receivers.

–Interesting to see (or hear about) Eli throwing so many short passes. Last year, John Hufnagel’s “East Coast Offense” gained notoriety by finishing first in the league in yards per completion while sacrificing Eli’s completion percentage. Perhaps Hufnagel is trying to blend some West Coast rhythm and timing in so that Eli becomes more adept at checking off his primary options, something he clearly needs work on. I like it.

–On the touchdown to Toomer – a play that I’ve actually seen on Sports Center – the O-Line did a nice job picking up a Chiefs blitz, and Toomer was able to slip into an open part of the zone in front of a Chiefs linebacker. Eli was quick to see this and put it on the money for the score.

–The Chiefs moved it a little on the next series, but they shot themselves in the foot with a couple of penalties. Trent Green completed a pass to Eddie Kennison against Corey Webster on the drive’s first play, but Webster came back strong, breaking up a deep pass for Sammie Parker on third down.

–William Joseph made a stop on this drive, and Carl Banks pointed out that he looked “very active,” and that “it looks like he’s playing for his job.” The broadcasters kept talking about how Robbins and Joseph must have “read the headlines” and were responding with a better effort tonight. Our D-Tackles don’t seem to lack for talent. If they go hard, they should be okay, but consistent effort has always been the question with them.

But with Barry Cofield impressing during camp and playing well again tonight, we have at least three capable guys for those two positions. And the presence of Cofield should push Robbins and Joseph. We’ll see about Jonas Seawright – I didn’t hear his name, which doesn’t necessarily mean one thing or another.

Carl Banks was impressed with the pressure that the D-Line was able to get on Trent Green. He said that the Giants were able to consistently get pressure without blitzing, although he allowed that the Chiefs’ O-Line was pretty bad.

–Tiki came out a couple of plays into the second series, his work done for the evening. Brandon Jacobs replaced him and immediately impressed. He ripped off two runs, one for 12 yards and one for 9. Both of these runs were partially called back on holdings, but it’s still nice that Jacobs is getting some experience busting into the secondary.

–The Giants made some defensive subs on the Chiefs third series, and the subs looked good. Particularly Chase Blackburn, who made a couple of instinctive plays on the first two downs. Good to see. Blackburn didn’t look good last week, but he came back strong yesterday.

–The G-Men went to a no-huddle, shotgun offense on their third offensive series and continued to roll. Eli looked in rhythm with his receivers, hitting Carter and Shiancoe on a couple of passes. He was helped out by some fine pass blocking, Carl Banks noted. Jacobs broke off a nice 14-yard run, making a cut to the outside to spring himself for some extra yards.

–The drive ended with a Brandon Jacobs touchdown plunge, but I’m still not a big fan of the Jacobs goal-line thing. On the previous play, he looked awkward as he left his feet early and got stuffed.

–On the Chiefs next possession, the Giants defense – comprised of some starters and some key reserves – continued to look good. Corey Webster stuck his man on a deep ball for the second time in the past couple of series’, earning him kudos from the announcers. Mathias Kiwanuka made a physical and resourceful play when he lined up in an outside linebacker position, bull-rushed over the Chiefs’ blocking running back, and slapped the ball out of Trent Green’s hand for a fumble (which was recovered by the Chiefs.) Kiwanuka is learning fast – the ball-slapping move was straight out of Osi’s book.

–The announcers were raving about Gerris Wilkinson, who is savvy, instinctive, and versatile. The third-round pick could turn into a real steal.

–Ok, now for some bad news. Shawn O’Hara went out with a sprained knee. Hopefully this isn’t at all serious, but we always have Rich Seubert to step in at center. And Luke Petitgout left the game with back spasms. Petitgout’s false starts, holdings penalties, and recurring back spasms can be pretty exasperating.

–Rob Johnson didn’t look especially good. The announcers indicated that as he did in Jacksonville and Buffalo, he held the ball for too long on a couple of plays. Frankly, I don’t quite see the appeal of a quarterback with a bum arm who takes a lot of sacks. I know he’s a gym rat and all but…

–Jacobs fumbled, although the fumble was overruled on a Coughlin challenge because Jacobs’ knee hit the ground before the ball came out. This guy needs to eliminate the fumbles before we can think of handing him the post-Tiki reins.

–The announcers didn’t think that RW McQuarters looked good. If he doesn’t work out, we have other options at nickel and we’re well-stocked with return-man options.

And that’s about it. Again, I didn’t actually watch the game and I missed most of the fourth quarter when I was checking into the hotel. But on both sides of the ball, this was as encouraging a performance as we could have wished for.