Though much attention is being lavished on the impressive performances of Eli Manning (above) and Plaxico Burress in yesterday’s 44-24 Giants win over the Rams, let’s take a moment or two to think about a crucial gaffe by St. Louis. From the Post-Dispatch’s Jim Thomas.

A not-so-funny thing happened on the way to another comeback. On third and 3 from the New York 6, Jackson took a handoff, ran left, and then tossed to wide receiver Shaun McDonald on a reverse.

Oops! McDonald couldn’t corral Jackson’s pitch – which was thrown late and slightly behind McDonald. Giants defensive tackle Fred Robbins pounced on the loose football. New York took over on its 13 and promptly marched 87 yards for a touchdown and a 34-17 lead.

“That was big,” Bulger said. “If we put the ball in the end zone there, you never know how it turns out. … Like last week, Archuleta’s play was the play of the game. This definitely was the turning point in the game this week.”

(Archuleta’s 85-yard interception return for a TD helped turned the tide against Tennessee.)

For his part, coach Mike Martz was puzzled by the fact that Jackson was doing the tossing on the trick play instead of Marshall Faulk.

“Marshall always does it, and Marshall wasn’t in the game,” Martz said. “And that’s an issue for me. We’ve always practiced it with Marshall. And he’s supposed to be in the game at that time, so there was some confusion. … That’s a coaching deal all the way.”

When asked why he wasn’t in the game for the reverse pitch, Faulk said, “I don’t know.”