Playoffs NFL Week 20: Giants vs. 49ers, Game Notes

January 23, 2012

NEW YORK – What an incredible season it has been for the Giants. A month or so ago, fans were wondering if they would make it to the playoffs at all and here they were, finding themselves battling for the NFC Championship crown. If the Giants beat the 49ers, they would be in the Super Bowl once again. Guess what? The Giants beat the 49ers 20-17 in overtime and will be going to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis for a rematch against the New England Patriots. Hollywood could not write a more riveting script. The Giants have owned the Patriots since 2007 including the preseason, regular season and postseason. The Patriots are the real underdogs in this game and face the hungry NFC Champion Giants.

Let me just pause for a moment to acknowledge QB Eli Manning. This guy has weathered every storm thrown his way and really showed the NFL world how tough he is last night. Manning was getting beat down the entire game by a rabid 49ers defense and he kept getting up and performing. I have always respected Eli Manning but the way he played last night brought me to another level of respect for him. Easy Eli is a tough guy and a true Iron Man. I’m glad he is our quarterback and I’m happy that he is getting the respect he deserved all along.

This game was a battle from the opening kickoff until the final FG in OT. The 49ers defense played a terrific game and my hat is off to them. The Giants took a 10-7 lead into the locker room at halftime and seemed to pick up some momentum with a nice drive prior to heading inside. The second half of the game was intense. Both teams were fighting all the way up to the coin toss for overtime and beyond. Make no mistake, the Giants earned their spot in the Super Bowl. I am very proud to say that I am a Giants fan and really proud of what Eli Manning did on the field. Hey Giants fans, we’re going to the Super Bowl, again!

Let’s take a look at my notes from the game.

QB Eli Manning – What can you say about Manning? This guy is simply awesome and for all his quiet demeanor, a true tough guy. He finished with 316 yards 2 TD’s 0 INT’s

RB Ahmad Bradshaw – Bradshaw ran hard as usual and had his hands full with a rabid 49ers defense. He finished with 74 yards rushing and 52 yards receiving.

WR Hakeem Nicks – Nicks got banged up early but returned to the game. He finished with 55 yards.

DE Justin Tuck – Tuck was playing on another level last night and finished with 1.5 sacks.

LB Michael Boley – Boley was doing a lot more out there then the final stats would lead you to believe. He plays with a lot of passion.

WR Victor Cruz – The ‘Salsa King’ Cruz had another superb performance and finished with 142 yards 0 TD’s.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul – JPP cannot be contained and gets double teamed every game now. He was the Giants leading tackler and finished with 0.5 sacks.

S Antrel Rolle – Rolle finished in the top five tacklers once again and played a great game. I love the way this guy plays football.

RB Brandon Jacobs – Jacobs didn’t get in much work last night because they were throwing the ball all over the place and Bradshaw got a lot of work. He finished with 13 yards 0 TD’s.

LB Jacquian Williams – This young man was playing like he wanted to go to the Super Bowl. He is only going to get better and finished with 1 forced fumble.

WR Mario Manningham – Super Mario wasn’t getting many balls thrown his way but still managed to grab 1 TD in traffic. Maybe the biggest play of the game in my opinion.

CB Corey Webster – I’ve been saying it all year, Webster has taken his game to another level and really improved. He finished with 1 forced fumble.

TE Bear Pascoe – Pascoe had only one catch in this game but it was a big one. He finished with 1 TD, his first ever in the NFL. Congrats Bear!

LB Chase Blackburn – Blackburn was second on the team in tackles and I still cannot figure out why they let this guy go in the offseason. Re-sign him Jerry!

DE Osi Umenyiora – Osi was battling a tough offensive line out there all night and finished with 0.5 sacks. He simply causes havoc every game.

FB Henry Hynoski – This guy has really stepped up his game. He has been playing with a lot of heart and making contributions to the team. He finished with 20 yards.

LB Mathias Kiwanuka – Kiwi is a straight baller and was playing with a mean streak last night. He finished with 0.5 sacks.

DT Linval Joseph – I really like what I have been seeing from this young man. Keep an eye on him because he could end up as one of the greats.

S Kenny Phillips – Phillips is such an instinctual player and when he hits somebody, they fall to the ground. His angles and approaches are incredible.

CB Aaron Ross – Ross was out there making plays and continues to do a good job filling in for the injured Terrell Thomas. Good job Aaron!

S Deon Grant – Grant was in the top five for defensive tacklers and has become a force for Big Blue. I hope he retires a Giant in five or six years.

K Lawrence Tynes – What can I say? Tynes kicked the winning FG that sends Big Blue to the Super Bowl. Heck of a kick Larry!

P Steve Weatherford – The Weatherman is a weapon. He had another solid game last night. Consistency in the punting game is a relief for a change.

Giants Offense – This group of players had the toughest game of the year last night and certainly the most physical. They came out on top due to resiliency.

Giants Defense – The Giants defense had a superb game last night. This group has really stepped up in recent weeks and finished with 3 sacks 0 INT’s and 2 forced fumbles.

Giants Special Teams – The special teams play was good last night. Thomas deserves the game ball and Tynes did what he had to do. Still some missed tackles and room for improvement.

What are your thoughts on the Giants performance against the 49ers?

RD – nygreporter.com – WE’RE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL!

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Giants Be Nimble, Giants Be Quick at Candlestick

January 18, 2012

NEW YORK – Hey Giants fans, can you believe we are only one game away from playing in another Super Bowl? It is really starting to hit me today as we get closer to the big game against the 49ers in San Francisco this Sunday night. Let me start by saying that I believe the Giants will win this game. However, I think this will be a very close game with a victory point margin between 1-3 points. I’m going to give a final score prediction of 28-27 with a Giants win by Manning taking over the game in the fourth quarter. The Giants ‘Road Warrior’ mentality continues to produce results and this team seems to do their best work when the pressure is on.

The secret ingredient to this game is going to be speed. The Giants need to use speed to their advantage here and utilize RB Ahmad Bradshaw with the majority of carries. I would also unleash WR Mario Manningham in this game and throw to him until they leave WR Hakeem Nicks or WR Victor Cruz with a ‘one on one’ situation to manipulate. The 49ers have an extremely aggressive defense and they didn’t get to the NFC Championship game by pulling punches. The physical play that Head Coach Tom Coughlin preaches will be important but speed kills. I am not just talking about the offense here, the defense will need speed to get to QB Alex Smith often and disrupt his game. The areas of concern for Big Blue are the same as the past few weeks, on offense it is the offensive line and on defense it is the secondary. Both of these groups have really improved their games in the past few weeks but they cannot compare to the production of Manning or the defensive front four.

Roger Goodell and the NFL can be sure that fans will be watching the refs like hawks in this game and if they ruin the game with bogus calls, the NFL will have it’s integrity questioned by many. Teams spend hundreds of millions of dollars and players give blood, sweat and tears to make it to the playoffs and to have it ruined by a blind ref is unacceptable in 2012. Another thing, Giants fans came out in force for the Green Bay game in Wisconsin and I expect the same thing to happen in San Francisco. Let’s hope the fans can keep things classy and stop acting like idiots in the presence of women and children. Enjoy the game but if you’re willing to go to jail for a long time because you cannot control yourself, then just stay home. Leave the stadium seats for the true fans.

Who do you think will win the game on Sunday night and why?

RD – nygreporter.com

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Playoffs NFL Week 19: Giants vs. Packers, Game Notes

January 16, 2012

NEW YORK – The Giants are now only two wins away from the rings. The Giants played their hearts out last night and beat the Green Bay Packers 37-20. I would have normally written this last night but I was celebrating all night long. The entire Giants community has been correctly stating that the team not only beat the Packers but also the refs. Is this what we have come to in the NFL? Teams losing to atrocious refereeing? Roger Goodell better look into this and hand out some punishment including a four game suspension or something to the effect of what a player would receive. This is the second round of the playoffs and completely inexcusable. If he wants to maintain the integrity of the game in the fans mind, something needs to be done about this. There were multiple blown calls and non-calls made last night but the Giants overcame it all and will play the San Francisco 49ers next week out west for the NFC championship.

The first half of football was pretty balanced and fun to watch. Both teams seemed to move the ball well and traded points a few times. The Packers defense was playing surprisingly well and I was a bit shocked by how many cheap shots they were taking on Eli Manning with no calls from the refs. Right before the teams headed into the locker room, Manning threw a Hail Mary pass into the endzone that WR Hakeem Nicks pulled down to give Big Blue a 20-10 halftime lead. The second half saw some of the same action with QB Aaron Rodgers moving the ball well but the fourth quarter was all about Big Blue. Everyone knows that Eli Manning owns the fourth quarter and he proved it again. The Giants defense also stepped up big time in the second half and started getting to Rodgers often and causing havoc on the field. The long break really seemed to make the Packers sluggish and out of sync.

This Giants victory sets up some very interesting scenarios for fans. The first being the San Francisco game next week. Giants fans still remember that playoff game in 2003 where another blown call by the refs cost the Giants the opportunity to win. This should be billed simply as a revenge game for the fans, although I doubt the media will look at it that way. If the Giants get their revenge and beat the 49ers an even more interesting scenario unfolds. The Patriots play the Ravens next week for the AFC championship. Regardless of who wins that game, the G-Men will see a Super Bowl rematch. I have no preference on who New York plays but a rematch against the Ravens would be billed as another revenge game (2000 Super Bowl loss) and the Patriots (2007 Super Bowl win) game would be another New York vs. Boston type of scenario. I’d be happy just to make it back to the Super Bowl regardless of who we play and of course take home the Lombardi trophy when the game is over. The Road Warriors have returned!

Let’s take a look at my notes from the game. 

QB Eli Manning – Manning was simply brilliant once again and finished the game with 330 yards 3 TD’s and 1 INT. Manning is the hottest QB in the NFL right now.

RB Ahmad Bradshaw – Bradshaw was running hard as usual and made some critical plays late in the game. He finished with 63 yards on the ground and 21 yards receiving.

WR Hakeem Nicks – Nicks had a tremendous game and finished with 165 yards and 2 TD’s. He was clearly Manning’s favorite target last night.

LB Michael Boley – Boley is such a tough guy and great leader. He finished the night second on the team in tackles and had 2 sacks.

DE Justin Tuck – Tuck didn’t make very many tackles but he was disrupting QB Aaron Rodgers comfort zone the entire game.

WR Victor Cruz – The Salsa Man was garnering a lot of attention but still finished with 74 yards 0 TD’s.

S Antrel Rolle – Rolle made some key plays out there last night and was the leading tackler for Big Blue once again. Rolle = Beast.

RB Brandon Jacobs – Jacobs tried to stay busy in this game that was all about passing but he did get 22 yards and the dagger TD that finished off the Packers in the 4th quarter.

CB Corey Webster – Webster continues to play on another level this year and he had another great game last night.

S Deon Grant – Grant was hitting everything that came into his area and also had 1 INT. He got banged up but returned to the game.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul – JPP was getting double teamed for most of the game. This seems to be the story every week now. JPP = Beast!

WR Mario Manningham – Super Mario had a solid game and contributed 31 yards and 1 TD to the victory. Nice game Mario!

CB Aaron Ross – Ross was out there making plays and really took his game to another level last night. He made a few key plays that could have changed the game.

LB Jacquian Williams – Williams is having one heck of a season for a rookie and now finds himself in the NFC Championship game.

TE Jake Ballard – Ballard had a rough night and finished with 17 yards. I expect him to get more involved next week.

S Kenny Phillips – I love the way Phillips plays the game of football. The hard hitting safety finished with 1 forced fumble.

DE Osi Umenyiora – Osi gets my defensive game ball. The Giants need to pay this man. He finished with 2 sacks and 1 forced fumble.

DT Chris Canty – Canty was having a good game before leaving with a knee injury. He did not return to the game.

K Lawrence Tynes – Tynes went 3/4 on FG attempts with one blocked and 4/4 on extra point attempts. He also had a kickoff go out of bounds.

P Steve Weatherford – The Weatherman was brilliant once again and has really become the best special teams weapon on the team.

Giants Offense – What can I say? The Giants offense was awesome last night and put up 37 points on the best team in football.

Giants Defense – The Giants defense got off to a slow start in the first half but exploded in the second half to secure the victory.

Giants Special Teams – The special teams recovered two onside kicks and had a decent game but they still need improvement.

What did you think of the Giants performance last night?

RD – nygreporter.com

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Can the Giants Beat the Packers on Sunday?

January 11, 2012

NEW YORK – Hello Giants Fans, I have a simple and straight forward question for you as the title of this article reads. Can the Giants beat the Packers this weekend? This is the question that is buzzing around the internet and I’m asking for your honest opinion. Personally, my answer to that question is yes. I know that Green Bay is a very good football team and that they have QB Aaron Rodgers who is playing on a level that few quarterbacks ever get to. I know the G-Men will also be traveling to Green Bay to play in historic Lambeau stadium and it will be very cold. Everyone knows the situation and that it will be a difficult game to win. Still, it is a winnable game.

If you asked me this question a month or so ago, I would probably give you a different answer. But seeing how this team has come together at the perfect time during the season has me going all in. I don’t think Big Blue will blow out the Packers the way they did the Falcons but I think they are going to win because of defense. I think Manning and company will put up around 24-30 points of offense and the defense will not allow more then 20 points for the Packers. The Giants defense has looked scary the past three weeks and especially the past two weeks. I will also look at the fact that the Giants have done it before in a big game. Yes, I’m talking about the 2007 run when they went in and beat the Pack in their own backyard with freezing temperatures. Players do not forget those kinds of things and it will give Big Blue a confidence boost. The most surprising thing to me is how well the Giants have played without a ton of star players. The G-Men seem to have weathered the storm of injuries that plagued them this year and have really shown the resiliency and fortitude that got them to the Super Bowl back in 2007. Imagine this team at full strength?

It is almost impossible for a Giants fan to predict a loss for the G-Men. I understand that. But as the postman at my local post office said, I am more concerned with the New Orleans Saints then I am with the Packers. I thought that was an insightful statement and something that I happen to agree with. The Giants lost to both the Saints (49-24) and the Packers (38-35) during the regular season this year. They lost to the Packers but not by much. The Saints kicked the crap out of Big Blue up and down the field, the worst beating all year. My final score prediction for the Packers game this weekend is a Giants victory 27-20.

Who do you think will win the matchup on Sunday (4:30 PM EST) between the Giants and Packers? What is your final score prediction?

RD – nygreporter.com

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Playoffs NFL Week 18: Giants vs. Falcons, Game Notes

January 8, 2012

NEW YORK – Giants fans were treated to a sweet victory today as the G-Men beat down the Atlanta Falcons 24-2 at MetLife stadium. The first playoff victory in the new stadium’s short history. I hope our readers missed me, as I took a much needed break from writing this past week to recover from the holidays. I was hoping to bring our readers some good news today and the Giants came through for us. It seems like the Giants continue to turn things up a notch each week because this was another fun game to watch as a fan. The Giants offense gave up a safety in the second quarter but the Giants defense literally shut out a very good offense.

The first quarter started out sluggish and there were a ton of three and outs for both teams. I really thought this would turn out to be a dull defensive battle with little scoring. Before the game, I predicted a Giants win by the score of 35-31. I thought this would be a much more competitive game then it turned out to be. Neither team scored in the first quarter and the second quarter saw a rare safety against Big Blue and a Hakeem Nicks TD reception. The Giants took a bizarre 7-2 lead into the locker room at halftime and had all of the momentum on their side. That TD would be all of the points the Giants would need to win, as the defense simply mauled the Falcons all day and refused to give up any first downs. Even as the Falcons attempted to make two 4th and 1 first downs, the fierce Giants defense simply were not having it today and shut them out. If you weren’t a believer in the Giants yet, you should be now.

The Giants will play the Green Bay Packers at 4:30 PM EST next weekend in Green Bay. It’s deja vu all over again!

Let’s take a look at some of my notes from the game.

QB Eli Manning – Manning continued his elite march on opponents finishing with 277 yards 3 TD’s and 0 INT’s.

WR Hakeem Nicks – Nicks showed why he is a number one WR today by exploding for 115 yards and 2 TD’s. Nice game Hakeem!

RB Ahmad Bradshaw – AB is a nasty runner. He is simply a tough guy out there and finished with 63 yards.

DE Justin Tuck – The defensive leader was making plays all over the field and clogging up holes out there.

LB Michael Boley – Boley continued his stellar play against his former team and seems to instinctively know where the ball is going to be.

WR Mario Manningham – Super Mario had a solid game today and it was nice to see him back in the mix. He finished with 68 yards and 1 TD.

DT Rocky Bernard – Rocky had a nice game in the middle and finished with 1 sack. It seemed like every defensive player was putting in work today and celebrating good plays.

S Antrel Rolle – The hard hitting Rolle was second on the team in tackles and once again made himself useful all over the field.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul – You down with JPP? The Beast lead all defensive tacklers despite multiple double teams. He cannot be contained.

RB Brandon Jacobs – Jacobs must have woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning because he was running like a mad man and finished with 92 yards.

DE Osi Umenyiora – I’m going to make new towels for fans that read ‘Pay Osi’! He had another good game and finished with 1 sack.

CB Corey Webster – Webster has been solid all year and once again had a good game. He was getting into scuffles with Falcons WR Roddy White, who was clearly frustrated.

WR Victor Cruz – Cruz was getting double teamed and mugged all day. All that did was free up Nicks and Manningham. Pick your poison.

LB Jacquian Williams – Williams was once again in the top five for Big Blue tacklers. This outstanding rookie has become one of my favorite players.

S Kenny Phillips – Phillips was doing his thing out there and creeping. He made some big hits and continues to be a leader for the DB’s.

LB Chase Blackburn – Blackburn has really been making a difference on the field and I cannot say it enough, I’m glad he is back.

RB DJ Ware – Ware was running hard as usual but left the game with a concussion and did not return.

CB Aaron Ross – Ross was very active in todays game but also left the game with a concussion and did not return.

TE Jake Ballard – Ballard had a couple of catches for 16 yards in his return to the field. I expect him to be more active next week against the Packers.

P Steve Weatherford – I really hope the Giants lock down Weatherford with a long term contract. A punter with his attitude and demeanor is a perfect for New York.

K Lawrence Tynes – Tynes missed a FG again and made one. He also made all three of his extra point attempts. It may be time to say goodbye.

Giants Defense – Two words, completely dominating.

Giants Offense – The offense has been extremely productive the past few weeks and they are coming together at the perfect time.

Giants Special Teams – This group still makes me shake my head and I expect big improvements after the season, if not sooner.

RD – nygreporter.com

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12/21/11 Christmas DAC Day 21, The Playoffs

December 21, 2011

NEW YORK – Hello Giants fans and Happy Holidays! I apologize to the die hard Giants fans who already know what I’m going to say in this article, when I discuss the playoffs. You know the scenario but for those of you who need to catch up on the information highway, the Giants need to win both of their final two games of the 2011 season. Both of these teams, the Jets and Cowboys, are formidable opponents. Both of these games will be played at MetLife stadium. The Giants have no choice but win these games or face a third straight year without a postseason game. Nobody wants to see that happen and the reason for all of this misfortune is quite clear, the injuries.

The Giants simply need to win the next two games, hope for some of their players to return from injury and give round one everything they’ve got. We know that QB Eli Manning will do his part and make things happen. I’m more concerned with the defensive personnel then I am with the offense. Is it crazy to think that GM Jerry Reese would bring in a veteran defensive back for the playoff run? Anything is possible I guess. It all comes back to the fact that Big Blue needs to win the next two games. If they do win the next two games, one still has to wonder how deep they can go in the playoffs with the 28th ranked defense.

If the Giants somehow miss the playoffs for a third straight year, what happens? You can’t realistically fire coaches over players getting injured, that just isn’t fair. The pressure from fans might too be too much to overcome for the Giants front office this year, I believe changes are inevitable and will occur swiftly following the end of the season. I also think the G-Men have a great shot at making the playoffs still this year. Two huge games back to back to end 2011, the year of the heart attack and lock out. I cannot imagine this crazy year ending any other way.

DAC Fact

I told you about the New York Giants making the playoffs dozens of times in their history. But do you know how many playoff wins they have? The overall postseason record is 20-24 and the Giants have a 5-4 playoff record since 2000. They are also 1-1 for Super Bowl appearances during that period of time. The lost to the Baltimore Ravens in 2000 and beat the undefeated New England Patriots in SBXLII. The longest drought in Giants history for missing the playoffs is 17 straight seasons from 1964-1980 Let’s hope that ancient history, stays ancient history, and never repeats itself again.

Will the New York Giants make the playoffs this year? Yes or no? What do you think?

RD – nygreporter.com

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New York Giants Starring in Road Warriors Part II?

November 9, 2011

NEW YORK – The Giants have been winning games lately and I noticed that they have already won 3 out of 4 on the road. The will play in road game number 5 on Sunday against the 49ers. If they win that game, could we be looking at the Road Warriors Part 2 here? They have also won 3 out of 4 home games. Winning more on the road and having your Christmas Eve game against the Jets away (still played at MetLife stadium), the G-Men could go for 6 or 7 wins on the road this year. The last 3 road game will be against tough opponents. They will face the New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets Jets on the road after playing the 49ers in San Francisco this Sunday. If the Giants win in Frisco, they will be 4-1 on the road and I think they would finish by beating the Cowboys and Jets. The Packers are the biggest test of the entire schedule though and that is a home game at MetLife stadium.

Why am I bringing all of this up? Because of the obvious similarities to the 2007 team, that fans have been comparing the 2011 team to for weeks. The ‘Road Warriors’ nickname was bestowed on them in 2007 by the fans and media. I try not to buy into that too much because I don’t want to throw any bad karma on what’s happening this year. I am very excited to see them play the 49ers this Sunday and think a win there would really make their playoff chances shoot up exponentially. Is it too early in the season, at week ten, to start wondering about a possible playoff game from the G-Men this season? I certainly hope so after missing the playoffs for the past two years in a row. Last year was a joke. How the Giants did not get into the playoffs with a 10-6 record shows the flaws in the system. Coach Coughlin said you can kiss his butt if you don’t like it. He said that 10-6 is a winning season and a good record. I agree with him. The 2011 season is a different story and looks very promising. If the Giants beat the 49ers, then to be true to myself, it makes me think the Giants are almost a lock to get to the playoffs. It would take a historical collapse or something for them to miss the playoffs in 2011.

Let’s get something straight, QB Eli Manning is an ELITE Super Bowl Champion, Super Bowl MVP, Pro Bowl player, Road Warrior and franchise quarterback who happens to be an Iron Man in the game of NFL football. Give him the respect he has earned. If Manning does not get voted into the Pro Bowl this year, I will know the game is rigged. By the way, fan voting has already started at NFL.com. He is playing out of his mind this year and deserves these few words of acknowledgment for what he has built this year. He is also the team MVP for the year in my opinion. Manning continues to prove the doubters wrong and play the game on his own terms. He is a great leader on the field and a role model for kids off the field. What more can you ask of a quarterback for an NFL team?

Speaking of the Pro Bowl, if I had to guess, I can see a bunch of Giants players that deserve to go to Honolulu. Players like QB Eli Manning, OL Chris Snee, WR Hakeem Nicks, WR Victor Cruz, TE Jake Ballard, DE Osi Umenyiora, DE Jason Pierre-Paul, LB Michael Boley, S Antrel Rolle, P Steve Weatherford. How many of these guys get in will be revealed down the road. I say at least four or five of these guys will be in Hawaii. I think everyone can agree the 2011 NFL MVP will most likely be Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers will be in Hawaii and Manning deserves to be there too. As of this date and halfway point of the 2011 season, QB Eli Manning has thrown for 2,377 yards 15 TD’s 6 INT’s.

How many of the 3 road games (Saints, Cowboys and Jets) left to play this year will the Giants win? How do the Giants playoff chances look mid-way through the year?

RD – nygreporter.com

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