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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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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