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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Big Blue Should Win The NFC Championship Game

January 20, 2012

NEW YORK – Hello Giants Fans, the internet and twitter has been exploding with a ton of trash talk this week. I can honestly say that I do not remember a game in recent memory with this much hype. For some reason, the 49ers fans out there in cyberspace are insecure about their team pulling off a victory on Sunday night. Now, the San Francisco fans have every right to feel confident about the 49ers in this game because they have a very good football team and earned their place in the NFC Championship game. All of this trash talk isn’t necessary and only shows the true fear and embarrassment the ‘San Fans’ would like to avoid with a win. Unfortunately, I think those fans will be greatly disappointed come late Sunday night but they still had a great season and should be commended.

I do not want to sound overconfident but I really believe in my heart that the G-Men will be back in the Super Bowl. There is something in my gut that tells me the 49ers will not be able to overcome the Giants defense. If you give me a choice between 49ers QB Alex Smith or Giants QB Eli Manning versus equally solid defenses, I have to take Eli Manning. And I’m not just saying this because I root for Big Blue. I think NFL fans from every city in America would agree with me, except in San Francisco of course but the numbers don’t lie. Eli Manning is a superior QB to Alex Smith. The Giants defense will need to have a solid game and the front four will need to do their thing and knock down QB Alex Smith often. The Giants have the best front four in the NFL and they will need those guys to play like a bunch of crazed dogs out there on Sunday. I also expect RB Brandon Jacobs to run hard after former 49ers WR Jerry Rice called him soft. I’m sure the current 49ers players didn’t appreciate Rice sticking his nose into their business like that and angering a real Giant in Brandon the Bull.

I’ve already mentioned how I believe speed will play a big role in a Giants victory and I’m sticking to that. The weather report calls for rain on Sunday night, which will only make the game more interesting. Yes, it will certainly effect a few plays during the game but we will have to wait and see just how bad the weather is before making any further predictions. The one prediction that will not change in my mind is a Giants win by the score of 28-27. In other words, I’m all in.

What group of Giants players will be the most crucial to a New York win?

RD – nygreporter.com

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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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