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