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  Articles > NFL > Giants
 Deja Blue

It all looked so familiar.  The Giants were trailing the Patriots with the ball with just minutes remaining.  Eli Manning would have to lead an improbable drive down the field to get Big Blue a Vince Lombardi Trophy.  The underdog Giants would have to come from behind to defeat arguably the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL, Tom Brady.  The Giants would have to prove all the nay-sayers wrong once again.  Sunday night, Patriots fans had that feeling of deja blue.

Super Bowl MVP, Eli Manning would lead another magical drive down the field with the Giants trailing 17-15 and just 3:46 remaining.  The Giants scored a touchdown that was not as memorable as Plaxico Burress’s touchdown in Super Bowl 42, but one that left the same exact feeling in the stomach of Patriots fans.  Ahmad Bradshaw would run it into the endzone with 58 seconds on the clock to give the Giants the lead, 21-17.  The biggest play of the drive came on the very first play.  Pinned back at his own 12 yard line, Manning threw a gorgeous pass to Mario Manningham who made an incredible play to stay in bounds and make the catch at the 50 yard line to give the G-Men great field position.  The Patriots challenged the play and ended up losing a timeout that would have helped in their final drive in the last minute of the game.  The Manningham catch reminded many of the David Tyree catch in Super Bowl 42 off his helmet.  It was the big throw and catch that gave them life and kept the drive going.  The difference between this drive and the drive in Super Bowl 42 was that the Giants made it look much easier last night.  They did not have one third or fourth down on the drive.  The Patriots answer had no answer for Manning and the Giants offense.  Manning found Manningham and Nicks the entire drive wherever and whenever he wanted.  Eli was making passes in his brothers building that we would normally see his brother make.  His throws were as accurate as they could be finding every opening in the Patriots defense.  It was evident that the Pats defense was fatigued as the Giants were finding open receivers on every play.

The Patriots would get the ball back with 58 seconds left and a timeout at their own 20 needing a touchdown to win.  It would end up being too little too late for Bill Belichick’s team.  There would be another deja blue moment on the drive as Justin Tuck would send Brady down on a sack on 3rd and 10 that forced the Patriots to use their final timeout.  That had Giants fans thinking of the sack rookie Jay Alford put on Brady in Super Bowl 42 that would put the Pats away.  It all looked so familiar as the events unfolded.  It seemed to be destiny for the Giants who once again entered the playoffs at 9-7 and made a magical run to a Super Bowl Championship.

Tom Coughlin, the coach on the hot seat just weeks before the playoffs began will now be holding up another Vince Lombardi Trophy in the Canyon of Heroes in the greatest city in the world on Tuesday.  Eli Manning will be holding his second Super Bowl MVP trophy.  Millions of fans will be packed into the streets celebrating another Giants championship.  A team that looked to have the keys to be headed home in December will now be presented with the “Key to the City” Tuesday in what is set to be another memorable parade in New York.

 Giants Need Big Effort to Stop Patriots

The New York Giants arrived in Indianapolis yesterday to get ready for the Super Bowl rematch against the New England Patriots. What to expect from Eli and company? Obviously, winning is the expectation, but to do that Eli is going to have to continue to play strong as he did against San Francisco, Green Bay, Atlanta, and Dallas.

The defense must continue to play strong as well. I don’t know if the Jets put confidence in the Giants, but the defense has played well ever since that week 16 New York rivalry game at the Meadowlands. The Giants defense is so confident that Safety Antrel Rolle predicted this week that his Giants would win the Super Bowl.

Tom Brady’s bunch will be in revenge mode to take back what happened in 2008. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said this week that his team “isn’t taking this as a revenge game.” Tom Brady and Vince Wilfork agreed that this isn’t a “revenge game.” I find that hard to believe, that is easy to say to the camera, I’m pretty sure that Tom Brady and Vince Wilfork are definitely going to play in revenge mode. How many times in sports does a team get to get revenge at playing that same team in their career for another championship?

The Patriots have two chips of revenge on their shoulders, the Giants beat them in the super bowl and the Giants beat them earlier this year on their home turf of Gillette Field. Tom Brady does not want Eli Manning to beat him again.

I compare this Super Bowl rematch to the 2011 NBA championship, when the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat matched up- a rematch of the 2006 NBA Finals. I’m pretty sure Mavericks Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki had a bit of revenge on their mind, because they were playing Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat. They had a chance to get that golden trophy in Miami and they did. For the Patriots, the teams have changed a bit, but you don’t forget what happened in 2008. I’m pretty sure Dirk Nowitzki didn’t forget 2006.

The New York Giants must take this game very carefully. It’s not easy to beat Tom Brady’s Patriots. Expect not only Tom Brady to give everything he’s got, you can count on the entire Patriots team to bring it. Can it be done? Yes. Will it be easy? That remains to be seen.

 The Book of Eli- The Ultimate Road Warrior
  Rematch isn't the word, Eli awaits his Legacy

Eli Manning in Shotgun Formation; Photo by Rajiv Patel

Finally we have a Manning playing in Lucas Oil Stadium.  Strangely, this Manning wears #10, not #18. Eli Manning has earned the right to play in Super Bowl XLIV, almost killing the discussion that he is the second Manning on the depth chart.

The late Giant run has been inspiring and exciting. Coach Tom Coughlin officially removed the Bunsen burner from his chair, and used it to illuminate his path to Canton, Ohio.

Victor Cruz has been nothing short from amazing. Simple as that! Undrafted, pulled up from the practice squad, only to allow the salsa dancing wide out to finish both third in receiving yards (1,536) and yards per reception this season (18.7).

Manning has showed that he no longer casts in the shadows of his older brother. Heck, he has done things nobody has, let alone is brother, since 1966. Manning has three straight games with 275 pass yards and multiple touchdowns in a single postseason.

This past Sunday, Manning set a record for road playoff wins by a quarterback. Manning stands at five, while bunkmate Mark Sanchez has four … who would have thought that huh?

“I knew there was a shot. We have talent on this team; we have guys who are committed to being good. It’s just a matter of, ‘Can we put it all together? Can we play our best football at the right time? And that’s just what’s happened,” Manning said Monday in an interview on ESPN New York 1050’s “The Michael Kay Show.”

The Giants are loaded with talent. They have three quality defensive ends, usually only two on the field at a time, but Justin Tuck has earned sacks as a defensive tackle. Wide out Hakeem Nicks has the hand size of Andre The Giant, which means he could catch a football with WD40 on his hands.

The Giants will win on February 5th. In the back of the mind of Manning holds the whispers from the epic 07 season. Critics uttered that it was luck for the Giants to stand with the Lombardi trophy. The respect was not given and I’m sure Manning remembers that. Pretty soon he will have defeated arguably the two best quarterbacks of the last decade, brother Peyton Manning and opponent Tom Brady on the same day on the road. What will people say then? He is the Ultimate Road Warrior?

 Super Bowl Rematch Brings Intrigue

What year is it? Is it 2008? The New York Giants and the New England Patriots are playing in the Super Bowl, so it must be 2008; wait that Super Bowl already happened! It’s 2012 and Giants/Patriots part two. There are a few tweaks this time around: the Patriots aren’t undefeated, David Tyree no longer plays with the Giants, Randy Moss is no longer with the Patriots, and Plaxico Burress plays for that other New York team.

The Giants are headed to the Super Bowl on a 5-game winning streak. They have defeated the Jets, Cowboys, Falcons, Packers, and 49ers. On this current path, the Giants defense has been tremendous. It all started against the Jets, when the Giants defense made it very difficult for Jets QB Mark Sanchez. Some Jets players criticized Mark Sanchez for his play in that game. They then played a depleted Cowboys team hanging on for dear life, and capitalized on every mistake the Cowboys made. They then shutout Matt Ryan’s pesky Falcons team, overthrew the defending champion Packers and made the final punch against a young talented 49ers team. They now need to do what many saw was unthinkable and finish off the Patriots as they did earlier in the season in Foxboro, and as they did in that unbelievable Super Bowl back in 2008.

Will this game against the Patriots be tough? You better believe it, Tom Brady is certainly no a fan of the Giants, who ruined Brady’s perfect 2007 season, and ruined his 20 game home win streak in Foxboro earlier this season. We know Brady’s Bunch will be in revenge mode and try to make it extremely tough for Eli Manning’s group. It seems that pressure doesn’t bother Eli Manning or the Giants. They squeaked into the playoffs on the regular season’s final day of football, they were heavy underdogs against both the Packers, and 49ers. They don’t panic, and never give up and they have the hearts of champions and will be looking to once again to disturb Tom Brady from getting another Super Bowl ring.

The Super Bowl will be played on Sunday, February 5th in Indianapolis. All will be on the line as America and the world will be watching at what many expect to be another classic Super Bowl Sunday.

 Feels Like ‘08 All Over Again
  Big Blue One Win Away from Super Bowl

No team is riding high like the New York football Giants are right now.  This team has all the confidence and motivation in the world.  They beat the Jets to stay alive in the playoff race.  They beat the Cowboys to win the NFC East and host a playoff home game.  They crushed the Falcons in the playoffs with their defense not giving up a point.  If that was not enough, they went into the frozen tundra in Green Bay Sunday and defeated the 15-1 Packers, who had one of the best regular seasons in the history of the NFL.

The Gmen are playing the best defense we have seen them play all year and they are doing it at the perfect time.  The offense is playing tremendous as Eli Manning continues to show the world that he is indeed an elite NFL quarterback.  Manning went out and beat Aaron Rodgers, the Super Bowl MVP and arguably the best quarterback this season.  Many thought it would be a close game, but the Giants had a dominant performance never trailing.  They went into the half with a 20-10 lead thanks to an unbelievable last second hail mary to the endzone from Manning to Hakeem Nicks for 37 yards.  The play helped send the Giants to the locker room with all the motivation they needed to get to San Francisco. They pulled away in the fourth quarter scoring two touchdowns and putting the game out of reach for the defending Super Bowl Champion Packers.

The Giants will now travel to San Francisco in the NFC Championship to play a 49ers team that has been surprising everyone with their defense, which has been one of the best in the league.  Alex Smith made a name for himself in the victory over the Saints leading not one, but two fourth quarter drives for touchdowns that helped the 49ers top Drew Brees and the Saints.  Coming into the year, all the talk was how Alex Smith has been a major bust and would never be a good quarterback.  All that talk has been put aside as Smith had a solid season and an unbelievable playoff performance.  The Giants lost earlier in the season at San Francisco in a very close game, 27-20 and looks for revenge Sunday night.  The last time the Giants played the 49ers in the playoffs, it was a game that all Giants fans want to forget.  The Giants blew a 38-14 lead in that game in the playoffs in 2003 and lost 39-38. It was one of the biggest collapses in football history.

This run that the Giants are on right now brings back the memories of the 2007-2008 Giants team.  Big Blue came into the playoffs with all the momentum they needed and went out and beat the Buccaneers, Cowboys, and Packers all on the road to get to the Super Bowl.  Giants fans are feeling nostalgic as one cannot help but look back at that team and their magical run ending with a Super Bowl win over the previously undefeated New England Patriots.  There is a chance we might just see Brady face off against Manning again come February.  If the Giants can contain Frank Gore and the 49ers rushing attack and play the defense we have seen in this playoff run so far, Tom Coughlin and the Giants might just be headed to Indianapolis to fight for another Vince Lombardi Trophy.

 Bring on the Champs
  Big Blue Riding High to Green Bay

The Giants have all the confidence in the world right now.  They went out and beat the Cowboys at home to get into the playoffs.  Then they went out and crushed the Falcons, 24-2 with the defense shutting out Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense.  Now, they travel to Green Bay to face the defending champion Packers at the frozen tundra.  In early December, the Giants played their hearts out nearly defeating the undefeated Packers at the time.  They came back to tie the game with just 58 seconds left, but MVP Aaron Rodgers would lead the Packers down the field for a game winning field goal.  In the Packers 15 wins this season, the Giants gave them the closest game all season.  The Packers are very well rested as they essentially have had nearly two weeks off as their starters did not play all of week 17 against the Lions.  If the Giants defense can play the way they did against the Falcons, next Sunday at Lambeau Field is sure to be a colossal matchup.

The key to this game will be the pressure the Giants can put on Rodgers.  The Packers have had tons of success all season throwing the football and that Giants defensive line needs to attack Rodgers and give him no time to throw.  The Giants have that ability as we saw their defense completely dominate the Falcons in every fashion on Sunday.  That defensive line led by Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, and Osi Umenyiora are going to need to come after the superstar Packers quarterback.  Also, the Giants need to use running backs Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw the way we saw against the Falcons.  When playing well, the running backs complement each other as one of the best pairs in the league.  The Giants rushing game was dominant running for a combined 172 yards.  We have seen how clutch Eli Manning can be in the clutch, but the key is for the Giants to be able to be effective on the ground allowing Manning to hit one of his many targets in Manningham, Cruz, Nicks, and Ballard.

The Giants confidence is high right now and Sunday we will find out if the Giants can have a repeat of last time they came to Green Bay in the playoffs.  I think all Giants fans remember what happened on that night four years ago….

 Giants Look to Start New Year on Playoff Track

What will the New Year bring for the New York Giants? Well, for one thing, we know that as of tomorrow the Giants will be either undefeated in 2012, or will have one loss. It is the first game of the 2012 calendar year for the Giants and so much is at stake. A win for the Giants means an NFC East division title and a trip to the playoffs, a loss, means they don’t win the division, a possible firing of head coach Tom Coughlin, and a long painful spring and summer ahead.

What do the Giants need to do to beat the Cowboys tomorrow? The defense must play well; they cannot allow Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo to have the kind of game that he had just 3 weeks ago. Although the Giants won that thrilling game in Dallas, this game will be different. Playoffs teams must play good defense, they cannot allow the Cowboys to gain nearly 450 yards of offense. If they do, the Giants will be in trouble.
One would think that with the Giants playing at home, they would have the advantage. The Giants are a disappointing 3-4 at home this season, and will hope to improve to 4-4 to go into the playoffs.

Giants pro bowl quarterback Eli Manning is going to have to continue to play well for the Giants to get the win. Giants’ fans do not need the Giants to have an outing like they had against Washington a couple weeks ago. They need a strong front from the offense and the defense. Eli Manning is the leader of the offense and Jason Pierre-Paul has emerged as the leader of the defense, and it seems that both of them love playing the Cowboys.
It is really simple, win and you’re in, let’s hope the Giants get this thing done and bring in a nice welcoming start into the year 2012.

 Black Monday; New York Edition
  Jets Ryan and Giants Coughlan Set to Coach Final Regular Season Game of the Season

In a New York minute the coaching carousel will begin, which means “Black Monday” is here. The obvious coaching changes will hit the: St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Indianapolis Colts.

But have we taken a close look into the backyard of lady liberty? Some haven’t pondered the idea, but is Jets head coach Rex Ryan safe? The one-year extension for Giant head coach Tom Coughlin, explained just that, one more year as the head coach.

Coughlin may just walk away even if the Giants clinch the NFC East. The Giants problems this season has not stemmed from coaching mistakes. Ranked dead last in rushing yards per game, and mental lapses late in games have hunted Eli Manning and company. Standing at 8-7 and playoff hopes in a limbo, the hot seat continues to find Coughlin. This could mark the third straight year of a playoff absence. Yet, the aging Coughlin could be fed up with hot seat musical chairs. I think so, count him out.

The loud mouth Jets head coach Rex Ryan job should be carefully reviewed. We know he can coach a team. But can he coach this Jets team? Critics raved about his spontaneous personality, saying this was a perfect hire to match New York sports scrutiny.

But are these things added pressure for his ball club. Ryan often makes “guarantees” that his mouth can’t cash. The belief that he has in his squad is commendable, wait, how do the players view their coach, or even live up to the odds of wining a super bowl every year. We have heard the war of words between quarterback Mark Sanchez and coach. The undisciplined Santonio Holmes continues to show his lack of maturity. As fierce, and demanding as a defensive mind Ryan is, it seems he isn’t that way with the relationship with his players.

These things may be far fetched, still, consider Rex getting the X, and homage being paid to Coughlin.

 Victor “Victory” Cruz Is Making A Name For Himself

Andrew Mills/The Star-Ledger

Although Victor Cruz only touched the ball three times, he made the most of his opportunities when Eli Manning threw him the pigskin. Cruz compiled 164 yards on three receptions, including a 99-yard touchdown reception, something that has only been done twelve other times in NFL history.  This 99-yard thriller also marked the longest play in Giants history.

Cruz has emerged as one of the NFL’s top big-play threats and seems to improve as the week’s go on. Cruz is averaging 90 yards per game and 18 yards per reception. He’s a big target for Manning and can kick it into a sixth gear. He’s also a pretty good dancer.

Cruz’s 164 yard effort put him at 1,358 receiving yards for the year, surpassing Amani Toomer’s previous Giants single-season record of 1,343 yards set in 2002.

“It’s crazy,” Cruz said in an interview with Jorge Castillo of The Star-Ledger. “Just coming where I’m from and coming through what I went through, it’s just been surreal for me. I’m just happy my teammates have been behind me and my coaches believed in me.”

It’s pretty incredible to think that an undrafted free agent out of the University of Massachusetts would break Amani Toomer’s single-season receiving record. At just 25-years old, the Giants have a diamond in the rough and would be foolish not to make him a Giant for years to come.

 Giants to Take on Cowboys for NFC East Crown

The New York Giants will begin the playoffs on New Year’s Day on the last day off football in the regular season. They will take on the Dallas Cowboys in a battle for the NFC East crown at the Meadowlands. If the Giants win, they win the division and will take on the still to be determined 5th seed in the NFC. If they lose, the Cowboys will win the division and take on the 5th seed in the NFC.

The Giants defeated the Jets today in a battle of the two New York teams. The Giants played in a must win game and got the job done. If they had lost, and Dallas had won than Dallas would have won the division and the Giants would have been eliminated. If the Giants had lost and the Eagles had continued on with their win, than the Eagles would have had a shot of winning the NFC East next weekend with a Cowboys lost.

Through all the complications of how the NFC East could have turned out we know for sure that it will be the Cowboys or the Giants winning the crown. We can look back to Sunday December 11th when the Giants won off a blocked field goal kick from Jason Pierre-Paul to beat the Cowboys in Arlington in a thriller at Cowboys Stadium.

We can expect another thriller next week at the Meadowlands with both teams putting everything on the line. The Giants look at it as they would like to start a new magical playoff run as they did in 2007; the Cowboys look at it as trying to get revenge on the Giants and going into the playoffs on a nice hot start.

What will happen? Nobody knows, but it is fair to say that most people will predict a great game in a playoff like atmosphere with the game going right down to the wire just like on December 11th at Cowboys Stadium.

 Monumental Matchup at the Meadowlands
  One Team is Going Home

Saturday afternoon at MetLife Stadium will be one for the ages for New York sports fans.  It might be the biggest matchup we have seen in New York since the 2000 World Series between the Mets and Yankees.  The Jets and Giants play each other for the first time in the new stadium.  It could not have come at a more pivotal time for both teams.  The Jets are holding the six seed in the AFC by a hair right now.  The Giants are out of the playoffs as of now but are only a game back of the Cowboys and play them at home next week to end the regular season.

Essentially, if the Giants win they are eliminated.  If they lose, they would fall to 7-8 and their only hope would be if the Cowboys lose to the Eagles, they beat the Cowboys in the final week, and the Eagles lose in the final week to the Redskins.  If that scenario plays out, they would win the division.  The chances are very slim.  This game is a must win for the Giants as well as next week versus the Cowboys.  The Giants control their destiny these last two weeks.

The Jets are also in a must win situation.  A loss to the Giants will have the Jets watching the scoreboard on Sunday as well as next week.  The Bengals are tied with the Jets at 8-6.  Right behind them are the Raiders, Titans, and Chargers all with a 7-7 record.  If the Jets and Bengals win out, the Jets would make it in as the six seed due to a better win percentage in common games.  The Jets end the season at Miami to face the Dolphins.  It is definitely a game the Jets need to win, but a loss does not exactly eliminate them.  It puts them in a position they do not want to be in next week.

In the end, there is a good chance the loser of this game will not be playing football in January.  The winner is also not guaranteed to make the playoffs with a win, but it puts them one step closer to getting in.  The Jets win and the Giants are essentially out.  The Giants win and the Jets will be doing a lot of scoreboard watching this weekend and next weekend.  We have heard all the smack talking going on all week.  We will see which team wants it more Saturday at 1:00 in a game that might just send the loser packing.

 Elite Cannot be Spelled Without Eli
  Giant Comeback Puts Big Blue in 1st

Photo by AJ Guel Photography

The Giants were trailing by twelve after Tony Romo found a wide open Dez Bryant for a touchdown with 5:41 remaining.  It looked as if that would be the dagger.  The Giants would need to score a touchdown, stop the Cowboys from getting a first down, and then score another touchdown.  It looked as if the Cowboys were going to hold the division lead and put the Giants in a tough position to make the playoffs.

Then Eli Manning decided he would do what he does best.  That is winning football games in crunch time.  Manning would lead two miraculous drives down the field for touchdowns for the Giants and capture his sixth game-winning drive in the 4th quarter or overtime this season.  That leads the league, one more than that of the magic of Tim Tebow.  The Cowboys had their chance in the end as they set themselves up for a field goal to send the game to overtime.  It is not always the best situation when you have a rookie kicker in the end of a pivotal game.  Giants coach Tom Coughlin used his final timeout to try and ice rookie kicker Dan Bailey.  The strategy worked to perfection as on the second attempt after the timeout, Bailey’s kick was blocked by Jason Pierre-Paul, who has suddenly emerged as a dominant part of that Giants defensive line.

It seemed inevitable at the time, but the Giants never say die in these close football games.  Eli Manning is having arguably his best season as a quarterback.  The Super Bowl Champion quarterback has been clutch in every sense of the word this season leading the Giants to comeback wins late several times.  Manning has stepped up his game this season making himself one of the upper echelon quarterbacks in the league.  Manning is backing up his talk before the season claiming that he considers himself in the class of Tom Brady.  Manning is carrying Big Blue’s offense on his back this year playing with a banged up team all season and finding ways to win when it counts.  Manning has the Giants in a great position to get to the playoffs as they control their own destiny.  The Giants are essentially home for their final three games as they face the Redskins, the Jets, and the Cowboys to close out the year.  If Manning keeps doing what he is doing this year, the Giants might just be a force to be reckoned with come January.

 

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