One Giant Leap for ‘Mann’-kind
Believe it. The New York football Giants are going to the NFC championship game.
Those same New York Giants that lost their first two games of the season giving up a combined 80 points, and then narrowly escaping a third straight defeat with a last minute goal-line stand against the Redskins.
The Giants went into todays game against their division rivals in Dallas as 7.5 point underdogs, without anybody expecting much from Big Blue following two drubbings during the regular season when they went up against the Cowboys.
However they shocked the football world with a stunning 21-17 upset this afternoon, led by a very poised Eli Manning and just enough from a defense that seemed to bend without breaking against a highly potent Dallas offense.
Let the stories break about whether or not Dallas QB Tony Romo spent too much time with girlfriend Jessica Simpson in Mexico last week, however Romo was not the reason the Giants are heading to Green Bay next Sunday.
Eli was very efficient, and while he completed 12 of 18 passed with 2 touchdowns, the most important stat for him and his team was for the second consecutive week there were no turnovers committed. No interceptions, no fumbles, nothing.
The Giants defense, which in the first half was unable to stop Marion Barber and the Dallas running attack made the necessary adjustments and not only stopped the run game but was able to put enough pressure on Romo to disrupt the passing game as well.
Amazingly, the Giants, who played inconsistently all season, losing their first two games, winning their next 6, having a losing record at home while now going 9-1 on the road has all added up to the G-Men heading to their first NFC championship game since 2001, when they defeated the Minnesota Vikings 41-0 at home.
The most impressive aspects of this Giants team would have to be the resiliency they have shown following a mediocre second half of the season, which included losing Jeremy Shockey for the season with a broken leg.
Eli struggled up until the final game of the year when the Giants hosted the then 15-0 New England Patriots, however you could make the arguement that this team really turned a corner that Saturday night when the played the Pats as hard as any other team this season has, highlighted by Eli playing perhaps his best game as a pro, throwing 4 touchdowns.
The Giants rode the momentum wave into Tampa Bay and played very well in winning their first playoff game in 7 years.
Being underdogs in Dallas only served as motivation for a team that refused to lose for a third time this year to the Cowboys, who after a 13-3 regular season lost their 6th post-season game in a row, with their last playoff win coming back in 1996.
And so now, Tom Coughlin, who without a doubt has secured a nice contract extension, will lead Big Blue into Green Bay next Sunday against Brett Favre and the Packers, who took care of the Giants back in week 2, 35-13.
I would be lying if I said I really knew what I was talking about, however after 2 weeks my playoff picks have been pretty good with a record of 7-1.
I’ll wait until Saturday to unveil my picks for next Sunday, however while one Manning was unable to sure up a spot against New England, the other was taking ‘Giant’ steps towards reaching the big game, where big brother found glory last season.
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