Let The Good Tynes Roll
I spent the better part of the morning figuring out a catchy play on words with the last name of Giants Kicker Lawrence Tynes, and while I went with ‘Let The Good Tynes Roll”, some of the other good one liners I heard either from newspapers or my roommate Matt were:
- Tynes after Tynes
- Closing Tynes
- Third Tynes the Charm
- About Tynes!
- From the Worst of Tynes to the Best of Tynes
Needless to say, the Larry Tynes was only part of the story last night in Sunny Green Bay, Wisconsin.
For the third week in a row, the Giants were on the road and underdogs heading into their playoff match-ups, and following and impressive win 2 weeks ago in Tampa, and an improbable in last week in Dallas, all that stood in the way of Eli Manning and the Giants was the immortal Brett Favre, the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field (literally) and some history. Going into the game last night, the Packers had a near flawless record of 15-3 at home in the playoffs.
However as has been the case since post season football began 2 weeks ago, the New York football Giants were not going to let a legendary quarterback, field or zub-zero temperatures control their destiny.
Sixty minutes of football was not enough for either of these teams to punch their ticket for Arizona (site of Super Bowl XLII) as the teams took the third coldest game ever in Lambeau Field history to overtime.
I had said on Saturday that I expected a Green Bay win and that Sunday would produce one of the more memorable day’s in recent football history, and while the Patriots did enough to take their perfect run to 18-0 and a game away from a place in history no team has gone before, it was the NFC Championship game which provided one of the better games I’ve seen in a long, long time.
Going into the game, there were story lines all around. Whether it was Brett Favre trying to cap off his fairy tale season with a trip to the big game, or the weather conditions including temperatures hovering around -24 with the wind chill, Eli Manning and the Giants looking to win their record 10th consecutive game away from home, Eli being the last Manning standing or the Mystique of playoff football at Lambeau Field, the game had plenty to offer before the opening kickoff.
Once the ball was kicked off, the game did not disappoint.
The Giants scored early on two possessions ending in field goals, but the old guy in green wasn’t going down without a fight, as he connected on a 90 yard touchdown strike to give the Packers a 7-6 lead.
After taking on a field goal, Green Bay went into half up 10-6 with a bit of momentum after the Giants had a drive stall with a chance to get a score before the intermission.
The second half really did have it all, including not one but two productive scoring drives manufactured by Eli, a Brett Favre interception which was then fumbled and given back to Green Bay, some big time catches on both sides, strong defense down the stretch by the Giants and of course the special teams adventure that was Lawrence Tynes.
The Giants, with the score knotted up at 20, had a chance to go up with around 6 minutes left, and gave Tynes a relatively makable kick of 43 yards which he missed wide right.
However after a strong stand by the Giants defense, which really played very well, Tynes was given a second chance to book a trip to Tempe with an even more makable 36 yard attempt, which despite a high snap but great job by holder Jeff Feagles, was booted as wide right as a kick could be made.
The Green Bay faithful had to have been thinking divine intervention was taking place, as the Packers escaped for the time being and were headed to overtime, because 60 minutes of football in -24 degree wind chill aided temperatures just was not enough.
And after winning the coin toss, with Brett Favre at the helm, the script seemed to be falling into place, as the Packers were a field goal away from giving Favre the chance to walk out into the sunset.
However on this night, it was the boys from Jersey who would have the final say, as Brett Favre looked his age and threw a crushing interception to the Giants Corey Webster, who then allowed Eli and the offense to set up Tynes for a third try at glory.
And as it turned out, the third Tynes was the charm, as from 47 yards away, and despite the fact no kick had ever been made beyond 40 yards in Green Bay during a playoff game, a booming kick sent the Giants on their way to an improbable meeting and rematch with the New England Patriots.
The game was about as entertaining as a football game gets. Scoring, turnovers, drama, a legendary QB and two historic franchises battling for a shot to end a bid for the first 19-0 season in football history. The game lived up and far exceeded expectations, especially if you take into account the field conditions included the third coldest game ever played at Lambeau Field.
I know I predicted a Packer win, and when they were up 17-13 I felt pretty good, however I would be lying if I said I wasn’t filled with a rush of excitement when that final kick went through.
And so now the longest two weeks of the year begin, as 2 weeks from yesterday the annual spectacle that is the Super Bowl will take place, and somehow, someway, the New York football Giants will be part of it.
No matter how many times you say it or hear it, it really is unbelievable that this team is facing the Patriots in the biggest game sports has to offer.
This team played so miserably for periods of time this season that making the playoffs seemed like it may not happen, and getting a wild card spot and then a chance to trip up the Patriots perfect regular season ended up paying off tremendous dividends, as Eli had a great game with 4 tocuhdowns, and the Giants actually led by as many 12 points in the third quarter, giving New England a run for their money.
And now on the biggest stage, the Giants…yes those Giants, will get a second chance to make history. And when you really think about it, should they pull off the impossible, it could easily go down as the biggest upset in the history of the sport, if for no other reason than the Patriots with a win could just as easily go down as the greatest team to ever play the sport.
On a personal note, I could not be happier for my stepfather, Paul, who at 52 years old will get to watch his team play….IN PERSON!
Last night with my help, he and his brother booked a trip through the Giants, to go to Arizona for 4 days next week and see his beloved Giants try to make history.
The early line has the Patriots as 13 point favorite, and as has been the case the last 3 weeks, everybody will undoubtedly be predicting that the Patriots finish the job and put a 4th ring on their fingers in the last 7 years.
However these Giants have been playing their best football at the perfect time, and in this league as the G-Men have now proved three weeks in a row, anything is possible.
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