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View Full Version : NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: TUESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2012 - 4:01 P.M.



RoanokeFan
01-10-2012, 09:33 AM
<u><font color="#ff0000" size="4"><font face="Verdana" size="6"><font color="#0000FF">H</font>E</font><font color="#0000FF" face="Verdana" size="6">R</font><font face="Verdana" size="6">E </font><font color="#0000FF" face="Verdana" size="6">N</font><font face="Verdana" size="6">O</font><font color="#0000FF" face="Verdana" size="6">W</font><font face="Verdana" size="6"> T</font><font color="#0000FF" face="Verdana" size="6">H</font><font face="Verdana" size="6">E </font><font color="#0000FF" face="Verdana" size="6">N</font><font face="Verdana" size="6">E</font><font color="#0000FF" face="Verdana" size="6">W</font><font face="Verdana" size="6">S</font>

</font></u><u><font color="#ff0000" size="4">THE DATA WILL UPDATE THROUGHOUT THE DAY AND SHOW THE UPDATE TIME IN THE HEADER</font><font color="#ff0000" size="4">. </font></u><font size="4">

</font><font size="4"><font size="6"><font size="4"><font color="#FF0000"><u><font size="6">NFC EAST DIVISION CHAMPIONS
<font color="#0000FF">
PLAYOFFS 1 - 0: ON TO GREEN BAY
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NEWARK STAR LEDGER</u></font><font size="4"><font size="3">

GIANTS-PACKERS HOT TOPIC: ARE YOU ALL IN? (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants-packers_hot_topic_are_y.html)

"</font></font>It's the hot new catch phrase for Giants and their fans - "ALL IN" - or for
the Twitterverse, #ALLin. (https://twitter.com/#%21/search/%23ALLin)<div class="entry-content">


</p>


Its origins, according to Giants PR man Pat Hanlon, was Justin Tuck's quote
after the Jets game about everyone, even the hobbled Tom Coughlin, being ready
to physically sell out, 100 percent: "Coach Coughlin is the same as all of us.
We're all-in." (As an aside, though he says it's not related to ALL IN, Hanlon
also recalled head coach <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ab2pnlWkd4">Jim Fassell's move pushing all
his chips to the middle of the table</a> and saying "This team is going to the
playoffs" back in 2000.)</p>


Well, it ain't <a href="http://www.auctionscc.com/archive/20100722/pittsburgh-football/199/">"One
for the thumb in '81,"</a> but the Giants have certainly gone all-in with ALL
IN. It is now on tens of thousands of fan towels. The Giants are Tweeting it, as
are their fans - <a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/Giants/status/156382258377400320">and you can win
one of those towels</a> if you follow the Giants on Twitter.</p>


So are you ALL IN? Show us how. Upload a photo (http://photos.nj.com/photogallery/upload.html) or a video (http://videos.nj.com/upload.html) incorporating ALL IN with your
obvious Giants love. Or drop down in this post and comment about what it means
to be ALL IN for the Giants or about how you like the phrase or what seems to be
inspiring its use for the team.</p>


And here's another activity for the end of your work day. Upload a photo (http://photos.nj.com/photogallery/upload.html) of your
Giants-decorated dorm room, school locker, book bag or office space, like that
of NJ.com client services supervisor Jason Goldman above-right, who sports his
ALL IN towel from Sunday's game while standing in front of his Giants-decorated
cube."</p></div>
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PACKERS HAVE EXCELLED IN REMATCH GAMES, WITH GIANTS NEXT (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/in_facing_giants_packers_have.html)

"</font></font>When the Giants line up against the Green Bay Packers beginning at 4:15 p.m.
Sunday at Lambeau Field, there will be a sense of familiarity between the teams.
Nearly five weeks ago, the teams met in the Meadowlands, the <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_play_well_but_a_moral_v.html">Packers
keeping their unbeaten record intact with a 38-35 victory</a>.<div class="entry-content">


For the Giants, the loss might be less of an issue than the fact the teams
played at all, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Since the start of
the 2009 season, the <a href="http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/kings-of-the-rematch-vi3o13o-136989773.html">Packers
are 10-3 when facing an opponent for a second or third time</a> during the
regular or postseason. Under Mike McCarthy, the Packers are 16-7 in such
situations.</p>


The Packers have excelled in the postseason in those situations, also. This
week, for the sixth straight postseason game against an NFC opponent, the
Packers will play a rematch game. Last season, the Packers beat the Philadelphia
Eagles (Packers won in regular season), Atlanta Falcons (Packers lost in regular
season) and Chicago Bears (Packers split in regular season) en route to the
Super Bowl.</p>


Some other notes from around the country regarding Sunday's game:</p>


-- The <a href="http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/136976688.html">nine-point spread
initially installed on Sunday's game</a> was a bit high, according to those
sampled by the Journal Sentinel. The line came down to eight points today, with
the Packers favored.</p>


-- The death of Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin's son has put
Sunday's game in perspective. <a href="http://espnmilwaukee.com/corp/page/01%2F09%2F12_Packers_%27family%27_faces_tragic_los s/378">The
Green Bay area is mourning</a>, ESPN Milwaukee's Jason Wilde wrote.</p>


-- McCarthy praised the performance by the Giants Sunday. He said that <a href="http://www.jsonline.com/sports/packers/mccarthy-takes-notice-of-giants-dline-vi3o16b-136986958.html">the
Giants controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball</a>, a key
reason why the Falcons were beaten so decisively.</p>


-- <a href="http://www.fox11online.com/dpp/sports/packers_and_nfl/green-bay-packers-pep-rally-set-for-january-13-2012">Green
Bay will hold a pep rally</a> for the Packers Friday at 3 p.m., Fox11 has
reported."</p></div>
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<font color="#0000FF">GIANTS KNOW STARTING SLOW AGAINST GREEN BAY PACKERS WOULD BE A PROBLEM</font> (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_know_slow_start_against.html)

Excerpt: "</font></font>Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) coach Tom Coughlin began
regurgitating the word “finish” to his team when it first convened for training
camp in late July. And to his offense’s credit, it has delivered. He may just
wish he emphasized a five-letter antonym with equal veracity.


In the wake of a historic collapse last season against the Philadelphia
Eagles that ultimately cost the Giants a playoff berth, the offense has taken
the concept of finishing and run with it, coming from behind to win five games
during the regular season en route to the team’s first postseason appearance in
three seasons. </p>


Now only if the offense could “start” with similar success. </p>


Sunday marked the 15th time in 17 games this season that the Giants didn’t
score a touchdown on their opening possession. </p>


A slow start against a Green Bay Packers team that boasts one of the most
explosive offenses in league history could make the finish — or anything after
halftime — irrelevant.</p>


“You can’t allow these teams to get out on that run where they can play
downhill,” defensive end Justin Tuck said. “You have to hang with them early and
put some pressure on them. When they get leads, you might as well start packing
your bags because this team and the Saints play the best I’ve ever seen as far
as having leads and allowing their athleticism to take over at that point.”</p>


Over their last five games — the final four of the regular season and their
playoff victory against <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_belief_in_each_other_di.html">the
Atlanta Falcons on Sunday</a> — the Giants have scored a touchdown just once in
the first quarter." Read more...</p>

D'ALESSANDRO: GIANTS' AMUKAMARA COULD BE KEY AGAINST PACKERS' TOUGH OFFENSE (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/dalessandro_giants_prince_amuk.html)
</p>

Excerpt: "This was about four hours before the medical protocol revealed that Aaron
Ross was in better shape than the player who had tottered away from the burning
of Atlanta like a guy wearing very loose shoes and a very tight blindfold.</p>


“He’ll play,” Justin Tuck predicted, when the possibility of losing his
teammate for Sunday’s game in Green Bay came up.</p>


What if you have to throw a rookie cornerback out there in his
stead?</p>


“He’ll play,” Tuck replied, this time more stoutly.</p>


Wait, was that an answer to the second question, or additional emphasis
to the first?</p>


“He’ll play,” Tuck repeated. </p>


The smile that now creased his face revealed the implicit urgency to his
message, which you could interpret as, “He had damn well better, bud.”</p>


And so it was settled by Dr. Tuck, noted neurologist. </p>


But it underscored not only the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/)’ need to have all hands on deck for
Sunday — especially at the position that will face the most heat in the Lambeau
deep freeze — but also how they didn’t even want to entertain the notion that
Prince Amukamara could become the unwitting guest of honor at Aaron Rodgers’
missile party. </p>


That’s right — six days away from the Giants’ biggest game in four years, and
we’re discussing a rookie backup cornerback. </p>


A kid who has had three pass defenses and 16 tackles in eight games.</p>


So it was good news all around that <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_aaron_ross_expected_to.html">Ross
was not showing concussion symptoms</a>, but given the way the Packers fling the
ball around, it’s a pretty safe bet that Amukamara may be tested every time he
goes out for a snap.</p>


Is it worrisome? Perhaps not on Tuesday. But come Friday, your confidence
level may be based largely on whether the Giants are absolutely sure Ross is
good to go, and the haunting vision of Jordy Nelson doing his razor dance on a
rookie in his first road playoff game. </p>


“I was in there the first game we played Green Bay, I really don’t see the
big difference,” Amukamara said yesterday. “But it is a playoff game, and
everyone raises their game to a new level. I just know I’m going to be
ready.” Read more...
</p>POLITI: GIANTS HAVE BEEN BOLSTERED BY CHASE BLACKBURN AFTER PULLING HIM FROM THE WORLD OF MATH TEACHING (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/politi_giants_have_been_bolste.html)

Excerpt: "When the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) finally called Chase
Blackburn and told <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/11/giants_chase_blackburn_happy_f.html">the
linebacker he had his old job back</a>, it wasn’t good news for everybody. The
departure left a considerable hole on another roster.


It was the one belonging to Rich Baird, the principal at Sells Middle School
in Dublin, Ohio. </p>


“We had an eighth-grade math teacher going on maternity leave,” Baird said
from his office Monday. “I thought he’d be perfect for that.”</p>


So you think preparing for the Green Bay Packers and their robo-quarterback,
Aaron Rodgers, is a challenge? The alternative for Blackburn was trying to get a
classroom filled with hormone-charged eighth-graders to pay attention to the
quadratic formula and nonlinear functions.</p>


(And yes, I had to look that up.)</p>


Baird, one of his old high school coaches in Marysville, Ohio, was working
with Blackburn to complete his necessary training and paperwork so he could
start a second career ... if the NFL didn’t call. </p>


He seemed bound for academia until Baird received a text message on Nov. 29.
“We’re going to have to put teaching on hold,” Blackburn wrote, and like
everyone who knows the polite linebacker, Baird was happy to see his job
candidate get back to the sport he loves. </p>


The question now, based on the results, is this: Why did the Giants wait so
long to make that call? </p>


There are plenty of reasons for the Giants’ improvements on defense, from a
healthy defensive front to the return of linebacker Michael Boley from a
hamstring injury. </p>


But Blackburn is part of that, too, helping to hold Atlanta Falcons running
back Michael Turner to 41 yards on 15 carries on Sunday in <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_belief_in_each_other_di.html">the
Giants’ first playoff win since Super Bowl XLII.</a> The linebacker went from
out of the NFL entirely to tying for the team lead in tackles over the past four
games, from watching games on TV to a prominent role on the field.</p>


It is a remarkable transition, but one that surprises exactly no one around
this team. Blackburn spent six years on this team, playing in all 16 games four
times. Put it this way: No one had to give him directions to the weight
room.</p>


“That guy, he plays special teams, he plays in our dime package, he plays in
our base package,” defensive end Justin Tuck said, before adding with a smile:
“For a white linebacker, he’s pretty versatile.”</p>


Even Tuck was baffled that the Giants, with a defense ranked near the bottom
of the league, waited until Week 12 to summon Blackburn. “I have no idea why he
wasn’t on the football team all this year,” Tuck said, which is a question
Blackburn had been asking, too.</p>


He was an unrestricted free agent who figured he’d land somewhere this
summer, so he packed up a trailer filled with everything his family would need
for the trip to the new NFL city.</p>


Then he watched with concern when the lockout ended and the open season began
for general managers. With teams signing rookies and free agents all at once,
several veterans like Blackburn were left without a destination. The Giants
locked up three rookie linebackers, all with a cheaper price tag. With the
Giants shedding bigger-name players like Shaun O’Hara, Steve Smith and Kevin
Boss, the absence of Blackburn was hardly noticed. </p>


August came and went. So did September and October. Eventually, Blackburn
unloaded the crib from that trailer parked in his driveway, then the toys for
his two young kids. Then, eventually, he emptied it entirely." Read more...
</p>GIANTS' AARON ROSS EXPECTED TO PLAY AGAINST PACKERS ON SUNDAY (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_aaron_ross_expected_to.html)

Excerpt: "Though he didn’t return to Sunday’s victory over the Atlanta Falcons after
suffering a head injury, Aaron Ross should be ready to play this weekend against
the Green Bay Packers, according to someone informed of the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) cornerback’s status.


The person, who requested anonymity because the team hasn’t made any
declarations about Ross’ availability, said Ross didn’t have any concussion
symptoms today. In fact, it’s unclear if Ross even suffered a concussion in the
first place.</p>


Ross went to the locker room after colliding with Jason Pierre-Paul as the
two went for a loose ball that had been tipped by Chris Canty. A few minutes
later, his wife Sanya wrote on Twitter that Ross hadn’t suffered a concussion.
Sanya, an Olympic track star, then tweeted Ross wouldn’t be allowed back in the
game, per NFL rules.</p>


Coach Tom Coughlin said today Ross was undergoing tests. Asked if he had
suffered a concussion, Coughlin said the team was treating it as if he had.</p>


In short, all signs are pointing toward Ross’ return this weekend, which is a
relief for the Giants because they’re so thin at cornerback after losing Terrell
Thomas, Bruce Johnson, Brian Witherspoon and Justin Tryon to season-ending
injuries. Rookie Prince Amukamara played well in relief of Ross against Atlanta,
though as Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said, the team protected him with safety
help over the top for much of the game." Read more...
</p>GIANTS FACE AARON RODGERS, PACKERS AGAIN HOPING TO PUT EVEN MORE PRESSURE ON STAT QB (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_face_aaron_rodgers_gree.html)

Excerpt: "Last month, after the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/)’ <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_play_well_but_a_moral_v.html">loss
to the Green Packers</a>, the general sentiment was their rejuvenated pass rush
was a reason for hope.


Two sacks and five hits of Aaron Rodgers for a front four that barely got
within a breath of the New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees the week before was
suddenly a solid performance by a group that had been publicly challenged by
defensive coordinator Perry Fewell.</p>


Back then, the bar had been lowered. Now, it’s much, much higher for a team
and a defense with visions of disrupting the Super Bowl champs’ defense of their
crown this weekend.</p>


“I would like to know who set that bar. Our bar’s always been high,”
defensive captain Justin Tuck said today, one day after the Giants got sacks
from Osi Umenyiora and Rocky Bernard in a wild-card victory over Atlanta the
Falcons. “But to answer your question, we are probably playing the best up front
we’ve played all year and our secondary is playing awesome, too. A lot of credit
goes to them. I know people think sacks are just the D-line’s effort up front
and whatever, whatever. But a lot of it has to do with how we’re tied into the
back end.</p>


“It’s a complete effort all around.”</p>


And it’ll have to be on Sunday at Lambeau Field. For as good and promising as
the pass rush was the first time these teams met, it has to be better for the
Giants to pull an upset.</p>


By an unofficial count, the Giants pressured Rodgers only 14 times (plus
their pair of sacks) in 50 designed passes the first time around. Tuck had a
good rush to get in Rodgers’ face on the Packers’ final drive, but the potential
MVP got rid of it quickly enough to deliver a 27-yard completion that set up the
game-winning field goal. Earlier in the fourth quarter, Rodgers had all day
(well, 5.4 seconds, to be exact) to throw a 7-yard touchdown to Donald
Driver." Read more...
</p><font size="4"><font size="3">GIANTS VS. FALCONS GAME REVIEW: GIANTS' DEFENSE STINGY, STOUT IN WILD-CARD WEEKEND VICTORY (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_vs_falcons_gave_review.html)

Excerpt: "</font></font>Apparently, I’m not the first to wonder about the usual success rate of
quarterback sneaks.


In response to the Falcons’ failed fourth down (how fitting) against the
Saints in the regular season, <a href="http://www.advancednflstats.com/2011/11/qb-sneak-vs-rb-dive.html">AdvancedNFLStats.com
tried to figure it out</a>. They had trouble distinguishing sneaks from regular
runs but came up with an 82-percent success rate for fourth-and-1 quarterback
runs.</p>
<div class="embeddedMedia entry_widget_large entry_widget_right"><span class="mt-enclosure mt-enclosure-photo"><span class="adv-video"><a class="bc_video"><span class="bc_video_overlay"></span></a> <span class="video-data"><span class="title"></span></span><span class="photo-bottom-left"></span><span class="photo-bottom-right"></span></span></span>

</div>So what are the odds the Giants would bat 1.000 on three sneaks in two
games?



Amazing.</p>


* * * *</p>


One quick disclaimer: In an effort to maximize my time in what’s going to be
a busy week, I didn’t watch anything after the Giants went ahead 24-2 with 9:55
to play. So if there’s something after that you want to mention, feel free to
drop it in the comments section below.</p>


* * * *</p>


GAME BALLS</p>


Coach Tom Coughlin, offensive coordinator Kevin
Gilbride, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell and the
entire coaching staff. This team hasn’t been perfect over the past few years but
it’s been competitive. Always. And <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_belief_in_each_other_di.html">among
the reasons you folks should “believe to achieve”</a> heading into Green Bay is
the way this staff can game plan on both sides of the ball. Coughlin and his
guys are among the best at providing plans that give this team a chance to win
nearly every week.</p>


DE Jason Pierre-Paul. When you’re as good as he’s been and
you’re making stops on quarterback sneaks, you can guarantee the end of the
world if you’d like and I won’t question you. What a job by him on the second
sneak after the push by DT Chris Canty.</p>


Canty. He got a pressure and a push to force a cutback on a run for a loss
early on and then factored into the sneaks. Boy, has he come to play of
late.</p>


DT Linval Joseph. Put him in the group helping with the stop
on one of the sneaks. Also, credit him for a great push on a third-and-1 late in
the third quarter that allowed LB Chase Blackburn to come free
and make the stop.</p>


Blackburn. For that stop, one more I’ll mention a bit lower and for coming
off his couch to tie for the team lead in tackles in a playoff game. Great
story.</p>


QB Eli Manning. And also to <a>his
quarterbacks coach</a> Mike Sullivan, of course. </p>


WR Hakeem Nicks. His 4-yard touchdown catch in the second
quarter was actually a tougher grab than I realized. He had to reach back and
sort of over CB Dominique Franks for that pass, which wasn’t as
good as it could’ve been. If that play looked sorta familiar, it’s because it’s
a variation of the one the Giants ran on David Tyree’s
touchdown in Super Bowl XLII. It’s not a carbon copy like <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/11/giants-patriots_game_review_th.html">the
one they ran in New England earlier this season</a>. That one, like the Tyree
play, came out of a three-receiver set with motion. This one was a two-tight
end, two-back formation with no motion. Still, the concept is the same, and it’s
a good one: the play-action fake draws the linebackers up and, since it’s such
tight quarters down near the goal line, there’s no safety help. So once the
receiver gets an inside release (which was cake for Nicks because his stutter
off the line means Franks has to respect the fade), the defense has practically
no shot of defending a good pass -- or even, as we saw on this one, a
less-than-perfect throw.</p>


RBs Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw. For
all of the talk about <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/eli_manning_makes_unlikey_key.html">Manning’s
14-yard scramble that kick- started the offense</a>, it was these two who really
helped make that first touchdown drive happen. They broke a combined five
tackles on that drive, and that’s not even including when Jacobs spun off LB
Curtis Lofton for the 2 extra yards to convert the fourth-and-1
at the Falcons’ 6-yard line. Speaking of that play, Lofton was a bit
discombobulated in the hole because LB Sean Weatherspoon, in
trying to make a play, put a spin move on RT Kareem McKenzie
and actually clipped Lofton as he was trying to scrape toward Jacobs. That threw
Lofton off and it looked like his legs weren’t completely under him when he
tried making the tackle. Clearly, it’s tough to stop Jacobs’ forward momentum
when you’re not entirely squared and ready to deliver the blow. That was a huge
play and sort of a bad break for the Falcons because a better-prepared Lofton
might’ve had a shot to make that tackle before the stick. By my count, Jacobs
and Bradshaw picked up 51 yards after contact on eight carries on that
drive.</p>


LB Jacquian Williams. Batted down the Hail Mary smartly,
made a good tackle on a third down (see below) and had a pressure in the third
quarter.</p>


LG Kevin Boothe. Jerry Reese’s “priority”
played another very good game. He helped make Manning’s big scramble possible by
washing DT Jonathan Babineaux down to the right side of the
Giants’ line. So once DE John Abraham took the widest of wide
rushes, Manning had the entire left side of the field to escape. And the way he
runs, he needs it.</p>


Reese. Speaking of him, he and his staff continue to prove patience and a
balanced approach are key to sustained success, despite how impatient we (and
notice I said “we”) become at times.</p>


RG Chris Snee. I get the sense he’s played through more
issues than we realize this year, and probably through his career. Sunday, he
left the game with what seemed to be a neck burner. He wouldn’t talk about what
his injury was but from the way they were testing his arm resistance and the
manner in which he was shaking his arm, I’d say that was a good guess. He
returned to deliver a nice block on Bradshaw’s 30-yard run. Earlier, he and
Boothe got out in front of Jacobs on his 34-yard run.</p>


C David Baas. Still think he should’ve stayed on the bench
after coming back from his neck issues? Didn’t think so.</p>


LT David Diehl. Still think he’s a liability at left tackle?
Didn’t think so.</p>


WR Mario Manningham. My only gripe is he should’ve done a
better job going to get the ball on a deep post late in the second half right
before the bad spot on Nicks (which I’ll explore below). He tried letting it
come to him instead of going to get it and using his body to block CB
Chris Owens, who batted it away. But other than that, he had a
fine day to remind everyone he can catch some passes, too. As for his touchdown,
as soon as the Giants came out with Bradshaw lined up wide right after already
running the receiver screen to the running back earlier in the game, I knew they
were going to fake it and take a shot up top. It was great timing and it worked
perfectly. </p>


CB Corey Webster. My sense last week was the Giants were
going to keep him and CB Aaron Ross left and right <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants-falcons_game_preview_a.html">instead
of having him follow a particular receiver around</a>. That was bad info on my
part and I apologize because he was all over WR Roddy White and
did a heckuva job covering him. </p>


DE Osi Umenyiora. He sacked QB Matt Ryan
while bulling and reaching over LT Will Svitek. “The whole game
I’d been giving him the speed rush and I went to the power rush and he wasn’t
prepared for it,” Umenyiora said. Asked how he got leverage on that sack, he
replied, “That was hunger, man. You’ve got to be hungry for those sacks.” </p>


DT Rocky Bernard. Speaking of bull rushes, holy moly did he
turn guard Joe Hawley into road kill on his sack or what?" Read more...
</p>GIANTS' HOT TOPIC: WHAT WAS THE KEY PLAY FROM THE 24-2 WIN OVER THE FALCONS? (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_hot_topic_what_was_the.html)

Excerpt: "There were several potential game-changing moments from the <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_belief_in_each_other_di.html">Giants'
24-2 beatdown of the Atlanta Falcons</a> on Sunday, but if you had to pick just
one key play, which would it be? We've come up with the following five plays as
the five biggest from the game. Read about each one and then cast your vote for
the key play in our poll below.


Giants' defense stops Atlanta on 4th and 1
In a 0-0 game
early in the second quarter, Atlanta was driving and at the Giants' 24-yard
line. Facing a 4th and inches, Falcons coach Mike Smith elects to go for it, but
a quarterback sneak by <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/falcons_fourth-down_gambles_ca.html">Matt
Ryan is snuffed out by the Giants' defense</a>, forcing the turnover on
downs.</p>
<div id="asset-10427327" class="entry_widget_large entry_widget_right"><span class="adv-photo-large">http://media.nj.com/giants_impact/photo/10427327-large.jpg<span class="photo-data"><span class="byline">Andrew
Mills/The Star-Ledger</span><span class="caption">Eli Manning had a key 14-yard
scramble on third down.</span></span><span class="photo-bottom-left"></span><span class="photo-bottom-right"></span></span></div>


Eli Manning's 14-yard scramble on third down
Trailing 2-0
after a lackluster first quarter on offense, <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/eli_manning_makes_unlikey_key.html">Eli
Manning runs 14 yards on 3rd and 2 from the Giants' 23</a> to keep the drive
alive. Big Blue goes on to run 10 more plays on the drive before Manning finds
Hakeem Nicks for a 4-yard touchdown to give the Giants the lead.</p>
<div id="asset-10427329" class="entry_widget_large entry_widget_right"><span class="adv-photo-large">http://media.nj.com/giants_impact/photo/10427329-large.jpg<span class="photo-data"><span class="byline">Andrew
Mills/The Star-Ledger</span><span class="caption">Brandon Jacobs had several big
runs, including this 34-yarder.</span></span><span class="photo-bottom-left"></span><span class="photo-bottom-right"></span></span></div>


Brandon Jacobs' 34-yard run on 2nd and 11
On that same
drive, <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/politi_brandon_jacobs_and_runn.html">Jacobs
takes a handoff and goes 34 yards</a> from the Atlanta 49 to inside the red
zone. The huge play by Jacobs helps establish the run game, which was arguably
the best it's been all season. Five plays after the Jacobs run, Manning finds
Nicks for the TD.</p>
<div id="asset-10427333" class="entry_widget_large entry_widget_right"><span class="adv-photo-large">http://media.nj.com/giants_impact/photo/10427333-large.jpg<span class="photo-data"><span class="byline">Andrew
Mills/The Star-Ledger</span><span class="caption">Matt Ryan was stopped on 4th and
1 for the second time.</span></span><span class="photo-bottom-left"></span><span class="photo-bottom-right"></span></span></div>


Giants' defense stops Atlanta on 4th and 1 -- again
The
Giants held a 10-2 lead in the third quarter and the Falcons again had 4th and
1, this time from Big Blue's 21-yard line. And again, Falcons coach Mike Smith
calls for a QB sneak from Ryan. <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/falcons_fourth-down_gambles_ca.html">And
again, the Giants absolutely snuff it out</a>. The Falcons never really
threatened to score again when the game mattered.</p>
<div id="asset-10427336" class="entry_widget_large entry_widget_right"><span class="adv-photo-large">http://media.nj.com/giants_impact/photo/10427336-large.jpg<span class="photo-data"><span class="byline">Tim
Farrell/The Star-Ledger</span><span class="caption">Hakeem Nicks' long TD gave the
Giants a 17-2 lead.</span></span><span class="photo-bottom-left"></span><span class="photo-bottom-right"></span></span></div>


Hakeem Nicks' 72-yard touchdown catch
Three plays after
the second 4th and 1 stop, <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/hakeem_nicks_has_big_day_and_e.html">Manning
and Nicks hooked up for another touchdown</a>, this one 72 yards. Nicks caught
the short pass around the Giants' 32 yard line and ran right through the
Falcons' defense the rest of the way. The long TD gave the Giants a comfortable
17-2 lead and took the wind out of Atlanta's sails.</p>


So, we ask you, which of these five plays was the key play of the
Giants' 24-2 win over the Falcons. Vote in the poll and then drop down to the <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_hot_topic_what_was_the.html#comments">comments
section below</a> to post your reasoning and talk about it with other NJ.com
users." Read more and VOTE</p><font size="4"><font size="3">http://www.nj.com/giants/

</font></font><font size="4"><u>NY DAILY NEWS
</u></font><div>
GIANTS' QB ELI MANNING CAN ERASE DOUBTS BY OUTPLAYING AARON RODGERS AND BEATING PACKERS IN PLAYOFFS (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-giants-quarterback-eli-manning-emerge-aaron-rodgers-shadow-green-bay-article-1.1003605)

Excerpt: "You ask Eli Manning (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Eli+Manning) if he ever
guaranteed a victory in his life, and he looks at you as if he’s being asked to
run a quarterback draw against the Ravens, up 20 points with a minute left.<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


“No, I don’t think so,” Manning said Monday. Next question.</p>


Unlike several of his teammates – Jason Pierre-Paul (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jason+Pierre-Paul)
being the latest – Manning is one of the Giants who hasn’t opened his mouth wide
lately and sounded a lot like a Jet. But it wasn’t that long ago, the start of
this meandering season, when Manning went on the radio to announce that he did,
in fact, consider himself right up there with Tom Brady (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tom+Brady) as an elite
quarterback. The reverberations from that bit of self-assurance are yet to
subside.</p>


Manning isn’t facing Brady on Sunday in Green Bay. Instead, he goes against
somebody whose numbers are even gaudier, a quarterback whose commercial
endorsements and Hall of Fame credentials are quickly gaining momentum.</p>


Aaron Rodgers (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Aaron+Rodgers) threw
for 4,643 yards this season, completing 68.3% of his passes for 45 touchdowns
and an average of 9.2 yards. He was intercepted just six times, and practically
lapped his peers with a 122.5 quarterback rating. The defending champion
Packers, not coincidentally, lost only one game.</p>


Those are jaw-dropping, historically significant stats from Rodgers. There is
no arguing the Green Bay star had a superb year, better than Manning’s. And
though he enjoyed an embarrassment of riches at the receiver positions, a
cornucopia of targets, Rodgers had no real running game to keep defenses
honest.</p>


Kudos all around. Anybody would pick Rodgers, 28, over Eli Manning, 31, if
there were a draft right now. And yet, if Manning outplays Rodgers at Lambeau
Field this Sunday, if the Giants pull off this upset, then none of that matters
and Manning becomes the most valuable quarterback in the NFC, right up there
with Brady in the other conference." Read more...
</p></div>GIANTS' BANDWAGON STARTING TO FILL UP AS TOM COUGHLIN AND CO. POINT BIG BLUE TO LANBEAU FIELD FOR PLAYOFF SHOWDOWN WITH PACKERS (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-giants-bandwagon-starting-fill-tom-coughlin-point-big-blue-lambeau-playoff-showdown-green-bay-packers-article-1.1003660)

Excerpt: "There was no bandwagon in September, not like the one cranking up and loading
up now. Call it the Big Blue Bandwagon, if you want. Or call it the <a title="Big Bandwagon" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Big+Bandwagon">Big
Brother Bandwagon</a>, in Rex Ryan (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Rex+Ryan)’s honor. Nobody
was talking about a trip to Lambeau, and maybe back to New Orleans after that,
maybe all the way to Indianapolis if this ride is anything like the one <a title="Tom Coughlin" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tom+Coughlin">Tom
Coughlin</a> and Eli and the Giants gave us four years ago.<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


In September, there was just the idea that the Jets were still the hot team
in town, that coming off two straight appearances in the AFC Championship Game,
they might be ready to take the next stop, get to a Super Bowl in Indy the way
they got to that championship game against Peyton Manning (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Peyton+Manning).</p>


The Jets were making all the news and all the noise and Giants fans, some of
them, anyway, were mad that the Jets had signed Plaxico Burress (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Plaxico+Burress) —
that was when we still thought the Giants needed wide receivers — and gone hard
after Nnamdi Asomugha (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Nnamdi+Asomugha).
There was this idea that the Giants had done nothing to improve a team that had
missed the playoffs again last season, two years running, even though they had
won 10 games in the end.</p>


But the general manager, Jerry Reese (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jerry+Reese), stubbornly
talked about a team he thought was good enough to win. I asked him Monday why he
showed this kind of belief in his football team when almost nobody else on the
planet did.</p>


“Good players, good coaches,” Reese said. “And a terrific head coach.”</p>


And that is all he wanted to say Monday, because he said that this week, a
Packers-Giants week, a week that takes the Giants back to Lambeau Field, should
be about those players and those coaches.</p>


So I asked John Mara (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/John+Mara) the same
question I asked Reese, because Mara wasn't somebody waving the kind of white
flag in September that his fans were waving like crazy on Sunday at MetLife
Stadium.

Mara joked that he had no choice, but then said this: “We still
had No. 10.”

The general manager believed in his players and his coaches
and his terrific head coach. The owner of the team, whose late father was on the
field at old Giants Stadium the last time the Giants won a home playoff game
before the Falcons game on Sunday, believed in one player in particular, <a title="Eli Manning" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Eli+Manning">Eli
Manning</a>, a great Super Bowl quarterback who this season became a great
quarterback, period.

Now the Giants have beaten the Jets in a game they
couldn't afford to lose, beat them in a game that Rex Ryan said would officially
establish the Jets as the big brothers in New York/New Jersey football, and
everywhere else people care about our two pro football teams.

The Giants
have beaten the Cowboys at MetLife in a game that was the same as a play-in
game.

And gave this kind of beatdown to the Falcons, the same as a
shutout. They go to Green Bay and the Big Blue Bandwagon is outside the stadium
warming up, you can see it, and the only question now, off what Giants fans have
seen the last few weeks, is whether they pack for one game, or two, or
three.

They start out by traveling to Green Bay, and so back in time, or
so their fans think, back to when they went into Lambeau in January of 2008 and
beat the Packers in overtime on a day when the Packers were the top seed in the
NFC. Eli played like the guy who had played in 20-below temperatures his whole
career, Plaxico Burress played one of the great postseason games any wide
receiver has ever played, Brett Favre (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Brett+Favre) did what he
did a lot in his career, at Lambeau and everywhere else, threw it to the wrong
team in a big moment.

By the way? It is one more reason why Favre is one
of the great quarterbacks of all time and one of the most overrated, all at the
same time.

Favre is gone now, replaced by a quarterback, Aaron Rodgers (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Aaron+Rodgers), having
a better season than Favre ever did, one of the best seasons any quarterback has
ever had, the highest quarterback rating, 45 touchdown passes, just six
interceptions, a 15-1 record, including one over the Giants at MetLife when he
had the ball last." Read more...
</p></div>GIANTS GET THE REMATCH THEY WERE LOOKING FOR AGAINST PACKERS, SEEK PAYBACK FOR GAME THAT SLIPPED AWAY (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-giants-rematch-green-bay-packers-seek-payback-game-slipped-article-1.1003684)

"No one ever told Antrel Rolle (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Antrel+Rolle) to be
careful what you wish for, and if they did he probably wouldn’t have listened.
He was dreaming of a rematch with the Green Bay Packers from the moment they
beat the Giants at the Meadowlands last month.<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


Sometimes even dangerous wishes do come true.

“This is what we all
wanted,” Rolle said on Monday. “We all wanted the opportunity for greatness. I
did want to see those guys again. Our wish is being granted come
Sunday.”

Six weeks after the then-undefeated Packers escaped New Jersey
with a last-second field goal that gave them a 38-35 win, the Giants clinched
the rematch on Sunday afternoon with a convincing, 24-2 wild-card win over the
Atlanta Falcons. Game 2 between the teams will take place this Sunday at Lambeau
Field in an NFC divisional playoff game.

The Packers, now 15-1, are
understandably heavy favorites, but the Giants haven’t forgotten they were
nearly the first team to beat them back on Dec. 4. That game was tied after the
Giants scored with 58 seconds remaining, and they were one defensive stop away
from forcing overtime.

When it was over, after the Packers eased
downfield for Mason Crosby (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Mason+Crosby)’s 31-yard
field goal as time expired, the Giants felt like they had let a winnable game
slip right through their hands.

“Absolutely,” Rolle said. “I know I felt
that way. I felt like it was a game that could’ve went either way.”

“We
blew an opportunity,” added defensive tackle Chris Canty (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Chris+Canty). “We had
our chances in that football game. We didn’t take advantage of
them.”

Canty’s right. The Giants had plenty of opportunities in a wild
game that featured 896 yards of offense and two quarterbacks — <a title="Eli Manning" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Eli+Manning">Eli
Manning</a> (347 yards, 3 touchdowns) and Aaron Rodgers (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Aaron+Rodgers) (369
yards, 4 touchdowns) — engaged in an epic duel. The Giants still remember <a title="Jake Ballard" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jake+Ballard">Jake
Ballard</a>’s first-quarter touchdown catch that wasn’t (the officials said he
was out of bounds, but at least one photo seems to indicate he wasn’t) and a <a title="Greg Jennings (Football)" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Greg+Jennings+%28Football%29">Greg
Jennings</a> touchdown catch in the third quarter where the Packers receiver may
not have had control of the ball before he ran out of bounds.

What really
stuck with the Giants, though, was the way the Packers marched downfield on
their game-winning drive. Starting at his own 20, Rodgers needed just four plays
to move 68 yards to get within range of a chip-shot field goal.

It was
like the Giants defense — which was playing without the injured <a title="Osi Umenyiora" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Osi+Umenyiora">Osi
Umenyiora</a> — wasn’t even there.

“So there wasn’t really any good taste
in our mouth,” said <a title="Dave Tollefson" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Dave+Tollefson">defensive end Dave
Tollefson</a>. “It was more or less, ‘Yeah, we’re taking steps forward,’ but
that wasn’t championship-caliber defense. We got beat by the best team in the
league. So we’re going to have to step up.”
That game seems like ages ago to
the Giants defense, though, because in the last three weeks it’s turned
everything around. The defense was all over the Jets and Cowboys at the end of
the regular season with 11 sacks in two games. And its confidence only rose
after it put it all together on Sunday with the virtual shutout of the
Falcons

The Giants believed they were good enough to beat the Packers a
month ago. Now that their defense has come around, they’re absolutely sure of it
now.

“We’re a better team,” Rolle said. “We’re a more confident team.
We’re a better team in all three phases of the game. I think we’re mentally
better, which says a lot, because this game is more mental than
physical.”

“We’re probably playing the best up front that we’ve played
all year,” Justin Tuck (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Justin+Tuck) added. “And
our secondary is playing awesome, too.”

Will that be good enough against
the defending-champion Packers, the highest-scoring team in the league (35
points per game) with the third-ranked offense and the likely MVP quarterback?
Even the Giants admit they don’t know for sure. But that was the point of
wishing for this rematch.

They were waiting for another opportunity to
find out.

“That’s what you want,” Tollefson said. “To be the best you’ve
got to beat the best. I don’t think there’s a question who the best team in the
NFL is. It’s Green Bay.”

“We know the Packers are the No. 1 seed for a
reason,” Tuck added. “(They’re) 15-1, playing in Lambeau Field. Those guys are
pretty good. We’ve got our hands full. But I feel as though we’re ready for the
task.”</p>PACKERS' RODGERS WON'T BE IN ANY MOOD TO GIVE AWAY NFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF GAME TO GIANTS LIKE BRETT FAVRE (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/green-bay-qb-aaron-rodgers-mood-giving-nfc-divisional-playoff-game-ny-giants-article-1.1003591)

</div>Excerpt: "Aaron Rodgers (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Aaron+Rodgers) is
playing better than Brett Favre (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Brett+Favre) did at any
point in his career and can’t be counted on to throw a gift interception in the
playoffs – a Favre speciality – when the Giants try to shut him down at Lambeau
Field.<div class="story-body">


It’s been a magical season for Rodgers. When the ball hits the ground, it’s
reached the point where you expect Mike McCarthy (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Mike+McCarthy) to
throw the replay challenge flag. But that doesn’t mean the Giants’ suddenly
ferocious pass rush can’t punish Rodgers — remember what they did to <a title="Tom Brady" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tom+Brady">Tom
Brady</a> in the Super Bowl — and rattle him into mistakes.</p>


“He’s human,” Justin Tuck (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Justin+Tuck) decided
Monday.</p>


Since Rodgers has been playing on another planet this season, Tuck almost,
but not quite, sounded like he was trash talking by simply calling Rodgers a
mere mortal.</p>


“I know Aaron’s had one of the better years, but he’s still human,” Tuck
said. “We’re going to approach the game like we always approach it. Taking away
the run first and get after the quarterback. As good as Aaron is, he’s even
better when he can hand the ball off and get five or six yards.”</p>


Rodgers over Favre is the reason the Packers will be a much tougher out for
the Giants on Sunday than they were four years ago. Favre always trusted his arm
so much that he was never afraid to take chances. Rodgers has an excellent arm,
but he plays much more under control. He is also incredibly accurate throwing on
the run.</p>


The Giants can’t expect Rodgers to throw the ball right to Corey Webster (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Corey+Webster) as
Favre did in overtime of the 2007 NFC Championship Game, setting up the winning
field goal back in January of '08. Rodgers made all of six mistakes this season
— he was intercepted a nearly invisible six times in 502 attempts — and never
more than once in any game.</p>


Still, the Packers didn’t protect Rodgers as well as the Giants did <a title="Eli Manning" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Eli+Manning">Eli
Manning</a>. He was sacked 36 times — just about the per-team league average —
but in games against the Falcons, Vikings, Chargers and in their only loss of
the season to the Chiefs, he was sacked four times. He was sacked three times by
the Raiders and in the Packers’ other game against the Vikings.</p>


The Giants got to him twice in the Dec. 4 loss and Rodgers was picked off by
Chase Blackburn (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Chase+Blackburn) at
the Packers’ 21-yard line, which positioned the Giants for a touchdown to give
them a 17-14 lead in the second quarter. Of course, Rodgers immediately drove
Green Bay 80 yards for a touchdown. And when the Giants tied the game with 58
seconds remaining, Rodgers needed only four plays to move 68 yards to set up the
winning field goal on the final play of the game." Read more...
</p></div>IF GIANTS' AARON ROSS CAN'T PASS CONCUSSION TEST, FIRST ROUND PICK PRINCE AMUKAMARA IS THE OPTION FOR BIG BLUE (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/ny-giants-cb-aaron-ross-t-pass-concussion-test-prince-amukamara-a-charming-option-article-1.1003593)

Excerpt: "Aaron Ross (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Aaron+Ross+%28Football%29) is
undergoing the NFL’s concussion protocol, Tom Coughlin (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tom+Coughlin) said
Monday, and with Aaron Rodgers (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Aaron+Rodgers) and the
Packers on deck, the Giants don’t need the added headache of having a starting
cornerback unavailable.
<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">

“He’ll play, he’ll play,” DE Justin Tuck (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Justin+Tuck) said
with wishful confidence, and while Coughlin said Ross “felt pretty good” at the
conclusion of Sunday’s game, these aren’t the old days. He’s going to have to
pass every cognitive test.</p>


“I hope that bears out and the protocol allows him to practice and play,”
Coughlin said of Ross, who went down after colliding with Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jason+Pierre-Paul)
while diving for a pass.</p>


The Giants feel they will be in a little better shape now if Ross can’t
go.

Rookie Prince Amukamara (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Prince+Amukamara)
has made some strides since he was exploited by the Cowboys a month ago. He
finished the game for Ross against the Falcons and Matt Ryan (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Matt+Ryan+%28Football%29) and
Julio Jones (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Julio+Jones) were unable
to take advantage of him.

“Man, I couldn’t be prouder of Prince,” said
safety Antrel Rolle (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Antrel+Rolle). “He
stepped up. He’s been focused. He’s been practicing extremely better. He was in
tune with the game and he played with a lot more confidence than in previous
games. We’ve been on him pretty hard. Corey Webster (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Corey+Webster) and
Aaron Ross have been doing an exceptional job of having him attached to their
hip at all times at practice, making sure he stays ahead of the game and that
he’s fully aware of the game.”</p>


“He got a lot of playing time after Aaron was hurt. He’s gaining more
experience each week and that’s exactly what he needs,” Coughlin said. “He did
display very good open field transition (Sunday), turning his hips, getting
himself in position. He’s physical. He will hit you so he’s coming.”</p>


Amukamara was helped by getting some practice reps last week since Webster
was hurting. He’s certainly going to get those reps this week. He doesn’t lack
for confidence.</p>


“I was in there the first game we played Green Bay,” he said. “I really don’t
see the big difference but it is a playoff game and everyone rises to a whole
new level. I just know I’m going to be ready.” Read more...
</p>JUSTIN TUCK SAYS GIANTS NEED TO GET INTO ROAD WARRIORS MENTALITY OF 2007 SUPER BOWL TEAM (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/justin-tuck-ny-giants-road-warriors-mentality-2007-article-1.1003646)

"By the time the Giants board their charter flight to Green Bay on Saturday
they will have been home for more than a month. And some of them can’t wait to
get away.<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none"><div class="story-body">


It’s not that they haven’t enjoyed being home, where they’ve won three
straight games (including a “road” game at the Meadowlands against the Jets).
It’s that some of them still remember what it felt like in 2007, when the “Road
Warriors” rode four straight games away from home to the Super Bowl XLII
championship.</p>


“The last couple of games have been at home or in the friendly confines of
MetLife Stadium, and we’ve played well here,” said Justin Tuck (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Justin+Tuck). “Now we
can kind of channel some of our recent history as ‘Road Warriors’ going back to
Lambeau Field. One thing I’d like to pick up from ’07 is that ‘Road Warrior’
mentality, when going against a team on the road it just seemed like we didn’t
miss a beat.</p>


“Hopefully that can be the same this year, too.”</p>


The Giants are 5-3 on the road this season — 4-3 in road games away from the
Meadowlands.</p>


MAJOR HEADACHES
CB Aaron Ross (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Aaron+Ross+%28Football%29)
and <a title="D.J. Ware" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/D.J.+Ware">RB
D.J. Ware</a> are both “going through the process” of the NFL’s concussion
protocol after taking hits to the head on Sunday, according to <a title="Tom Coughlin" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Tom+Coughlin">Tom
Coughlin</a>. “They actually felt pretty good at the conclusion of the game when
we did see them in the locker room,” Coughlin said. “I hope that bears out . . .
for clearance to practice and play this week.”</p>


Asked if Ross had actually suffered a concussion, Coughlin said. “We are
conducting the medical treatment as if it were a concussion.”</p>


COUGHLIN’S BIG CHILL
Coughlin still remembers the feeling
he had during the pregame warmups on the “frozen tundra” of Lambeau Field before
the 2007 NFC title game. He was dressed so lightly on a day with wind chills at
minus-23, he wasn’t sure he’d even make it back to the locker room before the
game.</p>


During the game, his face turned a frightening shade of red — something most
of his players remember fondly. But no, the coach doesn’t plan to wear anything
warmer to protect his face this time around.</p>


“I don’t know what else to do,” he joked. “I’m not wearing a mask. I already
scare people enough with this one on.”</p>


Good thing for Coughlin the forecast calls for much warmer temperatures on
Sunday in Green Bay: a balmy 20 degrees.</p>


POSITIVE THINKING
Coughlin didn’t sound thrilled that <a title="Jason Pierre-Paul" href="http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jason+Pierre-Paul">DE Jason
Pierre-Paul</a> had guaranteed the Giants will beat the Packer, but Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Mike+McCarthy)
didn’t seem to care.</p>


“I would expect a team that’s playing in the divisional playoff round to
expect to win the game,” McCarthy said. “What are they supposed to say? They’re
going to lose? I think the guys should expect to win.”</p>


OFF THE MARK
Mark Herzlich (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Mark+Herzlich) said
his injured ankle did not feel “sturdy enough” to play last week, although he
hopes it can progress this week. The rookie LB, who suffered a high ankle sprain
in late November, said the ankle itself is feeling better, but the bone injury
that occurred with the sprain has held him back. . . . TE Jake Ballard (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Jake+Ballard) said
his knee was feeling fine one day after his first game since mid-December.</p>


BURNING DESIRE
The first time the Giants played the
Packers, LB Chase Blackburn (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Chase+Blackburn)
had little time to prepare because he had only been brought back in the middle
of that week. This time, Blackburn will be fully integrated into the defense,
after making nine tackles in Sunday’s win over the Falcons.</p>


“This week, I can watch film today and tomorrow and start getting prepared
early,” he said. “I don’t have to worry about going back and figuring out the
tweaks the defense has done throughout the year.” Read more...
</p></div></div>MEMO TO NFL: GIANTS VS. PACKERS BELONGS IN PRIME TIME (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/memo-nfl-ny-giants-green-bay-packers-belongs-prime-time-article-1.1003635)

Excerpt: "When it comes to doing what’s necessary to maximize its television ratings,
no professional sports league does it better than the National Football
League.<div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


That’s why the league’s network partners happily shell out billions for the
right to air the games. Unlike other professional sports enterprises, the NFL’s
regular season generates big numbers, but the playoffs takes the ratings to
another level.</p>


There is a way NFL suits can jack the numbers up even higher. Sunday’s
Giants-Packers tilt is ready for prime time. That’s where it should be played.
The heck with this 4:30 p.m. start on Fox. Move the kickoff to 7:30 or 8
p.m.</p>


The game deserves prime time status. It’s a matchup between two rocks of the
NFL foundation, two storied franchises looking for even more glory. The tilt
comes with compelling story lines, too.</p>


OK, we can hear that familiar refrain about the late start depriving kids of
watching. In this case it does not apply. Monday, Jan. 16, is Martin Luther King
Day. No school and no work for most folks. So, it’s no big deal, no unbearable
hardship to stay up and watch the game Sunday night.</p>


The weather? As NFL operatives have often said, it ain’t much colder at 8
p.m. than it is at 5 p.m. at Lambeau Field. Sunday’s forecast has temperatures
below 20 degrees with a 10% chance of precipitation.</p>


As for the competition that also happens to be NFL TV rights holders (NBC and
CBS) — tough. Having to compete against an NFL game, well, that’s just business.
No one is suggesting Fox get special treatment here, but the Foxies have bitten
the bullet plenty this season.</p>


They lost two Cowboys-Giants games to NBC. CBS? NFL suits took care of that
network when they didn’t allow NBC to flex the Dec. 18 Broncos-Patriots game
into its “Sunday Night Football” window.</p>


How that suspicious deal went down remains a mystery and probably is locked
in the NFL’s Park Ave. vault. See, even when there are TV rules in place, the
NFL and its TV partners can “adjust” them if they choose. That’s why any reasons
for not being able to put Giants-Packers in prime time would likely be
convenient excuses." Read more...
</p></div>http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants
</div>
<div><u><font size="4">NY POST</font></u><div>
GIANTS' PIERRE-PAUL, SOFTENS PACKERS GUARANTEE (http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/backpage/giants_pierre_paul_backs_off_packers_8kplO3jZBppkN eYlBq2DjM)

"Joe Namath and Mark Messier he is not. <div style="BORDER-BOTTOM: medium none; TEXT-ALIGN: left; BORDER-LEFT: medium none; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff; COLOR: #000000; OVERFLOW: hidden; BORDER-TOP: medium none; BORDER-RIGHT: medium none; TEXT-DECORATION: none">


Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul backed off his guarantee that the
Giants would beat the Packers in the NFC Divisional round. </p>


“If the defense, offense, special teams, we all do our jobs and execute it on
Sunday, we should win,”<a href="http://newyork.cbslocal.com/audio-on-demand/joe-and-evan/"> Pierre-Paul
said when asked about the prediction in an interview with WFAN.</a> </p>


Pierre-Paul’s comments came after the Giants had beaten the Falcons 24-2 in
their Wild Card game Sunday. </p>


“Of course, I said that. I am not going to twist my words,” said Pierre-Paul,
who had 16 1/2 sacks in his second year in the NFL. “It was the fact that we won
and it was exciting, but if we go out and do our jobs we should win.” </p>


Pierre-Paul said coach Tom Coughlin did not reprimand him for his postgame
exuberance. </p>


“He didn't talk to me about it. It wasn't a comment that was hurtful. It was
a statement," said Pierre-Paul, who declined to try and follow Namath, who
guaranteed a Jets' Super Bowl III victory, and Messier, who scored a hat trick
after predicting the Rangers would beat the Devils in Game 6 of

lttaylor56
01-10-2012, 09:54 AM
Thanks RF. Terribly tragic what happened to Philbin's son.

RoanokeFan
01-10-2012, 10:02 AM
Thanks RF. Terribly tragic what happened to Philbin's son.

It really is, such a young man.

NY_Eli
01-10-2012, 10:35 AM
Thanks RF! Good news on Ross! Gmen need to be ALL-IN if they're gonna win on Sunday.

RoanokeFan
01-10-2012, 11:41 AM
Thanks RF! Good news on Ross! Gmen need to be ALL-IN if they're gonna win on Sunday.

We are on the upswing!!

GameTime
01-10-2012, 12:45 PM
thanks Ro...</P>


another day closer Buckeroo......</P>

NY_Eli
01-10-2012, 01:03 PM
Thanks RF! Good news on Ross! Gmen need to be ALL-IN if they're gonna win on Sunday.

We are on the upswing!!


[Y]

RoanokeFan
01-10-2012, 02:04 PM
thanks Ro...</p>


another day closer Buckeroo......</p>

There is something in the air; CONFIDENCE.

GameTime
01-10-2012, 02:34 PM
thanks Ro...</P>


another day closer Buckeroo......</P>




There is something in the air; CONFIDENCE.
</P>


unless you are standing by the hot dogcart then maybe its something else...lol</P>

RoanokeFan
01-10-2012, 04:06 PM
thanks Ro...</p>


another day closer Buckeroo......</p>




There is something in the air; CONFIDENCE.
</p>


unless you are standing by the hot dogcart then maybe its something else...lol</p>

Only when down wind [+o(]