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View Full Version : NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 2012 - 12:25 P.M.



RoanokeFan
01-12-2012, 10:44 AM
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</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
</font></font></u></font></font></font><u>
<font face="Verdana">
<font color="#EE82EE">OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE WITH THE PHILBIN FAMILY</font></font><font color="#EE82EE">
</font>
</u>THIS LINK CONTAINS INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR MICHAEL PHILBIN. ANYONE INTERESTED CAN SEND AN ELECTRONIC MESSAGE OF CONDOLENCE SHOULD THEY FEEL THAT TO BE APPROPRIATE. (http://www.fox11online.com/dpp/news/local/green_bay/michael-philbin-funeral-arrangements-set)
</font><font size="4"><u>

NEWARK STAR LEDGER</u></font><font size="4"><font size="3">

GIANTS' BRANDON JACOBS SAYS HE'S FRESHER THAN HE HAS EVER BEEN BEFORE (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_brandon_jacobs_says_hes_1.html)

Excerpt: "</font></font>Every running back wants every carry. It's a point of pride to be the
featured back. But as NFL teams continue to rely on a couple -- or more --
running backs to burden the load, carries are spread more often than in the
past.


Such was the case with the Giants this season and now they are reaping the
benefits. </p>


A season after carrying the ball 147 times, Brandon Jacobs had just five more
carries this season and said he feels the best he's ever had this late in a
campaign. </p>


"Oh, no question," Jacobs said when asked if this was the best he's felt. "I
feel really good. And I don’t know the reason for that, but I feel good."</p>


It was apparent in the Giants' 24-2 win Sunday against the Falcons, in which
he and Ahmad Bradshaw each had 14 carries and the Giants wore down a smaller
Atlanta defense. Not only did Jacobs run with his typical downhill style, but he
was able to use some speed to get to the outside on a couple runs, including a
34-yard scamper, on his way to game-high 92 rushing yards." Read more...</p>GIANTS' OSI UMENYIORA SAYS IMPROVED DEFENSE IS ABOUT MORE THAN HIS RETURN (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_osi_umenyiora_says_impr.html)

Excerpt: "One of the reasons the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants)’ players
are confident they’re a different defense heading into this matchup against the
Packers is<a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_head_into_green_bay_pac.html">
the presence of Osi Umenyiora</a>, who missed the first meeting with a
high-ankle sprain.


Though Umenyiora appreciates the sentiment but says the improved play of the
defense of late is about more than him.</p>


“No, definitely not,” the Giants’ defensive end said today after practice.
“We’re playing a lot better. I don’t know why but it seems everything’s coming
together. On the back end we’re playing better, up front we’re playing better.
The calls are coming in better. We seem to be playing a lot better than we were
then.”</p>


Umenyiora agrees his return would be a “logical” explanation but sees more to
it. Since he returned the defense has eight sacks in two games. (Two of the
sacks were his.)</p>


“As a defense, on the defensive line, we were playing well when I wasn’t
there. I can’t attribute that success to me,” he said. “I feel for some reason
everything is just coming together at the right time.”</p>


Umenyiora laughed when asked if he feels like his old self.</p>


"I never left, man, I never did. I was just hurt," he said. "Everybody likes
to forget things but I don’t forget."</p>


* * * *</p>


Umenyiora was one of a few players to say today’s practice was a good
one.</p>


“It was sharp,” he said. “The last couple of weeks we’ve had good practices.
Today has been no exception and hopefully we finish it off strong tomorrow.”</p>


Tom Coughlin liked the energy level. So did linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka.</p>


“The confidence level’s obviously high. The energy’s been there and the
intensity,” he said. “Today was one of our best practices of the year. You had
everybody flying around. Everybody who could be out there was out there. We’re
getting ready to go.” Read more...
</p><font size="3">PACKERS' B.J, RAJI SAYS HE'S NOT OVERLY IMPRESSED WITH GIANTS' OFFENSIVE LINE</font> (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/packers_dt_bj_raji_not_overly.html)

Excerpt: "B.J. Raji believes that the Giants physicality stems from the players in the
backfield -- namely Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw -- and doesn't have much
to do with the five guys blocking for them.


"I mean, I played them once this year and once last year. I can only judge by
my vantage point up front, not necessarily the most physical -- their backs are
pretty physical, but not the toughest o-line," Raji said. "Not saying they're
soft, but not the toughest group I've been against.</p>


He felt the same way about the Giants tight ends, who "aren't in any position
to say too much. They're not the best players at their position that we've
seen." </p>


"The backs are pretty tough," he said. "When Brandon is running, and Ahmad is
always tough. When Brandon is running like Brandon, he's very tough to tackle."
</p>


Raji, who was raised in Washington Twp. in Bergen County, said that Jacobs'
size is such an anomaly that it requires a second look. Their defensive line,
who regularly watches film on their off days at the facility together (Tuesday)
had a cut-up video of Jacobs and Bradshaw from the last three weeks. </p>


And though Raji has high praise, he does not expect Jacobs to come in and run
someone over, like he <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAKvdphIDeE">did
against Charles Woodson</a> a few years back. </p>


But he does expect Jacobs to be confident in doing so. </p>


"It's a new team, I don't anticipate that happening," he said. "But, I'm sure
he's going to come out here very confident and being hopeful, but that's why we
play defense. It's our job to do our job." </p>


Getting after Jacobs will be the key to slowing down that physicality,
Packers tackle Howard Green said." Read more...
</p><font size="4"><font size="3">GIANTS' D.J. WARE IS PRACTICING AFTER MISSING WEDNESDAY'S SESSION (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_dj_ware_is_practicing_a.html)

Excerpt: "</font></font>3:05 UPDATE -- S Deon Grant (quad), CB Corey Webster (hamstring), CB Aaron Ross
(concussion), and DE Osi Umenyiora (ankle/knee) were limited in practice today.
Tom Coughlin will address those injuries in his press conference shortly. Ware
was also limited.



The Giants are down to two non-participants at practice today. </p>


RB D.J. Ware (concussion) evidently has been cleared to practice and was
participating in the portion of practice open to the media today. Ware sustained
a concussion <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_belief_in_each_other_di.html">against
the Falcons on Sunday</a> when he tried to cut block defensive end John Abraham
and was kneed in the head. He was woozy for several seconds afterward and was
unable to keep his balance. He didn't return to the game.</p>


Ware has been solid as the Giants' third-down back in recent weeks, picking
up blitzes and running the ball effectively when called on. If you remember, he
scored the Giants' two-point conversion on a draw play that tied the game at 35
against the Packers before Green Bay went on to win it with a field goal in 58
seconds." Read more...</p><font size="3">PACKERS TO PAY PEOPLE TO SHOVEL OUT LAMBEAU FIELD FRIDAY</font> (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/green_bay_to_pay_people_to_sho.html)

Excerpt: "If you will be in the Green Bay area Friday morning, and have a winter hat,
gloves jacket and the masochistic desire to shovel out an NFL stadium, the
Packers are looking for your help.


The are looking for up to 450 people Friday to help them shovel out Lambeau
Field (which <a href="http://twitpic.com/86g90t">looked like this earlier
today</a>) as snowfall is blanketing the eastern edges of Wisconsin.</p>


Shovelers have been instructed, <a href="http://www.packers.com/news-and-events/article-1/Shovelers-invited-to-Lambeau-Field-for-Friday-morning-effort/8bcc6428-9c4c-4b58-ac1e-f8d1a89a5eee">via
a post on the Packers website</a>, to show up at 10 a.m. at the Mills Fleet Farm
Gate, located on the west side of Lambeau Field. Those interested must be at
least 15 years old, the invitation stipulates, and will be paid $10 per hour
once the job is completed.</p>


The Packers will supply the shovels." Read more...
</p><font size="4"><font size="3">
##

ELI MANNNG'S PLAY IS THE MAIN DIFFERENCE FROM GIANTS' 2007 SQUAD (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/eli_mannings_play_is_the_main.html)

Excerpt "</font></font>The last time the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/) marched into
Lambeau Field for a January playoff game, questions surrounded their unproven
quarterback. Yes, they had gone on the road to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
and Dallas Cowboys as underdogs to advance to that NFC Championship Game, but to
many it wasn’t because of Eli Manning — it was in spite of him.


But as the Giants have repeatedly noted recently, that was 2007. This is
2011. And this time around, Manning is an established NFL quarterback — an elite
one if you ask him, his teammates or a growing number of admirers.</p>


“We don’t worry about that,” guard Kevin Boothe said. “Whatever people want
to say about Eli — I know he feels the same way — that’s fine. We know that he’s
a great player. He’s always been a great player to us.”</p>


This time, the stats support the claim. Last week, Manning broke Phil Simms’
franchise record of 10 postseason touchdown passes and this Sunday he has at
least two more within reach: Simms’ franchise record for playoff completions
(157) and the NFL record for road playoff wins for a quarterback (four), shared
by five players, most recently, Mark Sanchez.</p>


Those are career-defining measures and Sunday could be a career-defining
game, but Manning — in typical Manning fashion — said “it’s not really a concern
right now.”</p>


Neither is what happened in 2007.</p>


“I think this is a whole new situation. It’s a new year, a new team, new
players going against a new team,” the 31-year-old Manning said. “It’s just a
matter of guys executing, guys knowing the game plan, going in there, looking
forward to the opportunity that’s ahead of us, getting excited about it and have
the attitude that we’re going to go in there and play great football.”</p>


With Manning under center, the Giants' receivers believe
there are going to be plenty of big-play opportunities against a Green Bay
Packers defense that allowed 71 pass plays of 20 or more yards in the regular
season.</p>


“They like to guess a lot on certain routes and you can take advantage of it
on certain plays and the routes you’re running,” Hakeem Nicks said of the
Packers’ secondary.</p>


It didn’t take long in the teams’ first meeting for the Giants to strike gold
with a big play. Manning connected with TE Travis Beckum for a 67-yard touchdown
pass on the third play from scrimmage to give the Giants a quick lead.</p>


RB Ahmad Bradshaw, dealing with a stress fracture in his
foot for a few months now, was listed as having a back issue as well on the
injury report." Read more...
</p>GIANTS' VICTOR CRUZ SEES ANOTHER HIGHLIGHT: BECOMING A NEW DAD (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_victor_cruz_sees_anothe.html)

"It’s been a whirlwind of a breakout season for Victor Cruz, complete with
appearances and obligations he never expected. So after Sunday’s playoff victory
over the Atlanta Falcons, he told his expecting girlfriend Elaina they should
relax and spend a quiet night alone.


After all, it might have been the last of those for a while.</p>


“And then she’s like, ‘My water broke,’?” the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/)’ wide receiver and new father said
today. “I’m frantic: ‘Should I get dressed? Should you get dressed? Should I
take a shower? Wait, I don’t need to take a shower. You need to take a
shower.’</p>


“So it was a crazy feeling, but we made it to the hospital and everything
went so smoothly.”</p>


Cruz, still wearing the hospital bracelet three days later, proudly spoke
about his new daughter, Kennedy, born at about 3 a.m. Monday and weighing 7
pounds, 2.3 ounces. He also talked about getting ready for Sunday’s game against
the Green Bay Packers while enjoying such a high point in what’s been a
tremendous year for him.</p>


“I was watching a little bit of film on Tuesday,” he said. “I brought my
laptop with me to the hospital so I watched a little bit. So I saw what they do
and today we just reinforced everything. So I’m on track.”</p>


Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, a proud father of a 3-year-old girl named
Harmony, said he told Cruz to “cherish the moment” and agreed it will be a
pivotal moment for the 25-year-old Cruz.</p>


“That’s when the fatherly manhood kicks in,” Nicks said.
</p>Nicks said Cruz arrived at work today “with a positive head.” Cruz, the new
Giants single-season receiving leader with 1,536 yards, believes he’ll be ready
to play on Sunday.


“Hopefully I can get some sleep,” he said. “My girlfriend’s going to have a
tough time with that.”</p>

GIANTS HEAD INTO GREEN BAY PACKERS REMATCH CONFIDENT THEY CAN WIN THIS TIME (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_head_into_green_bay_pac.html)</p>

"Antrel Rolle’s words sounded awfully familiar, even if the delivery was a bit
less passionate Wednesday.</p>


It was a series of answers similar to Week 9 of the regular season, when he
said Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are good but so are the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/). They planned to show it that
Sunday, which they did in the 24-20 Giants victory.</p>


Now, with all of the talk about potential league MVP Aaron Rodgers and the
Packers’ stable of receivers in advance of Sunday’s playoff game in Green Bay,
Rolle is digging in again.</p>


“To me, it’s another game. I don’t put any opponents on a pedestal,” the
Giants’ safety said. “I understand they have a lot of weapons, I understand
they’re an awesome opponent. But then again, so are we.</p>


“Every team in the NFL has weapons, every team in the NFL has those elite
guys. They have a lot of them, but at the same time, so do we.”</p>


Rolle is confident, Jason Pierre-Paul (who, by the way, is once again leaning
closer to his guarantee after backing off a bit on Tuesday) feels good about the
team’s chances and a couple of other defensive players are brimming with
optimism.</p>


While Rodgers’ performance in his past two games against the Giants
(53-for-83 for 873 yards, eight touchdowns and only one interception combined)
may serve as evidence the defense should be more pessimistic, the players will
counter with their reasons to hope in the form of some improvements since <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_play_well_but_a_moral_v.html">the
two teams met on Dec. 4.</a></p>


Namely, more confidence in the schemes, a blueprint from the Chiefs on how to
slow down the Pack and the improved health of Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and
Michael Boley.</p>


The last of which could wind up being the biggest key of all.</p>


“Big time,” safety Deon Grant said. “Even though we knew the percentage (of
Boley’s plays) going in the game, we still had other guys get hurt and we had
guys coming in off the street playing major roles at the key times of the game.
So it’s definitely going to make a big difference.”</p>


Boley estimated he was 70 percent healthy for the first game against Green
Bay. He had suffered a hamstring injury two weeks prior against the San
Francisco 49ers and it was no coincidence there was chaos instead of solid
communication while he was sidelined for 2½ games. Though Boley returned to play
about 50 snaps against Green Bay, everything still wasn’t settled with the
defense.</p>

Grant was basically the middle linebacker on passing downs, Rolle was deep to
replace the injured Kenny Phillips and had a miscommunication with Corey Webster
on a touchdown, rookie cornerback Prince Amukamara played more than expected and
Will Blackmon, signed “off the street” less than two weeks prior, was in for a
winded Amukamara and covering Jordy Nelson on a 27-yard completion to set up the
game-winning field goal.</p>


So, the trickle-down effect of playing without Boley was huge, as was the
boost of his return.</p>


“I’m not going to say shut them down, but I’m going to say slow them down,”
Boley said when asked if the Packers can be stopped. “The key for us is just
limiting the plays that they have on offense and hurting them on third downs.
That’s the thing that is going to help us the most.”</p>


In addition to playing a bit more physically than they did last time around.
The Chiefs were very physical in holding Green Bay to a season-low 14
points.</p>


“You can take a lot from that game,” Boley said. “(The Chiefs) hit them in
the mouth and made it a real physical game.”</p>


Rolle didn’t seem to think it was a fluke of a bad performance by the
Pack.</p>


“I don’t think Green Bay was necessarily off their game,” he said. “I just
think Kansas City was on their game.”</p>


The Giants weren’t on theirs when they lost to Green Bay. They were
shorthanded, gave up a few easy completions on mental mistakes, were hurt by a
rookie mistake by Jacquian Williams to allow a 24-yard catch-and-run by
Jermichael Finley to kick start the final drive and their pass rush was good but
not great.</p>


Yet they only lost by a last-second field goal.</p>


“Playing them the first time, I think they understood what kind of challenges
we presented to them,” Rolle said. “We’re coming in expecting to win this game.
That’s going to be our mind-set, that’s going to stay our mind-set and we’re not
going to let anyone tear it away from us.”</p>

GIANTS' CHRIS CANTY, LINVAL JOSEPH, ROCKY BERNARD ARE QUIETLY GETTING THE JOB DONE (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_chris_canty_linval_jose.html)</p>

"Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan took the snap out of the shotgun on
first-and-15 late in the second quarter, deep in Atlanta territory, and by the
time he completed his three-step drop, the Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants/)’ defensive front had already
collapsed the pocket. Again, as has frequently been the case in recent weeks, a
member of the Giants’ vaunted pass rush was draped all over an opposing
quarterback and Ryan was sacked for an 8-yard loss in the 24-2 Giants victory
Sunday.</p>


On this play, the culprit wasn’t any one of the four defensive ends so often
credited for wreaking havoc. It was Rocky Bernard, a defensive tackle. Yes, the
Giants have those, too.</p>


For Bernard, an 11-year veteran, it was his first sack since last season and
he reveled in the rare spotlight, delivering the signature shoulder shake sack
dance he had popularized during his seven seasons in Seattle. </p>


“We joke about that all the time as far as ‘the defensive ends of the New
York Giants,’?” defensive end Dave Tollefson said. “It’s like, ‘Hey, we got
D-tackles, too!’ But obviously it’s kind of like an unsung hero type of deal
because you could argue that their job is much more important than ours.”</p>


While the Giants’ rotation of stalwart defensive ends has received plenty of
accolades in recent weeks, the attention has partly come as a product of
improved play in the interior from Bernard, Chris Canty and Linval Joseph — both
against the run and pass.</p>


“Defensive ends always get more credit,” retired Giants defensive end Michael
Strahan said. “One, because you get more sacks because you’re in a better
position to get sacks. And secondly, we’re just absolutely better looking.
That’s another reason.”</p>


It was the interior’s ability to hold strong in the middle that stonewalled
Ryan from gaining ground on either of his quarterback sneaks on fourth-and-1.
And they were crucial against the conventional run as well, holding Michael
Turner, the league’s third-leading rusher in the regular season, to just 41
yards on 15 carries. </p>


Yet, it’s difficult for the casual viewer to appreciate their impact — there
isn’t much glory in eating up blocks in the trenches and creating gaps for
linebackers to make plays in.</p>


“It’s not the sexy part of the defense, but it’s very much appreciated inside
this locker room,” linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka said.
Such success against the
run forces teams into obvious passing downs, and that’s when the ensemble of
defensive ends — the Giants often play four ends on the line in passing
situations — can make a substantial impact. </p>


“The play of those guys has been overshadowed,” Strahan said. “I think it’s
just because we look at the numbers of sacks and the guys who make those plays
that stand out. But without those guys inside playing the way they’ve played the
last few weeks, you’re not going to get great play out of the defensive ends. If
you do, it’s going to be sporadic.”</p>

But, as they have shown in recent weeks, the defensive tackles can hold their
own in getting to quarterbacks. </p>


In addition to Bernard’s takedown of Ryan on Sunday, Canty had a sack in
three of the Giants’ last four regular-season games, including one of the Jets (http://www.nj.com/jets/)’ Mark Sanchez that gave the Giants a
safety.</p>


“The pressure’s on them to get sacks, too, now,” Tollefson said. “No one’s a
blocking dummy.”</p>


Then there’s Joseph, who had the best game of his young career the last time
out <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/12/giants_play_well_but_a_moral_v.html">against
the Green Bay Packers on Dec. 4</a>, recording a career-high nine tackles. In
that contest, the Packers, like most teams do against the Giants, had a game
plan to slow down the defensive ends, allowing the tackles to make plays when
available. </p>


Joseph said he expects more of the same on Sunday and against a quarterback
as dynamic as Aaron Rodgers, they will also need to provide a rush up the middle
to prevent Rodgers from stepping up in the pocket and force him into any one of
the Giants’ ends where they can reap the rewards of an interior push.</p>


It may not conclude with a defensive tackle showcasing a sack dance, but that
isn’t a concern for them.</p>


“I like it like this,” Joseph said. “We’re like the O-linemen in a
sense.”
</p><font size="4"><font size="3">PACKERS' QB AARON RODGERS SAYS GIANTS' DEFENSE ELIMINATED HOLES FROM PREVIOUS MATCHUP (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/packers_qb_aaron_rodgers_says.html)

Excerpt: "</font></font>For Aaron Rodgers, the pass rush is an obvious one. Every week the game plan
hinges on protection and of course, against the Giants, containing the likes of
Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul will be paramount.


But in watching film, something else has been apparent to Rodgers. The gaping
holes in the Giants secondary have all but closed up, perhaps a product of the
rush itself. But either way, he's not expecting the yards to come easy. </p>


On that Dec. 4 matchup, Rodgers went 28-of-46 for 369 yards, four touchdowns
and an interception. </p>


"They've been playing really well as a whole," Rodgers said. "There hasn't
been those occasional holes that we saw a few weeks ago when we played them and
we hit them, they kind of dropped a couple of coverages, there hasn't been those
mistakes on their defense, they've been playing really sound together and it's
going to be a tough challenge." </p>


The tight windows he'll have to hit in order to complete passes will depend,
Rodgers said, on the kind of coverages the Giants will throw at him. Depending
on whether they're ahead or behind, he's seen a similarity between the Giants
and the Bears as far as coverage schemes. </p>


"If you're getting ahead in the game you can kind of dictate those coverages
and situations a little bit better, playing from behind against a Giants or
Bears team," Rodgers said. "They want to play that Tampa-2 coverage and keep
everything in front of them. You get ahead of them, you force them to play a
little 1-high. It just depends on the opponent. </p>


"If they're going to play rush four and man coverage or rushing four and
playing zone coverage, there's tight windows regardless of what coverage you're
playing against. It helps the team out if you can get pressure with your front
four, it changes some of the things the offense is able to do, but we're going
to play our game, hopefully slow them down up front a little bit and try and
make some plays." Read more...
</p><font size="4"><font size="3">GIANTS' AHMAD BRADSHAW DEALING WITH SORE BACK (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_ahmad_bradshaw_dealing.html)

"</font></font>Giants (http://www.nj.com/giants) running back Ahmad Bradshaw,
dealing with a stress fracture in his foot for a few months now, is listed as
having a back issue as well on today's injury report.


Indications are it's not serious and he's just a bit sore after Sunday's
playoff victory against the Falcons. Bradshaw was one of three players to sit
out practice today. He's been on a limited practice schedule since coming back
from the <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2011/11/giants_running_back_ahmad_brad_1.html">foot
problem that kept him out of four games</a>, so he'll likely practice once
before the week is over.</p>


Bradshaw is usually in attendance at practice even when he's not
participating, but he wasn't on the field today.</p>


Also sitting out practice today were running back D.J. Ware (concussion) and
linebacker Mark Herzlich (ankle). It appears Herzlich will miss his sixth
straight game, though he's hoping to return next week - once again, if there's a
next week.</p>


Defensive end Osi Umenyiora (knee/ankle) and cornerback Aaron Ross
(concussion) were limited today. Ross said he's good to go for Sunday against
the Packers."
</p><font size="4"><font size="3">PACKERS' WR JENNINGS: "I COULD CARE LESS ABOUT THEM GUARANTEEING A WIN" (http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/packers_wr_greg_jennings_i_cou.html)

Excerpt: "</font></font>Greg Jennings heard what <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_belief_in_each_other_di.html">Jason
Pierre-Paul had to say following the Giants 24-2 victory over the Falcons last
week</a>, but he wouldn't exactly return fire.


"I can care less about them guaranteeing a win," he said. And when asked if
he would make one of his own, he said: "We guarantee we're going to do
everything we can to prevent them from getting a win, how 'bout that?"</p>


Jennings, though, was the one who initially brought up the whole guaranteeing
thing after he was asked about <a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2012/01/giants_vs_packers_green_bay_ha.html">a
post on his Twitter page shortly after the Giants defeated the Falcons</a>,
setting up this highly-anticipated rematch. </p>


On Sunday, the wideout tweeted: "The team that kept us from our potential
Super Bowl in 08 is back on OUR turf now.Trust me,we haven't
forgotten.Here.We...GoPackGo! #BeGreat."</p>


And when asked if he thought that fired up the Giants, stoking a team that's
playing arguably it's best football of the season, Jennings said:</p>


"After what we heard? Firing them up? And we didn't
guarantee a win? I mean, I think they fired themselves up, didn't they? They
kind of, my tweet was what my tweet said. I guarantee they remembered that game,
they remembered coming in here and getting a win so I just voiced it. We
remember too. We took the bitter end of that stick (or) bite of that sandwich so
you know, again, they outplayed us that game. But that was, shoot, four, five
years ago -- so two different teams now. They're playing some great ball, they
put on some really good performances since the last two games." Read more...
</p><font size="3">PIERRE-PAUL SAUS AGAIN GIANTS WILL WIN SUNDAY</font> (http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/giantsblog/pierre_paul_says_again_giants_will_Hr5AaG8lnbWjqWW fvGE0mJ)<font size="4"><font size="3">

"</font></font>Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul generated headlines after the emphatic
24-2 NFC Wild Card win over the Falcons on Sunday by declaring the Giants would
get another win this week in Green Bay against the defending Super Bowl
champions.


He didn’t shy away from the prediction during his media session Wednesday
afternoon at Giants headquarters.</p>


“I think we’re gonna go out and win,” he said. “If our special teams, defense
and offense play the way we played last Sunday, we should come out with a
victory.”</p>


Pierre-Paul said his teammates haven’t had an issue with his declaration.</p>


“People came up to me and asked me what I said, and it came from the heart,”
he said. “If we go out there and play like we are supposed to play, like we did
last Sunday [against Atlanta], we’re gonna win. </p>


“In their right mind, who is gonna say their team is gonna lose, when
somebody asks you that question? You have to go out there and say you’re gonna
win, and we’re gonna go out there Sunday, and it’s gonna be one person that wins
that game. And it’s a playoff game, so we’ll see.”</p><font size="4"><font size="3">http://www.nj.com/giants/

</font></font><font size="4"><u>NY DAILY NEWS
</u></font><div>
<div>http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants
</div>
<div><u><font size="4">NY POST</font></u><div>
GIANTS RECEIVERS GEARING UP FOR COLD WEATHER (http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/giantsblog/giants_receivers_gearing_up_for_4KbACAYGurTOCi60Ux tAIP)

"Giants receivers Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks will be sleeveless Sunday.<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">


Cruz said Thursday that following the Giants’ loss to the Redskins in Week 15
at MetLife Stadium, he and Nicks felt like the receivers were hesitant because
of the cold weather. </p>


The pair plan to make the change against the Packers in their Divisional
playoff game Sunday even with the temperature predicted to be between 23 and 27
degrees, according to Weather.com.</p>


“We’ll just come out with no sleeves and just mentally be ready to go,” Cruz
said, noting that Nicks initiated the idea. “[Against Washington] I felt like as
a corpse, we just came out and we were too worried about the cold and worried
about what we were gonna wear and be warm out there as opposed to just focusing
on what the task was at hand. It kind of stopped our progress a little bit on
the offensive end.”</p>


In that game against the Redskins, the Giants were held to 10 points, and
Nicks had a drop that possibly cost the Giants a touchdown.</p>


Cruz said it won’t be that bad at Lambeau Field because the Giants aren’t
outside all day long. And they won’t be just sitting around, either.</p>


“If we’re only there a few hours and half of the time we’re on the field
running around,” Cruz said, “so as long as we can just mentally stay in the game
and not worry about being cold and any of that, we’ll be OK.”</p>


Cruz, a New Jersey native, said this could be the coldest game of his
football life.</p>


“If it’s in the teens, probably. Probably, yeah. Coldest one I played in at
UMass was probably I think it was like the low 30s,” he said. “It was just wind
and cold and more wind so it was just awful.”
</p></div>VIDEO: SERBY, HALE ON GIANTS-PACKERS (http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/giantsblog/video_serby_hale_on_giants_packers_6Fg0wH19GOFtLO3 GktptWL)

"Post reporter Mark Hale and columnist Steve Serby talk about the Giants
playoff showdown with the Packers.<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">


The pair discuss the first meeting between the two teams, the Giants
defensive line and the play of Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers."
</p>
</div>##

GIANTS LOOKING TO USE BIG PLAY PASSES TO DEFEAT PACKERS (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/big_blue_ans_big_ay_party_MOiXP2bmLwi7GVOXEO52lL)

Excerpt: "Eli Manning completed 359 passes this season but only five of them went to
Travis Beckum, the sometimes out-of-sight, out-of-mind tight end.<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">


It might as well have been a bright flare sent rocketing into the sky as
Beckum stunned the Packers and perhaps even his Giants teammates in the first
few minutes with a zigzag, change-of-direction 67-yard touchdown excursion on
Dec. 4, the first time these teams met. And now, for the rematch, Beckum says
the big plays should keep on coming because, after watching the Packers on tape,
it’s apparent there are defensive holes just waiting for the Giants to fill with
points in Sunday’s NFC divisional playoff game at Lambeau Field.</p>
<div id="intext_area_middle" class="intext_area narrow">
<div class="block ad wrap quigo">
</div></div>


“I don’t know if it’s necessarily double moves, you just see guys flat-out
getting beat,’’ Beckum said yesterday when asked what he’s seen from the
Packers’ secondary this season. “I don’t know if it’s miscommunication in the
secondary or what, but there’s been several times you’ve seen guys just run past
them. It’s very exciting. We have 67 big-play passes so we look to do that
throughout the game and hopefully capitalize on every one we throw up.’’</p>


<a href="http://www.nypost.com/blogs/giantsblog" target="_blank">UPDATES FROM
OUR GIANTS BLOG</a> </p>


<a href="http://www.nypost.com/sports/giants" target="_blank">COMPLETE GIANTS
COVERAGE</a> </p>


A big-play pass is defined as a reception of 20 or more yards and, in a
confluence of strength vs. weakness, the Giants specialize in getting them and
the Packers specialize in giving them up. Consider that the Giants defense, no
rock of stability in pass coverage, allowed 58 big-play passes during the
regular season. The Packers allowed 71, including four to the Giants in their
38-35 last-second victory. The Giants got receptions of 67 yards (Beckum), 51
(Hakeem Nicks), 42 and 22 (Victor Cruz) as Eli Manning might as well have used
binoculars to scan all the open targets he spotted far down the field.</p>


“I think the deep balls are there,’’ Beckum said. “Obviously they have a
couple of standout players on defense, but we got to capitalize on what they
give us. You look at their numbers, they’re not very good at all, so whatever
they’re kind of weak at, we’re going to try to exploit that.’’</p>


No, the numbers are not very good. They couldn’t be worse. The Packers are
dead-last in the NFL in pass defense, giving up 299.8 yards per game and the
4,798 passing yards they’ve given up is the most in NFL history. Of that
staggering total, 347 were launched from Manning’s right arm. The Packers led
the league in interceptions with 31, so they can take it away, but they also
give it up and the Giants are planning to take what’s there once again.</p>


As they say, the eye in the sky don’t lie. It’s right there on film. </p>


“Receivers getting open and just catching the ball and making plays,’’ Mario
Manningham said of what he’s gleaned out of studying the Packers pass defense.
“I feel like we should have a good game. I see a lot of people getting open.
That’s the type of scheme their defense is. They play different coverages and
leave different spots open.’’ Read more...
</p></div>CRUZ &amp; NICKS SAVOR SHOOTOUT (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/cruz_nicks_savor_shootout_ciyUF1On5103pszcCZY7FN)

"If MVP-to-be Aaron Rodgers and his prolific Packers insist on turning
Sunday’s NFC divisional playoff showdown into a shootout, here is the warning to
them from Elite Eli Manning and his explosive Giants receivers:<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">


Go ahead, make our day!</p>


If the Giants discover they have walked into a green-and-gold ambush, they
are certain they will be able to fight fire with fire and set Lambeau Field
ablaze.</p>


Why?</p>


Manning has his entire arsenal of weaponry healthy and is well-equipped to
come out guns ablazin’.</p>


And they see more holes in the 32d-ranked Packers defense than there are in
one of those foam cheeseheads.
</p>“In their secondary at least, they like to gamble a lot,” Victor Cruz said,
“which means they either win or they lose big, which explains why they lead the
league in interceptions, and lead the league in giving up the big play. We
understand that, we’ve seen it on film, and we see that there’s different areas
that we can take advantage of. And hopefully we can do that this Sunday.”<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">


Hakeem Nicks: “I see we can take advantage of certain things that they do
within their schemes of the defense. Definitely not a group that you can
overlook — there’s some guys that definitely got great play-making ability in
their secondary, and I think they feed off of turnovers (plus-24). So, as long
as we take care of the things we need to take care of within our offense we’ll
be fine. ... Their corners and their secondary like to guess a lot on certain
routes and you could take advantage of it with certain plays and the routes that
you’re running.”</p>


Manning actually out-Packed the Pack in the 38-35 loss last month. Rodgers’
crew scored 31, with Clay Matthews contributing an early Pick 6. </p>


“When everybody’s rolling, when everybody’s healthy, everybody’s ready to go,
it’s hard to key in on one specific person, it’s hard to double-team one guy,
focus on one guy, ’cause in our offense, we can hit you from different places,
different areas of the field with different personnel and different people,”
Cruz said. “So anytime we can get everybody at full strength, full health, this
offense can be very dangerous.”</p>


The Giants always strive for balance and their running game awakened from its
slumber with a vengeance against the Falcons. That only makes Manning’s
play-action threat that much more deadly.</p>


“We’re a dangerous corps,” Nicks said. “You can’t just double any one of us.
I feel like all of us are No. 1 receivers. Within our offense, you try to take
one guy away, then it opens up for the other two guys. You try to take two guys
away, it opens up for the third receiver and the tight end as well. Especially
with the way our running game is going right now, I feel like our offense is
definitely going upbeat.” </p>


The Falcons took Cruz away, and Nicks torched them.</p>


“A lot of people don’t credit [Nicks] for his underneath routes,” Cruz said.
“His underneath routes are great, and he’s able to maneuver between defenses and
catch the ball as he did and turned it up and made a few people miss and was off
to the races.”</p>


Mario Manningham is as healthy as he’s been in a long time. </p>


“He stretches the field,” Cruz said. “He works the back side of the defense,
and he’s over there singled up a lot of the time, and he gets the one-on-one
matchups and he’s just gonna take advantage of that. And that’s where he
excels.”</p>


Tight end Jake Ballard, also getting healthier, caught The Touchdown That
Wasn’t in the earlier meeting with the Packers.</p>


“A lot of guys focus on him for his blocking and stuff like that,” Cruz said,
“but he’s deceptive when he gets out in those routes, and he has great hands and
he can catch the ball and he’s strong so it’s hard to tackle him at times, he
can make a few people miss. So anytime he’s out there giving us a full strength
of his ability, [he] gives us a different dynamic.”</p>


Cruz chuckled when I asked what he has observed about No. 80.</p>


“He’s a guy — I’m gonna refer to myself in third person — he works hard every
down. He’s a guy that no matter what play is called, he’s gonna go out there and
give his full effort. And he’s slowly understanding what [the Packers are]
doing, especially coming from playing them one time, and he understands that he
has to be able to get open for his quarterback.”</p>


And does he ever.</p>


“He’s just a playmaker,” Nicks said.</p>


How about you?</p>


“The same,” Nicks said.</p>


The quarterback?</p>


“Once you get in the game, you play to the circumstances of the game,”
Manning said.</p>


Doesn’t every quarterback relish a shootout?</p>


“Not exactly,” Manning said. “You want to be efficient in your offense. I
think every quarterback wants to score a lot of points and have your defense
play great and not have it be a shootout, be a one-sided, scoring all the
points.”</p>


But if the Giants have to be Dirty Harry, they are locked and loaded.</p>


Go ahead. Make their day."</p></div>GIANTS' DE PIERRE-PAUL KEEP UP CONFIDENCE (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/jpp_not_backing_down_kQZ5fVDNREXsfI0FcIdl8N)

Excerpt: "Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul doesn’t understand why everyone is so
interested in his guaranteeing a victory over the Packers in their NFC
Divisional game Sunday.<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 their right mind, who is gonna say their team is gonna lose when somebody
asks you that question?” he asked during yesterday’s media session at the Giants
headquarters. "You have to go out there and say you’re gonna win.”</p>


The newest star on the Giants defensive line said none of his teammates has
taken issue with his prediction, either.
</p>“People came up to me and asked what I said, and it came from the heart,” he
said. “If we go out there and play like we’re supposed to play, like we did last
Sunday [against Atlanta], we’re gonna win.”<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">


Pierre-Paul tied for the Giants’ team lead with six solo tackles in Sunday’s
24-2 Wild Card victory over the Falcons. It was Pierre-Paul’s latest strong
showing in his second NFL season, a year in which he has vaulted to among the
elite defensive players in the NFL after recording 16-1/2 sacks and being named
a first-team All-Pro.</p>


Even amidst all of his success this season, teammates and coaches alike have
repeatedly said that the 23-year-old blossoming superstar still has plenty to
learn, something he does not mind hearing.</p>


“That just goes to show that there’s a lot for me to learn,” he said. “I can
get better, and when I do get better, there’s gonna be trouble.”</p>


Speaking of trouble, Pierre-Paul and the rest of the Giants defense have to
try to figure out how to slow down the Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’
high-octane offense in order to fulfill the young defensive end’s guarantee." Read more...
</p></div></div>GIANTS' DBS AREN'T AFRAID OF PACKERS (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/big_blue_dbs_won_rolle_over_kQ1FmRZGXxDTHUTWWzeZwJ )

Excerpt: "Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Jermichael Finley ... the list of Packers
passing weapons goes on and on. <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">


But Giants defensive back Antrel Rolle isn’t afraid. He knows the Packers are
a terrific team, but he doesn’t believe they’re unstoppable.</p>


“They lost one game all year. I think that speaks for itself. But me
personally, myself going into a game mentally, I don’t put any team on a
pedestal,” Rolle said yesterday. “I feel like every team can go out there and be
beaten, and I definitely feel like we have a chance of going out there and
beating them this upcoming Sunday.</p>
<div id="intext_area_middle" class="intext_area narrow">
<div class="block ad wrap quigo">
</div></div>


“We’re coming in here expecting to win this game.”
</p>Rolle is coming off a few superb games — the Giants’ safety/third cornerback
had a huge interception of Tony Romo in the division-clinching Week 17 win over
the Cowboys, and he tied for the team high with nine tackles in the Wild Card
rout of the Falcons.<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">


Come Sunday in Green Bay, Rolle and the rest of the Giants’ secondary will
have to thwart Aaron Rodgers and his receiving corps of Nelson, Jennings,
Finley, James Jones and Donald Driver in the Divisional round.</p>


“I understand that they’re an awesome opponent. But then again, so are we,”
Rolle said. “We understand they have weapons. Every team in the NFL has weapons.
Every team in the NFL has those elite guys. And they have a lot of them. But at
the same time, so do we.” Read more...
</p>GIANTS MUST DEAL WITH PACKERS' MATTHEWS, FINLEY (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/williams_not_too_green_8ED8l0i303MJJBnJ0wzOMK)

Excerpt: "What makes Kevin Boothe marvel about Packers linebacker Clay Matthews is how
relentless Matthews is. The Giants guard says Matthews has a “non-stop motor,”
one that incessantly keeps him going.<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">


To prepare for Green Bay’s star linebacker, whom he will face in an NFC
Divisional playoff game Sunday, the Giants had rookie linebacker Jacquian
Williams play him yesterday in practice. Williams wore a red No. 52 pinnie (same
number as Matthews) and simulated him the same way he has done this season with
Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware.</p>


And according to Boothe, Williams imitated Matthews’ motor pretty well.</p>
<div id="intext_area_middle" class="intext_area narrow">
<div class="block ad wrap quigo">
</div></div>“Jacquian has a lot of energy,” Boothe said. “I don’t know if he’s exactly
like Clay. Might need a wig on or something.”


Either way, Williams will be critical this week. He will be both helping the
Giants offense get set for Matthews, and preparing himself to defend one of the
Packers’ toughest weapons: tight end Jermichael Finley.</p>


In the Week 13 meeting, Finley was a nightmare for the Giants, catching six
passes for 87 yards and a touchdown. Of his catches, every one either went for a
first down or a touchdown, including a 24-yard catch that opened the Packers’
game-winning drive. Finley’s numbers would have been even more impressive had it
not been for his three drops.</p>


Williams was matched up with Finley at times, and both he and fellow
linebacker Michael Boley will be the Giants who figure to draw him again. Those
two are the Giants’ most athletic linebackers and tend to draw tight end
coverage. The Giants have fared well recently against tight ends, most recently
holding Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez to four grabs for 44 yards.</p>


“[Finley’s] a speed guy. I’m a speed guy,” Williams said. “It was a good
matchup. He’s a good athlete. But we’re coming to play football.”</p>


Boley was part of the Giants’ defense against the Packers in Week 13, but it
was his first game back after missing two games with a hamstring injury. He said
yesterday he was “about 70 percent” in that game, and he played far fewer snaps
than normal because of the injury.</p>


With his speed, the 6-foot-5, 247-pound Finley, who caught 55 passes for 767
yards and eight touchdowns, is a glorified receiver, according to Giants safety
Kenny Phillips. Williams, a sixth-round pick who played at South Florida with
Jason Pierre-Paul, is a superb athlete. As Williams said, it’s speed vs.
speed." Read more...
</p>GIANTS' KICKER COULD BE HERO AGAIN (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/tynes_plays_it_just_for_kicks_U2ENmW3KR1If2BE08K62 SI)

Excerpt: "Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes knows how much his game-winning field goal
against the Packers in the 2008 NFC Championship has meant for his career.<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">


“I wouldn’t be talking to you right now,” Tynes said yesterday with a laugh.
“If you miss three kicks in the fourth quarter of a championship game, I assume
that I probably wouldn’t be here, and I was on a one-year deal at the time
anyway.</p>


“I’ve done a great job since then, I’ve had a nice career here, but
obviously, you do kind of think, ‘What if I didn’t make that kick?’

</p>When the time came for Tynes to kick that 47-yarder in overtime at frigid
Lambeau Field, he took the field before coach Tom Coughlin even had a chance to
send him out there.<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">


“ to make amends for two pretty poor kicks in the fourth quarter,”
he said. “The fact that I wanted to keep my job, the fact that I wanted to
continue playing in this league . . . all of those things.</p>


“I was like, ‘Hey, I have to go out here and make this kick.’ ”</p>


* Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings said his Twitter
warning to the Giants on Monday was in response to Jason
Pierre-Paul’s guarantee of a win over Green Bay.</p>


“The team that kept us from our potential Super Bowl in ’08 is back on
[i]our turf now. Trust me, we haven’t forgotten,” Jennings tweeted
Monday.</p>


Jennings said yesterday he had no reason to regret the message or worry that
it might fire up the Giants.</p>


“After what we heard? Fire them up? We didn’t guarantee a win,” Jennings
said. “I think they fired themselves up, didn’t they [with Pierre-Paul’s
guarantee]?</p>


“My tweet was my tweet. I guarantee they remember that game. I just voiced
it. We remember it, too. We took the bitter bite of that sandwich. They
outplayed us that game, but that was four or five years ago.”</p>


* It was a shockingly bright and balmy 45 degrees in Green Bay yesterday,
prompting Packers coach Mike McCarthy to reveal he turned his
cap around during practice “to get some sun on my forehead.”</p>


The forecast called for the weather to turn snowy and much colder as soon as
today, but the prediction for Sunday (especially compared to the minus-2 degree
kickoff of the Giants-Packers NFC title game four years ago) is for a relatively
mild 21 degrees and extremely clear conditions." Read more...
</p>PUNTER'S PLAN IS OUT OF BOUNDS (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/punter_plan_is_out_of_bounds_wSnlRdjUVfNMvrzPQnlow K)

"If a punter can toss a shutout — actually, it would be kick a shutout — then
Steve Weatherford did it in last week’s 24-2 playoff beatdown of the Falcons.
Now he’s looking to do it again against an even better return man.<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">


“It’s the NFL, so every single team we play their best athlete is the punt
returner,’’ Weatherford said yesterday. “It’s a big challenge for me every week,
doesn’t matter if it’s Randall Cobb or Patrick Peterson or DeSean Jackson.
There’s no off week for me, no week where Tom [Coughlin]’s like, ‘Just smoke it
down the middle.’ ’’</p>
<div id="intext_area_middle" class="intext_area narrow">
<div class="block ad wrap quigo">
</div></div>


No, Coughlin never, ever wants to see his punter put the ball anywhere but
near the sideline or, better yet, off the playing field entirely. Jeff Feagles
used to always joke/complain that no matter how many punts he put out of bounds,
Coughlin always wanted more, more, more.</p>“With Coughlin, that’s the gameplan every week, it’s ‘just put it out of
bounds so I don’t have to worry about it,’ ’’ Weatherford said.


It is no wonder Coughlin described Weatherford as having “a great day’’
against the Falcons. He punted the ball four times: One was a touchback, the
other three sailed out of bounds. The Falcons’ return man, Eric Weems, was
rendered useless. </p>


“I don’t think he got a finger on the ball,’’ Weatherford said proudly.</p>


Cobb is second in the league in kickoff returns at 27.7 yards, making it
imperative that Lawrence Tynes kick it deep. Cobb, an impact rookie, is seventh
in the NFL in punt returns, averaging 11.3 yards and had an 80-yard touchdown
return against the Vikings.</p>


Weatherford is looking for the same thing.
</p>“In the first half we had trouble getting our offense going and so they
relied on me a little bit to keep us in it. Me being able to do it felt really
good,’’ he said. “Whenever I’m able to put the ball down inside the 10-yard line
consistently, that makes me a big fan of the defensive coordinator.’’<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">


It doesn’t hurt with the head coach, either."</p>WEEK OFF MAY BE CURSE FOR PACJERS, NOT BLESSING (http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/giants/say_bye_bye_to_the_pack_ge30pQYAnRCbzIiuu30MaO)

Excerpt: "Even the Packers admit Dunta Robinson had a point last Sunday.<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">


Robinson, the Falcons veteran cornerback, stood in the Atlanta locker room
after a 24-2 NFC Wild Card loss to the Giants and predicted the Giants would
have a decided edge against rested Green Bay this weekend because of one word:
momentum.</p>


The Packers did not dispute that yesterday, mainly because they rode a
similar wave of energy all the way to a victory in the Super Bowl last
season.</p>“There’s definitely some truth to that,” Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings
said, as 15-1 Green Bay prepared to play the underdog Giants in an NFC
Divisional game Sunday at Lambeau Field. “You play to put yourself in this
position, to give yourself time to self-scout and get guys healthy, but there’s
always that window of sluggishness to avoid.”
<div id="intext_area_middle" class="intext_area narrow">
<div class="block ad wrap quigo">
</div></div>


At least in the regular season, the Packers have shut that window as well as
any team in the NFL under sixth-year coach Mike McCarthy. Green Bay is 5-1 in
games immediately following the bye week since McCarthy took over, with the five
victories coming by an average margin of 15.4 points.</p>


But that is not an entirely valid comparison when you factor in the do-or-die
nature of the playoffs, as both the Giants and Jets can attest right along with
the Packers.</p>


The Giants knocked off the Cowboys after a bye week in 2007, going on to win
the Super Bowl, and the Packers did the same to the Falcons last year. And the
Jets upset the Chargers and Patriots after bye weeks each of the past two
seasons.</p>


McCarthy appeared unfazed yesterday by the notion of the bye week, the reward
for having one of the two best records in the conference, having a negative
effect on a team.</p>


“At the end of the day, it’s a players’ game,” McCarthy said. “The ability to
get your players healthy and to [practice] certain techniques, concepts and
fundamentals is valuable. It’s good to regroup and get yourself back on
course.”</p>


The Packers certainly used the time off to get healthy. Although offensive
tackle Chad Clifton, wideout Randall Cobb and linebacker Rob Francois were
limited in practice yesterday, McCarthy strongly said all would play Sunday.</p>


“It’s definitely a different feeling to have a lot of guys healthy,” McCarthy
said. “This is as healthy as we’ve been in quite some time. I feel very strongly
about everybody on the injury report.”</p>


Jennings, the Packers Pro Bowl-bound No. 1 receiver, welcomed the break. He
missed Green Bay’s final three games with a knee injury that might have
prevented him from playing in the Wild Card round but will not be a factor
Sunday.</p>


Asked if the Packers were worried about rust this week, Aaron Rodgers
shrugged it off.</p>


“No, I don’t think so,” said Rodgers, who also skipped the Packers’ Week 17
win over the Lions." Read more...
</p>http://www.nypost.com/sports/giants
</div></div></div></div></div></div></div></div></div><font size="4"><font size="3">
</font></font><u><font size="4">THE BERGEN RECORD</font></u>
</div></div></div><div><div><div>
RECEIVERS SPOT CHINKS IN PACKERS' ARMOR (http://www.northjersey.com/sports/pro_sports/football/137162213_Receivers_spot_chinks_in_the_Packer_armo r.html)

Excerpt: "They see the vulnerabilities.<div id="storybody">


They see the holes, the gambles that the aggressive Packers secondary takes,
creating opportunities down the field.</p>


And the confident Giants receivers cannot wait to exploit them after watching
Green Bay game film.</p>


"You just see guys flat-out getting beat," tight end Travis Beckum said. "I
don’t know if it’s miscommunication in the secondary or what, but there’s been
several times that you’ve seen guys just run past them."</p>


The Giants (10-7) may need to take advantage, likely facing a shootout Sunday
when they face MVP front-runner Aaron Rodgers and the Packers (15-1) at Lambeau
Field in their NFC divisional playoff game. They lost that kind of game to Green
Bay, 38-35, last month in their previous meeting.</p>


Eli Manning’s targets are as healthy and complete as they have been all
season. Mario Manningham’s knee is better. Jake Ballard is back after spraining
his knee.</p>


And Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks formed the first 1,000-yard receiving duo in
team history.</p>


"We’re a dangerous corps," Nicks said. "I think you can’t just double any one
of us. I feel like all of us are No. 1 receivers within our offense."</p>


The Giants receivers and the Green Bay secondary could form a combustible
combination.</p>


The Giants produced 67 pass plays of 20 yards or more in the regular season,
and a league-best 18 of 40 yards or longer.</p>


They will face the Packers’ aggressive, winner-take-all defense.</p>


That gambling style has yielded an NFL-best 31 interceptions and tied for the
league best with 38 takeaways, yielding a plus-24 turnover ratio.</p>


But that style of play also resulted in 71 pass plays of 20 yards or more and
the league’s worst-ranked defense (411.6).</p>


"I think the deep balls are there," Beckum said. "Obviously they have a
couple of standout players on defense, but we’ve got to capitalize on what they
give us. You look at their numbers — they’re not very good at all." Read more...
</p></div>EXPECT GIANTS, ELI MANNING TO CONTINUE DEEP PASSING GAME VS. PACKERS' SECONDARY (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/expect-ny-giants-continue-deep-passing-game-packers-article-1.1004931)

Excerpt: "The Giants came out firing against the Packers the first time they played and
they never stopped. They attacked their secondary at every angle, and ripped
through them for 447 total yards.<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">


And in their rematch on Sunday against the Packers’ league-worst defense, the
Giants see no reason why they won’t be able to do that again.</p>


“In the secondary they like to gamble a lot,” Victor Cruz (http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Victor+Cruz) said. “They
like to take a lot of chances or risks, which means they either win or lose big,
which explains why they lead the league in interceptions and lead the league in

Mod_C
01-12-2012, 10:48 AM
Lots of new today as we get ready to take on the Packers.

G-Men Surg.
01-12-2012, 11:57 AM
Thanks RF !

NY_Eli
01-12-2012, 12:10 PM
Every day, I truly marvel at the professionalism of these news threads.

It looks really nice, it's easy to read, it's completely exhaustive of the literature, and the callout to prayers with the philbin family is very kind and respectful.

Giants fans like me are lucky to have such a great source of news.

RF, I think you are ALL-IN on the boards during this playoff run!

THANKS FOR YOUR HARD WORK! GO GMEN!

BigBlue wins
01-12-2012, 12:12 PM
Man, these articles are getting me so pumped for Sunday!!

lttaylor56
01-12-2012, 12:27 PM
Thanks RF! I cannot take the stress any longer....we need to play this game and beat the packs ***!

BigBlue1971
01-12-2012, 12:50 PM
thanks much for your efforts Roanoke! the "library" is completely full! lol</P>


G-Men very confident going into this game. </P>

RoanokeFan
01-12-2012, 01:05 PM
thanks much for your efforts Roanoke! the "library" is completely full! lol</p>


G-Men very confident going into this game. </p>

[Y] Confidence is a good thing in these situations. BELIEVE!

RoanokeFan
01-12-2012, 01:05 PM
Thanks RF! I cannot take the stress any longer....we need to play this game and beat the packs ***!

Just think how good you will feel Monday morning [;)]

RoanokeFan
01-12-2012, 01:08 PM
Every day, I truly marvel at the professionalism of these news threads.

It looks really nice, it's easy to read, it's completely exhaustive of the literature, and the callout to prayers with the philbin family is very kind and respectful.

Giants fans like me are lucky to have such a great source of news.

RF, I think you are ALL-IN on the boards during this playoff run!

THANKS FOR YOUR HARD WORK! GO GMEN!

You are very welcome. The better informed we fans are the more we can understand what's really going on. of course, not everything written is gospel, but that's why we have the ability to reason and make up our own minds.

I believe the New York Football GIANTS is the best franchise in the NFL.

For me, there is no understanding the pain the Philbin family is going through. All we can do is keep them close to our hearts during this most difficult period.

GameTime
01-12-2012, 01:37 PM
Every day, I truly marvel at the professionalism of these news threads. It looks really nice, it's easy to read, it's completely exhaustive of the literature, and the callout to prayers with the philbin family is very kind and respectful. Giants fans like me are lucky to have such a great source of news. RF, I think you are ALL-IN on the boards during this playoff run! THANKS FOR YOUR HARD WORK! GO GMEN!

You are very welcome. The better informed we fans are the more we can understand what's really going on. of course, not everything written is gospel, but that's why we have the ability to reason and make up our own minds.

I believe the New York Football GIANTS is the best franchise in the NFL.

For me, there is no understanding the pain the Philbin family is going through. All we can do is keep them close to our hearts during this most difficult period.
</P>


thanks Ro....</P>


and yes....</P>


you should be the board MVP for sure. You have my vote....</P>


another day closer to Sunday....</P>


</P>

nygsb42champs
01-12-2012, 03:07 PM
Thanks for all the news RF.

ashleymarie
01-12-2012, 03:25 PM
Thanks RF. Congrats to Victor Cruz on his brand new daughter. Many years of joy are ahead of him.

NY_Eli
01-12-2012, 03:25 PM
Every day, I truly marvel at the professionalism of these news threads.

It looks really nice, it's easy to read, it's completely exhaustive of the literature, and the callout to prayers with the philbin family is very kind and respectful.

Giants fans like me are lucky to have such a great source of news.

RF, I think you are ALL-IN on the boards during this playoff run!

THANKS FOR YOUR HARD WORK! GO GMEN!

You are very welcome.* The better informed we fans are the more we can understand what's really going on. of course, not everything written is gospel, but that's why we have the ability to reason and make up our own minds.

I believe the New York Football GIANTS is the best franchise in the NFL.

For me, there is no understanding the pain the Philbin family is going through.* All we can do is keep them close to our hearts during this most difficult period.


I agree 100% with everything you said [Y]

RoanokeFan
01-12-2012, 03:50 PM
Thanks for all the news RF.

[B]

RoanokeFan
01-12-2012, 03:51 PM
Thanks RF. Congrats to Victor Cruz on his brand new daughter. Many years of joy are ahead of him.

[Y]

lttaylor56
01-12-2012, 04:15 PM
Thanks RF! I cannot take the stress any longer....we need to play this game and beat the packs ***!

Just think how good you will feel Monday morning* [;)]
I Believe Eli Can Fly!!!

RoanokeFan
01-12-2012, 04:50 PM
Thanks RF! I cannot take the stress any longer....we need to play this game and beat the packs ***!

Just think how good you will feel Monday morning [;)]
I Believe Eli Can Fly!!!

We'll soon see lol

lttaylor56
01-13-2012, 10:42 AM
Thanks RF! I cannot take the stress any longer....we need to play this game and beat the packs ***!

Just think how good you will feel Monday morning* [;)]
I Believe Eli Can Fly!!!

We'll soon see* lol
Eli can touch the Sky haha