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    Excerpt: "There was an upside to Kenny Phillips’ knee injury this week.


    The Giants’ safety underwent an MRI to
    gauge the severity of a sprained medial collateral ligament suffered on Sunday
    against the Green Bay Packers and determine whether he had a shot to play this
    coming weekend against the Dallas Cowboys.

    While looking at the MCL – and the anterior cruciate ligament, which remained
    intact – Phillips saw the cartilage inside his kneecap, which had been repaired
    during microfracture
    surgery in 2009

    And he liked what he saw.

    “It was a great look,” Phillips said with a grin. “I got a sneak peek at it
    and it looked real good. It improved even more. So that was a real good thing to

    But back to the issue at hand. Phillips did some jogging and backpedaling
    outside today while his teammates practiced inside. He thinks he’ll do some more
    work on Friday but it doesn’t sound like he’ll practice.

    Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said the team hasn’t ruled out Phillips,
    so the Giants are holding out hope he’ll be ready to go.

    “Checking out the MRI and talking to the trainers they definitely said it’s a
    thing that could take 2-3 weeks but it depends on how you feel,” Phillips said.
    “I don’t feel any pain right now so I’m optimistic.” Read more...


    "The chatter between the Giants and
    Dallas Cowboys leading up to their crucial meeting Sunday night continued
    Thursday, with some strikes from the Giants' end.

    Wednesday, it was the Cowboys’
    star linebacker DeMarcus Ware
    and cornerback Mike Jenkins going after two
    outspoken Cowboy haters: Justin Tuck and Brandon Jacobs.

    In response to Tuck calling Cowboys Stadium “a dump,” Ware said Tuck simply
    wishes he was a Cowboy like everyone else.

    Tuck doesn’t see himself in a Cowboy uniform – football or not.

    “Me wanting to be a Cowboy?” he asked himself. “Hmm, well I don’t wear
    Wranglers, I don’t wear cowboy hats or boots or those belts that – what do you
    call those? – yeah, the buckle belts. I don’t wear none of that. And I don’t
    need a star on my helmet to tell me I’m pretty good at what I do…I plan on
    retiring as a Giant.”

    Tuck said he doesn’t even recall calling the new Cowboys Stadium “a dump,”
    but he may have.

    “I’ll tell you what, if y’all find it, I’ll live up to it,” he said. “But I
    don’t remember it. Although if you want me to say it, I can say the stadium
    before this stadium they built was pretty…”

    He didn’t come up with an adjective, but you get the picture.

    On the other side of the locker room, Jacobs faced questions about Jenkins
    calling him a bully. Jacobs wasn’t phased – if anything, it was a compliment for
    the 6-foot-4, 260-pound bruiser.

    “I am a bully,” asserted, Jacobs, who for his part called Cowboys Stadium a
    beautiful palace. “They can call me what they want. I think people who call out
    bullies are afraid of bullies.”

    Does that mean he thinks the Cowboys are afraid of him?

    “If you call me a bully, that’s how I see it,” Jacobs said. “They’re just
    sitting back, waiting for us to come there and I think we’re going in there
    ready to play football.

    “If you go in there and bring it to them and keep bringing it to them all
    game long, somebody’s going to break, somebody’s going to break. Either the
    person who’s bringing it is going to be tired of bringing it or they’re going to
    get tired of trying to stop the person bringing it and they’re going to stop.
    Whoever wants it bad enough.”



    "Tom Coughlin said when Ahmad Bradshaw returned to playing he probably
    wouldn't practice much, and that's been precisely the case this week.

    Bradshaw is not practicing for a second straight day after playing on Sunday
    against the Packers. It's his best shot at keeping his fractured foot healthy
    between games. Last week, he practiced on Friday, so we'll see if that's the
    case this week.

    Also out is Bradshaw's backfield mate in Brandon Jacobs, who is dealing with
    a hamstring injury. Indications are Jacobs, who will address reporters today,
    should be on the field on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

    Safety Kenny Phillips remains sidelined with a sprained knee. He did only
    light jogging on the field outside while the team practiced indoors.

    Meanwhile, down in Texas, Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware (burner) has
    returned to practice.

    Elsewhere on the injury reporr:

    --Center David Baas (neck/head) is still out. We'll see if we can get some
    further clarification on what's ailing him. He seems very unlikely to play this

    --Defensive end Dave Tollefson (knee) returned after sitting out on
    Wednesday. As expected, fellow D-end Osi Umenyiora (ankle/knee) remains out and
    won't play Sunday.

    --Linebacker Michael Boley (hamstring) is still sidelined, as are a pair of
    rookie linebackers: Spencer Paysinger (hamstring) and Mark Herzlich (ankle).

    Two guys who were limited on Wednesday - wide receiver Mario Manningham
    (knee) and CB Prince Amukamara (back) - are practicing again."


    Excerpt: "Much as David Diehl said he could step right back in at left tackle as if
    he’d never left, the truth is there was an adjustment period.

    It lasted about two quarters in New Orleans.

    “I talk to those guys when they come off, so in the second half, after the
    offense went right down and scored, he was like, ‘I’m comfortable now,’?” backup
    lineman and “jumbo” tight end Jim Cordle recalled Wednesday. “That’s pretty
    incredible against some very good players. He’s a great player. Tackle suits him

    It’s now been two games since Diehl
    slid from guard to tackle
    , where he played most of the previous four
    seasons, to bail out the Giants after
    Will Beatty suffered a detached retina.

    In those games, the Giants have
    scored 59 total points, have allowed only two sacks after giving up an average
    of two per game the first 11 weeks and have run for 4.1 yards per carry,
    including an 11-yard gain behind Diehl and Jake Ballard against the Green Bay

    As always with the offensive line, it’s about more than Diehl. But having him
    at a key position has helped a battered unit, and this weekend, he’ll be facing
    the league’s leading sacker and an old nemesis in DeMarcus Ware.

    Good thing for him he took the time to get comfortable.

    “You’re doing stuff practicing, but there’s nothing like that game speed,
    playing in that atmosphere,” Diehl said. “That second half, it was just getting
    back to being comfortable, getting back to taking your sets.

    “And when you do it on the road, it ain’t the easiest thing, especially
    playing in the Superdome. It’s loud and crazy and it’s a silent count half the
    time in your first game.”

    It was a little easier this past Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Diehl gave up
    zero sacks and, by an unofficial count, only two pressures on 41 pass plays.
    Meanwhile, he made life easier for left guard Mitch Petrus in his first NFL
    start and also helped Cordle along when he served as a tight end.

    “You can’t screw up if you listen to David Diehl,” Petrus said. “He’s going
    to make the right call.”

    Cordle, dubbed “The Jim of All Trades” at Ohio State, played four positions
    for the Buckeyes and three more in the NFL, so he appreciates Diehl’s
    versatility. In nine seasons with the Giants, Diehl has played four spots on the

    “And he could probably play center, too,” Cordle said.

    Jason Garrett isn’t surprised the fifth-round pick from Illinois has been so
    versatile over his successful career.

    “Right from the first day he showed up, you knew there was something about
    him,” said Garrett, a backup quarterback for the Giants from 2000-03 and now the
    head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. “Football was really important for him; it
    never seemed too big for him; he jumped in and battled right from the start
    against some really good players and really earned a spot on that team.

    “Everything he’s gotten since then really doesn’t surprise me because of the
    approach he took right from the outset.”


    Excerpt: "The Giants' Justin Tuck has not been
    shy to let his thoughts on the Dallas Cowboys be known. To say there's no love
    lost would be an understatement. And three seasons ago, after the two teams'
    first meeting at the new Cowboys Stadium, Tuck called the then-brand new $1.3
    billion stadium "a dump."

    Tuck reiterated his thoughts this week and DeMarcus Ware had a response.

    "He says that because maybe he wants to play here," Ware said of Tuck.
    "Everybody wants to play for the Cowboys. If I wasn't playing for Cowboys I
    would call it that too because I want to play for them."

    Sunday night will be the first of two chapters in the heated rivalry to be
    written in the next month. With both teams vying for the NFC East crown down the
    stretch, the race promises to be intense."


    Excerpt: "Giants safety Kenny Phillips was
    relieved when he found out his knee injury wasn’t a tear. Instead, his left knee
    has a sprained MCL, a different injury than what forced him to undergo
    microfracture surgery on the same knee in 2008.

    “When it first happens, you always think the worst,” Phillips said. “ I’m
    good. I feel much better.”

    Phillips, who missed today’s practice, said he’s day-to-day and his knee
    isn’t sore or stiff.

    “I expect to play,” Phillips said of suiting up on Sunday. “I haven’t been
    told otherwise.”

    CB Prince Amukamara said his back injury is one that dates
    to last season, his senior year at Nebraska, and has never forced him to miss a

    “I just know it comes and goes sometimes,” said Amukamara, who was limited
    today during practice. “Something probably just woke it up.”

    Amukamara said the pain could be the result of overcompensating for his foot
    injury."


    Excerpt: "Last year, Tony Ugoh didn’t return to football because he was 100 percent

    “I was good enough to come back,” Ugoh said today, “so I did.”

    Now, the newest Giant believes he’s back to full-strength, 15 months after
    the Indianapolis Colts waived him with an injury designation because of an
    undisclosed foot issue. Ugoh signed with the Detroit Lions in December and was
    with the team until August, when he left camp for a few days while reportedly
    pondering retirement. He was waived shortly thereafter.

    Ugoh, who was signed by the Giants to
    replace Stacy Andrews on the roster, says he’s healthy and focused now.

    “I want to be playing football,” he said. “The quicker I can get back to
    that, the happier I’ll be. It was definitely good to get another chance.” Read more...


    Excerpt: "Giants starting center David Baas appeared on Wednesday injury's report with
    what was listed as a neck injury and intense headaches. And in his daily press
    conference Tom Coughlin said the issue is "much more serious than a headache,"
    though it is unclear what exactly.

    "There's a lot more to it than that," Coughlin said. "He spent most of the
    last couple days doing tests and a lot of that is to try to eliminate things, as

    Coughlin said Baas, who was a last-minute
    scratch in Sunday's loss to the Packers
    , will undergo more tests today and
    his status is uncertain. Coughlin is reluctant to provide specific information
    on Baas until he gets more definitive information. Asked if the neck issue is
    related to the headaches, he indicated that's probably the case but wouldn't

    Baas' situation is another blow to a Giants offensive line that has lost two
    players -- starting left tackle Will Beatty and backup Stacy Andrews -- to
    injuries for the remainder of the season over the last few weeks.

    On Sunday, however, the makeshift offensive line -- with Kevin Boothe at
    center, Mitch Petrus at left guard and David Diehl at left tackle -- performed
    admirably. For the first time since Nov. 6 the team rushed for at least 100
    yards and the offense reeled off 35 points."



    Excerpt: "
    In the bye week before the biggest game of his life, Tony Romo took off for a
    mini-vacation to Cabo with then-girlfriend Jessica Simpson,
    sparking a controversy about his commitment to football.

    A few months after the Giants beat Romo and the Cowboys in that 2007 NFC
    divisional playoff game and went on to win the Super Bowl, Eli
    was in Cabo at a more appropriate time. He got married.

    In big moments, Manning’s timing has always been better than Romo’s.

    The Giants and Cowboys have stumbled their way through the first 12 games of
    the season and are left with little margin for error over the last four weeks in
    which they will play each other twice .

    The Cowboys (7-5) have a one-game lead in the NFC East over the Giants, who
    have lost four games in a row. In one of the biggest regular-season games in
    this long Giants-Cowboys rivalry, the Giants clearly have the edge at

    Manning has given the Giants reason to trust him in a big game. Romo has yet
    to play his best when the games mean the most. He can either be incredibly
    creative or when he makes a mistake, it looks like he just drew the play up in
    the dirt and let it fly.

    Manning is 4-3 in the playoffs and has been the Super Bowl MVP. Romo is 1-3
    and has never advanced past the divisional round.

    In the first playoff game of his career in 2006, Romo fumbled the snap as the
    holder on a 20-yard field goal attempt with just over one minute remaining.
    Dallas lost by one point.

    Manning has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league this season and
    it often seems he’s about all the Giants have going for them. Romo’s two
    turnovers in the fourth quarter lost the season opener against the Jets, and his
    three second-half interceptions against the Lions — two of them returned for
    touchdowns, the other setting up the game-winning touchdown — w ere the reason
    the Cowboys blew a 27-3 third quarter lead in the fourth game of the year.

    “Everybody last week was talking about Aaron Rodgers being
    the Super Bowl MVP and all that stuff,” Giants tackle David Diehl said
    Wednesday. “He’s a great quarterback and he’s having an unbelievable year. But
    we have the same thing on our side. Eli is having an unbelievable
    year.”


    Excerpt: "DeMarcus Ware has a
    simple theory about Justin Tuck.

    To the Dallas Cowboys’ pass-rusher, Tuck is nothing more than a desperate
    wannabe. And every time Tuck trashes the Cowboys, every time he talks about how
    much he “hates” Dallas and how he thinks Cowboys Stadium is a dump, Ware feels a
    sense of pity for the struggling Giants defensive lineman.

    “He says that because maybe he wants to play here,” Ware told reporters in
    Irving, Tex., on Wednesday. “Everybody wants to play for the Cowboys. If I
    wasn’t playing for the Cowboys I would call it that, too, because I want to play
    for them.”

    Get out your popcorn and get ready for the annual war of words between the
    Dallas Cowboys and the Giants. The two NFC East rivals will clash at Cowboys
    Stadium on Sunday night, but the verbal battle between both squads has already

    It started Wednesday, with the Cowboys slamming Brandon Jacobs and
    Tuck’s apparent Cowboy envy.

    Corner Mike Jenkins got it
    going, saying Giants big back Jacobs was nothing more than a big “bully.” And
    then there was Ware, the NFL’s sack leader, daring to accuse Giants defensive
    team captain Tuck of wishing for his very own Texas star-emblazoned helmet.

    The Giants weren’t around to respond to the comments — their locker room had
    closed an hour or so earlier — but they likely were expecting this. The rivalry
    between both teams has long been fierce, and the two targets of Dallas’ trash
    talk — Jacobs and Tuck — are usually vocal about their general disdain for all
    things Cowboys.

    Jacobs said years ago that he grew up hating the Cowboys, and he once slammed
    Dallas QB Tony Romo, saying he
    was “not a good passer, to be honest with you.” And has a year ever gone by when
    Tuck hasn’t ripped the Cowboys before a visit to Dallas?

    Both players have helped fuel the Giants to two straight wins over the
    Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium, but Ware hopes to end that run this year. Big Blue
    comes for the Cowboys’ “manhood” whenever it comes to Dallas, he said, but the
    Giants will leave empty-handed this time.

    “I hate anytime we play them,” Ware said. “It’s just not the Giants, because
    guess what, the team is trying to come in here and take your manhood. So it
    don’t matter who you’re playing.”


    "When Eli Manning put his
    signature on the wall of the visiting locker room in Cowboys Stadium two years
    ago, it may have offended the tenants, but it was also somehow fitting.

    In two career trips to Jerry Jones’ $1.2
    billion palace, Manning has played like the building belongs to him.

    There’s just something about that stadium — or trips to Dallas in general, or
    maybe it’s even just playing the Cowboys — that seems to bring out the best in
    the Giants’ quarterback. As he heads into another showdown down there on Sunday
    night, he’s 2-0 at Cowboys Stadium and 3-1 in his last four games in Dallas.

    And in those two games at Cowboys Stadium, Manning has been brilliant,
    completing 68.5% of his passes (50 of 73) for 636 yards, six touchdowns and
    three interceptions.

    “Playing Dallas is always a big game,” Manning said. “We know they’re
    talented. It’s on turf. It’s indoors. You always have good weather there. All
    those things make it good conditions for quarterbacks to go out and play

    Manning is 8-6 all time against one of the Giants’ biggest rivals, including
    his dramatic first NFL victory in the last game of the 2004 season and the
    Giants’ playoff win in Dallas on their way to Super Bowl XLII.

    He’s won five of his last seven against the Cowboys. Last year the Giants
    split the two games, but even in the loss at home, Manning was 33 of 48 for 373
    yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

    Manning, of course, did his best to downplay his success in Dallas — which
    includes three 300-yard games in seven trips and two four-touchdown
    performances. He even suggested it won’t be nearly as easy now that the Cowboys
    have a new defensive coordinator in Rob Ryan.

    Still, his teammates sense an air of confidence in their quarterback as they
    get ready for their biggest game of the year.

    “I think it’s definitely a place where he feels comfortable and a team he’s
    faced a bunch,” said receiver Victor Cruz, who’ll be
    playing his first game in Dallas. “He just feels comfortable against them. And
    he’s excited just like we are to go down there and do some good things.”

    “I don’t think it’s just the situation or scenario of being in Dallas, he’s
    confident of what he can do,” said linebacker Chase
    . “And we’re all confident enough to rally around him.”

    “I have the most confidence in Eli. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is,”
    said guard Chris Snee. “But
    I’d like a big game out of him this weekend for sure.”


    Excerpt: "
    Center David Baas said the “migraine-type” headaches he’s been suffering for
    the last few days stem from a neck injury he’s been dealing with all season. And
    he made it sound like there’s at least a possibility his condition could land
    him on injured reserve.

    “I really want to play football, but my health
    is very important to me,” Baas said in brief remarks to the media in the locker
    room on Wednesday afternoon. “They’re going to make the best

    Baas was vague about his condition and said that doctors are
    still testing him and evaluating the results. He’s been suffering headaches
    since Sunday, when he was a late scratch a few hours before the Giants’ 38-35
    loss to the Packers. Concern about his situation was ratcheted up earlier
    Wednesday when Tom Coughlin said it was “much
    more serious than a headache, obviously

    “I’m doing pretty good,”
    Baas said. “All I really have to say is I’ve had neck issues. I’ve been dealing
    with it pretty much all season. These issues have stemmed into migraine
    symptoms. Now we’re getting a lot of tests done and evaluations. I’m going to
    let the medical staff handle all that and make the right decision.

    “The neck issue definitely has been new. I’ve been pushing
    through it all season and trying to deal with it. We’ve been doing certain
    things to deal with it. The migraine-type headaches are new. It’s just something
    that’s kind of unexpected. I’ve just go to deal with it and we have to do what’s
    right for this team. The medical staff will make that decision.”

    if there was a chance his season could be over, Baas said “I ‘m not thinking
    about that at all. All I’m thinking about is this week and I’m going to do
    whatever they want me to do in terms of getting stuff tested out and looked at
    and be here for meetings and do whatever I can for getting treatment and go from


    The injury report

    Officially now, LB Michael Boley (hamstring), RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), RB
    Brandon Jacobs (hamstring), S Kenny Phillips (knee), DE Osi Umenyiora
    (ankle/knee), DE Dave Tollefson (knee), LB Mark Herzlich (ankle) and LB Spencer
    Paysinger (hamstring) did not practice. Neither, obviously, did Baas.

    CB Prince Amukamara (back) and WR Mario Manningham (knee) were limited." Read more...



    Excerpt: "One week ago, Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell showed a different
    side to himself for public consumption, lambasting his players for their effort
    and performance in a 49-24 loss in New Orleans.

    Fewell accused players of pulling up short on plays, which is another way of
    saying they quit on the field.

    One week later, Fewell looked back on his harsh words and has no regrets.

    “When you say, ‘Regret anything I said,’ I just spoke from the heart,’’
    Fewell said Thursday afternoon. “I didn’t try to demean our players or I didn’t
    try to demean anything about what we do or how we do it. I just tried to tell
    the truth, but I probably shouldn’t have said some things I said, but I just
    spoke from the heart.’’

    Fewell’s words did not go unheeded; his defense played with far more passion
    in last week’s 38-35 loss to the Packers. The defense allowed 31 points (the
    other touchdown came off an interception return) to Aaron Rodgers'
    offense."


    Excerpt: "Memo to DeMarcus Ware: Justin Tuck doesn’t want to play for the Cowboys.

    “Nah, I plan on retiring a Giant,’’ Tuck said Thursday afternoon.

    The day after the
    Cowboys lobbed a few silly insults and accusations at the Giants
    , the Giants
    lobbed a few back at the Cowboys. What it all means is probably not much, not
    until Sunday night’s NFC East first-place showdown inside Cowboys Stadium.

    Ware, the NFL’s sack leader with 15, started this Wednesday when someone
    dredged up a two-year old quote Tuck supposedly made calling brand-new Cowboys
    Stadium “crappy.’’ No one has been able to find that quote but Ware took it to
    mean Tuck is jealous.

    “He says that because maybe he wants to play here,’’ Ware said. “Everybody
    wants to play for the Cowboys.’’

    Does Tuck want to be a Cowboy?

    “I don’t wear Wranglers, I don’t wear Cowboy hats, or boots or those belts --
    what do you call those? -- one of those buckle belts,’’ Tuck said. “I don’t wear
    none of that. I don’t need a star on my helmet for anyone to tell me I’m, pretty
    good at what I do.’’

    Tuck denies ever saying anything negative about Cowboys Stadium.

    “I tell you what, you’all find it I’ll live up to it,’’ he said.

    As far as the rivalry with the Cowboys, Tuck repeated a line he’s used, of,
    probably every season:

    “They hate us, we hate them, that’s always going to be the case,’’ Tuck said.
    “We just don’t like ‘em.’’

    The noise didn’t stop with Ware. Cowboys cornerback Mike Jenkins called
    running back Brandon Jacobs “a big bully’’ for the way Jacobs frequently
    expresses his dislike for the Cowboys.

    “They're gonna say what they're gonna say no matter what,’’ Jacobs said. “I
    am a bully. They can call me what they want. I think people who call out bullies
    are afraid of bullies."



    "There is no better way to characterize what will take place Sunday night for
    the Giants than to listen to right guard Chris Snee, who has been a part of this
    longer than nearly all of his teammates.

    “Our playoffs start now,’’ Snee said yesterday. “I think that’s the way you
    have to look at it.’’

    There is no other way to look at it. The Giants (6-6) have the rare
    opportunity, after losing four consecutive games, to face the rival Cowboys
    (7-5) at Cowboys Stadium for first place in the NFC East.

    And dropped smack in the middle of this clash of semi-titans is none other
    than Mitch Petrus, a big, burly “aw-shucks’’ country boy with energy to burn and
    a question on his mind as, for the first time in his two-year stay with the
    Giants, he was surrounded by a whole bunch of cameras and microphones and
    notebooks while slurping down an energy drink from a can.

    “Do I have chocolate on my mouth?’’ he wanted to know.

    It has come to this for the Giants and their shape-shifting offensive line,
    which in the past few weeks has lost starting left tackle Will Beatty to a
    detached retina, tackle-eligible Stacy Andrews to blood clots in both his lungs
    and most recently starting center David Baas to what the team is calling
    “intense headaches.’’ Baas was stricken only hours before last Sunday’s 38-35
    loss to the unbeaten Packers with what he says are “migraine-type headaches’’
    that kept him out of that game and most likely will keep him out of this

    The sudden loss of Baas forced an adjustment on the fly: moving Kevin Boothe
    from left guard to center and Petrus — who has barely played in his two years on
    the roster — into his first NFL start, at left guard. The reconfigured line held
    up just fine, but up next is a more forceful challenge.

    The Cowboys have a killer defensive front, led by NFL sack-leader DeMarcus
    Ware (15 sacks), Anthony Spencer (six sacks) and nose tackle Jay Ratliff. With
    35 sacks, the Cowboys — directed by pressure-happy defensive coordinator Rob
    Ryan — trail only the Ravens (41) and are tied with the Texans and Vikings for
    NFL sack mastery.

    “They’re good,’’ Snee said. “They have been for years and at times they’ve
    given us problems. It’s tough when you have five guys who can rush the passer as
    well as they can.’’

    The Packers last week had no idea Petrus would be on the field, but the
    Cowboys are certainly clued in. That means the Cowboys can target the 2010
    fifth-round pick from Arkansas.

    “I definitely think that could be a possibility, if somebody said ‘They’re
    going to test him more,’ because Green Bay really didn’t know,’’ Petrus said.
    “We’re really going to see what this guy has because if this guy can’t play
    we’re going to keep bringing it. I’m up for the challenge, though. The
    pressure’s on, right?’’

    Right. Except pressure and Petrus don’t go together, not outwardly, anyway.
    He fidgets when he sits and isn’t any calmer when he plays. Right after Petrus
    learned he was about to get his first start, he approached Snee and the other
    linemen to express his excitement.

    “The guys wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to be spastic,’’ Petrus

    “I like that intensity,’’ Snee said. “I just wanted to make sure he was calm.
    Not to be bouncing off the walls before the game, which he was close to

    Petrus certainly didn’t dominate Packers defensive tackle B.J. Raji but he
    wasn’t dominated.

    “Sometimes we have to calm him down a little bit,’’ Boothe said. “He brings a
    lot of energy, which is good, it’s needed. He’s a talker, even when we don’t
    want him to talk.’’

    Petrus’ parents and some friends will be making the six-hour drive from
    Arkansas for the game.

    “I go all out, man,’’ he said. “Don’t want to play with any regrets. I don’t
    want to waste the ability I’ve been blessed with.’’


    Excerpt: "When Kenny Phillips hobbled
    off the field during the second quarter against the Packers, he did not have
    positive vibes. His left knee — the one on which he had microfracture knee
    surgery in 2009 — was hurting again.

    “When it first happened you think the worst, ‘It’s over,’” Phillips said
    yesterday, “but after the MRI [exam] showed what it showed I’m glad it’s nothing

    Phillips, who has a sprained medial collateral ligament, hasn’t given up hope
    of playing Sunday night at Dallas, but that’s probably overly optimistic.
    Instead of practicing, he rode a stationary bike and did some knee strengthening
    exercises on the side.

    “It wasn’t painful or sore or anything,’’ Phillips said. “Thus far I have a
    positive attitude. I haven’t been told I’m not going to play.’’


    * The Giants are trying to get to the bottom of what C David Baas
    said are “migraine-type headaches’’ that kept him out of the Packers
    game and continue to bother him. Baas said the headaches are in some way caused
    by the neck injury he has been dealing with all season. It doesn’t sound like he
    is coming back any time soon.

    “I really want to play football, but my health is very important to me,” Baas

    Coach Tom Coughlin said the situation is “Much more serious
    than a headache, obviously.’’

    * TE Jake Ballard got a good look at the still pictures that
    appeared to show his right knee touched inside the end zone on what should have
    been a touchdown reception against the Packers, but was ruled out of bounds.
    Coughlin said earlier this week that the picture “made me sick to my

    Ballard said he wasn’t deliberately trying to drag his knee in the end

    “Any receiver or tight end, the first thing is catch the ball,’’ Ballard
    said. “Especially where you’re going out of bounds, dragging your feet and knee
    kind of go out the window when you’re trying to make a catch like
    that.’’


    Excerpt: "

    Chase Blackburn spent most of the spring unemployed in Ohio, working out in a
    gym and doing defensive and special teams drills by himself at a local park. He
    kept studying his Giants playbook, waiting for a call from Big Blue, or anybody
    else. Once the Giants finally brought Blackburn back last week, after seeing his
    performance against Green Bay, one has to wonder what took them so long.

    Blackburn had five tackles and an interception in Sunday’s 38-35 loss to the
    Packers, and — going into this weekend’s huge game at NFC East-leading Dallas —
    he has a chance to show the Giants they should’ve brought him back sooner.

    “I’m going to try and prove that it was a mistake for me not playing earlier
    this year,’’ said Blackburn, who hadn’t put on pads or a helmet in 13 weeks, but
    got 50 or 60 snaps against the Packers.

    “I was sitting on the couch before I got picked up my rookie year; I waited a
    long time. I was just trying to get the opportunity and take advantage; that’s
    what I’ve tried to do again, the same situation. I didn’t have a spot on any
    team; no one was wanting to take a chance on me. Now I’m just trying to prove it
    was a mistake.’’


    "This is how the Packers feel every week about Aaron Rodgers, how the Patriots
    feel every week about Tom Brady, how the Saints feel every week about Drew

    It is how the Giants feel now about Eli Manning.

    In the most important game of the season, at the most important position, the
    Giants are certain they have the edge.

    They are the ones with the elite quarterback.

    They are the ones with the big-game quarterback.

    They are the ones with the quarterback with the Super Bowl ring.

    Tony Romo? Good quarterback. Dangerous quarterback.

    Tony Romo has no ring.

    Tony Romo has won one playoff game.

    Tony Romo isn’t the fourth-best quarterback in the NFL, behind Rodgers, Brady
    and Brees.

    Eli Manning is.

    Because Manning has had to integrate a new wide receiver and tight end, his
    offensive linemen still are being introduced to one another (Mr. Boothe, meet
    Mr. Petrus) and he endured nearly a month without Ahmad Bradshaw, I rank him
    ahead of No. 5, Ben Roethlisberger.

    Just as the Packers wanted Rodgers with the ball at the end of the game last
    week, the Giants want Manning with the ball at the end of the game Sunday night
    at Cowboys Stadium.

    They fully expect him to be a Mann among Boys in what very well could be a
    shootout with Romo at the Jerry Jones
    Corral, given Big Blue’s struggles in recent weeks against the Eagles’ Vince
    Young, Brees and Rodgers.

    “It’ll be great, man, if it comes down to it and we’re gonna come blow for
    blow and going back and forth as far as points and scoring,” receiver Victor Cruz said, “and going back and
    forth and so be it, I think we’re up to that challenge.”

    It isn’t as if Cruz has no faith in the Giants’ defense. It’s simply that
    it’s every game-breaker’s dream, to light up the scoreboard and fight fire with
    fire if need be.

    I asked Cruz: “Why do you like your quarterback in that scenario?”

    “’Cause he’s been in a lot of those situations before, he understands what’s
    expected, he understands how to play in those tough moments and he’s comfortable
    with having all the pressure on his shoulders and doing what he has to do to
    win,” Cruz said.

    “So you’ve got the edge at that position in ths game?”

    “I feel like I do. ... I feel like we do, definitely,” Cruz said.

    Manning reminded the Giants why they call him Easy E when he stared down Tom Brady again in Foxborough, and
    wished he could have gotten one more chance in overtime against Rodgers and the

    I said to tight end Jake Ballard: “If there’s a shootout, you won’t mind
    having him on your side.”

    “Absolutely not,” Ballard said, “I think that’s one of the strengths of our
    offense in two-minute, is No. 10.”

    “We just need to keep giving him time, and he’s gonna do what he does, and
    that’s win games,” Ballard said.

    His teammates respect Manning for talking the talk in the summer about
    considering himself in Brady’s class and walking the walk the way he has (23
    touchdowns, 11 interceptions).

    “Everybody last week was talking about Aaron Rodgers and being the Super Bowl MVP and all that stuff, and he’s a great
    quarterback and he’s having an unbelievable year, but we have the same thing on
    our side and behind us,” lineman David
    said. “I laugh because at the beginnng of the season when he compared
    himself in the same caliber. He got a lot of heat for that, and everybody said,
    ‘Oh. How can he do that?’ I thought it was awesome because it showed the
    confidence that he has in himself and the work ethic that he has and his
    determination to be the best quarterback out on the field.”

    If not the coolest, calmest and most collected.

    “He’s playing at his best because he’s just got such a great understanding of
    our offense,” Diehl said.

    Romo has been heroic at times, exhibiting true grit when he outlasted the
    49ers with a punctured lung and fractured rib, and magic and moxie at the end
    against the Dolphins. He is less frequently the little girl with the curl.
    Moments such as throwing Opening Night away to Darrelle Revis, and failing to
    call timeout in the last 30 seconds before Dallas coach Jason Garrett’s
    ill-fated clock management led to Dan Bailey’s missed 49-yard field goal in
    Sunday’s overtime loss at Arizona keep him from elite status.

    Romo will be helped by the expected return of Miles Austin, and a game plan
    that doesn’t abandon rookie DeMarco
    (12 carries against the Cardinals), particularly with fullback Tony
    Fiametta also due back.

    “The mindset is looking ahead,” Manning said. “It doesn’t matter what you’ve
    done last week or what your record is. It’s what you’re playing for, who you
    have this week. And you have Dallas, Sunday night football, that’s a big

    Manning beat the Cowboys in the 2007 divisional playoffs — when Romo was
    intercepted in the end zone by R.W. McQuarters — and has thrown for over 300
    yards in each of his two victories at Cowboys Stadium.

    “Giants fans right away let you know at the beginning of the season, ‘Hey,
    make sure you take care of the Cowboys,’ ” Diehl sad.

    Manning was asked about Antrel Rolle’s latest playoff guarantee.

    “I like the confidence, and obviously that’s the way he feels,” Manning said.
    “That’s the way we need to play.”

    It’s the way the Giants need him to play, starting Sunday night, and the rest
    of the way.

    As a Mann among Boys."


    "The Jets and Giants hoped their Christmas Eve matchup would be about playoff
    positioning. Instead they are hoping it’s about playoff survival.

    The teams have put themselves in position where any loss would seriously
    damage their postseason hopes. None more so than this week when the Jets play
    the lowly Chiefs in what seemingly is the easiest game remaining on their
    schedule, and the Giants go against the Cowboys in a game that will go a long
    way in deciding who will win the NFC East.

    1. Packers (12-0) (Previous Rank: 1) – Green Bay’s pass
    defense is dreadful, but Aaron Rodgers makes every opponent look just as bad.

    2. Saints (9-3) (2) – Jimmy Graham has emerged as one of the
    best tight ends in the league.

    3. 49ers (10-2) (3) – Alex Smith has proven that if you sell
    out against the run, he’s a halfway-decent quarterback. I think that’s a

    4. Patriots (9-3) (4) – Most of it came in garbage time, but
    you should never be happy when your defense allows Dan Orlovsky to throw for 353

    5. Ravens (9-3) (5) – It’s a good thing rookie Torrey Smith
    stepped up because Lee Evans (three catches in five games) has been a complete
    non-factor in Baltimore.

    6. Steelers (9-3) (6) – Pittsburgh must have a deal with the
    NFL that they will play on Thursday night, but only if it’s against a terrible
    team. They play the 4-8 Browns on Thursday and here’s who they have played the
    past five years: 2010 – Panthers (2-14), 2009 – Browns (5-11), 2008 – Bengals
    (4-11-1), 2007 – Rams (3-13) and 2006 – Browns (4-12). Their only loss came to
    Cleveland in 2009.

    7. Texans (9-3) (7) – Who would have bet Houston’s
    quarterback depth chart would have looked like this: Tyler Yates, Jake Delhomme,
    Jeff Garcia in Week 14.

    8. Cowboys (7-5) (8) – Laurent Robinson (seven touchdowns)
    has been a savior for Tony Romo with Miles Austin reinjuring his hamstring. But
    Austin is expected back for the showdown with the Giants on Sunday night.

    9. Broncos (7-5) (18) – Further proof that God is on Tim
    Tebow’s side: Christian Ponder throwing an interception that set up Denver’s
    winning score against Minnesota.

    10. Jets (7-5) (14) – Winning late in games, late in the
    year has become a staple for Rex Ryan’s teams.

    11. Titans (7-5) (17) – After costing them earlier in the
    season, Chris Johnson’s emergence is keeping Tennessee in the playoff race.

    12. Lions (7-5) (9) – With trips to Oakland and Green Bay
    left on the schedule, Detroit faces a must-win against the Vikings without
    Ndamukong Suh.

    13. Falcons (7-5) (10) – If they miss the playoffs they will
    look back at the loss in Houston to a third-string quarterback with disgust.

    14. Giants (6-6) (15) – The “New York Moral Victories”
    seemed pretty pleased after losing a tight one to the unbeaten Packers.

    15. Bengals (7-5) (11) – Have struggled against top-level
    competition with their best win coming at Tennessee.

    16. Bears (7-5) (12) – What’s next, their star receiver gets
    hurt? Oh wait, they don’t have one.

    17. Raiders (7-5) (13) – Carson Palmer trade means Oakland
    can’t lose division to Tim Tebow, at least not without looking really foolish.

    18. Seahawks (5-7) (22) – Safety Earl Thomas is one of the
    better young players in the game that you never hear about.

    19. Chargers (5-7) (19) – If anyone can have a six-game
    losing streak and still make the playoffs, it’s San Diego.

    20. Dolphins (4-8) (23) – Could Miami’s resurgence actually
    save Tony Sparano’s job?

    21. Eagles (4-8) (20) – What was worse: DeSean Jackson
    dogging it in the loss to the Seahawks or Andy Reid’s attempt to blame the NFL
    Network for portraying it badly?

    22. Panthers (4-8) (25) – At 32-years-old, Steve Smith is
    second to Wes Welker in receiving yards.

    23. Cardinals (5-7) (26) – One team that could gain momentum
    for next year by finishing the season strong, especially for Kevin Kolb.

    24. Chiefs (5-7) (27) – Kyle Orton injured his thumb on his
    first play in a Kansas City uniform. Maybe they should have avoided a
    slow-developing flea-flicker.

    25. Buccaneers (4-8) (16) – Josh Freeman has taken a step
    back this year, but is still a huge improvement over Josh Johnson.

    26. Bills (5-7) (21) – C.J. Spiller was impressive in his
    first start since Fred Jackson went down for the season, but Buffalo still lost
    its fifth straight.

    27. Redskins (4-8) (24) – Never thought a Mike Shanahan team
    would be 31st in the league in rushing offense.

    28. Vikings (2-10) (28) – Why does Minnesota seem inclined
    to rush back Adrian Peterson for meaningless games?

    29. Rams (2-10) (29) – It would have been a surprise had
    they not been shut out (26-0) by San Francisco.

    30. Browns (4-8) (30) – So, it wasn’t all Eric Mangini’s

    31. Jaguars (3-9) (31) — Even a stingy defense has suffered
    too many injuries to remain competitive.

    32. Colts (0-12) (32) — I doubt Archie Manning would
    publicly say Peyton and Andrew Luck “wouldn’t be great together,” unless his
    injured son also feels that way."



    Excerpt: "
    Like two fighters staggering in the late rounds, the Giants and Cowboys come
    out of their respective football corners reeling from recent events. The Giants
    have lost four straight. The Cowboys dropped an overtime heartbreaker to
    Arizona. The Giants’ injury list continues to deepen. The Cowboys still are
    taking questions on last weekend’s clock mismanagement.

    Yet as the week draws closer to Sunday night’s nationally televised game,
    none of those concerns matters.

    This still is a heavyweight fight.

    If there’s always an undercurrent of hatred between two longstanding NFC East
    rivals, the NFL’s scheduling machinations have managed to ratchet up this year’s
    required animosity. Two of the season’s final four games are between these
    teams, including the finale New Year’s Day in New Jersey. The Cowboys are
    clinging to a one-game lead in the division, and the Giants are their only real
    threat. No one else is getting into the ring – Philadelphia and Washington were
    counted out long ago — which is why Sunday’s game is so loaded with playoff

    And as highly anticipated as any contest on the weekend card.

    “Our playoffs start now,” is how guard Chris Snee put it. “That’s how you
    have to look at it. We know what’s at stake. Everyone is aware of what’s going
    on and the circumstance we put ourselves in by not being able to win some of
    these games.

    “But heads are up. We’re not down by any means. We know that we’re still in
    it. If we take care of our own business, hopefully we’ll be playing in

    The Giants (6-6) need the game more than the Cowboys (7-5), but that hasn’t
    softened the attitude in Dallas. In separate conversations with area reporters,
    both even-tempered coach Jason Garrett and his mini-me, quarterback Tony Romo,
    did their best to downplay both the rivalry with the Giants and the critical
    nature of the outcome.

    Yet other talk out of Dallas wasn’t quite as
    friendly, with ESPNDallas reporting that Cowboy cornerback Mike Jenkins referred
    to running back Brandon Jacobs as a bully and Dallas defensive end DeMarcus Ware
    suggested Justin Tuck’s real reason for calling Cowboys Stadium a dump is that
    he really wants to play for Dallas.

    That sort of manufactured drama isn’t necessary this week, not when you have
    two combatants weighted with the desperation. Both need to escape their own
    histories of melting down when the stakes are highest. The Giants know they are
    dangerously close to repeating the second-half mistakes of the last two seasons,
    when losing streaks obliterated promising first halves and knocked them out of a
    potential playoff berth. The Cowboys know they are viewed as a team more prone
    to damaging themselves than being hurt by opponents. Last week’s clock-debacle,
    icing-timeout fiasco is just another in a long list of examples.

    Come Sunday night, one of those trends will end. Welcome
    desperation."


    Excerpt: "Sprain for Phillips

    Kenny Phillips confirmed Wednesday that he has a sprained MCL, but said he
    has not been ruled out for this weekend in Dallas.

    "I mean I haven’t been told I’m going to miss a game or miss anything, so
    right now I got a positive attitude that I’ll be playing," the safety said.

    There was speculation earlier in the week that Phillips could miss several
    games. Phillips remains unsure when he will return to practice, but did some
    running and stretching on the side Wednesday. He had microfracture surgery on
    that same knee in 2009 to repair an arthritic condition.

    ‘Chase is Chase’

    LB Chase Blackburn hopes to make the Giants believe it was a mistake not
    bringing him back sooner.

    The former special teams captain enjoyed an impactful return Sunday with five
    tackles on defense, another two on special teams and an interception of Aaron

    "That’s what I’m trying to prove," Blackburn said.

    Count Tom Coughlin among those impressed.

    "Well Chase is Chase," Coughlin said. "He said he had his bags packed for
    quite a while before he actually got the phone call. But he comes in, it’s like
    he never left."


    Excerpt: "Mitch Petrus talks faster than Tom Coughlin attempts to shoot down injury
    inquiries and Eli Manning tries to run from controversy.

    When reporters crowded his locker Wednesday, the newest starting left guard
    for the Giants could not hide his excitement: not just to speak about stepping
    up after being thrust into action against Green Bay three days earlier, but his
    opportunity forthwith.

    Petrus had just finished his daily workout in the weight room, and as part of
    his usual routine, he chugged two cans of protein replenishing drink while
    answering questions.

    In the midst of his overly-enthusiastic interview, Petrus made a point to
    assure the media these were not energy shakes he was downing.

    "I’ve got enough energy," Petrus said with a laugh. "I don’t need extra."

    The Giants certainly need Petrus, and not only against the Packers, but going
    forward as the offensive line fights to hold its ground and maintain success
    despite a whirlwind of change in the way of sudden injuries, all of which have
    the potential to be season-ending.

    Left tackle Will Beatty was the first casualty, with surgery to repair a
    detached retina.

    Then there was the stunning news involving blocking tight end and reserve
    tackle Stacy Andrews, who was hospitalized the night before Sunday’s 38-35 loss
    to Green Bay because of blood clots that traveled to his lungs.

    Beatty and Andrews have been placed on injured reserve.

    Yet their absences were just the precursor to the medical mystery that has
    enveloped starting center David Baas, who was ruled out against Green Bay at the
    eleventh hour because of severe headaches, prompting the Giants to turn to
    second-year pro Petrus in his place."



    "Week 14 N.F.L. Game Probabilities: Cowboys vs. Giants

    One of the more overlooked statistics in football is penalty rate. Penalty
    yards per play is one of the more consistent attributes of N.F.L. teams, second
    only to offensive pass efficiency. Penalty rate’s effect on game outcomes isn’t
    as large as that of other team attributes, but in terms of predicting winners
    its consistency makes it as important as
    things like running efficiency and interception rates

    In Sunday
    night’s battle for supremacy in the N.F.C. East
    , the Cowboys and the Giants
    are virtual equals. Dallas has a better running game, while the Giants have a
    better passing game. Dallas has the stronger defense in both running and
    passing, which would otherwise give them the upper hand. But the Giants have the
    better penalty rate, equalizing the two teams. Dallas gives up 0.44 penalty
    yards per play, which is 22nd in the league, while the Giants allow 0.38 penalty
    yards per play, which is 10th in the league.

    Here is how the two teams stack up in all the core predictive statistics.

    Team netYPA Run SR% Int% Fum% D netYPA D Run SR% D Int% P
    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1

  • #2

    thanks Ro.....

    Sunday night fight!!!!!!

    Lets get it on!!!!!!

    "Measure Twice......Cut Once"
    You couldn't be more full of **** if you were break dancing in a Port-a-Potty.......Kruunch


    • #3

      [quote user="GameTime"]

      thanks Ro.....

      Sunday night fight!!!!!!

      Lets get it on!!!!!!


      Just PLEASE bring the Packers game intensity for four more games []
      “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


      • #4

        thanks Roanoke!

        regardless of what has happened and whats going to happen, Sunday nites game is a "must" win.

        i think they will!

        Go Giants!



        • #5

          [quote user="BigBlue1971"]

          thanks Roanoke!

          regardless of what has happened and whats going to happen, Sunday nites game is a "must" win.

          i think they will!

          Go Giants!


          “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


          • #6
            Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2011 - 9:50 A.M.

            [quote user="RoanokeFan"][quote user="GameTime"]

            thanks Ro.....

            Sunday night fight!!!!!!

            Lets get it on!!!!!!


            Just PLEASE bring the Packers game intensity for four more games []

            I'll try......I was pretty freaking intense while watching the game last Sunday!!!!

   mean the Giants.......gotcha.....[]

            "Measure Twice......Cut Once"
            You couldn't be more full of **** if you were break dancing in a Port-a-Potty.......Kruunch


            • #7
              Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2011 - 9:50 A.M.

              [quote user="GameTime"][quote user="RoanokeFan"][quote user="GameTime"]

              thanks Ro.....

              Sunday night fight!!!!!!

              Lets get it on!!!!!!


              Just PLEASE bring the Packers game intensity for four more games []

              I'll try......I was pretty freaking intense while watching the game last Sunday!!!!

     mean the Giants.......gotcha.....[]


              Good to see you catching on, Buckaroo
              “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


              • #8
                Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2011 - 9:50 A.M.

                Thanks for the news Roa...

                Well apart from 2 days next week...that me on my holidays now for nearly a work till monday 9th January that point we will have hopefully secured our place in the Divisionals after a wildcard win.

                So im gonna sit back and enjoy my time off, eat loads, drink loads, spend loads of time with my family and a whole bunch of time watching football.

                First up, a whole bunch of beer and a Cowboys beatdown is on the cards.

                LETS GO GIANTS....LETS GO !!!


                • #9
                  Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2011 - 9:50 A.M.

                  Thanks RF!


                  • #10
                    Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2011 - 9:50 A.M.

                    [quote user="NY_Eli"]Thanks RF![/quote]

                    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


                    • #11
                      Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2011 - 9:50 A.M.

                      [quote user="britishblue2"]Thanks for the news Roa...

                      Well apart from 2 days next week...that me on my holidays now for nearly a work till monday 9th January that point we will have hopefully secured our place in the Divisionals after a wildcard win.

                      So im gonna sit back and enjoy my time off, eat loads, drink loads, spend loads of time with my family and a whole bunch of time watching football.

                      First up, a whole bunch of beer and a Cowboys beatdown is on the cards.

                      LETS GO GIANTS....LETS GO !!![/quote]

                      YOU GO GUY!!
                      “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” MB Rule # 1


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