Excerpt: "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.
On that Dec. 4 matchup, Rodgers went 28-of-46 for 369 yards, four touchdowns
and an interception.
"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."
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.
"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.
"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...
"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 foot
problem that kept him out of four games, so he'll likely practice once
before the week is over.
Bradshaw is usually in attendance at practice even when he's not
participating, but he wasn't on the field today.
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
Defensive end Osi Umenyiora (knee/ankle) and cornerback Aaron Ross
(concussion) were limited today. Ross said he's good to go for Sunday against
"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?"
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
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:
"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... PIERRE-PAUL SAUS AGAIN GIANTS WILL WIN SUNDAY
"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
He didn’t shy away from the prediction during his media session Wednesday
afternoon at Giants headquarters.
“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
Pierre-Paul said his teammates haven’t had an issue with his declaration.
“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.
“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.”
Excerpt: "If Eli Manning leads the Giants to a win over the Packers on Sunday, he will
tie Phil Simms for the franchise record with six postseason victories. So, that
got us thinking: Is Manning is the greatest QB in Giants history?
We've come up with four candidates: Manning, Phil Simms, Y.A. Tittle and
Charlie Conerly. We'll leave you the option of debating whether there is anyone
else deserving of the honor in the comments section, but for comparison
purposes, here are the QBs' stats and accolades with the Giants:
Charlie Conerly (1948-61) - 58-31-1 regular-season record,
2-4 playoff record, 173 TDs, 167 INTs, 19,488 yards, 50.1 completion percentage,
68.2 passer rating in 14 seasons with the Giants.
Y. A. Tittle (1961-64) - 32-13-3 regular-season record, 0-3
playoff record, 96 TDs, 68 INTs, 10,439 yards, 55.9 completion percentage, 84.7
passer rating in 4 seasons with the Giants.
Phil Simms (1979-1993) - 95-64 regular-season record, 6-4
playoff record, 199 TDs, 157 INTs, 33,462 yards, 55.4 completion percentage,
78.5 passer rating in 14 seasons with the Giants.
"In the week leading up to the NFC Championship Game four years ago, the
Giants’ offensive line scoffed at the forecast of subzero temperatures in Green
Bay and proudly proclaimed they wouldn’t wear long sleeves under their
“Dumbest thing I ever did,” center Shaun O’Hara said Tuesday.
In moments such as the ones the
Giants created that frozen day at Lambeau Field, the truth sometimes gets
glossed over. As do mistakes, finer details and the perspective for what just
So as the Giants prepare for their next trip to Lambeau this weekend in the
first playoff game there since Lawrence Tynes kicked a 47-yard field goal to win
it in overtime and send the Giants to the Super Bowl for an upset of the
near-perfect Patriots, we decided to take a look back at some of those moments
that might have been forgotten or not fully analyzed.
Sure, there are stories about that frigid, minus-1 degree day (with
windchills of minus-23) — the way it chapped Tom Coughlin’s red cheeks, caused
O’Hara’s frozen helmet to crack when he collided with Nick Barnett, led Kevin
Boothe to burn the plastic on his gloves while putting them too close to the
sideline heater (he didn’t feel it; he smelled it) and froze the hair and mouths
of the players only seconds after they had trotted on the field away from those
And yes, everyone remembers Tynes’ kick ... and the one after that ... and
the one after that he finally nailed after missing the first two. Brandon
Jacobs’ running over Charles Woodson on the first offensive snap of the game?
Yep, covered it. Corey Webster’s interception? What more can be said about that?
Domenik Hixon’s recovering a punt R.W. McQuarters fumbled near midfield in the
fourth quarter? Been there, dissected that.
Below are a couple of moments assessed candidly from some
players involved in that game. And since those on the current roster were
only mildly interested in looking back because they’re trying to worry about
what’s in front of them, we’ll rely upon those who aren’t suiting up for a game
that will feature temperatures 20-30 degrees warmer than that day.
They were eager to reminisce about, and provide new perspective on, the great
plays, the bad calls, the moments of despair and even one rookie mistake that
was nearly a critical one.PIERCE-ING A HOLE
Many people recall Antonio Pierce fighting through three Packers offensive
linemen to make a stop on a 1-yard screen pass that should’ve been an easy
19-yard touchdown for Green Bay.
Most don’t realize the play was even more impressive because Giants safety
Michael Johnson goofed by following tight end Donald Lee to the left flat
instead of tracking running back Brandon Jackson.
“We do it in practice all week, he takes the right guy. In the game, he
doesn’t,” Pierce said of the then-rookie. “When you’re dealing with young guys,
you can anticipate that and know.”
Pierce also knew the Giants were in man coverage, meaning nearly every member
of the secondary was downfield with his back to the play. It was a terrific play
call on a third-and-8 from the Giants’ 19-yard line with 1:52 left in the second
“I saw the same thing everybody else saw: three blockers and the damn
tailback,” Pierce said. “The only thing I was thinking was to do whatever I
could to slip those guys and grab and claw and hold on.
“I had a good grab on his jersey, like a kid in a toy store, you don’t want
to leave and you hold onto your parent’s leg going out the door. Kind of like
“I went down to his leg. I was holding on for dear life, thinking, ‘These
boys better be comin’, they better be runnin’ on this one.’”
Finally, help arrived from Jay Alford and James Butler to finish the
Pierce knew he had contributed to holding the Packers to a field goal and a
10-6 halftime lead. He didn’t realize at the time he had helped preserve
overtime, or, frankly, how good a play he had made.
“Until I got off the field, and the first person that said something to me
was Harry Carson: ‘That was one helluva play,’?” Pierce recalled. “I was like,
The Frozen Tundra isn’t frozen these days. The playing surface at Lambeau
Field is heated.
“But everything outside of the field, the sidelines and the white, was ice,”
Amani Toomer recalled.
The Giants’ wide receiver learned that the hard way when he fell out of
bounds after making a toe-dragging, 23-yard catch at the Packers’ 12-yard line
with less than 3 minutes left in the third quarter. Two plays later, Ahmad
Bradshaw scored on a 4-yard touchdown run to give the Giants a 20-17 lead one
drive after the Packers had regained the lead.
“I remember knocking the wind out of myself,” was how Toomer first described
He fell on the ice?
“Well, my lower chest hit the ground hard,” he said.
After a long pause and a chuckle, Toomer clarified it was an area much lower
than his chest that was affected.
A replay challenge by the Packers (the ruling of a completion was upheld)
allowed Toomer to, uh, catch his breath. He ran a quick out for 8 yards on the
next play to set up Bradshaw’s touchdown.
“I knew my feet were in,” Toomer said. “I was upset, though, because if Eli
(Manning) would’ve thrown a better pass I probably would’ve scored.”
The Giants played the final quarter-plus without starting left guard Rich
Seubert. He had a sprained knee, the severity of which was never revealed.
For that guy to leave that game at that point, it had to be bad.
“Grade 2 MCL sprain,” Seubert said Tuesday from his new home in California,
where he was still unpacking boxes a few weeks after the move from Jersey.
That injury usually keeps a player out for a month, if not more. Seubert
would be back in two weeks to play in the Super Bowl. Grey Ruegamer finished the
game for him.
“I couldn’t do anything,” he said. “My knee was sloppy.”
So it wasn’t a matter of pain?
“No, by then my whole leg was frozen,” he said. “I didn’t really feel
anything until I went into the shower and warmed up a little bit.”
And then, he got dressed and put on the green tie Eli Manning had subbed in
for the one he stole from the linemen as part of a practical joke.
“Because we were playing Green Bay,” Seubert said, his tone suggesting he
believed it was a corny joke by a corny jokester. “I still have it. I wore it to
church last week.”
A FAULTY FLAG
Tynes’ second and third kicks probably shouldn’t have been necessary. The
Giants scored what might have been a game-winning touchdown when Bradshaw went
48 yards with 2:05 to play.
Except for a holding penalty on Chris Snee that negated the play.
“Chris would love it if you asked him about it,” O’Hara said.
Snee is part of that crew focusing on the now. Those from then are the ones
who can speak freely.
“He didn’t hold,” Seubert said. “The ref saw what he saw. But he didn’t see
the right thing.”
O’Hara said the Packers’ Ryan Pickett drew the call by embellishing.
“It was a flop. ... No doubt about it,” he said. “The guy reached out like he
was going to make the tackle but he wasn’t going to make the tackle, so he
flopped and threw his arms up. ... It should’ve ended the game right there.”
And then, there was the bedlam after Tynes threw off his cape and ran onto
the field without asking Coughlin if he should — precisely the kind of sign
Coughlin wanted to see, to know Tynes was ready and could make the kick.
Players ran all over the field. Tynes ran straight to the locker room because
he had “spent too much time in that damn cold.” Long snapper Zak DeOssie
suffered a bloody nose when he collided with tight end Kevin Boss. Like
Seubert’s knee injury, DeOssie didn’t feel much because of the cold.
And somewhere on the field was Toomer — elated on the outside, panicked on
“The first thought that crossed my mind was, ‘Damn, we have to go to the
Super Bowl again,’?” he said, “because I was still shell-shocked by getting
blasted by the Baltimore Ravens (in Super Bowl XXXV). It wasn’t a great
experience for me. It was actually one of my worst football experiences
This time, it would be different. And frankly, there was an upside Toomer
immediately recognized that day.
"Right now, Antonio Pierce will allow for only one comparison between this
year’s Giants and the 2007 Super Bowl
"What was the score of the regular-season game against the Patriots that
year?" he asked today during a phone conversation.
"What was the score of the Giants’ game against the Packers this season?"
"Okay, and what was the score of the Super Bowl?"
"You see what I’m getting at?"
We do. The former Giants defensive captain says this has to be a defensive
game for the current squad to beat Aaron Rodgers and the almost-perfect Packers
in Sunday’s divisional-round matchup.
"They’re not going to win going toe-to-toe with those guys," Pierce said.
"How you win is the same way we beat the Patriots, you make it a half-court
game, you play keep-away. You run the ball, you win the time of possession, and
you limit the opportunities they have. If they do that, their chances are very
Pierce isn’t the only recently retired Giant giving the team a chance.
"It’s a slim chance," former wide receiver Amani Toomer said, "but just the
fact it’s so hard to beat the same team twice, especially a team that’s not
afraid of you at all and matches up with you well."
By that, Toomer means the Packers are a bit beat-up on the offensive line,
with tackles Bryan Bulaga (ankle, knee) and Chad Clifton (back, hamstring)
dealing with nagging issues. Meanwhile, the Giants have Osi Umenyiora back and
also have a fully healthy Michael Boley, who was limited with a hamstring issue
in the teams’ first meeting.
"They have a real issue dealing with the Giants’ defensive line," Toomer
said, adding: "They’re a different team now."
On the offensive side of the ball, Shaun O’Hara sees a more physical style of
football – finally.
"That’s what they’ve been striving for all season," O’Hara, the Giants’
starting center for most of 2004 through last season, said of the 172 yards
rushing against the Falcons. "To accomplish that, they can now take the same
mentality with them to Green Bay. Everybody knows about Aaron Rodgers and the
offense and what they’re doing, but the best way to keep Aaron Rodgers from
scoring is to keep him on the bench."
Which is precisely Pierce’s point.
"If the Packers have 13, 14 possessions in the game, that’s not good for the
Giants," Pierce said. "That team is that good, like the Patriots that year, as
far as how good the quarterback is playing. The explosive offense, you play
And not give-away.
"The one thing they cannot do, and they did a great job last week, and in the
playoffs it’s gotta happen: you can’t turn the ball over," Pierce said. "Because
that gives that team, a very explosive offense, one more possession." GIANTS-PACKERS HOT TOPIC: ARE YOU ALL IN?
"It's the hot new catch phrase for Giants and their fans - "ALL IN" - or for
the Twitterverse, #ALLin.
Its origins, according to Giants PR man Pat Hanlon, was Justin Tuck's quote
after the Jets game about everyone, even the hobbled Tom Coughlin, being ready
to physically sell out, 100 percent: "Coach Coughlin is the same as all of us.
We're all-in." (As an aside, though he says it's not related to ALL IN, Hanlon
also recalled head coach Jim Fassell's move pushing all
his chips to the middle of the table and saying "This team is going to the
playoffs" back in 2000.)
So are you ALL IN? Show us how. Upload a photo or a video incorporating ALL IN with your
obvious Giants love. Or drop down in this post and comment about what it means
to be ALL IN for the Giants or about how you like the phrase or what seems to be
inspiring its use for the team.
And here's another activity for the end of your work day. Upload a photo of your
Giants-decorated dorm room, school locker, book bag or office space, like that
of NJ.com client services supervisor Jason Goldman above-right, who sports his
ALL IN towel from Sunday's game while standing in front of his Giants-decorated
The Packers have excelled in the postseason in those situations, also. This
week, for the sixth straight postseason game against an NFC opponent, the
Packers will play a rematch game. Last season, the Packers beat the Philadelphia
Eagles (Packers won in regular season), Atlanta Falcons (Packers lost in regular
season) and Chicago Bears (Packers split in regular season) en route to the
Some other notes from around the country regarding Sunday's game:
Excerpt: "Whatever list you make of the most important days in all of Giants history,
one of them will always be April 24, 2004, when Ernie Accorsi made
his draft-day trade for Eli Manning.
This is what it was like in the offices at old Giants Stadium that day, after
Accorsi had told A.J. Smith, the San
Diego GM who had taken Manning with the first pick of that draft, that the
Giants would draft Philip Rivers with
the fourth pick, send Rivers and a boatload of draft choices, including the next
year’s No. 1, to San Diego for Eli Manning.
Smith had asked for Osi Umenyiora.
Accorsi said no. Smith said he’d need a No. 1. Accorsi said yes. The two men
made the same as a handshake deal over the telephone. Not long after they did, Archie Manning and Olivia Manning and
Eli were on their way to Jersey from New York City.
Accorsi was waiting for them. So were John Mara and two of his
brothers, Chris and Frank. The late Wellington Mara was
there, too, along with the late Robert Tisch. They had
all been there with Accorsi as he closed the deal for a quarterback Accorsi
believed could — and would — change everything for the Giants.
“I can still see the Mannings coming through those old double doors that led
to our offices,” Accorsi was saying Tuesday, on his way back from his hometown
of Hershey, Pa., to New York City. “The minute the kid crossed the threshold, he
was a Giant.” Read more...
Pierre-Paul, in the euphoria of the winning locker room after the first
playoff win of his young career, guaranteed the Giants will beat the Packers on
Sunday. A throng of reporters then rushed to their phones and keyboards to
spread his word.
The next day, Justin Tuck was one of
many Giants asked if he would offer a guarantee of his own. Instead of taking
the bait, however, the veteran just smiled and shook his head at the silliness
of it all.
“Knowing you guys, you probably asked him a loaded question,” Tuck told the
media. “And he just gave his honest opinion about it.”
Tuck is right, but not about the “loaded question.” Pierre-Paul was just
And honesty is the new policy around the Giants these days.
There is dust collecting on those “Talk is cheap, play the game” T-shirts
that Tom Coughlin gave out
at the start of the 2007 season, when his career was riding on the hope that his
players would shut up and stop complaining to the media at every turn. That team
won a Super Bowl, of course, although it also had its noisy moments — such as Antonio Pierce’s air
horn and Plaxico Burress’
Super Bowl guarantee.
These Giants have taken talk to a new level — at least for them. They issue
guarantees as if they’re all trying to be a new-age Patrick Ewing.
Guarantees from Jerry Reese, Victor
Cruz and Antrel Rolle all
preceded Pierre-Paul’s vow on Sunday. And there’s more. Eli Manning said he was
elite. Brandon Jacobs
blasted the fans (both his own and the “loud, obnoxious” ones in Dallas). Tuck
thought “most people” would call the Falcons offensive line “dirt bags.” Hakeem Nicks thought
All-Pro Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis was
And on and on and on they go.
“This team seems to be more inclined to speak their mind,” Tuck admitted. “I
don’t see anything wrong with that. I don’t think it’s anything disrespectful. I
encourage people telling the truth. If you feel that way, then say it. Or don’t
say nothing. So it can either be me sitting up here saying ‘no comment’ or me
sitting up here telling you all the truth.”
The media will gladly take the truth any time an athlete wants to give it.
Coughlin, of course, would prefer his players plead the fifth. He joked that
next time he will be standing next to Pierre-Paul when reporters talk to him.
His message to his team is “Let’s not get too carried away just yet.”
But it’s too late. They’ve been carried away since Aug. 11 when Reese, while
taking a public beating for an offseason of inactivity, vowed, “We’ll get into
the playoffs and we’ll make a run.” Yes, he later said (many times) that it
wasn’t a guarantee or a vow or a promise, that the media “spun” his words. But
looking back at his quote, he never said “maybe.” Read more...
"In the year of the quarterback, the Giants have to stop perhaps the
quarterback of the year.
Aaron Rodgers set an
NFL record this season with a quarterback rating of 122.5 with 45 touchdowns
against six interceptions. The Giants came close to beating him once this
season. Now they’ll have one more shot with a lot more on the line.
they stop him? No.
Can they beat him? They do possess a number of
elements needed to pull that off. It will take near perfect execution, but here
is one formula for getting that done:
BRING THE HEAT
What the Lions’ Ndamukong Suh said
before the Thanksgiving Day game still pertains:
“He’s playing at a very
high level, but the way to stop him is to continue to hit him. We had a great
game plan against him last year. He wasn’t able to come back in the game, and
that’s one way to take care of business. Another way is to continue to be in his
face and cause him problems — just don’t allow him to get in a rhythm.”
This is where the Giants’ hope lies, that they can get to
Rodgers with what has been the best pass rush in football the last three weeks.
The Chiefs held the Packers to 14 points in handing the Packers their only loss
with only one man — Tamba Hali — dominating. Jason
Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Osi
Umenyiora have spearheaded a dominant D-line rotation that has allowed
defensive coordinator Perry Fewell to drop
seven players into coverage.
In other words, make this a Super Bowl XLII
“We were able to put a little pressure on him at times and get
him off the spot. He wasn’t quite as accurate as he normally is,” Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel
said. “We used five-man pressure, and Tamba Hali had a great game for us.
They’re more effective with a four-man rush.”
NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger
thinks Fewell will have four defensive ends on the field at once at times,
another Steve Spagnuolo
tactic from ’07, and, at the least force the Packers to max-protect, eliminating
a potential receiver.
“What you try to do is, can you make him move, can
you make him bring the ball down? Can you make him pump? Can you get a hand in
his face where he doesn’t have clear vision?” Baldinger asks. “Those are the
type of things you try to do, and I don’t know if there’s anybody in the league
playing better than JPP. There’s no one who can handle him.”
HOPE TO CONTAIN HIM
The Giants will have to do a better
job of containment, something the Chiefs did quite effectively. Rodgers is the
most accurate quarterback in the league throwing on the run, moving to either
his right or left (where he’s one of the best — ever). He was also able to pick
up scramble yards, especially when the Giants played man coverage.
noteworthy, too, that the Packers’ line is healthy and will have both OTs, Bryan
Bulaga and Chad Clifton, together
for one of the few times all season.
“But,” Baldinger notes, “the Giants
are as healthy as they’ve been all season up front, and the Packers’ two tackles
haven’t played in a long time.”
A PRESSING ISSUE
The Chiefs played press coverage (Greg
Jennings didn’t play) and took the Packer receivers out of the
ESPN’s Tim Hasselbeck
doesn’t think the Giants have the personnel to match up in press coverage all
“To look back and say they had this formula that no one else had is
inaccurate,” he says of the Chiefs’ game plan. “Here’s the other thing that
people don’t know: People say, ‘Oh, the Kansas City Chiefs, they’re not any
good.’ Well guess what? Brandon
Flowers and Brandon Carr are
really good players. The Kansas City corners are better than (Corey) Webster and
(Aaron) Ross. People don’t know about them, but the reality is they’re
MIX IT UP
The Packers may not have expected the Giants to
play as much man-under coverage (with two deep safeties) in the first game.
Fewell mixed that in with a lot of early zone. That Cover 2 approach worked for
the Bears last year, but Rodgers can too easily carve up the middle of the field
Hasselbeck likes the man-under approach.
speaking, that’s a difficult coverage to complete passes against," he said.
"Generally speaking when you complete passes against it, it’s on some form of an
out-breaking route. Because of the leverage, it’s difficult to complete
in-breaking routes. You see a lot of people try to attack the middle of the
field, but if you’re running some type of seam that bends to the post versus
two-man, that’s still a difficult pass to complete.”
That’s why tight end Jermichael Finley
was so involved in the passing attack in the first game.
A central part of the game plan
against the Falcons was not allowing Matt Ryan to
feel he had a bead on the Giants’ coverage schemes. Ryan almost became
preoccupied with Deon Grant’s pre-snap
movements, for instance. That’s not as easy with Rodgers, who will take the
clock down as long as he wants.
“We knew we had to mix things up so he
had to figure some things out, instead of him standing there looking and saying,
OK, I know what they’re in and this is where I need to go with the ball,”
Crennel said. “We didn’t do a lot of pre-snap looks but we mixed personnel
groups on him and used multiple defensive backs a couple of times.”
KEEP WITHIN REACH
That means on the
“If you fall behind, you can pack your bags and go home,”
said Tuck, noting that the Saints and Packers are the best teams he’s ever seen
“letting their athleticism take over games” once they’re in front.
the first meeting, Tom Coughlin said he
had a number in mind in terms of what he thought the Packers would have to be
held to in order to win the game. He didn’t say what that number was but it
couldn’t have been 38, with the seven extra points coming on an Eli
Manning pick six.
The Giants proved they can trade points with the
Packers, but that was at home, and with the emergence of their running game, it
would be wiser to play a little more ball control in order to keep Rodgers on
“Everybody tries that, but those guys score so often,”
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier says.
“They get seven possessions and score six times. It’s a good strategy, it’s a
good thought when you sit down and strategize, but . . . short of keeping the
football for 15 minutes of a quarter, you’ve got to find a way to slow him
It’s not just about how the Giants will
try to stop Rodgers. It’s about how Rodgers will try to attack the Giants. Who
will take away more from the first game?
“How about if you’re the
Packers. What’s your answer to that pass rush?” Hasselbeck asks. “If you look at
them, maybe the best thing Green Bay has done all year long is the quick game.
The ball comes out so fast, teams are for the most part afraid of the speed the
Packers have so they’re not always up challenging the receivers. And so the
offensive line can cut defensive ends and they aren’t pass-setting all game
long. If you get into the quick game, it basically eliminates the pass
"The Giants need as many healthy defensive backs as they can find Sunday when
they play the Green Bay Packers, and it looks as if one of them will be Aaron
The cornerback “should be fine” after suffering a possible concussion against
the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday and might even be available to practice on
Wednesday, according to a source familiar with his situation. It is not known
yet if he has officially been cleared to return to the practice field, but so
far all indications are that he will be able to play in the divisional-round
playoff game in Green Bay.
As for whether or not Ross actually suffered a concussion, that’s also
unclear. Tom Coughlin said
Monday that the Giants were proceeding as if he had. Ross’ wife, Sanya Richards-Ross,
tweeted after the game on Sunday that Ross “doesn’t have a concussion.”
Whatever he had, Ross suffered the injury in a scary collision with Jason Pierre-Paul
while both were diving for an interception in the third quarter of the wild-card
playoff game. After a few minutes on the ground with teammates standing around
him, Ross was slowly helped up and walked straight to the locker room.
After the game, Coughlin said he believed Ross would be OK. He has since
undergone the required concussion testing and will likely undergo a few more
exams before he returns to practice.
The Green Bay Packers scored 38 points on
the Giants the last time they played six weeks ago. So why does S
Antrel Rolle think the Giants won’t give up that many again?
“You know, I don’t think it,” he said Tuesday on ProFootballTalk.com’s PFT
Live. “I know it.
“We’re a different team. We’re a better team. We’re a more focused team. It
doesn’t matter what I say. We’re going to go out and just play come Sunday, and
hopefully I stay true to my words.”
SEEDS OF A SHOCKER
History in the making? Maybe. No
fourth-seeded team in the NFC has won a divisional playoff game at the No. 1
seed since the playoffs were expanded in 1990 (0-8). No. 4 seeds are 4-14
overall against the top seed in the divisional round, but all four wins were by
"Giants sensationVictor Cruz[/b]has another reason to celebrate — he has just become a dad for the first time. The 25-year-old wide receiver’s longtime girlfriend,Elaina Watley[/b], CEO of sports marketing and publicity agency Brand Infinite, gave birth in New Jersey on Monday to a baby girl they have namedKennedy[/b]. Cruz told Fox 5’sDuke Castiglione[/b], “It’s amazing just to see her and to hold her in my arms. It’s been an amazing feeling, and I can’t wait to raise her and teach her all the good stuff . . . Every time I’m out there, I’m out there running around for her and catching the ball for her, so she’s always on my mind.”
"The How To Beat the Packers Big Blueprint is right there for Tom Coughlin,
Kevin Gilbride, Eli Manning and Perry Fewell to see on the Kansas City game tape
from Dec. 18. The Chiefs and their interim head coach at the time, Romeo
Crennel, shocked the Perfect Packers 19-14 at Arrowhead Stadium that day.
Crennel, a Giants assistant coach in the 1980s and ’90s, last night provided
The Post with the How to Beat the Packers Big Blueprint:
I — Pressure the Passer: JPP and the boys must be relentless
again and bring the heat on Aaron Rodgers. Tamba Hali was a one-man wrecking
crew with three sacks against reserve tackle Marshall Newhouse, and Rodgers was
harried behind an injury-ravaged offensive line.
Crennel, asked if Rodgers can be rattled, told The Post: “I think all
quarterbacks can be rattled. But he’s difficult to rattle.”
Did the Chiefs rattle him?
“No, I don’t think we rattled him,” Crennel said.
Can the Giants rattle him?
“The Giants have a pretty good pass rush,” Crennel said. “With the way they
rush, there’s a possibility.”
Big Blue can rattle Rodgers with a four-man wrecking crew. The Chiefs blitzed
just eight times.
“Aaron does a good job of recognizing what defense you’re in,” Crennel said.
“If you couldn’t get quick pressure on him, he was able to make plays down the
field. He can also use his feet running away from pressure.”
Fewell should let the big dogs do most of the hunting for him. Packers left
tackle Chad Clifton will be back, no small thing.
II — PRESS COVERAGE: The old Bill Parcells Giants would
disrupt Joe Montana’s rhythm by jamming Jerry Rice and beating him up as often
as they could. Star Packers receiver Greg Jennings missed the Chiefs game, which
made life easier on cornerbacks Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr. Jennings will
be back this week.
“[Rodgers is] very accurate, and he’s very accurate even versus press
coverage,” Crennel said. “A lot of times they throw a back-shoulder fade or
back-shoulder throw. We were able to get a couple of [interference] penalties in
those situations when he attempted that.”
Why so much trust in his corners?
“You have to believe in your corners’ ability and you have to feel like you
can [put] some pressure on the quarterback,” Crennel said.
III — NICKEL-AND-DIME THEM: Packers coach Mike McCarthy
abandoned the ground game, even with the Chiefs daring him to run it. Rodgers
had an off day and was plagued by several drops. The Giants will ask Chris Canty
and Linval Joseph to clog the middle again, and remember, Justin Tuck and JPP
are run-stuffers, too. That means Fewell can load up with coverage — even when
the Packers line up with three receivers or less and try to run — hardly their
He won’t shuffle his feet or start leaning toward the door, won’t give off
those obvious signs he wants out, though you know he does. Eli will never call
off one of those surround-sound mass interview sessions on his own accord. He
never, ever wants to look like the bad guy, like the impatient guy, like he has
had enough of this and can he please get on with the rest of his day.
And so, he waits. He answers. Perhaps the sheer blandness of his responses
will dissipate the crowd, but no luck, the horde remains. When a Giants media
relations intern makes it clear this is the last question, Eli stands and
answers it. When the intern is ignored and another question is asked, Eli stands
and answers it. He is not going to be the one to cut somebody, anybody, off, his
natural politeness clearly evident.
The public face of Eli Manning and the private face he shows to his teammates
is not the same — but not so different, either. If John Mara woke up one
morning, his body taken over by Jets owner Woody Johnson, and as a result of the
switcheroo agreed to put his family’s team on HBO’s “Hard Knocks,’’ the camera
following Manning all day and night would not reveal much in the way of shock
value. A prank here, a little dig there, but the essence of Eli is the same in
front or behind the curtain.
This doesn’t work for everyone, but it works for Manning and works for the
Giants, who walk tall into Sunday’s NFC divisional playoff game against the
Packers at Lambeau Field, supremely confident their unassuming quarterback can
stand up to Aaron Rodgers.
Justin Tuck said the Giants will go as far as the defensive line and Manning
will take them. Mara has said he never, ever lost faith this season because his
team has “number 10.’’ A player who even after delivering an MVP performance in
Super Bowl XLII was not always universally accepted is now three victories away
from stamping instant Hall of Fame credentials on his resume.
Through it all, Manning has been the franchise quarterback but never the star
His receivers know they are blessed to work with a sharp mind who will
deliver the ball to them, but they better make the correct sight adjustments
because Eli is a stickler for detail. His offensive linemen know he will make
them look good by expertly checking out of bad plays that have little chance for
success. The one difference: The receivers always laud Eli, the linemen always
bust his chops.
Manning’s 14-yard scramble — just four yards shy of his longest career run —
escaping the clutches of John Abraham on the first touchdown drive of a
masterful 24-2 playoff rout of the Falcons prompted more Eli-the-non-athlete
jibes. Left tackle David Diehl called him “White Lightning,’’ and right guard
Chris Snee had to pipe down after taking several good-natured shots a few days
earlier about his quarterback’s “most awkward’’ running gait." Read more...
Excerpt: "Justin Tuck had a smile on his face as he talked the other day about the
pimple on the Mona Lisa, one of the few blemishes visible on the Giants’
otherwise masterly 24-2 shellacking of the Falcons in the wild-card round
playoff game at MetLife Stadium.
It was the kind of thing that’s easy to overlook on a day such as that, when
every aspect of the Giants’ arsenal was clicking. And truthfully, most of the
79,909 people inside the joint probably forgot about it as soon as it happened,
because they were busily celebrating a grand January afternoon. But there it is,
on the official play-by-play: L.Tynes 32 yard field goal is No Good, Wide Right, Center-Z.DeOssie,
Yes, for the third time in four weeks, Lawrence Tynes had missed a field
goal, and, sure, it was a chippie and, OK, yes, it would be good if he could
leave those yips behind him when the Giants board the team charter for Green Bay
in a couple of days.
But it was Tuck who summarized what was probably on the mind of anyone who
happened to notice, since Tuck can short-hand things almost as well as an editor
looking for a back-page hook.
“You kick a team into the Super Bowl,” Tuck said, “you’re going to have some
Yes, that is the niche that Tynes has, and forever will have. There are
plenty of Giants held over from four years ago, veterans of the greatest upset
in Super Bowl history: Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Eli Manning, Brandon Jacobs, others.
And as we saw last Sunday, when so many alums prowled the MetLife grounds, when
you win a Super Bowl for the Giants, you are always welcomed back as returning
And that is all quite splendid.
But Tynes is a part of two extra-exclusive fraternities that ought to have
their own secret handshakes in addition to wallet-sized passes exempting them
from ever having to pick up a meal or a beer again. He and Matt Bahr, after all,
are the only two Giants to ever kick a football through a set of uprights that
automatically punched tickets to the Super Bowl for the Giants. Bahr did it in
1991, a 42-yarder that slew the 49ers and sent the Giants to Tampa to play the
And it was Tynes’ 47-yard field goal 17 years to the day later, the last time
the Giants visited Lambeau Fie
Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2012 - 9:15 A.M.
[quote user="RoanokeFan"][quote user="lttaylor56"]Thanks for all the hard work this week. There's lots to grab from so many sources. I can't wait for Sunday.[/quote]
I feel better every day about our chances of winning this game.* There is a quiet confidence fueled by three weeks of 60 minutes of team football.* GO GIANTS!
[/quote]God Bless This Team and give them the ability to overcome all adversities that come their way!!! Go Blue
Re: NEWS, NOTES, RUMORS, AND GOSSIP: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2012 - 9:15 A.M.
[quote user="lttaylor56"][quote user="RoanokeFan"][quote user="lttaylor56"]Thanks for all the hard work this week. There's lots to grab from so many sources. I can't wait for Sunday.[/quote]
I feel better every day about our chances of winning this game. There is a quiet confidence fueled by three weeks of 60 minutes of team football. GO GIANTS!
[/quote]God Bless This Team and give them the ability to overcome all adversities that come their way!!! Go Blue[/quote]