GIANTS' ELI MANNING, IN RESPONSE TO QUESTION ABOUT BEING "ELITE", FIRES BACK AT MEDIA FOR "MAKING UP STORIES."
"Eli Manning showed up today for the first time since 2007.
Well, what I mean is the Giants' quarterback broke from his formula of giving
vanilla answers to finally take a shot back at us in the media who took
his saying he was elite like Tom Brady
this summer and blowing it up into a
Just like he did four seasons ago when he fired
back at Tiki Barber for saying his attempts at leadership were “comical,”
Manning stunned reporters with his jab today when asked if he regretted the
“No I don’t have any regrets. I thought I gave an honest answer,” Manning
said. “I didn’t regret it at the time or think anything of it at the time.
Obviously, it’s been made into a big deal but I can’t always control that. I’m
worried about getting ready to play, play this game, go out there play my best
football and get the team to play our best football.
“That’s my job. My job is to play the game. It’s your job to talk and make up
To be fair, many of us were dragged into this storyline against our will. And
again, to be fair to Manning, he was backed into a corner with the original
But again, to be fair to a great quote from a guy who sprinkles them
* * * *
One other great moment from his presser was when he was asked about Ann
Mara’s giving Terry Bradshaw the business
because he never picks the
“I heard about it and kind if saw it on the news and read about it a little
bit. You had to laugh,” Manning said. “Mrs. Mara, you see her and you think,
‘Sweet Mrs. Mara,’ but she obviously is very passionate about Giants football
and passionate about this team, is involved and knows the players.
“I like her attitude. I like the way she spoke her mind about something she
cared deeply about.”
* * * *
Hang in there for more football-oriented stuff. Coming at you in droves
today."PATRIOTS' BILL BELICHICK POINTS OUT GREAT FAMILIARITY, TIES WITH GIANTS
"Bill Belichick, like
his quarterback and team owner
, had little interest in revisiting Super Bowl
XLII -- specifically his memories of the moment when David
Tyree made his spectacular catch to spur the Giants' comeback
GIANTS' HOT TOPIC: IS GIANTS' TOM COUGHLIN A HALL OF FAME COACH?
"I think we’ve talked about all that a long time ago," the Patriots coach
said on a media conference call today. "Had a lot of comments on the record
after the game and everything else. Go back and look at all of the things that
happened then, or some other year."
But Belichick spoke more fondly of other ties with the Giants: the 12 years
he spent there as an assistant coach, his "good friendship" with coach Tom
Coughlin and the familiarity and respect between the two franchises.
Belichick pointed out that this will be the third time the two teams face
each other this season, including the preseason matchup.
"This is a team that we have some background with relative to most of the
other NFC teams we've played through the years. We know how good they are,"
Belichick said, praising their coaches, ownership and front office.
He added: "They’ve performed well under pressure in critical games. They’ve
played some of their best football when they’ve had to and when it's counted the
most. That’s what you’ve got to do this time of year. ... We know this is the
best team we’ve played. It’s going to take our best game. The way it should
Belichick won two Super Bowls with the Giants during his run with the team
from 1979-1990, serving as special teams coach, a defensive assistant and
eventually defensive coordinator. Coughlin was the Giants' receivers coach from
1988-90, and Belichick said of all the fellow coaches he has worked with, their
relationship was "as good as any."
"I have a lot of respect for Tom," Belichick said. "He’s definitely stood the
test of time in a couple organizations. ... He's tough, he's very disciplined,
got a lot of experience, an intense coach, and I think that’s reflected in the
way his teams play."
Belichick said he and Coughlin share a mutual respect, speaking about common
problems and sharing things with each other -- particularly since their teams
are in different conferences.
While Belichick will be looking to dash the Giants' title hopes in two weeks,
he will always hold respect and fondness for the organization.
"Those were 12 great years of my life," he said. "I loved every one of them
with the Giants. The people I worked with, where I lived, our community, my kids
were born there. There's a lot of fond memories there."
* * *
Belichick did not give much of an update on TE Rob Gronkowski, who injured
his left ankle in the AFC Championship Game. Gronkowski was wearing a walking
Belichick said "we'll see how it goes," noting that the team has not yet
practiced since the game. He added, "it's hard to gauge injuries" based on how
they look in the game.
* * *
Belichick praised safety James Ihedigbo, the ex-Jet who signed with the
Patriots in free agency this year. Mainly a special teams and situational player
with the Jets, Ihedigbo has stepped into a starting role in New England.
Belichick called him a leader who has quick recognition in the secondary.
"He's a hard worker, a really diligent guy," Belichick continued. "He's had a
lot of value in a number of different areas for us."
"The Star-Ledger's Mike Garafolo wrote a story today about Tom
Coughlin enjoying the game more than ever
as the Giants head to the Super
This is Coughlin's 16th season as a coach - eight with the Giants, eight with
the Jacksonville Jaguars - and the accolades are piling up. So many, in fact,
that the 65-year-old coach is entering Hall-of-Fame discussion.
• 142-114 regular-season record (.555 winning percentage)
• 11-7 playoff
• 7 division titles
• 2 NFC Championship titles
• 1 Super Bowl
• Guided Jacksonville to AFC Championship Game in franchise's second
• Only coach to twice
win all three playoff levels
(wild-card, divisional and conference championship) and reach Super Bowl
So is Coughlin a Hall-of-Famer? Does he have to win Super Bowl XLVI to be
one? There are 21
coaches currently in the Hall-of-Fame
, with Bill Parcells a 2012 finalist.
Drop down to the comments
to join the discussion on whether Coughlin is a Hall-of-Famer. And,
don't worry, Giants fans, we're saving that "Best coach in Giants history"
question for after the Super Bowl."
PATRIOTS' TIM BRADY, ROBERT KRAFT STILL AT A LOSS WHEN SUPER BOWL XLII IS MENTIONED
Excerpt: "Four years have passed since the game that became Giants
legend and New England Patriots
Patriots’ star quarterbac
k and their
admitted that, even now, footage from Super Bowl XLII
makes them turn away.
“As time goes on, I still can’t watch highlights from that game,” Brady said
Monday, in his weekly spot on Boston’s WEEI radio.
Robert Kraft agreed: “I’ve never been able to watch it.”
Two weeks from this past Sunday will be the rematch of that championship
game, the one in which the Giants knocked off their undefeated opponent with a
late-game drive that seemed near-miraculous to their fan base.
Kraft may have never watched a replay, but when he shared his memory of that
day, he listed the moments on which the game turned: The would-be interception
that went through Asante Samuel’s hands. Eli Manning eluding the grasp of at
least three Patriots defenders — and “whether the whistle blows,” Kraft said.
The football-to-helmet catch by David Tyree on the other end of Manning’s
“In the end, there’s a lot of little things,” Kraft said. “That was a great
game, and that was a great team, and we’re looking forward to having the
privilege of going to Indianapolis." Read more...
GIANTS' TOM COUGHLIN IS ENJOYING THE GAME MORE THAN EVER AS HIS TEAM HEAD TO THE SUPER BOWL
Excerpt: "This Giants
team has lifted Tom
Literally, Brandon Jacobs picked him up during the postgame celebration in
the locker room after beating the Patriots in November.
Figuratively, they have their 65-year-old coach enjoying his job more than
ever before, as they begin preparing for their next meeting with the Pats in 12
days in Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI.
“There’s a great feeling,” Coughlin said on a conference call with reporters
Monday, one day after beating
the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game
, 20-17, on Lawrence
Tynes’ 31-yard field goal in overtime.
“I talk a lot about spirit, I talk about emotions, I talk about vibes, I talk
about feelings, I talk about an atmosphere that’s been created by the
cooperation between players and coaches and the harmony and great feeling that
exists. It’s been that type of feeling that’s sustained us throughout the course
of the year but even more as I see people get real closer together.
“That naturally happens with success but I’m talking about a real bonding.
That’s what I sense and that’s what I feel.”
As Coughlin suggested, there’s yet to be a team on its way to the Super Bowl
that isn’t talking about “harmony” among the ranks.
But this is different.
The look on his face as his players were dancing around him and chanting,
“Ha, see you Wednesday” while Jacobs lifted him.
His uncharacteristically playful tone toward the media last Friday at the end
of a week in which he found it “difficult to contain yourself.”
The grin in a photo from Sunday’s postgame locker room as he stares at safety
Derrick Martin, sprawled like a cat on top of a stall with a phone in his hand
taking video of the scene." Read more...
POLITI: GIANTS-PATRIOTS SUPER BOWL IS FULL OF STORYLINES YOU MIGHT SOON BE SICK OF
Excerpt: "Hype is as much a Super Bowl requirement as the Roman numerals, perhaps the
NFL’s one rule that even its referees couldn’t screw up. So we’d be bracing for
two weeks of over-the-top buildup even if the matchup in the big game were, say,
But this is different. This is Giants
-Patriots, and that will take the
hype all the way to Defcon 1, all the way to 11 on the Spinal Tap amps, all the
way to a level so intense that, somewhere in a darkened ESPN studio, Chris
Berman is already foaming at the mouth in anticipation.
So in preparation for the coming Hype Tsunami, here are five story lines
you’ll be so sick of by the time kickoff finally arrives, you’ll consider moving
to Djibouti and becoming a cricket fan:
1. REMATCH! (Capital letters required.)
Have you heard? These two teams have met before. In, like, the Super Bowl.
And it was kinda epic.
Brady said it’s still too painful
to watch highlights from Super Bowl XLII,
and if that’s really the case, maybe Giselle should cover the flat screens. If
David Tyree could earn royalties from every time his catch is shown over the
next two weeks, he’d crack the Forbes list.
The comparisons are unavoidable, since most of the major players from the
game remain. Still, turnover is the nature of the NFL, and there are far more
Patriots and Giants playing in their first Super Bowl than those returning for a
second crack. But no capital letters are required for that.
2. Jets coach Rex Ryan could
use a hug.
Really, what would you even say to the big lug at this point? His team
imploded from within. His star receiver can’t stand his franchise quarterback.
He has spent the past three weeks rolling himself under bus after bus, insisting
he’ll change his loudmouth ways next season.
Now he gets the Super Bowl From Hell for Jets fans. Here come the Patriots,
the team he promised the Jets finally would beat in the AFC East, against the
Giants, the team he insisted was the second best in the New York market. Here
comes Bill Belichick, the man whose rings Ryan would not kiss, against Tom
Coughlin, the coach he all but taunted in the weeks leading up to their
A year ago, everything Rex touched turned to gold. Now, if we find out his
favorite singer is Madonna, she’ll probably tumble off the stage head first
during the halftime show.
Manning has a brother, and did you know he also plays football in the Super
Bowl host city?
The Giants quarterback was asked immediately after the NFC Championship Game
if it was even more exciting to play the big one in Indianapolis, where his
brother Peyton has been a superstar for so long.
“Well, I would have preferred New Orleans,” Eli said, “but hey, at least it’s
He didn’t say that, of course. But what could he say? The host city is about
as relevant to a Super Bowl team as the halftime act. Players go from film
sessions to media sessions to practices, so if they see anything in the city,
it’s probably from the charter bus window.
Chances are, Indianapolis Colts fans will be rooting for the Giants because
of Eli. Then again, given that the Patriots are the opponent, the Manning
bloodlines weren’t exactly a requirement to get their support.
4. Speaking of Eli, you can’t spell E-L-I-T-E without him. You also
need those letters to spell “We have EstabLIshed this already.”
Look: If you don’t think Eli
Manning belongs on the list
of the league’s finest quarterbacks now, nothing
he does at Lucas Oil Stadium in two weeks is going to change your opinion.
We’ve seen how these postseason games go. A $100 million quarterback can
throw for 300 yards and four touchdowns, only to have a backup kick returner
making the league minimum drop a punt in overtime. Just like that, season over
and legacies altered.
A second championship, especially if he outplays Brady with the world
watching, will put Eli on a level with the all-time greats. There’s no denying
that. But as far as proving, once and for all, the guy is one of the best
quarterbacks right now? That case is closed. Read more.GIANTS VS. 49ERS: KEY PLAYS IN GIANTS' NFC CHAMPIONSHIP WIN
"Five key plays in the Giants'
20-17 victory over the San Francisco Giants in Sunday's
NFC Championship Game:
1. Ahmad Bradshaw’s forward progress
tied at 17, 2:29 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Giants deep in their own
Quite simply, the game. After a tremendous
block where Bradshaw managed to send Patrick Willis airborne, he snuck out of
the backfield and caught a short pass from Eli Manning. After six yards, it
appears that NaVorro Bowman rips the ball loose, giving the 49ers the ball
inside the Giant 20-yard line. But as Mike Garafolo noted in his game review
today, it was an excellent call by side judge Don Carlsen, who ruled that
Bradshaw’s forward progress had been stopped before the fumble occurred. Had
Bowman reached Bradshaw a second earlier, though, we may have been talking about
a 20-17 49ers victory.
2. Jim Harbaugh’s missed timeout and Alex Smith’s short throw to
With a little more than six minutes
to play in the fourth quarter. A third-and-5 at the Giants’ 10-yard
Again, maybe the entire game if either Harbaugh
gets the timeout off, Smith puts that ball in a different spot for Crabtree, or
Crabtree makes a move upfield to get the extra two yards. At this point, the
49ers were trailing by three, 17-14, and were finally rolling after an excellent
return from the embattled Kyle Williams. But the Giants defense held strong,
forcing Smith into a throw he looked like he didn’t want. Meanwhile, Harbaugh
was darting off the sideline signaling for a timeout. Remember, a touchdown
there puts the Giants down four and with the way the 49ers defense was playing
in the second half, it would be tough sledding for Manning and Co. to answer
3. Justin Tuck’s running into the kicker penalty
Early in the third quarter, the Giants leading by three. It
was San Francisco’s eighth play of the second half, on a fourth-and-6 at the
Possibly momentum if the 49ers are any
closer to the maker there. Tuck got flagged for a tick-tack shoulder nudge of
49ers Pro Bowl punter Andy Lee, and if the 49ers were a yard closer, they’d be
looking at a fresh set of downs inside Giants territory. Instead, it’s still
fourth-and-1 and the conservative Jim Harbaugh decided not to rest the Giants
short-yardage defense (and rightfully so given their track record so far in
these playoffs). Though that drive was largely driven by another Giants penalty
— Aaron Ross was flagged for an illegal contact on third-and-19 a few plays
before — you never know how another three plays could shape the course of that
4. Steve Weatherford’s 50-yard punt deep in his own
Less than two minutes to play in the fourth
quarter, the Giants have a fourth-and-15 at their own 21-yard line.
Nothing for the 49ers anemic offense, which was exactly what the
Giants were hoping for. Weatherford was given lots of props — and rightfully so
— for his holding duties in these conditions, but nailing that 50-yard punt, and
forcing the 49ers to start the drive from their own 29-yard line, was crucial
down the stretch. Any closer to field-goal range and things may have played out
differently. Instead, the 49ers offense continued to struggle and the Giants got
the ball back with the score still tied.
5. 49ers starting guard Mike Iupati injured his
On the 49ers first drive, third
With the rain pouring down, slopping up the
field, the conditions only encouraged the hapless 49ers offense to run the ball
even more. Completions — to receivers, especially — were at a premium. However,
with Iupati banged up, injuring his ankle when running back Kendall Hunter fell
on him, that made getting Frank Gore and Hunter their touches all the more
difficult. Iupati returned, but was injured again before the quarter was over.
He was seen limping during several points in the game, which is obviously no way
to be facing off against the most feared front four in football right now."
ELI MANNING SAYS EXTRA WEEK BEFORE SUPER BOWL IS A GOOD THING
Excerpt: "At this point in January 2008, with the Giants
having won five straight games, the
repeat question was whether the bye week before the Super Bowl might break their
While that same inquiry will surely be posed to them this week, there’s at
least one guy who’s relieved about the break.
“There are some weeks where you’re happy that you’ve got two weeks before
this next game,” quarterback Eli Manning said today during his weekly spot on
1050 ESPN Radio.
What he means is he felt every bit as bad as he looked when he was slammed to
the ground during Sunday’s NFC
Championship Game victory in San Francisco
and got up with his chinstrap out
of place, grass in his facemask and his shoulder pad sticking out of the neck
hole of his jersey.
Manning was sacked six times during the game and, according to the official
scorer, was hit a total of 12 times.
“There was a little soreness, but just your typical kind of bumps and
bruises. Nothing major,” Manning said. “If we had to practice today, I’d be out
there ready to go.
“It was just one of those days. They’re tough. When you talk about good
defenses that I’ve played against and gone against, they’re a really good
Justin Smith got four hits on Manning, including a sack in overtime before
Kyle Williams’ fumbled punt set up the game-winning field goal. Ray McDonald,
Aldon Smith and Patrick Willis each hit Manning twice.
“They’ve got a good scheme going there and good players,” Manning said, “so
they did a good job of making it tough on the quarterback.”
Tom Coughlin was glad to see, as always, Manning didn’t complain.
“He stands in there and he’ll take the blows, he’ll get right back up, he
gets right back in the huddle, he’s the same positive influence on everybody
around him,” Coughlin said on a conference call with reporters today. “He
doesn’t get real upset and point the finger or want to know what the deal is.
I’m sure he does in his mind, but he’s never going to show that.”
Later, Coughlin added: “I don’t want the quarterback to be subject to that. I
know that if we take care of him, he’ll take care of us.” Read more...
GIANTS VS. PATRIOTS: NEW ENGLAND DEFENSE FIGHTING TO EARN RESPECT
Excerpt: "During the New England Patriots’ 13-3 season and run to the Super Bowl, their
offense has been lauded and their defense has been questioned.
After all, New England ranked second in the league in total offense and 31st
in in defense.
But after the Patriots held up against the Baltimore Ravens’ two-minute drive
23-20 AFC Championship Game win
, safety James Ihedigbo hoped the defense had
earned its due.
“People shy away from giving this defense respect,” Ihedigbo said today.
“We’ve earned the right to be called a good defense, and come Super Bowl Sunday,
we’re going to be proving that we’re a great defense.”
That could prove to be a tall task against a Giants offense that features an
explosive passing attack with quarterback Eli Manning and receivers Hakeem
Nicks, Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham.
Ihedigbo said he was motivated before the AFC Championship Game by the
perception that there were three strong defenses left — the Ravens, the Giants
and the San Francisco 49ers — while the Patriots defense was its team’s weak
“Everyone was talking about our defense — oh, there’s three great defenses
left in the playoffs and left our defense out of that,” Ihedigbo said. “It’s
about respect, that’s why you play this game. It’s not given, it is earned, and
each game we have a chance to prove that, and that’s what we plan on doing.”
The Patriots’ pass defense, in particular, has been scrutinized. They
surrendered 293.9 passing yards per game this season, second-most in the league.
Their lineup has been shuffled for injuries and other reasons, and includes a
former practice-squad player (Sterling Moore) and an offensive player (Julian
Edelman)." Read more...
AFTER GIANTS' VICTORY, ANN MARA CHIDES FOX ANALYST TERRY BRADSHAW
"Perhaps some of the pugnacity the Giants have shown during their run to the
Super Bowl has rubbed off from Ann Mara, the wife of late Giants owner
In the Giants locker room after Sunday's
victory over the San Francisco 49ers
in the NFC Championship Game, Ann Mara
chided Fox analyst (and former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback) Terry Bradshaw
for not picking the Giants during the network's pregame show.
As Bradshaw is about to interview wide receiver Victor Cruz, Mara steals the
show, tapping Bradshaw on the arm, then saying, "You never pick the Giants."
Cruz laughs, and Bradshaw chuckles too, then says, "I'm sorry. I'm getting
hammered for not picking the Giants."
Bradshaw won't have a chance to redeem himself in Mara's eyes this season.
NBC will broadcast the Feb.
5 rematch between the Giants and New England Patriots in Super Bowl
GIANTS VS. NINERS GAME REVIEW: ELI MANNING, TOM COUGHLIN LIFT GIANTS INTO SUPER BOWL
Excerpt: "It’s kind of weird to say this because the 2007 run was just so magical, but
seems to be having more fun this time around.
John Mara sees it, which is why he just can’t see the 65-year-old Coughlin
stepping down anytime soon. Heck, anybody who saw Coughlin’s
press conference on Friday, in which he was joking with reporters
how much fun Coughlin was having.
“At times it was very difficult to contain yourself,” he said after
Sunday’s NFC Championship Game victory. “Even this past week, when the
excitement of this thing was building up, the days seemed to be flying by and I
was nervous we were doing all we could possibly do to put ourselves in a
position to win. But these guys have gone out and done it against the best we’ve
That’s a guy having fun right there.
“When you’re not in the playoffs, it hurts a lot,” Coughlin said. “Those are
the times when you think, ‘My goodness, what are we missing here? How are we
denying ourselves such an incredible, enjoyable experience? What can we do about
“It’s been a couple of years since we’ve been in the playoffs, a few years
since the Super Bowl, and now that we have this experience again, we’re humble
about it, knowing full well a game of this nature could’ve gone either way.
Thank God it went our way, but we’re excited about it.”
* * * *
One quick note: I did this as soon as I got back to my hotel Sunday night and
worked through the night. I had a 6 a.m. flight that doesn’t land until 2:30
p.m. or so. I sent this to the desk to post for me.
That’s a long way of me saying I’ll get to any corrections and additions when
I can. In the meantime, you know where to put your feedback down below.
* * * *
Coughlin. See above.
Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell
and his staff. CBS
analyst Charlie Casserly
reported Sunday the Colts
wanted to interview Fewell but couldn’t
. Given this defensive turnaround
and the good
vibes from the players who credited his ability to listen
, they might be
asking to talk to him this week. By rule, they can. We’ll keep an ear out for
this situation and let you know what we hear.
Special teams coordinator Tom Quinn
. Suddenly, special teams is a strength of this team.
And by the way, nobody on the front line budged early on any of the kick
returns. The Niners weren’t going to sneak in a surprise onside kick on these
General manager Jerry Reese
and the rest of the front
office. He was laughing at the idea of what he called the “murderer’s row”
schedule the Giants faced late in the season because there are no gimmes in this
league. Now, he’s very happy his team went through it. “The schedule was brutal
and we took advantage of the brutal schedule,” he said. “I like the tough
schedule. You win these kinds of games when you play a brutal, physical schedule
like we play, when you’re battle tested and you come out on top.”
QB Eli Manning
. The touchdown pass to WR Mario
was a dart. That’s such a great throw right there. He had
plenty of others and did
a great job of not trying to do too much
. But in another example of how calm
he is in pressure situations, his presence of mind to see the field-goal unit
running on the field at the end of the second quarter and to wait for them to
get back to the sideline before snapping it was huge. If he snaps the ball
there, that’s a penalty, as Troy Aikman
told you. The part they left out is it’s also a 10-second runoff
because they didn’t have any timeouts. So had they been flagged for too many men
on the field, it would’ve been the end of the half. No field-goal attempt, no
LB Jacquian Williams
. We’ve covered
the forced fumble at length
, so let’s take a moment here to highlight a
couple of fine third-down plays earlier in the second half: a pass defensed on a
scramble by Niners QB Alex Smith
and a tackle on RB
in the open field late in the third quarter.
Williams closed on Gore extremely quickly on that one.
WR Devin Thomas
. Sometimes fumble recoveries are a matter of
luck, hustle and/or awareness, as was the case with his first recovery. And
sometimes, there’s skill involved like on the big one. That ball took only one
bounce before it popped up to a falling Thomas. He was ready and showed great
hands to make that play.
P Steve Weatherford
. He deftly handled a low snap on the
game-winning field goal and also on a punt with 27 seconds left in the fourth
quarter. Nearly five months later, I think we can safety say the Giants made the
right call keeping him over Matt Dodge
K Lawrence Tynes
. There was a lot of stuff that could’ve
broken his rhythm, and Billy
Cundiff’s miss earlier in the day
could’ve gotten in his head as well. But
WR Victor Cruz
. Eight of his 10 catches were for first
downs. The first time he didn’t get a first down was a 13-yard catch on a
second-and-15 on the third-to-last play of the second quarter to set up a field
goal. The other one that didn’t go for a first down was a 6-yard catch in the
third quarter. On the next play, he caught a ball for 11 yards … and a first
down. I didn’t realize until today he didn’t have a catch after that 11-yarder,
which came with just under 9 minutes left in the third quarter. He
finished with 10 catches for 142 yards
and could’ve easily cracked the
WR Hakeem Nicks
. I forgot to ask what happened with his
shoulder early on. Given his threshold for pain and the way he reacted, I’m sure
he played through something painful.
Manningham. I wish I’d heard the TV feed during the game because Cruz was
yelling, “I told you! I told you!” and then turned to Nicks and screamed, “You
called it! You called it!” I’d love to know what they saw and what Nicks
CBs Aaron Ross
and Corey Webster
. Yeah, I’d
say one catch for the other team’s receivers is a sign the corners played
TE Bear Pascoe
. I had no clue while watching live what
happened on his touchdown. After watching a few times on the replay, it looks
like Niners LB NaVorro Bowman
was supposed to pick him up on
the crossing route. In any event, that was a great time for Pascoe to catch his
first NFL touchdown. The last time the Giants had played here, there were a
bunch of Cowboy hats waiting in the postgame meet-and-greet area. I had a
feeling they were there for the California native, whose family owns a ranch,
and they were. I didn’t get out to that area after this game, but I’m sure they
were waiting proudly once again.
DE Jason Pierre-Paul.
Among other moments, his tackle of
Smith a yard short of the stick on a scramble in the second quarter was a fine,
fine play. He got upfield on LT Joe Staley
and then peeled off
to get Smith. After a delay-of-game penalty, San Fran punted. One other
Pierre-Paul moment of note was when he got his hands up on third-and-5 with 6:03
left in the fourth quarter. That forced Smith to throw high for WR
, who didn’t get the chance to get any yards
after the catch. A throw in stride there might’ve allowed him to get upfield and
get the first down inside the 5-yard line. Instead, the Niners settled for a
field goal and a tie game.
DE Justin Tuck
. His closing speed on a sack of Smith in the
third quarter was reminiscent of the old Tuck. After
a trying regular season
, he’s back.
LB Mathias Kiwanuka
. Okay, so it was a defensive lineman
trying to block him on third-and-1 early in the fourth quarter. But that’s still
DT Justin Smith
, who’s a big, strong guy. So for Kiwanuka to
chuck him so quickly and create a pileup is another impressive play against the
run. Oh, and as his sack proved, he can still rush the passer when needed.
RB Ahmad Bradshaw
. He wanted to “hit my head on the
goalpost” while scoring the game-winning touchdown. He didn’t get to do it but
he hit his head on plenty of opponents while going for 126 total yards." Read more...http://www.nj.com/giants/