Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
January 22, 2008
FOOTBALL: Giants Among...The NFC

Sunday night's Giants-Packers NFC title game made me nostalgic for the days when I used to follow the NFL every week, rather than casually with my full attention not focused until the playoffs. It was a rare kind of classic game - typically a monster game involves two offenses clicking on all cylinders (like the Giants-Pats season finale - the all-time classic of this was the famous Chargers-Dolphins playoff in 1981), or two great defenses slugging it out, or a great offense against a great defense. But this was one of those rare games - much like the 1991 Giants-Bills Super Bowl - that was crisply played by both teams on both sides of the ball, and doubly impressive for such great football being played in such terrible cold. I don't think I have ever seen so many passes completed by one team with just tiptoes in fair territory on the sidelines (many of them diving grabs) as the much- and (until very recently) justly-maligned Eli Manning hit to Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer in this game. Those weren't blown coverages, as few of them were totally wide-open; they were just a QB in perfect sync with his receivers and the receivers making amazing snatches. Burress and Toomer have to be the best Giants receiving corps ever (and rookie Stephen Smith wasn't too shabby over the middle, either). The only marring factor was Lawrence Tynes' disastrous kicking before the OT game-winner; it reminded me all too much of the infamous Seahawks game two years ago when Jay Feeley missed three game-winning field goals, one to end regulation and two in overtime.

One thing you have to say is that Tom Coughlin's decision to play full-bore for the 'meaningless' win the last day of the season against New England was the right decision. Going the distance against the undefeated Pats juggernaut clearly gave this team a confidence boost, and now they face the Patriots feeling quite reasonably like they can take them. I'm doubtful that they will, not least because it's nearly impossible to beat a demonstrably better team in the playoffs with an unreliable kicker. But there's time yet for hope.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 10:30 AM | Football | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)

Crank, what is this football thing you're discussing? I'm having seizures.

Posted by: Dodger Steve at January 22, 2008 10:58 AM

I'd like the Giants chances better if they were playing this Sunday. It's tough enough to match up with the Pats without giving Belicheck an extra week to prepare.

Posted by: Jerry at January 22, 2008 11:34 AM

New York Giants meet the Colorado Rockies.

This is the same thing. Different sport.

Posted by: jim at January 22, 2008 12:02 PM

New England delenda est.

Posted by: seamus at January 22, 2008 1:12 PM

"New England delenda est"

I think the NYG would have a better shot at Carthage.

Posted by: jim at January 22, 2008 1:42 PM

The Gmen have been counted out before. Ronde wanted Eli, lesson: be careful what you wish for. Brady is limping around town, NYC by the way. It should be a fun game, regular season finale was quite competitive.

Posted by: abe at January 22, 2008 4:38 PM

The Rockies took 2 out of 3 from the Sox in the regular season, too. From all reports Brady is fine and will be more fine in 2 weeks. The Pats played that game against the Giants w/o the starting right side of their O-line (which is the best in football) and kicked the Giants' butts in the second half. Sorry, this is a major mismatch. Pats cover the 14 going away (think 49ers-SD).

Posted by: jim at January 22, 2008 5:43 PM

I love how everyone "knows" the outcome already. Just like everyone "knew" the Bucs would beat the Giants, and everyone "knew" the Cowboys would destroy the Giants, and everyone "knew" the Colts would beat the Chargers, and of course everyone "knew" the Packers would beat the Giants as well.

Keep counting the Giants out, they like it better that that way. They are playing much better then they were a month ago, when they were beating the Patriots by 12 in the third quarter, and lost a three point game.

Of course, I won't be placing a bet on the game, way too nervous. And the Pats are crazy good.

Posted by: CT Ron at January 22, 2008 9:03 PM

Hey Blue, run the ball. Then run it some more. And finally, run it again.

Jacobs is a beast, Bradshaw is a threat to go the distance every time.

The best way to wear down Harrison's HGH fortress is to beat him down.

If the Giants win, Eli will become an instant legend in New York. How weird is that?

Go Blue.

Posted by: hoyasaxa at January 24, 2008 1:03 AM

Tough to run a lot when you're down 3 scores.

Posted by: jim at January 24, 2008 1:02 PM

Did the NFL change the rules so not only do the Patriots get timely bogus illegal contact penalties, they also get to start with a three score lead?

No? OK. I'll stick with what I said.

Posted by: hoyasaxa at January 24, 2008 2:34 PM

No, but if you are down 3 scores in the second quarter (and given the Pats history this year that is not an entirely unreasonable statement) there won't be a lot of running of the ball for the Gi'nts. This is a mismatch.

Posted by: jim at January 24, 2008 5:09 PM

As the late Wellington Mara said, " "It's nice to see arrogance humbled." Taking down Tampa, Dallas, Green Bay and the Pats was awesome. Wow, what a team, one for the ages. Shocking, Mets get the best pitcher in the game, Gmen take down the unbeatable team. What a game!

Posted by: abe at February 3, 2008 10:22 PM
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