When you look back on the season that was, it's difficult to believe this once 7-7 team would be on their way to Indianapolis fighting for another Super Bowl championship, yet here they are. Led by quarterback Eli Manning, who now has more road playoff wins than any other signal caller in NFL history, the Giants are writing another fairytale against all odds. And much like the 2007 team, it all culminates against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
The odds are against them. Again. They open as 3.5 point underdogs and already pundits are proclaiming "there's no way they can do it again."
The adversity seems to fuel this team, but New England won't be blindsided again. This time Bill Belichick & Co. will know what's coming their way, so the Giants will need to step away from the 2007 parallels and realize the Super bowl will be has hard fought as the NFC Championship game that led them here.
But before all that, the fans still have the right to celebrate an NFC Championship.
Devin Thomas had a feeling he would make a play that would help the Giants win the NFC Championship.
And the player who barely saw time as a receiver this season, then saw his kick returning duties taken from him and briefly thought he was paralyzed after a collision in the Dec. 18 loss to the Redskins, played a huge part in the Giants’ fifth NFC title.
“I had a vision in my mind that I was going to make some type of big play to help us win the game,” he said. “I thought it was just going to be that first fumble, but I got another opportunity to recover another one and I jumped on that.”
Lawrence Tynes had a dream Saturday night. He called it “the typical kicker dream.”
In other words, it was a make-the-winning-field-goal-to-send-your-team-to-the-Super-Bowl dream.
Tynes experienced the once-in-a-lifetime moment .. for the second time in his lifetime.
List the names of potential NFC championship game heroes and Jacquian Williams would not be the first person to come to mind.
However, Williams made a dramatic play that was instrumental in sending the Giants to Super Bowl XLVI. In overtime, Williams reached in and stripped the ball from 49ers punt returner Kyle Williams. Devin Thomas recovered at the 49ers’ 24-yard line, setting up the game-winning field goal by Lawrence Tynes.
Manning was ever stoic, ever calm, even on the doorstep of history and football immortality. Only one man in the modern class of "elite" quarterbacks has won more than one Super Bowl. Drew Brees hasn't. Aaron Rodgers hasn't. Even big brother Peyton Manning hasn't.
But thanks to Tynes' kick and the Giants' relentless defense and Eli Manning's ability to get up after hit after hit after hit, little brother has a chance to join Tom Brady with multiple rings. Is Manning elite? The way he has played this season and gotten New York to the final game, Manning has rendered the question moot. It is no longer up for debate.
Victor Cruz dropped the first pass thrown his way this season and fans immediately took to his Twitter timeline questioning his value to the Giants.
In the biggest game of his life, with a Super Bowl trip as improbable as his sudden rise to NFL stardom on the line, Cruz made the Candlestick Park crowd chant his name.
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