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Feb 11 Super Bowl rings and stories - Justin Tuck will never forget the first time he took his Super Bowl XLII ring on a road trip. Tuck said he'd fallen into a deep sleep when he felt someone playing with his finger. He woke up to find the flight attendant trying to slip the ring off his finger.

The Bucs hired Giants quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan as offensive coordinator on Friday night. Before going to the Giants, Sullivan spent a year as defensive quality control coach with the Jaguars under current Giants coach Tom Coughlin. After the Jags fired Coughlin in 2002, Sullivan spent one season in Jacksonville as an offensive assistant under Jack Del Rio.

When the Giants lost several key players last summer at the start of training camp, Jerry Reese told everyone that several unproven players could step up and shine. Victor Cruz, Jake Ballard and Kevin Boothe were among those who proved Reese right.

As of Thursday afternoon, Giants linebacker Michael Boley estimated he had spent just 15 hours sleeping since the team won the Super Bowl on Sunday night. There have simply been too many parades, parties, interviews and signings since New York returned home victorious.

Giants linebacker Michael Boley said to his teammates that Rob Gronkowski "was a decoy," meaning that he wouldn't be near his best because of his injured left ankle. "He's about to be out of here," Boley said. Gronkowski, who set an N.F.L. record for tight ends with 17 touchdown receptions, was limited to two catches for 26 yards.

Giants quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan could soon be joining Greg Schiano in Tampa, Fla. Sullivan is interviewing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offensive coordinator job. Sullivan was the Giants' wide receivers coach from 2004-09. After Chris Palmer left for the UFL, he stepped in as Eli Manning's position coach.

Feb 10 After the safety/intentional grounding, Tom Brady is on the sideline, telling the coaches he went through his progression but, "I had no place to throw it away." Bill Belichick later tries to make a case to the officials by saying there was a receiver in the area. "He didn't throw it to him but he had a guy that was coming in there," Belichick said.

Mario Manningham burned, scorched and singed Belichick's strategy in Super Bowl XLVI, as the defensive mastermind pleaded with his players down the stretch to continue to focus their attention on Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz, daring Eli Manning to throw to Manningham or Bear Pascoe.

Brandon Jacobs issued an apology to Tom Brady's supermodel wife for telling her to "shut up." But he won't apologize for thinking the supermodel is "cute." Jacobs, speaking on ESPN Radio, said he's sorry he said Gisele Bundchen should "stay cute and shut up" after she was caught on camera ripping Tom Brady's receivers following Super Bowl XLVI.

Jake Ballard suffered one of the worst injuries at one of the worst times. The Giants' second-year tight end said he's hoping for an eight-month recovery, which would make him a candidate to be activated off the physically-unable-to-perform list. But there's a chance he could miss the entire 2012 season as well.
Ballard tried to get back into the game and attempted to run on the knee on the sideline before falling in pain. "Probably the worst pain I've ever had in my life," he said. "But what was I going to do? Not try to go back in?"

Justin Tuck doesn't have to deal with the pressure of free agency or contract negotiations like Osi Umenyiora or Mario Manningham do, but he will have to worry about his body. Asked about the numerous injuries he battled throughout the season to his neck, shoulder, toe and groin, Tuck said, "You can add a couple more to the list if you want." Tuck said he played with more pain this season than at any point in his career.

Victor Cruz believes he should be paid more. Giants general manager told reporters today that players asking for raises comes with the territory of winning a Super Bowl and wouldn't divulge whether Cruz - or any other player's - contract will be restructured. In addition to Cruz's situation, Mario Manningham is an unrestricted free agent.
One breakout season doesn't mean the Giants are obligated to tear up the final year of the three-year, $1.2 million deal Cruz signed as a free agent - see Osi Umenyiora - but no one can deny that he outplayed his contract by leaps and bounds. The Giants offered Umenyiora incentives, which he declined.
Reese also has to figure out what to do with 21 unrestricted players on his current roster, and some others - receiver Hakeem Nicks, linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka, defensive end Justin Tuck and cornerback Corey Webster - who might be in line for significant new contracts soon, too. The Giants don't figure to have much wiggle room under the salary cap.

Feb 9 Kurt Warner was impressed with Eli Manning's performance this season and in the playoffs and Super Bowl. But he doesn't believe that his former understudy is Canton-bound because he has won two Super Bowls. Warner also is surprised to hear people debate whether Manning is now a better quarterback than big brother Peyton. "I can't fathom that in regards to what they have accomplished in their whole careers," said Warner, an analyst for NFL Network.

Quarterback Eli Manning - The New England Patriots' game plan was to give him everything underneath. It was all he could eat. They weren't going to get beat up top. Each of his first three shots at a big play fell incomplete. Bill Belichick - Four years later, he gave Coughlin a proper postgame handshake ... and an extended hug.

There are so many reasons why this Giants coach and this quarterback have been able to do what they have to done together, but here is a big one, even if neither one of them will ever come out and say it: They both have to have a lot of screw-you in them. There it is. You tell them you think they can't, and they will show you, in the biggest possible moments, that they can. You know what Coughlin and Eli are thinking about right now? They are thinking about showing everybody again next year, when the big game goes to New Orleans.

The final report card for the Super Bowl champion Giants: QUARTERBACK: Best regular season of his career followed by epic postseason (nine TD passes, one INT) allowed Eli Manning to cross the barrier from very good to great. At times he had to carry the team with his passing attack. Wonderful deep thrower and, as always, a rock of durability.

"Blackburn Boulevard." The player-named street will be a private street in the development, running between two large parts of the project, Jersey City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill said. "Chase Blackburn is proof that hard work, dedication and perseverance pays off," said Gary Flocco, the developer working on the McGinley Square Redevelopment Plan.

Giants TE Bear Pascoe came in during the Super Bowl after both Travis Beckum and Jake Ballard got injured and helped out in key spots. Pascoe contributed in the Super Bowl even before his fellow denizens of the tight end room went down. Indeed, he caught MVP Eli Manning's first pass of the game, a four-yarder. He finished tied for third on the team with four receptions for 33 yards, with a long gain of 12 yards.

As NY Giants take aim at Super Bowl repeat, here are the five questions Jerry Reese & Co. face for 2012 Topping list: Should the Giants re-sign Mario Manningham? Do they bring back injured LB Jonathan Goff and injured CB Terrell Thomas? Is it time to rebuild the offensive line again? Is the return of Brandon Jacobs really possible? Is there any way to avoid another Osi Umenyiora mess?

Terrell Thomas says he is three weeks ahead of schedule with his rehab from a torn ACL injury suffered in the preseason and he is optimistic that he will return to the Giants. The free agent wants to return to the Giants. He was the team's most productive cornerback in 2010. "I've been in talks with the organization and we're pretty much on the same page."

In what could potentially be one of his last moments as a Giant, Brandon Jacobs was cheered loudly during and after the Giants' pep rally Tuesday at MetLife Stadium. Jacobs had an up-and-down season that saw him get booed at times and has a $500,00 roster bonus due in March that the Giants could choose not to pay.

At least one member of the Giants thinks the organization should open its wallets for defensive end Osi Umenyiora. "Personally, give him what he wants," fellow defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said during an appearance at a Manhattan Macy's. "Osi's a great player and I'd love to play with him for the rest of my career until he's ready to leave."
Jason Pierre-Paul, meanwhile, does not have issues with his contract. The 23-year-old, who racked up 16 1/2 sacks, two forced fumbles and a safety this season, is emerging as the Giants' best defensive player. He is on the third year of his five-year, $20.05 million rookie contract.

Feb 8 What will keep Gov. Christie from talking? We might finally have the answer to that question - 30,000 Giants fans. Christie declined an invitation to speak at the team's Super Bowl victory pep rally at MetLife Stadium today, sitting on stage in the cold for an hour during the ceremony but never addressing the crowd.
The Giants estimated that 40,000 to 45,000 fans packed the venue to welcome home the Super Bowl champions after their ride up the Canyon of Heroes. Several speeches were made, rap group Naughty by Nature performed and players took time to interact with fans. Justin Tuck, who had two sacks in the Super Bowl, elicited one of the biggest reactions from the crowd.
A pair of second-year players stole the show. While Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning elicited the loudest roars during the celebration at MetLife Stadium on Tuesday, he was closely followed by the ovations for sophomore players Jason Pierre-Paul and Victor Cruz. The fans chanted "JPP" for the defensive end and yelled out "Cruuuuz" for the wide receiver during the pep rally.

In October, as Jason Pierre-Paul began to establish himself as one of the NFL's premier defensive players, Josh Hyman came up with an idea. Hyman, a writer and actor, took the group's "Down With OPP" and changed the lyrics, remixing it in October and posting it to YouTube in December in the days following Pierre-Paul blocking the Dallas Cowboys' game-tying field goal in Week 14. That's how "Down With JPP" was born, catching on around the Internet.

David Diehl saw Chris Snee's sons Dylan and Cooper doing confetti angels on the field. He was asked about (twice) winning a Super Bowl even though many said it couldn't be done with him at left tackle. And he finally revealed he played most of this season with a broken hand. The emotion of it all overcame the 6-foot-5, 319-pounder.

Guard Chris Snee, who said it was difficult to see the departure of two of his friends on the offensive line, Rich Seubert and Shaun O'Hara, took notice of how David Baas was thankful the way his first year with his new team turned out.
It's safe to say David Baas made the right move signing with the season. In his first year with the squad, after leaving San Francisco, the center won his first ever Super Bowl. "It's unbelievable, still trying to take it in," Baas said on Tuesday. "It's one of those stories going from a team, you chose to come here, because it's such a good organization and there are no regrets. You beat your old team and win the Super Bowl and today was just unbelievable. It makes you want to do it again."

Several plays in the Giants' Super Bowl XLVI victory can be considered game-changing. There are the obvious nominees: Mario Manningham's 38-yard reception on the winning drive and Wes Welker's drop in the closing minutes are among them. But there were other perhaps overlooked sequences that altered the complexion of the game.

Eli Manning managed "a little" sleep on Sunday night. Enough, he joked, to be seated next to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell by 8:30 the next morning in a hotel conference room, where the Super Bowl-winning coach and MVP are annually honored. The tally is now two Super Bowl rings, two Super Bowl MVP awards and two complimentary cars for the Giants quarterback - more than anyone else in the Manning family, if you're keeping track, which he is not.
In the world of marketing, few things are sizzling like Eli Manning's potential. After leading the Giants to their second Super Bowl win in four years and being named the game's MVP - for a second time - Manning's appeal among advertisers is expected to soar. And that could translate into millions of dollars worth of additional endorsements, marketing experts said Monday.

The Super Bowl was not kind to the position of tight end for the Giants, as two of them, Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum, yesterday attended the celebratory festivities hobbled and walking with the aid of crutches. Beckum during the 21-17 victory over the Patriots was diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. It was believed Ballard went down with damage to his meniscus cartilage, but the Giants revealed that Ballard also tore his ACL in his left knee and, like Beckum, will require reconstructive surgery that puts the 2012 season in doubt for both of them.

Feb 7 Imagine the fallout if the Giants had lost. The Ahmad Bradshaw non-kneel/touchdown would've been one of the most debated plays in Super Bowl history. Players and coaches didn't appear to be on the same page on how to play it, with Tom Coughlin admitting Monday it would've been his fault if the Patriots had pulled it out in the final minute. No one told Bradshaw not to score, except for Manning yelling, "Don't score! Don't score!" as he handed him the ball. That hardly qualifies as solid, mapped-out strategy.

The Giants won their fourth Super Bowl because of patience, fourth-quarter mettle and, yes, some luck. They caught some huge breaks in their 21-17 win over the Patriots. They also got some help from Bill Belichick, who made a couple of questionable tactical decisions.

The Giants are Everybody's Heroes in the specialized task of beating the Patriots and cleansing history books. But even these two championships haven't moved the men who make odds in Las Vegas. According to Bovada, the Packers are the odds-on favorites to win next year's Super Bowl, installed as 6-1 favorites. The Patriots are next at 8-1. The Saints, at 8-1: Eagles, 12-1. Steelers, 12-1. Texans, 12-1. Ravens, 14-1. Giants, your defending world champions, at 15-1.

Rabid Big Blue fans will flood the Canyon of Heroes today to watch Eli Manning and the Super Bowl champion Giants march up Broadway - and a lucky 500 will get to attend an exclusive City Hall ceremony afterward. Officials doled out 250 pairs of tickets after holding an online lottery for New York residents. More than 50,000 people had entered.
The forecast calls for Big Blue skies - and a blizzard of confetti - when the world champion New York Giants strut their stuff up Broadway on Tuesday. Between 500,000 and 1 million jubilant fans are expected to crowd the Canyon of Heroes and welcome home the Super Bowl champs with a full-blown ticker-tape victory parade.
The Super Bowl champion New York Giants partied all the way from Indianapolis to Newark Airport yesterday, where they received a rock-star reception from their New York-area fans. Stepping off their chartered flight to a bagpipe rendition of "Amazing Grace," the Giants pumped their fists in victory and pointed at the hundreds of waiting faithful.

Eli Manning rolled up on W. 53rd St., riding in the back seat of a white SUV, barely before 6:30 p.m. with a few hundred fans lining the sidewalk across the street from the stage door. About an hour late for the usual taping time of the "Late Show with David Letterman," he was whisked immediately into the Ed Sullivan Theater.

Four years ago, John Mara stood on a podium in a swirl of confetti after witnessing what he called "the greatest victory in the history of this franchise." He was sure it was a once-in-a-lifetime moment. Then, on Sunday night, it happened all over again. History repeated itself in incredible fashion as the Giants rode another amazing fourth-quarter comeback by Eli Manning to win their second Super Bowl championship in four years.

The Giants returned to New Jersey as world champions on Monday, and already some are looking forward to defending their title. On the morning after their second Super Bowl in five years, a few Giants said they can do even better next season. Anybody ready for "All In," the sequel? "We celebrated hard last night," Brandon Jacobs said. "Guys were everywhere. Tears flying everywhere. It was an astronomical event."

Eli Manning was asked by Michael Kay on "The Michael Kay Show" in training camp if he was an elite quarterback. His response was yes, he did see himself in the same class as Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and big brother Peyton. And although he caught some flack for that, it turns out that Eli was right. "I didn't appreciate the first question you asked me in training camp if I was elite, but it all worked out," Manning said.

David Tyree's unforgettable catch in Super Bowl XLII was the last of his career. Impending Giants free agent Mario Manningham will certainly make more catches in the NFL, following his game-changing sideline grab in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLVI, but there is no guarantee the 25-year-old wide receiver will make them as a Giant.

It's funny how a Super Bowl championship can change a player's perspective. New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, who indicated earlier in the season that he didn't see himself playing for the Giants in 2012, said Monday morning he absolutely wants to return.

As the Super Bowl Champions, the Giants will host the first game of the season. Who will their opponent be? Judging by last year's game, which pitted the last two champions against each other in Green Bay vs. New Orleans, it would seem the smart money should be on Green Bay at the Giants to open the season, but you never know.

There was no hot seat next to Tom Coughlin on the stage Monday morning when he posed with the Lombardi Trophy he won the night before. No more questions about his job security. No more calls for him to be fired. After two Super Bowl championships in four years, he may never have to face those questions again.

The Giants did a lot of talking in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. Antrel Rolle said the team was going to win Super Bowl XLVI. Chris Canty told fans to prepare for a parade and Jason Pierre-Paul said Tom Brady isn't God and alluded to the fact that the Giants were in his head in their November meeting. And they backed up all the talk.

Feb 6 Giants win in Super Bowl, defeat the Patriots 21-17 | Photos  | Photos | Photos | Photos

On The Game: Game 20
Gamegirl "...Justin Tuck finished with two sacks and even though Eli Manning was named the MVP of the game, I have to give a big shout-out to Chase Blackburn who had one interception and played a big part in the Giants being here tonight to play in this game and come away with another Super Bowl trophy..."
Mikefan. ".
..You can be a football team with an unbeaten season (Patriots 18-0 in 2007), be the 2010 Super Bowl champions with a 15-1 season record (Green Bay), win ten straight games (Patriots 2011), and it all means nothing when you come up against these Giants. Give them a chance to rise to a higher greatness, and Tom Coughlin's team - as Madonna put it at halftime - "will take you there.."

ESPN - Eli Manning, Giants thwart Pats again to cap magical run with 4th Super Bowl title.
ESPN - Coughlin gets the last laugh.
ESPN - Eli named Super Bowl XLVI MVP.
ESPN - Stats & Info: Giants repeat the feat.
ESPN - Stats & Info: How Giants, Eli came through.
ESPN - Rapid Reaction: Giants 21, Patriots 17.
ESPN - Tuck has two sacks again in Super Bowl.
ESPN - Cut to the Chase: Blackburn delivers.
ESPN - Grading the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. - Game Diary: Giants Win Super Bowl, 21-17. - Eli named SB XLVI MVP.

StarLedger - Giants' Super Bowl victory parade: Information on where and when it will be.
StarLedger - Eli Manning, Giants beat Tom Brady, Patriots in Super Bowl again, 21-17.
NYDailyNews - Blue heaven as Eli, Giants rally again.
NYDailyNews - Tom Coughlin outcoaches New England Patriots' Bill Belichick again.
NYDailyNews - Again, Eli is Super cool.
NYDailyNews - Manningham grabs glory with fantastic feat of feet.
NYDailyNews - This time, no 'elite' talk from Super Bowl XLVI MVP.
NYDailyNews - Big Blue denies Welker and Brady.
NYPost - Giants score in final minute to defeat Patriots, 21-17.
NYPost - Giants survive Patriots Hail Mary.
NYPost - Manning drives Giants to another championship.
NYPost - Giants QB takes lead in Manning Super Bowl race .
NYPost - Bradshaw TD works out for Giants.
Record - Giants beat Patriots 21-17 to win the Super Bowl.
Record - Giants defensive line is more than fine, shuts down Brady, Patriots at key times.
Record - Patriots' Wes Welker can't let go of dropped pass. - The nightmare, relived. Only worse.
BostonHerald - Giant heartbreak for Pats. - Giants win Super Bowl rematch over Patriots. - Brady: 'We just didn't make enough plays'. - Belichick morose in postgame comments.

Game 20 Preview - Super Bowl 46 - Giants (12-7) vs Patriots (15-3)
The Patriots are on a 10 game win streak, having beaten the Broncos and then the Ravens in their two post season games. The Broncos were no match and went down 42-10. The Ravens were a much tougher battle, but they came up short on a missed field goal that would have tied the game. The Patriots prevailed with a 23-20 victory that moved them on to Super Bowl 46. The last game the Patriots can remember losing was way back on Nov 6, 2011, but it was to the Giants 24-20.
The Giants are on a 5 game win streak, including their 3 post season wins over the Falcons 24-2, the Packers 37-20, and the 49ers, 20-17. That last game was their toughest to win as the 49ers tied things up with a field goal in the fourth quarter. Neither team scored after that and the game went into overtime with the new rules being explained. After three possessions, the Giants special teams unit made their second big play of the game causing a turnover that led to the ensuing field goal to propel the Giants into Super Bowl 46.

Feb 5 Patriots release WR Tiquan Underwood the night before the Super Bowl. A mere 24 hours before the Super Bowl, the Patriots made their final transaction in a year full of them. In one of the coldest moves ever, the Patriots released WR Tiquan Underwood and promoted DE Alex Silvestro.

Tom Brady faces rematch with Giants' 'ghost' pressure in Super Bowl XLVI. It happened three seconds after the snap, on the first play of the third quarter in the Giants' game against the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass., 12 weeks ago Sunday. Tom Brady flinched. For no apparent reason.

Do the Giants still have Tom Brady's number or not? And does Eli have theirs? Talk about all the rest of it, the Patriots' no-huddle and the Giants' pass rush, Victor Cruz and Wes Welker and Eli Manning and what he has done in the fourth quarter this season, talk about Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin and whether you think the Giants' five-game winning streak somehow trumps the Patriots' 10-game winning streak. Knock yourself out.

By every right, by every conventional measure, the Giants were a dead team walking on Dec. 13, coming out of MetLife Stadium. There was no way imaginable they could be playing Sunday inside Lucas Oil Stadium for a Super Bowl title. Yet they are. Nobody comes back from four straight defeats.

In this wide-open, pass-happy era, Bill Belichick has somehow managed to turn second-year tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez into matchup nightmares.Gronkowski and Hernandez combined for 169 receptions for 2,237 yards and 25 touchdowns this season. They accounted for 43% of Brady's 39 touchdowns and 42% of his 5,235 yards.

You know all about the new paradigm at tight end (see: Gronkowski, Rob and Hernandez, Aaron), but quietly, the slot receiver has also grown in importance. Victor Cruz and Wes Welker both went undrafted, but the league now views quality slot targets as commodities.

Instead of using defensive linemen as rushers in practice, coach Bill Belichick had much lighter players - mostly linebackers - attack the unit from all angles. They won't replicate the size of the Giants players, such as the 6-foot-3, 255-pound Osi Umenyiora. So they focused on the speed. Offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia said, "They're undersized, but we just have them going as fast as they can go, just giving us the fastest tempo they can give us. That's been a huge help."

Four years ago, the Giants created a lifetime of memories by preventing the Patriots from completing their undefeated season with one of the greatest upsets in Super Bowl history. It also created a forever bond between the players. They achieved the ultimate together. There are 15 Giants remaining who played in Super Bowl XLII who will play Sunday night in Super Bowl XLVII against New England at Lucas Oil Stadium. Linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka would make it the Sweet 16, but he suffered a broken leg late in the 2007 season and didn't play in the Super Bowl. He will play Sunday night.

To see a team go from crisis to champions, from fire-the-coach to plan-the-parade, is unusual. To see a team do it twice, in a span of four years, might be unprecedented. Enjoy it. Cherish it. And don't let the win-or-else mentality drain the joy from the experience.

Feb 4 Osi Umenyiora cares little about sacking the quarterback. Instead, he aims for the elusive strip sack. It is a tricky move, one that teammates admire and opposing offensive lineman fear. And in his nine years in the NFL, Osi Umenyiora has made it his signature move.

Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw wasn't expected to practice Friday and he did not, sitting out the team's final full workout before Super Bowl XLVI against the Patriots on Sunday. Tom Coughlin said Bradshaw's right foot "was a little sore" but the coach did not seem concerned.

The Patriots have sworn up and down this past week and a half that avenging the Super Bowl XLII loss to the Giants is not a factor in Sunday's rematch. Rodney Harrison, who was a safety on that New England team and is now an analyst for NBC, says they're lying. "It's crap," Harrison said.

Super Bowl XLVI: Inside the matchups as the NY Giants battle the New England Patriots. Eli Manning has the edge against the Pats' defense. Manning loves to attack a defense piecemeal as he reads his way to his last checkdown. No one has been better throwing under duress this season.

The Giants' much-maligned defense, which has had six outstanding weeks after a season of misery, has to figure out a way to shut down the second-ranked offense in the league. They have to stop Brady, contain the slippery Wes Welker, and figure out some way to simultaneously cover New England's two big, fast and powerful tight ends, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.

Do the Giants have another David Tyree in the wings this Super Bowl? The surprise star for the Giants in this Super Bowl does not have to catch a desperation pass up against his helmet to be the next David Tyree. But wouldn't it be perfect if he did?

Rookies at Super Bowl? Preposterous. For almost two weeks now, Tyler Sash has tried to stay out of David Diehl's way. Because every time Diehl, the veteran offensive lineman, catches sight of Sash, the rookie safety, he shakes his head, frowns and mutters something: "You lucky rookies. Your first year in, and you're in the Super Bowl? How is this fair?"

Special teams' Giant Three share a special bond. These were the three men whose final work sent the Giants to Sunday's Super Bowl date with the Patriots, when Zak DeOssie's snap, Steve Weatherford's hold and Lawrence Tynes' clutch overtime kick earned the Giants the NFC title.

Eli Manning is in his second Super Bowl with a chance to mark himself as the greatest quarterback in Giants history. Pressure? Where some run away from it, Manning has spent his life leaping headlong into the cauldron.
If he wins on Sunday, if Eli Manning pulls off another fourth-quarter comeback or merely beats the Patriots, his two Super Bowl titles will land him on a pedestal reserved only for New York's greatest sports icons.
10 things to know about Eli Manning. Behind the laid-back exterior, he's a driven, confident, karaoke-singing prankster. Manning is low-key when he's standing in front of a podium at a news conference, but when he's holding a microphone and the music starts blaring from a computerized sound machine, he's an entirely different animal.

Ben Kiwanuka now can joke about the motorcycle accident that nearly killed him in May 2010, while riding with his brother, Giants linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka. Mathias called his mother. "Mom, there's been an accident," he said. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry."

Josh Ballard may have gotten the better looks (he has modeled) in the constant rivalry with brother Jake. But the Giants tight end edged out his twin in most athletic competitions as they were growing up.

Ridgewood Giants fans gear up for big game. Super Bowl fever has struck the village, and based on the various forms of football paraphernalia spotted throughout town during the past week, there's no questioning which team has Ridgewood's support.

Former Giants
Bill Parcells - coach of NY Giants, NY Jets, Patriots and Cowboys - should skate into Pro Football Hall of Fame. Parcells, one of the 15 modern era finalists for Canton this year, is up for election Saturday. A maximum of five will be selected.
Bill Parcells - He lives in Florida now. He has race horses over at Aqueduct. He has a summer home up in gentrified, pastoral Saratoga, N.Y. But make no mistake about it, you can take the boy-grown-older out of New Jersey, but you can't take New Jersey out of the man.
Shaun O'Hara looked very much like a man with faraway eyes. Who could blame him? O'Hara is on the outside looking in at the Giants. That's his reality. So is life without a game he still loves.

Feb 3 The crowd surrounded the riser and table just waiting to see if Osi Umenyiora actually would attend this time. After all, the Giants' defensive end skipped the media session Wednesday. But he did show today and described his absence as an "honest mistake." Giants coach Tom Coughlin was not pleased with the small distraction his absence created just a few days before Super Bowl XLVI.

Tom Brady was sacked five times and coughed away a fumble the last time these teams met in a Super Bowl four years ago. The battle against the Patriots offense will be fought, and possibly won, with a heavy dose of trickery. Not only will the Giants mix up their sets and vary their points of pressure, they'll try to cross up Brady's bodyguards with moves known as "games" or "stunts."

Jason Pierre-Paul has been saying all week Tom Brady is human. Like any quarterback, he can be rattled when pressured. Turns out, the same applies sometimes when a defender is nowhere near him. The Giants' Pro Bowl defensive end told reporters today Brady was flinching in the pocket despite none of the Giants' pass rushers being around him in the teams' Week 9 matchup.
Pierre-Paul said he understands that if the Giants do not get pressure on Brady it could be a long day Sunday. "I put it on us. I put it on the D-line to go out there and perform well. We have to perform well and get to Tom Brady quick. We just have to play all-out and give it all we've got. We can't feel sorry for ourselves."

Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell called Antrel Rolle into his office for a meeting at some point during the regular season - Fewell estimated it to be in November, though neither could remember exactly when. Fewell said he's seen a change in Rolle since that meeting, which became another step in Rolle's steady evolution from disgruntled newcomer to Tom Coughlin enthusiast over the course of a year.

Can Jacobs come up big for Giants? Because we have all seen what Brandon Jacobs can be when he's at his best, it is uniquely disappointing when he is not. At 6-foot-4 and 265 pounds, Jacobs is supposed to be a terror with the ball in his hands -- an unstoppable, line-shredding force that defenders fear to tackle. Too often over the last couple of seasons, for one reason or another, he has failed to perform that way consistently.

There's Eli Manning the quarterback and Eli Manning the offensive coordinator. Giants coach Tom Coughlin pointed to Manning's routine of having a meeting with the receivers after every Friday practice as one of the reason his quarterback has improved and has the team a win away from another championship. The improvement of Manning and the receiving trio of Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and Manningham has been evident.

Giants receivers click on and off the field. Because of the presence and playmaking ability of their wide receivers, the Giants have rewritten their playbook during a record-setting season in which the franchise has moved within one victory - against the Patriots on Sunday night - of its fourth Vince Lombardi Trophy.

The Giants have 13 players on injured reserve, lost for the season - not including Sage Rosenfels and Brandon Stokley, who were placed on IR then released, or Chad Jones, who is on the non-football injury list. The players on injured reserve will join the team in Indianapolis. The Giants didn't lose just numbers. They lost talent - and a lot of it. Terrell Thomas, arguably their top cornerback. Jonathan Goff, the starting middle linebacker. Receiver Domenik Hixon. Starting left tackle Will Beatty.

Giants general manager Jerry Reese said he has no problem with a confident team heading into Super Bowl Sunday. So far this week, Chris Canty has talked about a parade in New York while Jason Pierre-Paul said that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is not "God."

Now, after constant criticism for making unpopular moves during the offseason, general manager Jerry Reese is back on the media and fans' good side, one win away from winning his second Super Bowl in five seasons. "Everybody has different ways of doing things. We had a good nucleus of guys coming back and we just felt like we needed to make the best football moves.
Reese had more influence constructing this roster than he did the team that won Super Bowl XLII. More than 10 rookies contributed to the Giants' title run that season, but the majority of the team was put together by Reese's predecessor, Ernie Accorsi. All but nine members of the current 53-man roster were acquired under Reese's watch.

Giants' long snapper Zak DeOssie, who grew up in the Boston area and whose father, Steve, played with New England, remembers the first time he met Larry Izzo, the Patriots former special teams ace and current Giants special teams assistant coach. These days, it's the 37-year old Izzo, who began his career with Miami before going to New England and then finishing with the Jets, who is taking care of DeOssie and the rest of the Giants' special teams players..

Madonna won't reveal what she'll have in store for the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show, but she did close her news conference on Thursday by showing off some of her moves. Her Victor Cruz-inspired moves. Forget about "Vogue," the Queen of Pop actually did her own version of Cruz's salsa touchdown celebration dance, showing off her "True Blue" colors.
Madonna clearly understands her role in the big game. On Thursday, she went about demoralizing the New England Patriots at a press conference before about 1,000 people, most of whom should never be called journalists. First, she said she'd rather date Eli Manning than Tom Brady, though that decision was perhaps more a matter of geographical convenience than hunk-iness.

Former Giants
Plaxico Burress once again is picking the Giants to win the Super Bowl. And sounds very much like he misses his old quarterback and old team. "I think they're gonna go out and play Giant football," Burress told The Post.

Feb 2 Video game maker EA Sports did its official Madden NFL 12 Super Bowl simulation, which has correctly predicted winners in six of the last eight Super Bowls, and the Giants beat the Patriots, 27-24 on a Lawrence Tynes field goal with time expiring. Before you woo-hoo too loudly, note that one of the Super Bowls the Madden simulation failed to get right was Super Bowl XLII.

Osi Umenyiora was a no-show during the Giants' media availability on Wednesday morning and was fined $20,000 by the NFL. "I misunderstood the schedule," Umenyiora explained in a statement released by the team. "It won't happen again, and I will be at tomorrow's media session and available after the game. I apologize for any inconvenience my absence this morning may have caused."

Is Domenik Hixon bitter? Not in the least. Is he snakebit? On the contrary, the Giants' receiver is grateful for everything he has, even if he'll be a mere spectator Sunday in Indianapolis. Is he perplexed by this absurd twist of fate? That's another matter. This is a team guy. But let's be frank: If he gets out of Week 2 without a scratch, he remains Eli Manning's No. 3 target behind Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks -- if not climbing the charts with a bullet. Which also means, one may surmise, that we may never have become acquainted with the new star of this show, Victor Cruz.

The Giants were looking good on Tuesday in their Media Day uniforms, gleaming beneath the harsh camera lights in Indianapolis. And they'll be looking even better on Sunday, when they don their familiar red, white and blue uniforms with the once-in-a-lifetime Super Bowl XLVI patch sewn onto the jersey. The Giants' victory over the San Francisco 49ers at muddy Candlestick Park on Jan. 22 launched Big Blue into its fifth Super Bowl - and a jubilant squad brought their dirty laundry with them on the flight home. Barry Barone picked it up at MetLife Stadium the next day.

Kevin Gilbride said that despite Tom Coughlin's desire for balance, Manning needed to step up in order to move the football. "If Tom had the perfect world we'd run it 30, we'd throw it 30 and we'd win 14-12," Gilbride said."Sometimes it doesn't play out that way and sometimes you have to recognize that what are people doing defensively? Where's are best chance of moving the ball? And if we have to run it 50 times, that's fine with me, but if we have to throw it 50, whatever we gotta do."

The Giants are in great shape with Tom Coughlin and, as it turns out, he is in great shape with a staff that churns out game plans, develops players and staunchly believes in his ability to make it all work. "You respect him for the way he approaches this thing and how hard he works," Mike Pope, the wizened tight ends coach, said. "He's the model for all of us. Nobody's going to spend more hours there than he does, nobody's going to look at more film than he does."

Feb 1 Rob Gronkowski's entrance through the tunnel of the stadium didn't quell the chatter, as he appeared without a walking boot. He said that he got rid of it on Monday and seemed to make the walk across the field to his podium without any visible discomfort. Still, like head coach Bill Belichick, he is referring to his status as "day-to-day."

Eli Manning is relaxed at Super Bowl media circus second time around. There were 34 television cameras and one man with a giant fuzzy hat and a dragon puppet awaiting Eli Manning, and you knew where this was headed. He was here to discuss the year of the dragon, feeling the great vibrations and finding the divine beast.
Tom Brady is a tough guy, dimpled face and all, and yet he will walk into Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday as the second-toughest quarterback in the house. Eli Manning has him on that one. Brady has more talent, more touchdowns, more rings, more charisma, more endorsements, more square feet of living space, more just about everything. Manning has more nerve in the face of a raging pass rush.

Brandon Jacobs and Osi Umenyiora talked about whether this could be their final game as Giants. Not a bad way to go out if that's the case. Both have one year remaining on their contracts, but the Giants have a roster bonus to pay Jacobs and Osi will be looking for a raise again soon. Jacobs also talked about his good friend Plaxico Burress and how Plax's heart remains Blue.
Jacobs restructured his contract prior to this season, so the Giants could re-sign fellow running back Ahmad Bradshaw. Jacobs is owed a $500,000 roster bonus in March and $4 million in salary for 2012, which could cause the Giants to let him go. He also has upset fans and management at times with off-field comments and on-field antics.

Giants linemen Chris Snee and David Diehl sat side-by-side at their podiums at Super Bowl Media Day. Former teammate, center Shaun O'Hara, was sitting at his New Jersey home. The Giants cut O'Hara and guard Rich Seubert. Snee said, "Times like this you remember going through this experience with them four years ago, and how much it's killing them not to be here. It's tough. "I wish they could experience this with us, but I know that they are fully behind us and hopefully we will pull this one out."

Perry Fewell thinks that if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, St. Louis Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, Indianapolis Colts or Miami Dolphins called, he would not have interviewed in order to stay focused on the defense through this playoff stretch. Perry Fewell's defense has been one of the stingiest unit's in the NFL since Week 16.

It's a good bet that at some point, perhaps on Friday, Manning will get some elite advice on how to handle Bill Belichick's defensive schemes from his big brother. Peyton told reporters after the Giants won the NFC Championship Game in San Francisco that the two broke down the Niners' secondary to the exact look San Francisco gave on a 17-yard touchdown pass by Manning in the fourth quarter.
Eli Manning was the "Mad Bomber" of the NFL this season. Tom Brady and Ryan Fitzpatrick? Not so much. Manning's ability to make plays downfield has to be a huge worry for the New England Patriots this week as they prepare to defend the New York Giants' quarterback in Super Bowl XLVI. Manning threw a greater percentage of his passes downfield than any QB in the league this year, according to statistics on

Antrel Rolle is playing in his second Super Bowl, this one with the Giants, and the safety plans on winning this time. "We're going to win this thing," Rolle said at Media Day today at Lucas Oil Stadium. "We're going to win this thing for a lot of good reasons." But later asked if he guaranteed a win, Rolle balked at the suggestion.

Giants safety Deon Grant has been around for 12 years, so when it comes to sizing up a situation, he pretty much goes with his gut instinct. That's exactly what happened the last two seasons when Grant, who had been released by Seattle where he spent his entire time there as a starter, chose the Giants not once, but twice.

Minute by minute, the Giants knew where they had to be yesterday, what time they had to be there and what to expect as they embarked on their improbable road trip, leaving home for a date with the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI and perhaps destiny. It was a quiet getaway. No, there was no pep rally for the Giants, unlike the grand sendoff for the Patriots on Sunday, when 25,000 or so fans at Gillette Stadium were treated to appreciative and bold words from their beloved quarterback Tom Brady.

Once the loudest man in the room with his own crew of paid cameramen and associates in tow, wide receiver Chad Ochocinco stands quietly now. Gone was the man who once sent Pepto-Bismol to opponents in anticipation of the indigestion he'd give them. Gone was the man who gave up his Christian name, legally changing it to the Spanish words for "eight" and "five" - the numbers on the back of his jersey.
During the nearly hour-long session, Ochocinco provided hardly a whiff of his old look-at-me ways. After 10 years of commanding the spotlight and losing games in Cincinnati, the social media mogul had to pull off one of his most difficult changes. Ochocinco had to use the words "I" and "me" much more sparingly in order to co-exist with Belichick in New England. He had to learn, he says, throwing in an obscenity, to shut up.

Before the season started, the Super Bowl was the furthest thing from the mind of Giants fans. And their owner. The Giants watched Kevin Boss sign with the Raiders, Steve Smith sign with the Eagles, and Plaxico Burress spurn a Giants return to sign with the Jets. Giants owner John Mara admits to being frustrated as the offseason unfolded.

Ann Mara, matriarch of the New York Giants, upgraded her Super Bowl XLVI status from probable to definite Monday when she said the broken shoulder she suffered in a fall last week won't keep her from the big game. "If I had to crawl to Indianapolis I'd be there," Mara told by phone. "I have no intention of staying home. I'll be ready to go on the plane on Thursday."

The Giants' organization is filled with football-savvy people, all of whom seem to agree on one thing: they knew the team's wide receivers were talented, knew they had potential and knew they could be dangerous this season, but never imagined the receivers would end up with the gaudy statistics they ultimately compiled. "No," quarterback Eli Manning said. "Nope," General Manager Jerry Reese said. "Not at all," the offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said."

Devin Thomas is a Giants wide receiver and special teams stalwart. He is the man who pounced on two fumbles a week ago in San Francisco, and who therefore helped propel the Giants to this Sunday's Super Bowl rematch with the Patriots. Over nine years and at least a dozen sittings under a needle in a tattoo chair (Thomas said the tattoo parlor "is a great place for just hanging out too"), the 25-year old has had bits of his story inked on his body.

Tom Coughlin and Bill Belichick are destined to have one of the most intriguing and intertwined relationships two coaches have ever had in the NFL. As young assistants, they joined forces to help the Giants win Super Bowl XXV. In 1995, Coughlin's expansion Jacksonville Jaguars won four games - including two over the Cleveland Browns, who were in their final season under Belichick and in Cleveland. Twelve years later, Coughlin was head coach when the Giants defeated the three-time Super Bowl-winning Belichick and his undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

Former Giants
Pepper Johnson has no confusion on which side he is on. The former Giants linebacker, who has been the New England Patriots' defensive line coach since 2000, is clearly aligned with his new organization.

Jan 31 One month ago, Tom Coughlin wasn't supposed to be here. Wasn't supposed to be at the Super Bowl. Wasn't supposed to be trying to win his second title in four years. Wasn't supposed to be standing in the ballroom on the second floor of the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown addressing the media and speaking about his potential place in history. One month ago, Tom Coughlin was supposed to be just another NFL head coach looking for his next landing spot.
Bill Belichick won three Super Bowls in New England to make him a legend in the sport and to clear himself of Bill Parcells' shadow. Tom Coughlin needs to add another Lombardi Trophy on Sunday in Super Bowl XLVI to make him invincible in New York, a tough town to earn such praise. "It's every year he's supposed to be out," said Giants guard Chris Snee, also Coughlin's son-in-law. "We don't pay much attention to that. He keeps focused on what's more important, what our goal is."
On the sidelines one turns red while the other seems perpetually gray. That may be the biggest difference between Tom Coughlin and Bill Belichick, and perhaps the only one that separates them on a football field or in a meeting room. Outwardly, Coughlin is a boiling cauldron of emotions, slamming down his headset or play sheets when things go awry while Belichick stands stoically, his face and emotions hidden deep inside the shadowy folds of his signature hoodie.

Justin Tuck wasn't about to get caught up in alluding to the reputation of another opposing offensive line again. The "dirtbag" drama with the Falcons was enough for Tuck in one postseason. But he was asked about the Patriots' offensive line and the mini feud between Matt Light and Osi Umenyiora. "That was an individual matchup between Osi and Matt," Tuck said. "I'm not even going down that road."

The assumption is Rob Gronkowski won't be operating at 100 percent should he play in the Super Bowl with the high ankle sprain he suffered in the AFC Championship Game. That's pretty much a given. But how hampered will he truly be, aided by the usual prescription of game-day pain killers, which figures to include Toradol? How close will the Patriots tight end get to being Tom Brady's go-to-guy in the red zone and an offensive difference-maker? Not very.

He is the big Giant who almost didn't make it back to a game like this against the Patriots. His season ends in Indianapolis, all right. But it started for Osi Umenyiora with a nasty contract beef that reached the point where the Giants gave Umenyiora's agent permission to shop his man around the league. "You never know how things will work out in life," Osi said on Saturday. "The season started one way for me, with all that trash-talking. Now it ends with . . . this."

Eli Manning was asked 13 questions at his news conference soon after the Giants' arrived for Sunday's Super Bowl XLVI. Six of them concerned his older brother, Peyton. "I don't have any plans, right now, to see Peyton," Eli said. "I know I won't be going over to his house anytime this week. The last Super Bowl I played in, he was in Arizona starting on Wednesday or Thursday and I never saw him then. I'll talk to him throughout the week, like I always do. Besides that, I am going to keep my normal routine and probably will not see a whole lot of family throughout the week."

Mario Manningham didn't want to sound disrespectful. But it sure sounds like he doesn't have much respect for Patriots receiver/corner Julian Edelman. "I hope he's out there when we play them," Manningham said, according to the Boston Herald. "I don't want to sound like that, but you know what I mean. To our advantage, I hope he's out there."

Former Giants
Bill Parcells says an older coach uses experience to see things coming and pick battles better than a young coach. He hung it up at 65, tired not of traveling or long days of preparation, but of losing. "You get too old to lose," he said. Tom Coughlin and older coaches, but Coughlin, who could become the oldest Super Bowl winner at age 65.
Five former Giants champions - Harry Carson and George Martin (Super Bowl XXI), Sean Landeta and Leonard Marshall (XXI and XXV), and Justin Tuck (XLII) - sat down with Post columnist Steve Serby last week for an exclusive Super Bowl Giants Round Table Q&A at the Timex Performance Center.

Jan 30 Don't forget about Welker. As Deon Grant talks about Wes Welker, he mentions the stats. While New England's dynamic tight end duo of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez were lighting up opposing defenses and setting records, it was Welker who finished with 1,569 receiving yards, which was the second-highest total in the league.

David Carr is seeing firsthand that running the New England offense is a pretty sweet job. As the scout team quarterback, Carr gets to imitate New England's Tom Brady in practice and run the high-powered New England offense. Carr said that tight end Travis Beckum has been playing the role of Aaron Hernandez, while fellow tight ends Bear Pascoe and Christian Hopkins have been helping out with Rob Gronkowski duty. For Wess Welker, that has been the responsibility of Dan DePalma, who is a wide receiver on the practice squad.

If you follow sports, you already know that the Giants and New England Patriots will meet in the Super Bowl on Sunday for the second time in four years. But what do you really know about the Patriots fans? And - when you think about it - can you adequately describe a typical Giants follower? Consumer marketers can - and to a shocking degree of detal.

The Patriots already beat the Giants in one category: getting here. The AFC champions arrived for Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday afternoon, a day before the Giants. Patriots coach Bill Belichick said he wanted his team to practice Monday, which led to the early arrival. "It's a one-game season," Belichick said. "It's a one-week preparation at this point. We're going to put all we have into this one."
The Giants - They'll arrive in this Super Bowl city on Monday afternoon having already proven they're good enough to beat the Patriots. The trick now is to do it again. As the Packers and 49ers found out the last two weeks, beating the same team twice in a season isn't easy. Against a Hall of Fame-bound coach like Bill Belichick, it can be especially hard.

The Patriots and Bill Belichick, long known to experiment with receivers in the secondary, have used Julian Edelman as a nickel cornerback in obvious passing situations this season. Heading into the Super Bowl, the Giants think that strategy will remain in place, even against their new single-season franchise receiving leader. "If he's on defense, I'll see him as a defender," Victor Cruz said. "I see him as having to cover me, so I'll just treat him like a defense and execute my route and win - like I usually do."

When the Giants beat them, the Patriots were scuttling along at 5-3, looking like a fading dynasty. Since then they've won their 10 straight games by an average score of 36-19. Maybe most importantly, the Giants had no choice but to show their full hand in that regular-season meeting. It was a big game they needed to win to keep their momentum rolling as they began a difficult stretch of their schedule. They couldn't hold anything back.

In Super Bowl XLVI, Ahmad Bradshaw, Hakeem Nicks want their shot at the New England Patriots. His Giants won the battle. But all Ahmad Bradshaw remembers is that he wasn't there. The Giants were playing the Patriots in Gillette Stadium on Nov. 6. Bradshaw was watching the game on TV, doing his best to rehab his broken left foot. "I know I hated not being there," Bradshaw said.

If they handed out a trophy for saving the 2011 NFL season, then Giants co-owner John Mara and Patriots owner Robert Kraft would be standing on the podium together accepting the award from the 2,000 players in the league. More than anybody, Mara and Kraft put an end to the torturous 136-day lockout that had threatened the season. They knew the owners and players needed each other and it was a partnership. They were the voices of reason.

The Patriots have played with an "MHK" patch above their hearts in honor of owner Robert Kraft's wife, Myra and the team has rallied around Kraft, who has endured an emotional season without his wife and still refers to Myra as his sweetheart. Both Kraft and the Maras have dealt with emotion in Super Bowls and are familiar with each other, having been instrumental in negotiations with the players' union during the lockout.

Tom Martinez - who has coached Tom Brady since the Patriots quarterback was 13 years old - was given less than a month to live back in June, a death sentence that forced the family to set its affairs in order. Martinez got a reprieve soon after. That was seven months ago. "I just try to wait," said Martinez, 66. "Occupy my mind with silly things like football."

Jan 29 Special Report - Let's get this out of the way before the foolishness starts - Giants will win Super Bowl 46. You won't read this anywhere in the New England Patriots fans base area, but the truth is the truth (especially in this cradle of Democracy in these United States that gave birth to Paul Revere) and the following must be said: "The Patriots aren't that good." There, it's out. This is a team with a porous defense, a team with one really outstanding receiver, a team with an inferior running game and a team with two outstanding tight ends, one of whom has sometimes been used as a running back, a slot receiver and an H-back.

Tom Brady felt the power of the New York Giants' pass rushers when he was sacked five times in their first Super Bowl confrontation. Four years later, the New England Patriots' offensive linemen expect another fierce attack on their quarterback in the championship rematch on Feb. 5. The Giants will indeed have plenty of strong, speedy pass rushers zeroing in on Tom Brady.

The last time the Giants tangled with the Patriots, Tom Brady tossed two touchdown passes. Both went to tight ends, which is no great surprise. Rob Gronkowski caught eight passes for 101 yards and Aaron Hernandez caught four for 35. Both found their way into the end zone. The Giants certainly did not stop them, but they made sure they did not devastate them in a 24-20 victory on Nov. 6 at Gillette Stadium. Still, the Giants would like to see the production of the tight ends decreased in Super Bowl XLVI next Sunday.

Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride hopes consistency lands him another head-coaching job. Kevin Gilbride has had one head-coaching stint in the NFL: with the San Diego Chargers from 1997-98. The Giants are one of only four teams to have a top-10 offense in each of the past four seasons. The others are the Saints, Packers and Patriots.

Brandon Jacobs does not care what the Patriots - or anyone else - thinks about Super Bowl XLII: he has a ring. In that Super Bowl, Jacobs ran for 42 yards on 14 carries. He hopes that in this rematch at Super Bowl XLVI he and Ahmad Bradshaw can be a bigger part of a Giants win, one that is not considered "fluky."
Maybe one day, Ahmad Bradshaw will regret what he did, playing through the types of injuries that would have hobbled an average person and indefinitely sidelined any other NFL running back with a weaker will. But Bradshaw's football career, for as long as he can remember, has been carried by sheer determination.

The veterans get their own rooms. The younger players double up. Either way, when the Giants hit Indy on Monday, the men in blue have been ordered to be in bed every night at their downtown hotel by midnight, which by Tom Coughlin time means 11:55 p.m. Coughlin wouldn't divulge that curfew time Friday, but one of his players spoke anonymously on behalf of the hour hand.

Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning joined the Giants in 2004 and, in the eight years since, have produced a 74-54 regular-season record, two N.F.C. championships and one Super Bowl title, with another possible if they can beat the New England Patriots next Sunday. Coaches and quarterbacks often have their fates and histories tied together, and this twosome is no different.

Bill Belichick goes for his fourth Super Bowl as a head coach, which would put him with Chuck Noll. Tom Coughlin goes for his second, trying to win two Super Bowls for the Giants the way Bill Parcells did, trying to make the improbable run to a title that would feel like Willis Reed limping out twice. So much connects these two teams and two coaches, this game, but you might as well start with Parcell.

Eli Manning shattered team passing records, and Jason Pierre-Paul became a feared force. Victor Cruz broke out, and Justin Tuck rediscovered his fury late in the season. But when GM Jerry Reese evaluates how his Giants made this stunning run to Super Bowl XLVI, he doesn't always point to those obvious stars. The architect of Big Blue understands that his team has also been buoyed by some unknown players thrust into quietly important roles.

Prince Amukamara sensed something wasn't right. His Giants teammates were being overtly nice and he awkwardly felt everyone's eyes on him as he walked to his locker to put on his suit. The rookie quickly realized why: His dress shirt hung at his locker without a sleeve, his tie cut to about four inches long. And that's what he had to wear on the cross-country trip to San Francisco back in Week 10.

At some point next week, Giants safety Deon Grant plans on speaking to his younger teammates about what it's like to play in the Super Bowl - and lose. "Nobody remembers the people who played in the Super Bowl. They only remember the winners," said Grant, who as a member of the Panthers lost Super Bowl XXXVIII to the Patriots.

This time around, Rocky Bernard would like to be on the team that gets remembered from the Super Bowl. When the defensive tackle played in his first Super Bowl back in 2005, his Seattle team was on the losing end of a 21-10 game to the Steelers. "It still lingers," Bernard said on Friday about the loss.

Decades before Bill Belichick and Tom Brady turned the Patriots into a perennial powerhouse, legions of New Englanders claimed the Giants as their hometown team. As the Patriots and Giants prepare to reprise their epic clash of four years ago, the ranks of area Giants fans have dwindled, thinned out by time and the Patriots' runaway popularity. But those that remain still bleed blue, even as they root for the Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins.

In downtown Indianapolis this week, you can find 33 Indy Racing cars in 11 rows of three painted in all 32 NFL team colors, with one car having a Super Bowl XLVI paint scheme. There are three clearly defined groups of visitors on which every Super City relies. In no order of impact they are: the actual fans with tickets, the hustlers and rustlers who live off the game through extra-curricular means, and the "standing-arounders."

She knows how to sack a Super Bowl star. A groupie guru is coaching ring-chasing chicks on the art of playing the field at the Conrad Hotel & Resort in Indianapolis, where current and former footballers will be staying for the big game. "Timing is everything," writes Stephanie Ogbobu, 27. The Austin, Texas, beauty - who blogs on the groupie-gathering site - recommends prancing around the hotel at 10:30 p.m., just as VIPs are getting back from the day's events, or at 3 a.m.

Former Giants
Brad Benson, the former Giants offensive lineman and a member of the Super Bowl XXI champions, now owns a car dealership on Route 1 in South Brunswick. On the key to Super Bowl XLVI: "I'm prejudiced - I think if the Giants' offensive line can recover (from the NFC title game) and give Eli Manning time, the Giants will win this game."
Steve DeOssie is the former Giants linebacker and long snapper whose gold-and-diamond Super Bowl XXV ring flashed over dinner Friday night. He takes more pride in the Super Bowl XLII ring his son, current Giants long snapper Zak DeOssie, earned four years ago - and Zak's chance for another next week in Indianapolis.

Jan 28 Nothing the Patriots do is going to stop David Tyree from pinning the football to his head like a high school graduate securing a mortar board, or reverse an all-out blitz call that left gimpy cornerback Ellis Hobbs in man-to-man coverage with Plaxico Burress. If we must make the rematch/revenge angle relevant for the Patriots matchup with the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI we don't have to revisit Super Bowl XLII four years ago. We can hit rewind and go back to Nov. 6, when the Patriots lost, 24-20, to the Giants at Gillette Stadium.

There is no secret to the Giants' game plan in Super Bowl XLVI. It's the same one they had in November. It's the same one they had in Super Bowl XLII. To win this game, they have to stop Tom Brady. And to stop him, the defense knows it has to hit him often, and hard. The Giants overwhelmed Brady in Super Bowl XLII, sacking him five times and hitting him nine times. Brady still completed 29-of-48 for 266 yards and a touchdown. But running one of the most prolific offenses in NFL history, he was held to just 14 points.

New England Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork may cause chaos for the Giants' offensive line in the Super Bowl next Sunday. After the Patriots' (generously listed) 325-pound defensive lineman took over the AFC Championship Game last week, the game was vindication for a 31st-ranked Patriots defense that had been doubted and criticized all season, deemed unfit to make the Super Bowl, even with Tom Brady on the other side of the ball.

Giants tight end Jake Ballard says he will not need to undergo surgery on his partially torn PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) in his right knee. In the Giants' Week 9 victory in New England, Ballard had four catches for 67 yards -- including a beautiful game-winning touchdown grab with 15 seconds remaining to give his team a 24-20 win.

Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora says he'll "rekindle" his rivalry with the Patriots' Matt Light in Super Bowl XLVI. "Yeah, man, it is what it is. Me and him, I've actually fought him twice, actual real fight on the football field, twice," Umenyiora said. "Me and him, we have history. We're going to rekindle it on Sunday."

As Giants cornerback Corey Webster prepares for his second Super Bowl, he proclaimed on Friday that he believes he's the top cornerback in the NFL. The cornerback made his claim after he was asked if it's hard to get attention with Revis in town and if him and fellow cornerback Aaron Ross like flying under the radar.
Webster was quick to add that fellow cornerback Aaron Ross and the rest of the Giants' secondary "feel the same way," so perhaps his self-appraisal wasn't as boastful as it first appeared. Still, Webster has every reason to be proud of what has been an excellent 2011 campaign - with bookend corner Terrell Thomas missing the entire season after suffering a torn ACL in training camp.

In Week 14, Antrel Rolle and Corey Webster got mixed up on a call, allowing the Dallas Cowboys' Dez Bryant to score an uncontested 50-yard touchdown against the Giants' confused secondary. Cris Collinsworth, calling the game for NBC, said Rolle got "barbecued" on the play. "Get out of here with that, man," Rolle said in the days after the comment.
Antrel Rolle was the one who said the Giants" opponents on their schedule should fear them. He was the one who called pesky slot receiver Wes Welker human, and the one who labeled the Patriots' inflated offense "nothing spectacular." With the Patriots circling back for another crack at the Giants, it seems Rolle has taken a different approach, from decidedly confident to tacitly humble.

The demeanor of Tom Coughlin has changed, allowing for more jokes and laughs over the years, but the way he runs his team hasn't. From 2004 to now, the Giants head coach does not believe he has really changed as a coach in his eight seasons with the team.

Jan 27 On Feb. 5, the Patriots dynamic duo will attend their fifth Super Bowl together, the most in NFL history. Only the showdown with the Giants after the 2007 season ruined their perfect slate. Bill Belichick has been on the sidelines for all of Tom Brady's 16 playoff wins and five losses, and Brady has been under center for each of Belichick's three Super Bowl titles with the Pats. Apart, they are a former sixth-round draft pick no one wanted and a failed coach for the Cleveland Browns. Together, they make magic.

With 10 days left before kickoff, this time period feels like it's dragging for Pierre-Paul. "It does. I'm ready to play," he said today. "Just see who's going to be Super Bowl champions." Still, Pierre-Paul realizes the down time is valuable for some people, including the seven players who sat out practice.

Eli Manning stepped up in the pocket, assuming he had evaded San Francisco 49ers rookie sack sensation Aldon Smith barreling past right tackle Kareem McKenzie off the edge. A split second later, Smith blindsided him with the force of a Mack truck, snapping Manning's head back, forcing out a grunt from Manning drawn out on slow-motion replay and flattening him face first for the 49ers' fourth sack of the game.

After putting together a string of quality games protecting Manning and being able to establish the run, the offensive line will have to rebound following a dismal performance against the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. In the second half of the win, Manning seemed like he was pressured, hit or sacked on virtually every one of his throws.

With two weeks of preparation, the Giants believe they're going to be ready for anything and everything that the Patriots will throw at them. Including when New England switches its base defense between a 3-4 and 4-3 defensive front during the game. "To be honest, I don't think it's that challenging," center David Baas said.

The Giants have registered nine sacks in their first three victories in the playoffs after recording 48 in the regular season. In the playoffs, the Patriots' offensive line has been very stingy by allowing just one sack in its two games. The Giants' pass rush is going to have to be at its best to try and rattle one of the premier quarterbacks in the league.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady called Eli Manning a "great quarterback," and coach Bill Belichick said he's had a "great year." "I've seen firsthand what he can do in the fourth quarter of these games," Brady said, referencing Manning's game-winning drives against the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII and Week 9 this year.

The Giants were able to deal with the elements at soggy Candlestick Park on Sunday, but the numbers show their offense plays better in domes. In three dome games this season, Giants quarterback Eli Manning has averaged 360 pass yards and the offense has averaged 445 total yards. This will be the Patriots' first dome game this season.

New York Giants safety Deon Grant could care less about the New England Patriots trying to avenge their stunning loss to the underdog Giants in Super Bowl XLII. "They feel like the first Super Bowl we beat them in was a lucky one. That's the talk," Grant said. "They're still not giving the Giants their credit. We feel like we have something to go out there and prove."

Mathias Kiwanuka has probably gotten a ton of ticket requests, seeing as how Super Bowl XLVI is being played in his hometown. As for Devin Thomas, he only needs one. "As long as my dad is there, that's all that matters," the Giants special teams ace said Thursday. "Everybody else can celebrate after we handle our business."

There is little doubt left that the Giants' trio of wide receivers - Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham - are among the elite units in the NFL. Simmering beneath the surface is a small desire for respect, but for right now they are content to let their exact worth be determined by debates in bar rooms and sports talk radio.
Hakeem Nicks started and played in a career-high 15 games this season. The only hole came in Week Nine against the New England Patriots, and now the wide receiver will fill that blank stat line in Super Bowl XLVI. Nursing a hamstring injury at the time, Nicks, who is now working through a shoulder injury, will play the Patriots for the first time in his three-year career. To whose advantage that will be remains to be seen.

Jan 26 Special Report - It was with an almost amused point of view all season that one listened to Giant fans criticizing general manager Jerry Reese, head coach Tom Coughlin and the two coordinators, Kevin Gilbride (offense) and Perry Fewell (defense). In the end, all it proved was that coaches are generally only as good as the players they have, and that Reese did a more astute job than anyone was ready to admit.

Patriots secondary is Giants' primary target. Joe Flacco was stumbling around in the pocket, searching for open receivers, under intense pressure from the Patriots defense. Then the first quarter ended, and the Ravens offense led by Flacco moved the ball with relative ease against the overwhelmed Patriots defense. The Ravens scored on four of their next five possessions from the start of the second quarter to the middle of the fourth quarter.

The Patriots Don't Have Eli. Eli Manning didn't yell at Hakeem Nicks. He didn't scold, he didn't gesture wildly, he didn't even say anything about Nicks reading the 49ers' defense wrong, running the wrong route and letting Manning's ball hang on the very first pass of the Giants' biggest game all year.

Justin Tuck, who had the game of his life in Glendale, is still here, so is Osi Umenyiora. Mathias Kiwanuka, who missed that Super Bowl with an injury, is healthy now. Chris Canty is the player the Giants thought they were getting. Jason Pierre-Paul? He has become an ascendant star of his sport. Now the guys up front try to do it to Brady again in Indianapolis.

Both the AFC and NFC title games were decided in large part by special teams miscues. The Patriots' 23-20 win over the Ravens was in doubt until Baltimore kicker Billy Cundiff shanked a potential game-tying, 32-yard field goal attempt with 11 seconds remaining. The Giants outlasted the 49ers thanks to a pair of fumbles by San Francisco punt returner Kyle Williams, including one in overtime that led to New York's game-winning field goal.

Amanda Tynes faces pressure as a kicker's wife. By now, Amanda Tynes knows what a good kicking "operation" looks like. And it doesn't start with the low snap that nearly skidded off the wet Candlestick Park grass Sunday evening as her husband lined up for the second NFC Championship Game-winning kick of his career. So she looked away.

Former Giants
Lawrence Taylor says he's learned from experiences. "What was I thinking? According to my wife, I wasn't thinking and she reminds me of that every day for the last year-and-a-half."

Jan 25 - UPDATE A private woman, Ann Mara, widow of Giants patriarch Wellington Mara, became an Internet sensation this week with her staunch support of her beloved team but is currently resting at home after breaking her shoulder in an accidental fall. Mara's oldest son, Giants owner John Mara, said, "She is home and resting, though not very comfortably. Will be listed as probable for next week."

Jan 25 Eli Manning stood in front of the Giants and addressed them Tuesday about the importance of the next two weeks. "It comes down to us getting our preparation done this week," Manning said. "If you do extra meetings - the meetings that I hold with my running backs or something I do with my receivers, I'm going to try to get all of that done this week, because once you get out to Indianapolis, your routine does get thrown off."

Eli Manning said today he doesn't regret saying he was "elite" in the preseason and, in a rare public jab, that the media's job is to "talk and make up stories." 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 comment.

As much as Eli Manning will be able to consult his brother, Peyton Manning, about playing at Lucas Oil Stadium and the sound cadence there, he's not sure that the Colts quarterback will be able to help him out. "I don't think he's ever been the away team in his home stadium," Eli Manning said.

The Giants think they can stop Tom Brady, or at least slow him down enough to win this Super Bowl in 11 days. It's not as if he's Rex Grossman, the seemingly mighty Washington quarterback who slayed the Giants twice this season. They've beaten Brady the last two times they've played him. They know what makes Brady queasy, how pressure up the middle makes him uncomfortable.

Tom Coughlin's job security seemed to be a topic of conversation and debate every other week before the Giants began their magical run from being stuck at 7-7 and a play or two from missing the playoffs to NFC champions. Conversely, Bill Belichick might be the only coach in the NFL who's almost guaranteed to leave his team on his own terms - a remarkable feat in a profession where unhappy, pink-slip endings are the norm. Despite the contrasts between the two coaches, they share common denominators.

Giants linebacker Michael Boley honestly can't remember the last time he watched the Super Bowl. Seriously. "I don't watch the Super Bowl if I'm not in it," said Boley, who will play in his first one on Feb. 5 against New England, on Tuesday. "I've been like that since I've been in the league." Boley has been in the NFL for seven seasons.

While several Giants players and coaches will be reliving the glory of a similar playoff run four years ago that culminated with a Super Bowl win over the next two weeks, four players in this year's locker room know not all Super Bowls have a fairy tale ending. They are Rocky Bernard, Deon Grant, Antrel Rolle and Tony Ugoh, and all three lost in the big game.

Giants safety Antrel Rolle kept his eyes on the backfield -- and it cost him. Matched up in slot coverage against 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, Rolle got barbecued for a 73-yard touchdown that put San Francisco ahead 7-0 in the first quarter of Sunday afternoon's NFC Championship game. Rolle hopes he got all of his mistakes out of the way last Sunday.

Some Giants say they went after Kyle Williams with the intent to take him out of the game. There was the mishandled pitch from running back Kendall Hunter on a wide receiver end-around in the first quarter that he was able to recover. Then there was the awkward diving catch of a punt that could've been disastrous. And, of course, there were the major gaffes that ultimately cost the 49ers a trip to the Super Bowl: the muffed punt that glanced off his knee and his fumble on a punt return.

Getting away from Mike Westhoff proved to be the best move for Steve Weatherford. As the Giants punter readies for his first Super Bowl in what he believes has been his best season of his career, Weatherford said on Tuesday that joining forces with Giants special teams coach Tom Quinn has taken him to the next level. The Giants punter didn't talk highly of his former special teams coach either.

Giants - Patriots: Super Bowl from A to Z. There is still more than a week to go before kickoff for the big game, so it's a good time for a Big Blue breakdown. Here's everything you need to know about the Giants from A (Amukamara) to Z (Zeke Mowatt)

Former Giants
David Tyree sees Giants as 'carbon copy' of 2007 team that won Super Bowl XLII. Four years after making the improbable catch with his head in the Giants' Super Bowl victory over the Patriots, Tyree, a native of Montclair, said he plans to be Indianapolis for the rematch and admitted the Giants' run and how it has played out, will help his marketability.
David Tyree - For the next two weeks through Super Bowl XLVI, highlights of Tyree's amazing helmet catch from Super Bowl XLII will be played over and over again. For Tyree, it was the defining moment of his six-year career and he's back in the spotlight again now that the Giants and Patriots are facing each other again.


Manning's incredible scramble and throw followed by Tyree's now-legendary 3rd down catch against his helmet, kept the winning drive alive and enabled the Giants' 17-14 victory against the previously undefeated New England Patriots, making his the most famous helmet in Super Bowl history. They are in The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH.

Jan 24 The Giants are headed for Indianapolis and Super Bowl XLVI, after beating the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday. Exactly how well did the G-Men play in San Francisco? View the Giants' NFC Championship Game report card.
Post columnist Steve Serby lays out why Giants fan should be confident about Big Blue's Super Bowl rematch with the Patriots on Feb. 5 in Indianapolis. Serby gives Giants fans...XLVI reasons to believe!

Eli Manning says extra week before Giants-Patriots Super Bowl is a good thing. 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.

The Giants have won five straight since losing to the Redskins on Dec. 18 and dropping to 7-7. They now sit one way from their second Super Bowl in the Manning Era. In the Giants' way, of course, are the New England Patriots, the same team they beat in Super Bowl XLII. Eli Manning and the Giants will head to Indianapolis on Monday after practicing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Tom Brady may want to stay away from his television in the two weeks leading up to Super Bowl XLVI against the Giants. The Patriots quarterback said Monday that losing to the Giants in Super Bowl XLII still gnaws at him, and seeing highlights of David Tyree's miracle catch and Plaxico Burress' game-winning touchdown make him sick to his stomach.

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 in Sunday's 23-20 AFC Championship Game win, safety James Ihedigbo hoped the defense had earned its due.

Players said Bill Belichick gave them a speech yesterday about how that loss in 2008 has no bearing on what happens in 2012. In fact, there are only seven players on the Patriots' active roster who played in that game.
Since losing to the Giants 24-20 in Foxborough on Nov. 6 earlier this season a game Coughlin noted seems like an awful long time ago the Pats have outscored opponents 359-188 during a 10-game winning streak.

Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin beat Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in the Super Bowl four years ago and in less than two weeks they will do it again. The Patriots were a better team in 2007 than they are now. The Giants are a better team now than they were in 2007. Final score of Super Bowl XLII: Giants 17, Patriots 14. Prediction for Super Bowl XLVI: Giants 34, Patriots 24.

Super Bowl tickets to see Giants-Patriots rematch carrying high price tags. Giants fans will need big bucks if they want to watch the Big Blue take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis on Feb. 5.

The Giants will face the Patriots once again in the Super Bowl and Justin Tuck is hoping the game can be as titanic a clash as the first game was. "It doesn't really matter who the opponent is but it's going to be fun because I always say the best will bring out your best so it should bring out your best," Tuck said.

The Giants feel they haven't been getting any respect. And the wife of the late Wellington Mara, the former Giants owner, let Terry Bradshaw know about it on Sunday. As the FOX analyst interviewed players and management in the locker room following the Giants' 20-17 win in overtime, Ann Mara let the Hall of Fame quarterback hear it for picking against the Giants in the NFC Championship Game.

Safety Tyler Sash, who suffered a concussion according to the Giants on Sunday, will undergo the protocol of tests that each NFL players who may have suffered a head injury has to go through on Tuesday. "I think Tyler is going to have to go through all of the protocol, but he felt pretty good even on the plane last night," head coach Tom Coughlin said on Monday.

Jim Harbaugh probably will be named NFL Coach of the Year, but this wasn't his finest hour. In fact, the 49ers called pass plays on the first play in each of their last five possessions, eschewing a Ground & Pound attack that churned out 150 yards in the Candlestick muck. He played to the Giants' strength, rushing the quarterback and defending the pass.

Death threats for Kyle Williams, who misplayed two punts in 49ers' NFC Championship loss to NY Giants Final miscue led to game-winning field goal in overtime by Lawrence Tynes. you stay classy, 49er fans. Following San Francisco's overtime loss to the Giants in Sunday's NFC Championship Game, folks claiming to be 49er backers took to Twitter, taking out their frustration on game goat Kyle Williams.

Jan 23 Giants win over the Niners, 20-17 | Photos  | Photos | Photos | Photos

On The Game: Game 19
Gamegirl "..First off, let me say how excited I am and also how exhausted I am after watching this game! You live and die with this team and you know what? The way they play their hearts out they deserve every bit of fan appreciation you can give them, and I for one would like to throw out kisses to Devin Thomas for making those two fumble recoveries..."
Mikefan. ".
.Both teams have improved since their last go round and it was a tough battle on both sides. As expected, the Giants couldn't run effectively on San Francisco, and you knew their defense was going to be tough. They were so tough that Eli Manning, as elusive as he usually is, was batted around for 6 sacks, 12 knockdowns and 20 hits..."

ESPN - Giants stun 49ers with OT FG to set up Super rematch with Patriots.
ESPN - Surprise! Giants fight their way to Indy.
ESPN - Rapid Reaction: Giants 20, 49ers 17. - Giants defeat 49ers; Advance to Super Bowl XLVI. - Giants vs. 49ers Key Plays. - Giants vs. 49ers Game Diary.
StarLedger - Giants edge 49ers, 20-17, sets up Super Bowl rematch with Patriots.
StarLedger - Giants vs. 49ers: Quarter by quarter.
StarLedger - Victor Cruz makes his point against 49ers, even without a touchdown.
StarLedger - Giants' Tom Coughlin always believed in his team.
StarLedger - For Lawrence Tynes, winning field goal against 49ers is a dream come true.
StarLedger - 49ers' Kyle Williams faces fan backlash after muffing two key punts in loss to Giants.
NYDailyNews - Deja Blue! Giants head to Super Bowl.
NYDailyNews - In rematch, just call him Super Mario.
NYDailyNews - It's best of Tynes for Big Blue kicker.
NYDailyNews - Clutch Eli can pass Peyton with second ring.
NYDailyNews - Giants' secondary has it all covered.
NYDailyNews - Cruz leads Victor-y dance.
NYPost - Giants beat 49ers in overtime; will play Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.
NYPost - Giants' Miracle Mann refuses to lose.
NYPost - Giants rookie the mother of all heroes.
NYPost - Peyton proud of little brother Eli.
NYPost - Giants in this miracle run for long haul.
NYPost - New England favorites to win title ... again.
NYPost - Giants' Thomas had no doubt about fumble.
NYPost - Osi, Giants scratch four-year Super Bowl itch.
NYPost - Giants GM calls on team to finish job.
NYPost - Giants coach Coughlin rises to challenge with red flag.
NYPost - Giants punter Weatherford makes third title try count.
Sportsillustrated - Pats favored by Vegas books to win Super Bowl.
SFGate - 49ers drop ball as Giants win NFC title game 20-17.
Sfexaminer - 49ers defense should be proud of playoff performance.

Game 19 Preview - NFC Conference Playoff - Giants (11-7) vs Niners (14-3)
Last week the 49ers took on the New Orleans Saints at Candlestick Park and came away with a 36-32 win when Alex Smith hit Vernon Davis with a last-minute (nine seconds left) touchdown pass. The fourth quarter lead had changed hands four times in this hard fought battle. The next day the 49ers got a chance to recover and enjoy the playoff game between the Giants and Packers to see who they would be playing next.
The Giants beat the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers 37-20 at Lambeau Field. Not only did the Giants have to overcome the top-seeded 15-1 team playing in their home stadium, they had to survive some bad calls by the refs as well. Both the Giants and 49ers are happy with the outcomes as far as opponents go. The Giants didn't want to play in the Superdome and the 49ers didn't want to travel and play in Green Bay.

Jan 22 The Giants didn't set out on this journey hoping to find redemption. They're not flying across the country looking for revenge This game, to the Giants, is not about evening the score with the San Francisco 49ers. In fact, it has nothing to do with the 49ers at all. "They're just in the way of where we want to be," said linebacker Michael Boley. "Obviously, that's the Super Bowl."

There were stretches during this season when the Giants were remarkably one-sided. Their offense carried them and their defense held them back. Then there was a game against the Eagles and another the second time around against the Redskins when the offense was a no-show. The Giants eventually figured things out and they have landed in tonight's NFC Championship against the 49ers because they were able to have one side of the ball complement the other.

So here stand the New York Football Giants, eyeball-to-eyeball with destiny again, nose-to-nose with the bloodthirsty 49ers, spoiling for the fight of their lives, the Super Brawl that gets them back to the Super Bowl. Six buses packed with steely-eyed Giants departed the Timex Performance Center at 10:35 a.m. EST yesterday for Newark Airport and the United Charter that would touch down in enemy territory at 3 p.m. PST.
The Giants traveled cross-country to San Francisco once earlier this season, a Week 10 loss they hope was the opposite outcome of Sunday's NFC Championship Game. They believe they are a different team now, and they're also staying in a different hotel. Related or not, the Giants are among the most successful postseason road teams in NFL history.

As the Giants take the field against the 49ers in the NFC title game, there is strong consensus that physicality will determine who gets to suit up one last time in the Super Bowl. Nowhere on the field will that decision be made more than in the trenches, where the Giants' vaunted defensive line hopes to get past the Niners' strengthened offensive line to rattle quarterback Alex Smith into mistake-prone football.

The Giants' return to glory under Bill Parcells was built around his linebackers. Heck, even when they weren't good, the linebackers were beasts. From Brad Van Pelt to Hall of Famers Harry Carson and Lawrence Taylor to Carl Banks, Jessie Armstead and Antonio Pierce. They were the heart-and-soul of not just the defense, but the entire team.

Asked about San Francisco's Smiths -- the 49ers dynamic defensive duo of Justin and Aldon -- Giants coach Tom Coughlin only could give a wan smile and rueful chuckle, like a man being audited about the IRS. Several Giants players called Justin Smith the best 3-4 end in football, the heart of the 49ers physical defense and the facilitator for Aldon Smith's huge rookie campaign.

Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck and Eli Manning get hot at the right time as the Giants meet San Francisco. The Giants are on a four-game winning streak. They are not only winning. They are dominating. They beat the Jets by 15, the Cowboys by 14, the Falcons by 22 and the Packers by 17.

The text message lit up Justin Tuck's phone on the morning of Nov. 30, two days after the Giants had been blown out by the Saints in New Orleans. "When you get in," Tom Coughlin wrote, "come see me." That text message from Coughlin, and the pep talk of a meeting that followed, saved the lost season of Justin Tuck.

For a long time - or maybe it was for about five minutes - we've been intrigued by this curious practice of setting the clocks ahead at the Giants' practice facility, which is some sort of time-dishonored tradition, if you will. "Yeah, TC Time," Dave Tollefson explained. "That's what we call it around here." TC, as in Tricky Chronometry. "Coughlin Time," explains rookie tackle James Brewer. "This is not the Timex Center, this is the Tom Coughlin Center. You're warned about that the day you get here."

Clint Sintim has come to grips with the cruel reality that he's not going to play this season. Expectations were extremely high for Sintim heading into the 2011 campaign. He was expected to serve as Mathias Kiwanuka's backup and have another chance to prove that he was worthy of being selected in the second round of the 2009 NFL draft.

Jan 21 Giants' defensive backs get it together with the help of weekly get-togethers. The defensive backs started these meetings earlier in the season, once per week at the players' houses, about an hour in length. It was a way of conducting the meetings at their own pace and with them taking the lead.

Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes isn't afraid. As the Giants take on the 49ers on Sunday, and face San Francisco's vaunted special teams until that includes a stout kickoff return game, the Giants' kicker said he does not believe that the 49ers' kick return game is that dangerous.

Chris Canty said Sunday's NFC Championship Game will be a "bloodbath," but the Giants on Friday were as loose and confident as they've been all season. Tom Coughlin played the role of comedian through his press conference. Travis Beckum joked that he had read Jake Ballard's MRI. Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw signed shoes for a teammate.

A stomach bug has taken down its second victim in three days, as center David Baas missed practice on Friday with it. Quarterback Eli Manning had it first and had to leave practice early on Wednesday, a rarity for the league's current Iron Man at the quarterback position.
He has not missed a game since being named the starter in 2004. It is the third-longest streak for a quarterback in NFL history and it says much more about Manning than his quarterback rating. It says that he is rugged, and that he is ready.

There is at least one New York Giant who won't mind a sloppy field on Sunday. With rain in the forecast in San Francisco, it's likely going to be less than ideal conditions for the NFC Champions Game. Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw hopes that rain could perhaps lead to a more run-oriented attack.

Football fans across North Jersey will be glued to their televisions Sunday night to catch all of the gridiron action as it plays out from the soggy sod of Candlestick Park in San Francisco. Chris Ross of Ringwood will be heading back to college in Pennsylvania before the game and plans to "catch the game at the bar with a couple of my friends."

Rich Seubert, who was cut during the offseason after spending 10 seasons with the Giants, will be one of the team's three honorary captains against the 49ers on Sunday. Seubert has moved with his family to California and has said he looks to continue his NFL career next season. He will be joined by Michael Strahan and Mark Bavaro as the Giants' honorary captains on Sunday.

Zak DeOssie knows the story. He did not watch the Giants' 2003 NFC wild-card game in San Francisco, so he never saw the final snap of Trey Junkin's career. Having grown up the son of an NFL long snapper, DeOssie had heard all about Junkin's bad snap that helped doom the Giants in that 39-38 loss.

Rex Ryan isn't exactly batting 1.000 in his predictions for New York-area sports teams. But the Jets coach - for what it's worth - believes the Giants and Baltimore Ravens will advance to the Super Bowl this year, a rematch of Super Bowl XXXV.

Eli Manning has started 119 consecutive regular-season games, the longest such streak among active quarterbacks, and the third-longest streak of all time behind Brett Favre and brother Peyton. And that streak -- which totals 128 games if you count the playoffs -- will continue on Sunday in the NFC Championship Game despite Manning suffering a 24-hour stomach illness on Wednesday.

San Francisco 49ers right tackle Anthony Davis, a former Piscataway High School and a Rutgers standout, said he's nearing a dream come true in just his second season with San Francisco. He and the 49ers will face the Giants on Sunday in the NFC Championship Game, with the winner heading to the Super Bowl.

Former Giants
David Tyree, one of the Giants heroes from Super Bowl XLII, helped light up the Empire State Building tonight-supposedly to commemorate the Giants' trip to San Francisco for the NFC Championship Game. The problem was that when Tyree threw the switch, the landmark wasn't blue but rather red and gold - awfully close to the San Francisco 49ers' colors, in fact.

Jan 20 2011 NFL Playoff Schedule and Results.

It seemed like it was yesterday when Tom Coughlin and Perry Fewell were being run out of town -- again. What a difference a four-game winning streak and a trip to the NFC Championship Game make. The Giants head coach is being discussed as a Hall of Fame candidate and his defensive coordinator Fewell could again become a leading head coaching candidate.
There was a funny exchange at Tom Coughlin's Thursday news conference, when the Giants head coach was asked about his roller-coaster ride with media and fans this season. Tara Sullivan of The Record brought up people calling for Coughlin's job after the Giants lost to the Redskins in Week 15, and the fact that when she Googled his name today, the Hall of Fame came up.
Tara Sullivan - The opinion here? Second championship or not, Coughlin should make it to Canton, but if he finds a way to win it all again, there shouldn't be a doubt. "If he wins another then definitely!," former Giant Michael Strahan said in an email. "I think he's done great things in the league that warrant it, but of course I'm biased."

Although little doubt existed that Manning would return today - and none that he would be ready to face the San Francisco 49ers Sunday in Candlestick Park - the bug was big news. A photo of Manning photo shopped to make it look as if he was lying in bed, with the headline "Big Flu" was the lead story in the Daily News. Of course, Manning ignored the outside world's reaction to his upset stomach.

Giants special teams coach Tom Quinn knows his guys are in for a big test on Sunday, calling the 49ers' special teams unit the best in the NFL. "They're very, very solid," Quinn said on Thursday. "Exceptional punter, exceptional kicker, great returner. They are very well-rounded and very well-coached."

Blake Costanzo is the best special-teams player on arguably the best special-teams unit in the league. He was named a Pro Bowl alternate, a rather dramatic rise from his days as an undrafted free agent who had to pull a "Rudy" to get noticed.

The Giants' ability to run the ball will be a key factor in the game and go a long way in determining which team wins and advances to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis. Jerry Rice and Brandon Jacobs played role reversal this week. Rice, the Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver who did his best work with the San Francisco 49ers, is currently an ESPN analyst who is usually reserved in his comments. But he stepped outside his normal boundaries on the air and called Jacobs "a little soft."
It's hard to look at a 6-foot-4, 264 pound running back, a man who says he welcomes a helmet-to-helmet hit because it means his legs are clean, a man who trains with boxers in the offseason, and call him soft. But that's just what Hall of Famer Jerry Rice said of Brandon Jacobs earlier this week. Jacobs, who is preparing to play in the NFC Championship Game, responded to Rice's contention.

San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh may be toughest quarterback the Giants face Sunday in the NFC Championship Game. Mike Ditka praises the job his old quarterback has done in first year in San Francisco. In just one year in San Francisco, his first year there, he has done what great coaches and great managers do in any sport: Made his belief in his players their belief.

San Francisco 49ers kicker David Akers made a record 44 field goals this season. Akers knows that life can be unfair -- a trusted business partner and friend nearly bankrupted his family when the man swindled them out of $3.7 million in a Ponzi scheme between 2007 and '09. Akers was in court during the preseason, testifying in front of a federal jury. And so Akers knows the unwavering power of faith.

Osi Umenyiora is reveling in this postseason run by the Giants, in what could be his final days with the team. The 30-year-old defensive end has one year remaining on his current contract, at just under $4 million, but wants a new deal -- something the Giants probably can't afford to give him, because of salary cap considerations. Umenyiora was asked about his future after practice on Thursday.
"Whatever happens at the end of this year happens," Umenyiora said in front of his locker, surrounded by a four-deep horde. "I'm just focused on playing football -- this is pleasure, and you don't want to mix business with pleasure. It's fun for me, I'm enjoying it. The business part of it will be taken care of later." In other words, he's all business, and his business trip to San Francisco for Sunday's NFC Championship Game is what matters now.

Justin Tuck has played his best football of the season over the last four weeks. And as the Giants get ready for Sunday's NFC Championship Game in San Francisco, their defensive leader finds himself in that blissfully right state of mind that had eluded him all season.

So far this postseason, the Giants have put three players through concussion tests: Deon Grant, Aaron Ross and D.J. Ware. Despite the elevated stakes and the short-handed secondary, they followed proper protocol and held Ross out of the game against the Falcons when they were uncertain he had even suffered a concussion.

Former Giants
Tiki's Barber's TV comeback is about to begin. The controversial former Giants running back has signed on with SportsNet New York to initially work a special postgame show "Big Blue Live," which will air following Sunday's NFC title game. "I am looking forward to providing my insights," Barber said. "Hopefully it will be after a Giants win."

Jan 19 Antrel Rolle, Giants' voice of reason? The wind blows, fish swim and New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle talks. Rolle is a very good football player, but talking is the activity for which he is best known. At a time when pro athletes are looking for ways not to talk the media -- specifying only one day per week on which they'll do interviews, for example -- Rolle is a nonstop talking machine.

If there's one city outside of San Francisco pulling for the 49ers in the NFC championship game game against the New York Giants on Sunday, it's Las Vegas. After a Week 13 loss to the Packers left the Giants at 6-6 and losers of four straight, oddsmakers shifted the Giants' Super Bowl odds to 100-to-1. Giants fans pounced. Even two weeks later, after the Week 15 loss to the Redskins left them a game behind the Cowboys and only a game in front of the Eagles in the NFC East, the books had the Giants at 50-1 to win the Super Bowl. Their fans pounced again.

Eli Manning hasn't missed practice all year. So today, when Giants right guard Chris Snee looked back and saw backup quarterback David Carr stepping to the line and making a call, he teased, "Are you sure?" Manning left today's practice early with what coach Tom Coughlin called a "stomach bug," but no one in East Rutherford seemed overly concerned about the starting quarterback's absence having an impact on Sunday's NFC Championship Game.
Giants reserve quarterback David Carr has spent the past four years backing up both starters in Sunday's NFC Championship Game, San Francisco's surprising Alex Smith last season and Eli Manning for the other three. Though Carr has the utmost respect for Manning, he said he isn't shocked at Smith's breakthrough season. He praised the former No. 1 overall pick's mental toughness, felt for his friend's struggles and expected this kind of success.

Curses! The Giants now have more than just the 49ers and a soggy forecast in San Francisco to worry about in advance of Sunday's NFC championship game at Candlestick Park. Sports Illustrated, which has jinxed more than a few playoff runs during its history, sent panic through the Big Blue faithful Wednesday morning when they released this week's cover.

The Giants expect the 49ers to feed them a steady diet of Frank Gore on Sunday. We've talked a lot about how the New York Giants team that will play the NFC Championship Game on Sunday is a different team than the one that lost to the 49ers in San Francisco in Week 10. But the 49ers aren't the same team they were that day, either.

Giants' leader Justin Tuck won't let pain get in his way. Tuck is the Michael Strahan of this unit, a veteran with the experience and the talent to inspire as well as lead -- and at 28, he is eight years younger than Strahan was in January and February of 2008.

The man who wore No. 48 for the Giants in one playoff game nine years ago and knew the last snap of his career had gone astray the moment it left his fingertips stands in front of a mirror. "Once I put my hands on that ball that day, that shitty snap was my fault. I think about it every day."

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