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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?"
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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?
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."
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
6 Giants win in Super Bowl, defeat
the Patriots 21-17 |
"...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..."
"...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.."
- Eli Manning, Giants thwart Pats again to cap magical run with 4th Super Bowl
- Coughlin gets the last laugh.
- Eli named Super Bowl XLVI MVP.
- Stats & Info: Giants repeat the feat.
- Stats & Info: How Giants, Eli came through.
- Rapid Reaction: Giants 21, Patriots 17.
- Tuck has two sacks again in Super Bowl.
- Cut to the Chase: Blackburn delivers.
- Grading the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI.
- Game Diary: Giants Win Super Bowl, 21-17.
- Eli named SB XLVI MVP.
- Giants' Super Bowl victory parade: Information on where and when it will be.
- Eli Manning, Giants beat Tom Brady, Patriots in Super Bowl again, 21-17.
- Blue heaven as Eli, Giants rally again.
- Tom Coughlin outcoaches New England Patriots' Bill Belichick again.
- Again, Eli is Super cool.
- Manningham grabs glory with fantastic feat of feet.
- This time, no 'elite' talk from Super Bowl XLVI MVP.
- Big Blue denies Welker and Brady.
- Giants score in final minute to defeat Patriots, 21-17.
- Giants survive Patriots Hail Mary.
- Manning drives Giants to another championship.
- Giants QB takes lead in Manning Super Bowl race .
- Bradshaw TD works out for Giants.
- Giants beat Patriots 21-17 to win the Super Bowl.
- Giants defensive line is more than fine, shuts down Brady, Patriots at key times.
- Patriots' Wes Welker can't let go of dropped pass.
- The nightmare, relived. Only worse.
- Giant heartbreak for Pats.
- Giants win Super Bowl rematch over Patriots.
- Brady: 'We just didn't make enough plays'.
- Belichick morose in postgame comments.
20 Preview - Super Bowl 46 - Giants
(12-7) vs Patriots (15-3)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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."
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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?"
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.
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.
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.
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
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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."
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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 ESPNNewYork.com by phone. "I have no intention of staying
home. I'll be ready to go on the plane on Thursday."
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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."
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.
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."
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."
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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 balleralert.com - 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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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."
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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."
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."
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
23 Giants win over the Niners,
"..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..."
"..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..."
- Giants stun 49ers with OT FG to set up Super rematch with Patriots.
- Surprise! Giants fight their way to Indy.
- Rapid Reaction: Giants 20, 49ers 17.
- Giants defeat 49ers; Advance to Super Bowl XLVI.
- Giants vs. 49ers Key Plays.
- Giants vs. 49ers Game Diary.
- Giants edge 49ers, 20-17, sets up Super Bowl rematch with Patriots.
- Giants vs. 49ers: Quarter by quarter.
- Victor Cruz makes his point against 49ers, even without a touchdown.
- Giants' Tom Coughlin always believed in his team.
- For Lawrence Tynes, winning field goal against 49ers is a dream come true.
- 49ers' Kyle Williams faces fan backlash after muffing two key punts in loss
- Deja Blue! Giants head to Super Bowl.
- In rematch, just call him Super Mario.
- It's best of Tynes for Big Blue kicker.
- Clutch Eli can pass Peyton with second ring.
- Giants' secondary has it all covered.
- Cruz leads Victor-y dance.
- Giants beat 49ers in overtime; will play Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.
- Giants' Miracle Mann refuses to lose.
- Giants rookie the mother of all heroes.
- Peyton proud of little brother Eli.
- Giants in this miracle run for long haul.
- New England favorites to win title ... again.
- Giants' Thomas had no doubt about fumble.
- Osi, Giants scratch four-year Super Bowl itch.
- Giants GM calls on team to finish job.
- Giants coach Coughlin rises to challenge with red flag.
- Giants punter Weatherford makes third title try count.
- Pats favored by Vegas books to win Super Bowl.
- 49ers drop ball as Giants win NFC title game 20-17.
- 49ers defense should be proud of playoff performance.
19 Preview - NFC Conference Playoff - Giants (11-7) vs Niners
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
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
NFL Playoff Schedule and Results.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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."
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."