January 9, 2012
By J.D. Cook
This was the most dominant performance I have seen the Giants take part in during the playoffs since their 41-0 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in 2000. By the end of the game Matt Ryan looked like he was the only one still playing on the Falcons. The Giants defense held the Falcons offense to zero points. The team’s lone score came off of a Manning mistake when he tried to get rid of the hot potato after being chased into the end zone. The result of the play was a safety.
Much like every successful Giants season the defense is at the core of this team’s success. Although the dominant front four only had 2 sacks they were in “Matty Ice’s” face all day. The ‘Burner’ (Michael Turner) was virtually shut down with 41 yards in the game; most of which came on one of their two legitimate drives. Both of which ended when Smith went for it on fourth down. Someone should have told Smith he wasn’t playing Madden (where QB sneaks almost guarantee a yard), as Ryan could not push through the Giants front. The second time Smith gambled it allowed the Giants to take control of the game. The score was 10-2 Giants when Smith chose to go for it instead of kicking a field goal to make the score 10-5. With a score like 10-5 the game is within reach, but the Giants took the momentum of the 4th down stop straight to a lopsided victory.
Eli Manning looked like Eli “Fire” as he torched the Falcon’s secondary once Jacobs and Bradshaw got the run game rolling (check out our Fire and Ice Article last year on Tuesday Morning Tailback). Hakeem Nicks stepped up with two touchdowns; somehow with all the noise being made about Victor Cruz people have seemed to forget about Big blue’s former breakout talent. I have to take another opportunity to laugh at Steve Smith who chose to desert the Giants at the beginning of this season for the ‘Dream Team’ in Philly. I also must commend the Giants Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilibride. In the past my one real issue with him was that he got conservative with leads. Hence why the Giants have a reputation for being able to win from behind, but blow leads. There was none of that in this game as the Giants didn’t take their foot off the petal.
Looking ahead the Green Bay Packers are far from invincible. The Giants will need a lights out performance from their defense, but Green Bay’s defense hasn’t been great all year. The Giants just have to keep themselves out of a shoot out with team Rodgers; which will be tough if Ross is out next week. It’s strange to think a team that lost twice to the Washington Redskins can find itself in this position, but I ain’t complaining. I love the way New York steps up at the last possible minute; sure it’s nerve racking, but no other team excites me half as much.
Let’s go GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGMEN!