January 15, 2012
By J.D. Cook
I thought the season was over when the Giants lost to the Redskins on December 18th. Before that I doubted the Giants could be contenders with a December 4thloss to an atrocious Philadelphia team. In this past game, I wasn’t sure if the Giants could overcome Aaron Rodgers laser rocket arm or our own lack of running ability. Honestly I’m not sure if the Giants can beat the 49ers and their hammering defense. I love not being sure!
What can’t I say about the Giants game against the Packers? Eli Manning continues to be the gunslinger I said he was a few weeks ago with the article The NFL’s True Gunslinger. He is having a fantastic season and I hope it continues in San Francisco. That said in order for the Giants to win the ground game must be more proficient then it was in Green Bay. Honestly looking back I am not sure how we won with almost no running game? Jacob’s last touchdown run doesn’t count for much in my book except for capping the game off of course. Not that I wasn’t ecstatic when it happened! It’s just that one decent run can’t erase 3 quarters of the offensive line not being able to push Green Bay’s defensive line around.
I love the fact that, for all the focus on quarterbacks this year, defense is still what wins championships, and I love even more that the NFC Championship will be between the Giants and 49ers; two teams with outstanding defensive legacies. Further, I must toot my own horn by pointing out that I named the blog following the teams earlier meeting this year as Clash of the NFC Titans. A little phophetic, don’t you think? Anyway, these two teams have a rich history, including a meeting in the 1990 NFC Championship under similar defensive circumstances. Ronnie Lott led the 49ers on defense and Lawrence Taylor led the Giants. Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana was knocked out of the game and only one touchdown was given up by either team. I don’t hope for that intense of a defensive struggle, but I expect some hitting.
Now back to the Packers game, Green Bay obviously was rusty having rested for nearly two weeks. That said, if you are a championship caliber team you have to step up your performance in big games and they didn’t. They played well early when the Giants were still obviously not settled in, but once the Giants really got warmed up they looked like juggernauts. Even a blatant fumble that was not ruled a fumble couldn’t hold the Gmen back. Not to mention a terrible spot in the second half, and oh yeah…a roughing the passer call that honestly made no sense!? As I mentioned in my Referee Interference article, calls this bad have to make you wonder if good old Goodell is secretly controlling the NFL and telling the refs who to rule against. That’s probably just the crazy paranoid person in me though.
Contrary to what was being said the Giants front four did get a lot of pressure, Rodgers is just a great quarterback who was able to run, pass and escape from pursuers. As I said last week it seems like teams are now so focused on Cruz that they forget the Giants have an equally good receiver named Nicks on the other side. I wouldn’t be surprised if this upcoming week Cruz has a big game as the 49ers may look to stop the now hot Nicks. The Gmen truly are a hydra on offense right now. Add in a defense that can rough the passer (legally) and you have a recipe for success. That’s not to say that our secondary is bad.
Those guys do not get enough credit. Aaron Ross helped the Giants to their ’07 Super Bowl win as part of an awesome rookie class. Corey Webster is probably the most underrated corner in the NFL as he hardly ever gives up big plays. Now couple them with Kenny Phillips, the hard hitting safety from the U, Deon Grant, and good old Antrel Rolle who gets forgotten about. Then there is Kiwanuka, the defensive end/ line backer, Michael Boley and Chase Blackburn whose autograph sits on a football above my fathers television.
Honestly I’m not sure the Giants will win next week, but I like their chances…
Go GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGMMMMEEEEEEEEEEEENNNNNNN !!!