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By Gary W. Marchese Jr.
Green Bay, WI (January 15) – The New York Giants defeated the Green Bay Packers by the score of 37-20 on Sunday evening. The win sends the Giants to the NFC Championship game in San Francisco next Sunday night. The Giants continue to be road warriors and relish that underdog role. A month ago no one would have ever thought the Giants could be one win away from the Super Bowl but they got hot at the right time and are playing like champs right now. The Giants offense can put points on the board against anyone, anywhere. The defense is what has really come together and played well in the last few weeks. The pressure they are putting on the quarterback, creating turnovers and just buckling down.
Eli Manning has been great all season and was once again in this game. He was 21-33 for 330 yards and three touchdowns with an interception. Hakeem Nicks led the receivers with seven catches for 165 yards including a Hail Mary to end the first half which was amazing. He had two touchdown catches. Victor Cruz had five catches for 74 yards Mario Manningham had three catches for 31 yards and a touchdown. Travis Beckum had two catches for 22 yards, Ahmad Bradshaw had three catches for 21 yards and Jake Ballard had one catch for 17 yards. The rushing attack was pretty much not there but Bradshaw had 12 rushes for 63 yards and Brandon Jacobs had nine rushes for 22 yards and a touchdown. Manning rushed four times for ten yards. Lawrence Tynes was 3-4 on field goals with his long being 35 yards and he was 4-4 on extra points.
The Giants defense had one interception, two forced fumbles and four sacks. Michael Boley led the attack with eight tackles, one assist and two sacks. Antrelle Rolle also had eight tackles, Osi Umenyiora had two sacks and a forced fumble and the other forced fumble was by Kenny Phillips. The Giants defense did a great job of covering and they were chasing Aaron Rodgers around as he had a lot of rushing yards due to that and they eventually got to him in the second half.
Rodgers was 26-46 for 264 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Rodgers led the rushing attack with seven rushes for 66 yards, James Starks had six for 43 yards and Ryan Grant had eight rushes for 33 yards. Brandon Saine had one for three yards and John Kuhn had one for two yards. Donald Driver led the receivers with three catches for 45 yards and a touchdown. Greg Jennings had four catches for 40 yards, Jordy Nelson had three catches for 39 yards and Randall Cobb had three catches for 38 yards. Jermichael Finley had four catches for 37 yards, Starks had four for 24 yards and Grant had three for 17 yards. Jones had one for 16 yards and Kuhn had one for eight yards. Crosby was 2-2 on field goals with his long being 47 yards and 2-2 on extra points.
The Packers defense was poor but they did have one sack and one interception. Jones had the sack and Burnett had the interception. Charlie Peprah led the team in tackles with nine. The Packers were 15-1 in the regular season but appeared to be rusty in this one as they played their worst game of the season. They hadn’t played a meaningful game in three weeks and it showed as the Giants have been playing playoff games for three weeks now and they showed all the momentum they had built up.
The Giants will now head to San Francisco to play for the NFC title and the right to go to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis on February 5th. The game will be next Sunday January 22nd at 6:30PM the Giants are 4-0 in NFC Championship games in their history. The Giants have won three Super Bowls and lost one, the Giants today also became the first road team in this year’s playoffs to win a game. It would appear that the 49ers are the best matchup for the Giants but we will see. The two teams met in week 10 with the 49ers winning 27-20, the Giants had a chance at the end but came up just short, they are a different team right now though, having healthy guys although at the time they dropped to 6-4 and didn’t seem in bad shape. They would lose two more games in a row after that and be at 7-7 going into the final two weeks needing to win both games to get into the postseason. The giants have now won four straight games including the two playoff wins.