Sunday, January 20, 2008

It's About Tynes! The New York Giants Will Represent The NFC In The Super Bowl

First, I would like to begin by saying the Indianapolis Colts and New York Giants have something in common. That is, both of their kickers failed both Mannings. Peyton Manning's kicker, Mike Vanderjagt failed him years ago and now Eli Manning's kicker, Lawrence Tynes, failed him as well. However, unlike Vanderjagt, Tynes was given a second chance and came through on the his second attempt to help send Eli Manning and the Giants to the Super Bowl.

The unbeaten Pats punched their ticket to Arizona earlier in the day. No surprise there. The twist? To win their fourth Super Bowl in seven years, they'll have to deny Eli Manning.

A suddenly matured Manning guided the Giants to their ninth straight road win Sunday, a frostbitten 23-20 overtime victory over the Green Bay Packers for the NFC championship. The Giants grabbed their first NFC championship in seven years, capping a month long surge that reversed a trend of mediocrity built around Manning's inconsistency. He has been a revelation in the playoffs, however, and his calm leadership keyed New York's turnaround.

This game was quite entertaining and dramatic all the way down to the last quarter...and longer. Eli Manning played nearly to perfection, throwing for 254 yards. Though he did not throw a touchdown, he also did not throw any interceptions. Speaking of interceptions, Favre threw two of them and the last interception he threw cost the Packers the game in overtime because it set the Giants up for the game winning field goal. Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw both switched off running all over the Packers. Jacobs ran for 67 yards and Bradshaw ran for 63 yards and they both had a touchdown each. On the Packers side, Ryan Grant was shut down with only 29 rushing yards. Finally, Plaxico Burress completely schooled Al Harris with 154 receiving yards.

After Lawrence Tynes missed a 36-yard field goal at the end of regulation following a bad snap, he got a reprieve in overtime following Corey Webster's interception of a struggling Brett Favre. He nailed a 47-yarder, then sprinted directly to the locker room as the rest of his frozen teammates celebrated on the field.

The Giants deserved to win this game, especially after their game winning touchdown was taken away from them towards the end of the fourth quarter because of a questionable holding call.

Now comes Mission Impossible for Manning and the Giants, who will play the unbeaten New England Patriots in two weeks for the NFL title. The Giants came very close to beating the Patriots in the final game of the season, but we all know how that worked out.

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