The Giants are two days away from facing down the Packers at chilly Lambeau Field in the NFC Divisional Playoffs. They are as healthy as they have been for some time, with everyone (with the exception of LB Mark Herzlich) expected to practice today.
Yesterday, RB Danny Ware (concussion) was cleared for action while others - RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot, back), S Deon Grant, CB Aaron Ross (concussion), DE Osi Umenyiora (ankle, knee) and CB Corey Webster (hamstring) were held out for precautionary reasons.
The 10-7 Giants have a tall task ahead of them in the 15-1 Packers, but from the outside (and the inside) this is a game between two evenly-mathced teams. The Giants hit some rough spots this year, that's all. They feel they are now back at the top of the league where they belong. Look out...
"I think we had an ‘us against the world’ mentality throughout the ups and downs of this season when people told us that we couldn't do this, we couldn't win the division," OL David Diehl told reporters yesterday. " I think that our team really rallied together and I think that we became a stronger team because of it because it took all of us to look each other in the eye and have that accountability, that we believe in one another and in order for us to do it we have to go out there and play that way and I think that’s the way we have been winning games."
The team is brimming with confidence as they embark on their journey into the frozen tundra. DT Chris Canty, who has been outstanding for the past month, sized up the team's general mental and emotional state...
"It’s a great time of year obviously, January, playoff football in the National Football League. It’s amazing, we’re looking forward to going to play a very good Packers team, it’s going to be a great environment at Lambeau Field. We’re excited about the challenge, we’re energized by the challenge, we’ve had a great week of work so far and we’re excited to get up there and compete."
Everyone in the locker room is aware of how great Green Bay is, especially at home, but to a man that has not deterred the Giants from thinking big.
"We have confidence. We know we have a huge challenge ahead of us," said Osi Umenyiora. "They are an outstanding football team and they are coming off a bye so they will be extra prepared. We are confident in our practice and our coaching and what we are able to go out and accomplish. I think it is going to be a good game."
CB Corey Webster, who recorded the key interception off Brett Favre in overtime at Lambeau in the 2007 NFC Championship Game, is staying grounded...
"I just think this is the situation we have in hand right now, we are going to make the best out of the opportunity that we have. We are in there now, so all we can do is put our best foot forward by taking care of the opportunity on hand. That’s going up there and taking care of the next game on the schedule. I think everybody will be up for it and it will be a good challenge on Sunday."
Will the buzz on the way out be the same on the ride back? Hey, we've been here before, remember...?
"You have to believe. All things are possible for those who believe," said Tom Coughlin. "We have been working that one real hard for a while. That is a major theme of ours and ‘keep the dream alive’ is another one."
Can they turn this dream into a reality?