There are no prizes for second place, so I have been told over the years....A Tom Coughlin-coached team has been here before. In 2007 the NY Giants punched the NE Patriots right in the mouth during the last game of season. The Giants played fast and hard as they smacked Tom Brady and the Pats with reckless abandonment.
That final game set the tone for one of the greatest Super Bowls of all time. So, if the NY Giants take care of business against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, the Giants will be one step closer to the final goal.
Enclosed is a list of players that helped the Giants in their best game of season.
This question remains unanswered: Why was Will Blackmon covering "anyone" during the most critical part of the game against the Green Bay Packers?
- 1. Antrel Rolle—No. 1 draft pick Arizona Cardinals, 2005
- 2. Kenny Phillips—No. 1 draft pick New York Giants, 2008
- 3. Corey Webster—No. 2 draft pick New York Giants, 2005
- 4. Aaron Ross—No. 1 draft pick New York Giants, 2008
- 5. Prince Amukamara—No. 1 draft pick New York Giants, 2010
The offensive line was dramatically better Sunday Night.
Why? One could make the direct connection to the promotion of starting guard Mitch Petrus.
With the 6'3", 310-pound guard blowing open holes, Brandon Jacobs immediately had running room, ripping off five to six yards a carry. With a healthy Ahmad Bradshaw the Giants were having a rebirth at running the ball.
Petrus had already done his share of blocking for stud running backs as he paved the way for Darren McFadden and Felix Jones, who both passed the 1,000-yard mark in 2007.
The gem of the Giants' 2010 draft came in the fifth round. Petrus impressed the Giants brass at the NFL combine when the former Razorback tied the bench press record of 45 repetitions (of 225 pounds).
Even more impressively, in 2005 Mitch Petrus arrived at the Razorbacks’ fall camp as a walk-on. With no major college scholarship offers, Petrus sucked it up and headed to Arkansas to prove recruiters wrong and to showcase how much of a hard worker he was.
His contribution was immediately recognized as the young guard handled the front line of the Green Bay Packers rather well. Petrus should be locked in as the starter going forward.
Kevin Boothe has made his way up and down the Giants offensive line contributing every snap, every series in almost every game. He is a very unselfish player.
With the Giants' playoff drive starting Sunday against Dallas, it's perfect timing for Boothe to step forward and give Eli Manning some stability.
No one knew how valuable Boothe was until Sunday when he started at center once again, instantly sparking life into the running game. It could be coincidence, but a few weeks ago Boothe did a great job playing center against the Patriots.
Born locally in Queens, New York, Boothe was a sixth-round draft pick out of Cornell University for the Oakland Raiders in 2006, but has been a contributing member of the Giants offensive line since 2007.
Against the Packers Boothe was extremely impressive and might be the key to finding that missing running game.
The No. 93 suits him well.Chase Blackburn had a bag packed and was figuratively waiting by the door because he knew someone would be calling.
The backup linebacker and former special teams standout had a few really good workouts for a handful of NFL teams over the last three months.
He knew it was only a matter of time.
Like a real life Cinderella story, it was his former team on the phone asking him to come back to work and once again Chase Blackburn stepped in and proved he belongs in the NFL.
Blackburn is nothing fancy...just a football player who comes to work every day, busts his ass and competes. After being released by the Giants this year it was very fitting to see Blackburn make a fantastic interception on an Aaron Rodgers pass.
Rodgers never saw Blackburn as he stepped in front of pass intended for Greg Jennings. It was only Rodgers' fifth interception of the season. Two plays later, Brandon Jacobs leaped into the end zone from a yard out to give the Giants a 17-14 lead.
He doesn't have elite speed or top-of-the-food-chain talent, he never did.
Originally signed as a rookie free agent by the Giants in 2005 from the University of Akron, Chase has played middle linebacker, strong- and weak-side outside linebacker and was a first-team alternate for the Pro Bowl in 2008 at weak-side linebacker.
With a nose for special teams, Chase made the Giants' 53-man roster out of training camp as a rookie free agent and led the team in special teams tackles every year.
Sunday night he was even making defensive signal calls. One may ask themselves why the linebacker was let go in the first place.
What can you possibly say about Victor Cruz that hasn't already been said?He loves the game and life couldn't get any better for this Paterson, New Jersey native.
Outside of Eli Manning, Victor Cruz is the most consistent and most valuable player this offensive has.
The undrafted wide receiver from the University of Massachusetts has stepped out of the shadows and into the limelight, hauling in 62 receptions for 1,076 yards.
The fan favorite makes a clutch catch for Eli Manning in almost every offensive series.
His impressive route running is reminiscent of former Giants wide receiver Steve Smith—and Cruz seems to be finding the open seams as well as the end zone.
His seven touchdowns leads the team and his 17.4 yards a catch is downright amazing for a slot receiver.
Cruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuz will be shouted from the stadium rafters each and every week as he continues to impress.
The Cowboys will struggle covering him come Sunday.
Nine tackles!The "Anvil" is starting to make a difference up front.
When was the last time a defensive tackle for the New York Giants had nine tackles? The defensive tackle from East Carolina who is fairly fleet of foot for a big man has come a long way, and it shows.
Linval Joseph, who is 6'4" and 323 pounds, had exploded up front to keep the Packers running game in check. With hard work and determination Joseph and his linemates kept Ryan Grant to only 29 yards.
Only Aaron Rodgers sprung out for more yards, as he had four rushes for 32 yards.
In each game he's played, Linval Joseph has racked up more tackles than the game before it.
Ahmad Bradshaw is the "Yin" to Jacobs' "Yang," and if this change-of-pace back is healthy the running game will once again be something that opposing defenses will need to plan for.
So far in 2011 that has not happened.
The offseason was not very kind to Bradshaw, as he underwent surgery to both feet and a ankle.
He had screws inserted into his feet to give him additional stability. The coaching staff has worked closely with him in attempt to correct his approach and elevate him from running on the sides of his feet; however, it's too late to change his approach.
Against the Packers "LIFE" was restored with a healthy No. 44. If the running attack continues to improve this week against Dallas, it will be the first step in crushing the Cowboys' playoff hopes.
In 2011 Bradshaw's production is down due to the injuries he has sustained and the terrible offensive line play.
- Attempts: 122 carries
- Rushing yards: 478 yards
- Average yards per carry: 3.9
- * Bradshaw does have an additional 219 yards receiving.