New York Giants News and Notes: This is How We Do It Edition

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 08: Hakeem Nicks #88 of the New York Giants celebrates afer he scored on a 72-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter against the Atlanta Falcons during their NFC Wild Card Playoff game at MetLife Stadium on January 8, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Good morning fellow Giants fans, and it is a good morning at that, as our team stomped out the Atlanta Falcons 24-2 on Sunday in a wild card playoff game, the Giants' first home playoff win in the Tom Coughlin era. You always want to get on a roll at the end of the season and/or in the playoffs, and that's what Big Blue has done--build momentum the last three weeks with an emerging run game, stifling defense, great line play, precision passing from Eli Manning and exceptional performances from Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham. Sure, there were some ugly penalties and questionable refereeing, but the Giants persevered through it and flat out dominated the game. The Green Bay Packers await and they cannot be excited about playing a team that is on this kind of roll, a team that almost beat them a few weeks back when the snowball was just a large pebble. But for now, let's celebrate a huge win and the chance to see our Giants move to the Elite 8 of the NFL. Nice going, fellas. Let's see what is being said the morning after.....

Eli Manning: Some People Will Never Understand His Greatness - SB Nation New York
By now, no one should question whether or not Manning is an elite quarterback. There are several great quarterbacks playing in the NFL right now. Put them in any order you want, when you discuss them the Giants Manning has to be in that conversation. Yet, some people will never understand.

To punctuate Ed's point, I just heard Boomer Esiason say on WFAN.com that Manning is still not in the same class as Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, because he doesn't dominate at home the way those guys do. He cited the games we lost against Washington and Philly. What he neglected to remember was that Manning beat Brady in Brady's house. Sure, we got rolled in New Orleans, but Eli had a decent game then, too. I don't know about you guys, but I'm getting sick of this, and Ed put it very well in this piece.

NY Giants bring Meadowlands to life, playing like they did during playoff victories of old - NY Daily News
This really was Giants Stadium now, a game out of the past and from across the parking lot in the Meadowlands, from all the big Sundays when the old Giants beat you with defense. They were up all around us where we were sitting on the Giants side of this new stadium, waving their towels, wanting this to be like the last home playoff game the Giants had won, a long time ago, an NFC Championship Game against the Vikings 11 years ago, when the Vikings got shut out, when the Giants wouldn’t give the Vikings an inch that day.

Politi: Brandon Jacobs and running game set tone in Giants' victory | NJ.com
But to run for 172 yards on 31 carries, with both Jacobs and Bradshaw breaking free for a run longer than 30? Against a defense that was ranked sixth against the run this season? That was not just the surprise, but the development that makes them dangerous at Lambeau Field. All the talk about these Giants mirroring the team that made that championship run after the 2007 season ignored one significant detail: Those ’07 Giants were the fourth-best rushing team in the league, averaging 134.3.

NY Giants 'fourth' right defense dominates Atlanta Falcons offense, stuffs Matt Ryan's quarterback sneaks - NY Daily News
Two big fourth-down stops had accomplished the job, had won this wild-card playoff game Sunday against Atlanta, 24-2. Those defensive stands, those stuffs in the shadow of their own goalposts, had given the Giants good reason to believe they might be better than most everyone thought, and that this really could be 2007 all over again.

The Giants' short yardage D was an adventure in the regular season, but they came to play on Sunday at the right time.

Offensive line paves way for big day by Giants' backs | NJ.com
The Giants amassed 172 yards on 31 carries Sunday, their highest total since December 2010. And the majority — 96 yards on 15 carries — were earned on runs to the right side. The Giants ran six times to the left for 33 yards, and eight times up the middle for 30 yards (not including Eli Manning’s scrambles). But they most often sent their backs behind Snee and right tackle Kareem McKenzie.

The story of the Falcons' season: A Giant step backward | Mark Bradley
How does that happen? How does a team with Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Tony Gonzalez, Roddy White and the almost-as-good-as-advertised rookie Julio Jones play a postseason game to so little effect? In his first two playoff losses, it was possible to cite Ryan’s turnovers as the determinant. He made no turnovers this day … and his team lost by 22 points.

Giants rediscover winning formula with tough defense - chicagotribune.com
Eli Manning threw for three touchdowns to continue his brilliant National Football League (NFL) season, but the most uplifting element in the New York Giants' rout of the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday was the team's defense.

Giants running hot at the right time - NFL Nation Blog - ESPN
On the surface, they seemed to have morphed into a passing offense, with Eli Manning sailing past 4,000 yards again and Victor Cruz joining Hakeem Nicks to form a dangerous downfield wideout combo. But through it all, the Giants insisted they wanted to run the ball, insisted they still could. And at exactly the right time of the year, they are proving their stubborn, patient selves right.

Grimes-less secondary no match for Giants | ajc.com
Dominique Franks received good news and bad news in the same sentence. He was going to play in Sunday’s playoff game, but only because All-Pro cornerback Brent Grimes was inactive with an injury. Word came right before kickoff.

Victor Cruz won’t dance with the stars; it’s all for the Giants - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Earlier this week, New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz received an invitation to join Dancing with the Stars for its new season in March. In his second NFL season, Cruz is a big reason why his Giants have surprised many with a 9-7 record this year, good enough dance their way into the playoffs. He leads all receivers on his team with 82 catches for 1,536 yards and nine touchdowns, and each trip to the end zone capped off by a salsa dance celebration. He admits that his dance steps to celebrate six points caught the attention of the reality show, but for now he's content to keep his salsa to the highlight reel.

D'Alessandro: After victory, renewed Giants will face Packers in rematch | NJ.com
Okay, thanks for the clinic, put away the golden trumpets and crashing cymbals, we’ve seen enough. It is at this point that we can affirm without any infidelity to logic that this is what the Giants truly are — what they should have been all along, what they were meant to be before they put a revolving door on the trainer’s room, and where they should reside after 18 weeks. And, we can agree with joyful accord, it is good. But we pause here — at the feel-good pinnacle of a season that was in the depths of despair just five weeks ago — to offer this reality check: Is this the level that is good enough to beat Green Bay?

Why yes, yes they are!

NY Giants' Hakeem Nicks & Mario Manningham cut in on Victor Cruz’s receptions from Eli Manning vs. Falcons - NY Daily News
Victor Cruz didn’t do any salsa dancing in the Giants’ 24-2 win over the Atlanta Falcons. Instead it was Hakeem Nicks on the dance floor, doing his version of the Dirty Bird.

Former New York Giants Coach Bill Parcells On Hall Of Fame Ballot | Fox News
Bill Parcells won two Super Bowls as head coach of the New York Giants and was an inaugural member of the team's Ring of Honor. He now is one step closer to the ultimate NFL honor -- the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He is one of 17 finalists for induction into the class of 2012, the New York Post and NFL.com reported.

Play in Giants game shows replay review system isn’t working | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo! Sports
Blame lies with the officials on the field and in the booth, though the Giants didn't help their case at all. The team can't compel officials to measure a spot or the replay booth to call for a review. They can nudge, however. New York had two timeouts remaining in the half. It's understandable that Tom Coughlin didn't want to burn one of them; he figured his team would get the first down and need them later. In hindsight though, Coughlin should have used the timeout and worked officials to measure the spot, or raised enough ruckus to get the booth to review the catch. Had he done the latter, the call on the field almost certainly would have been overturned.

I bet Coughlin will be kicking himself this morning for not asking for a measurement, but the fact is that it should not have come to that. The line judge who spotted that ball did an awful job on that play and it may have cost the Giants points before halftime. Still, with a 22-point win in the end, it's easy to look past that now. And look past that we will, enjoying the win for a day and then turning our attention to Green Bay, which happens to be the hometown team where I reside. It's going to be a fun week, that's for sure. Enjoy the happy Monday, everyone!

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