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Halting Hester is the key to victory

The Giants saw enough of this view of Chicago's Devin Hester last season. This is the end of Hester's 108-yard return of a missed field goal for a touchdown last year against against New York. Keeping Hester from hurting them will be a big part of the Giants' game plan Sunday.
There are really two keys to the Giants game with Chicago on Sunday. Convince Eli Manning to throw the ball to the guys in white instead of black, and find a way to contain return man extraordinaire Devin Hester.

We have spent a lot of time this week talking about Manning. Let's focus on Hester for now. The Giants have been doing quite a bit of that themselves this week.

Hester is most likely the most dangerous return man the game has ever seen. Twelve touchdowns in just 27 professional games is proof of that. Having to face him is enough to give a special teams coach nightmares, and the Giants Tom Quinn isn't any different.

In a Q&A with Inside Football, Quinn as much as admitted that planning for Hester is costing him sleep. Here's a snippet:

Q: How are you sleeping these days?

A: Wonderful. You don't sleep much.

Q: Dreaming of Hester?

A: Yes.

Q: What is your take on how you stop him?

A: You have to be responsible where you place the ball. You have to be very disciplined. You can't make any mistakes. You have to have great effort.

The Giants have not been great in coverage this season, though they have been getting better in recent weeks. They know their best best is to kkeep the ball out of Hester's hands.

To that end this game is an extreme challenge for Giants punter Jeff Feagles, who has made a career of angling punts to corners and pinning opposing teams deep in their own territory. His skills will be tested Sunday.

"We'll do our best to kick it out of bounds and keep it out of his hands," said Feagles, who as an excellent directional punter has the means of doing that. "If he does get it we have to go down and cover it."

If Feagles and Lawrence Tynes can give Hester diffi cult kicks to handle, and David Tyree and the coverage units can corral him that will go a long way toward helping the Giants win Sunday.

And a victory on Sunday would push the Giants to 8-4, get them that much closer to a playoff berth and help erase the memory of last Sunday's disastrous loss to Minnesota.