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'Kudos & Wet Willies,' NFC Championship Edition

I am still floating this morning. Did that really happen last night? Did the Giants really beat the Packers? Are they really in the Super Bowl?


It figures that it would take overtime for the Giants to dispatch Green Bay. It figures that it would take Lawrence Tynes three tries before getting it right and hitting the game winner. It figures that it would take an unprecedented 10th straight road victory.

These are the New York Giants. Correction, the NFC Champion New York Giants. Nothing ever comes easy.

This morning, though, the Giants are one of only two teams left playing. It's a position no one expected the Giants to be in this season.

Let's get on with the 'Kudos & Wet Willies.'

Kudos to ...

Lawrence Tynes: I wanted to jump through my TV set and kill him after his two misses in regulation. Tynes, however, got it done in overtime with his 47-yard game-winner. I guess that resilience is just a reflection of the Giants themselves.

Eli Manning: Eli has now led this team past Giants-killer Jeff Garcia, Tony Romo and Brett Favre -- in their own buildings. His numbers last (21-of-40, 254 yards) didn't tell the story. He controlled the game, didn't turn the ball over and put the ball on target all night. Forget all the doubts -- he's a big-time, winning quarterback.

Corey Webster: Made the interception that set up Tynes' winning kick. Webster deserves all the credit in the world. Buried on the bench after several lackluster seasons as a Giant, Webster was forced into action by injuries during the playoffs. Despite getting burned for one touchdown last night Webster has been the Giants best cornerback throughout their playoff run.

Gibril Wilson: Finally playing like the buzzsaw safety he looked like as a rookie, Wilson has had a great season. He was all over the field last night with 8 tackles.

Plaxico Burress: Matched up with Al Harris all night, Burress absolutely abused the Green Bay cornerback. He ended with 11 catches for 154 yards.

Domenic Hixon: Quality kick returns all night, and a huge recovery of an R.W. McQuarters fumbled that could have cost the Giants the game in regulation.

Kevin Boss: Continuing the fumble recovery theme, Boss recovered a Brandon Jacobs fumble at the goal line that allowed the Giants to punch in a third-quarter touchdown.

Ahmad Bradshaw: You have to love watching Jacobs run over people, but is there any question that this guy is now the Giants best running back? He had 16 carries for 63 yards last night, and had a potential game-winning touchdown run nullified by a penalty. The game changes when he get on the field.

Antonio Pierce: Six tackles, including a brilliant play defeating two blockers on a screen pass that may have gone for a Packer touchdown.

Steve Spagnuolo: Dialed up another brilliant defensive plan. Ryan Grant ran for just 29 yards, and aside from the 90-yard touchdown to Donald Driver, Brett Favre was largely ineffective.

Tom Coughlin: This will be Coughlin's first Super Bowl as a head coach. Hardly anyone thought Coughlin could keep his job beyond this season, much less coach his team to the Super Bowl. He deserves tons of credit for reaching out to the players, bringing this team together and turning it into a team that believes in itself no matter the circumstances.

Wet Willies to ...

R.W. McQuarters: Two fumbles from the usually sure-handed McQuarters almost derailed the Giants' Super Bowl bid. One came after he intercepted Favre as he ended up giving the ball back to the Packers. Hixon bailed him out on the other when McQuarters lost the handle on a punt return.

Osi Umenyiora: If you didn't notice Umenyiora during the game last night, there is a good reason. He doesn't even appear on the stat line. That's right -- zero tackles for the Pro Bowl defensive end. Thank goodness the rest of the defense overcame his disappearing act.

Sam Madison: It was good to see the veteran cornerback on the field -- he hadn't played since the final regular season game. His fourth-quarter personal foul penalty, though, led to Green Bay's final score and darn near cost the Giants the game.