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New York Giants notes: Magic in the air?

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A few New York Giants notes for you this morning before you head off to make final preparations for Christmas.

Defensive end Justin Tuck is feeling magic in the air, and not just because tomorrow is Christmas.

"This season’s almost been a mirror image of how we were up and down for a long time in ’07, [found] a groove right at the right time . . . snuck into the playoffs . . . no one kinda gave us a shot and the rest is history. . . . If the Washington game is saying anything about it, hopefully that’s the starting point for us as far as getting in our groove and hopefully sneaking in the playoffs again, and kinda being the ‘nobody’ of the playoffs, and kinda surprising people."

Is this team capable of it?

"I think so," Tuck said. "If we come out and play like we did last week, I don’t see too many teams that can beat us if we were playing our style of football. The thing about it is: Which team’s gonna show up?"

From this point on, do you expect that team that won in Washington to show up?

"I think so," Tuck said. "I don’t see why not. Everybody around here understands the predicament we put ourselves in. Everyone knows — last week, this week and next week — all those games are gonna be playoff games for us. We need ’em."

The Giants need help (one Packers or Cowboys loss), too.

"Oh yeah, we definitely do," Tuck said. "But the one thing about this team, we won’t worry about that, because it doesn’t do us any good."

This should not come as a surprise, but in the midst of having the best season a Giants wide receiver has ever had, Steve Smith has begun making noises about wanting a contract extension.

In case you are still in an anti-Lawrence Tynes frame of mind, it is worth noting that the New Orleans Saints have released John Carney this week. It is also worth noting that Carney's kickoffs are awful, and he has made only one field goal outside 45 yards this season.

AOL Fanhouse makes the case that the Giants are still more pretender than contender.

(E-mail Ed at bigblueview@gmail.com)