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New York Giants News and Notes: Divisional Hump Day Edition

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Good morning fellow Giants fans. Have you ever had a season flash before your eyes? As I started to write this notebook, I had that feeling, that feeling of, "Holy crap, the Giants are still playing." We want the Giants' players and coaches to feel that way, too, and appreciate that they are; but within reason, because they flat out deserve to be here. It's just that it's hard not to think of critical plays that helped land us here--Victor Cruz giving himself up, Boley's airplane tackle of Romo, Eli heaving it to Cruz, Cruz going 99, Bradshaw flattening Pool, Eli to Ballard magic in New England, JPP's blocked field goal in Dallas following Coughlin's well-timed time out. I could go on, but the point is, there were moments throughout the season when this team appeared dead, and they came back to life. They've even endured some heartbreaking losses that should have been wins, some painfully ugly losses, and, frankly, some bad refereeing. But that doesn't matter now. What matters is our team is in the NFL's Elite 8, one win from the FInal 4 and the NFC title game. Let's see what is floating around the Big Blue Web as we traverse the hump toward Green Bay....

Eli Manning can make Sunday another important day in NY Giants history vs. Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay Packers - NY Daily News
Smith had asked for Osi Umenyiora. Accorsi said no. Smith said he’d need a No. 1. Accorsi said yes. The two men made the same as a handshake deal over the telephone. Not long after they did, Archie Manning and Olivia Manning and Eli were on their way to Jersey from New York City. Accorsi was waiting for them. So were John Mara and two of his brothers, Chris and Frank. The late Wellington Mara was there, too, along with the late Robert Tisch. They had all been there with Accorsi as he closed the deal for a quarterback Accorsi believed could — and would — change everything for the Giants.

Ex-Giants reflect on NFC title game four years ago that had so many layers to behold | NJ.com
In the week leading up to the NFC Championship Game four years ago, the Giants’ offensive line scoffed at the forecast of subzero temperatures in Green Bay and proudly proclaimed they wouldn’t wear long sleeves under their jerseys. "Dumbest thing I ever did," center Shaun O’Hara said Tuesday. In moments such as the ones the Giants created that frozen day at Lambeau Field, the truth sometimes gets glossed over. As do mistakes, finer details and the perspective for what just occurred.

NY Giants can stop Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers with steady diet of Jason Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck - NY Daily News
Can they beat him? They do possess a number of elements needed to pull that off. It will take near perfect execution, but here is one formula for getting that done: BRING THE HEAT

Amen to that.

Giants Know They Can Match Packers Score for Score - NYTimes.com
Green Bay Packers games are best thought of as basketball games. The Packers are going to score often. Their opponents are going to score often. Defensive play is more appropriately measured in stops and turnovers, not necessarily points allowed. Every forced punt is a success. Keeping the score close gives either team a chance to win in the final seconds.

Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and NY Giants are talking and playing a good game entering NFC divisional playoff game vs. Green Bay Packers - NY Daily News
The media will gladly take the truth any time an athlete wants to give it. Coughlin, of course, would prefer his players plead the fifth. He joked that next time he will be standing next to Pierre-Paul when reporters talk to him. His message to his team is "Let’s not get too carried away just yet." But it’s too late. They’ve been carried away since Aug. 11 when Reese, while taking a public beating for an offseason of inactivity, vowed, "We’ll get into the playoffs and we’ll make a run.

Green Bay Packers news | Pete Dougherty column: Key pieces of '07 Giants team remain, with some notable exceptions | Green Bay Press Gazette
The Packers nevertheless will be hosting a Giants team in the NFC divisional round of the playoffs on Sunday that appears more talented than its 10-7 record suggests and that after its 24-2 win over the Atlanta Falcons in the wild-card round of the playoffs last week is hitting the road with the same confidence it had while winning the Super Bowl as a No. 5 seed in ’07.

Philbins' tragedy felt throughout Packers family | NJ.com
With the sun beating down along the yellowed grass and strewn leaves, all of the police cars, scuba divers and firefighters were gone now, too. Aside from a local television van, the place where Michael Philbin — the 21-year-old son of Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin — was found dead and pulled from the frigid river was completely quiet.

This is one of those times when real life intersects the fact that football is just a game. What a horrible tragedy this is.

Costly Julio Jones trade came back to bite Atlanta Falcons in playoffs - Kerry J. Byrne - SI.com
Atlanta's only points were a safety generated by the defense. That's right, folks: Here in a season when passing records are being shredded like old Enron balance sheets, Matt Ryan and his galaxy of so-called star receivers were shut out, blanked, zip-o-fied. The entire punch-less offensive (in both senses of the word) effort was an indictment of the team's disastrous decision to mortgage its future to move up the board to grab Julio Jones in the first round of the 2011 draft. General manager Thomas Dimitroff should be forced to walk the pigskin plank for orchestrating this foul-sounding yet predictable disaster.

Eagles silent on coaching changes | Philadelphia Inquirer | 01/11/2012
Despite an ambiguously written report that Steve Spagnuolo was "expected to be back in Philadelphia by the end of the week," the Eagles will not announce any coaching hires at least until Sunday.

Ha! I wonder if they are planning to announce it at halftime of the Giants/Packers game. Is it wrong to suggest that?

Playoff Predictor: Giants' upset chances - NFL Nation Blog - ESPN
And as the Predictor points out, these Giants aren't the same Giants they've been all year. If the Giants had been playing defense and running the ball all year the way they have the past few weeks, the Predictor would be sitting here this week talking about some other team's chances of upsetting them.

This guy may not always be right, but he sure is right about that last statement. Enjoy hump day, everyone. And get your game faces ready.