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New York Giants News And Notes: Challenges, A Look Back And More

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Good morning, New York Giants fans! Twenty-eight teams, and 28 fan bases, have nothing to talk about this morning but the NFL Draft, the shape of their coaching staffs and what to do about next season. The Giants are one of four teams still playing, so we can put all that stuff off until later.

So, let's take a quick look at what is being written and said about the Giants as they prepare for Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Let's start with this. Tom Coughlin has always been considered one of the best coaches in the NFL when it comes to challenges, but he has lost his last eight. Some of the challenges he lost this season were dubious officiating decisions, none moreso that Sunday's obvious fumble by Greg Jennings that was ruled a non-fumble and upheld erroneously by replay. Coughlin wasn't happy about it, and he explained a little Monday about how he decides what and when to challenge.

"It is a sequence that we always believed in and I want to say at the beginning of the season, it was the best in the National Football League for a lot of years but having said that, we have a sequence that we want to use and discuss," Coughlin said. "Usually, I am looking for the most proof I can get but we have lost some challenges this year without empirical data but usually it is one of those deals when you are told exactly. I am always saying ‘did you see it, can you prove it, do you know it is there' and that is how it works."

Giants Vs. 49ers, NFC Championship Game: Look Back At The First Meeting - SB Nation New York
Just like with Green Bay, which narrowly defeated the Giants during the regular season, the Giants have been pining for another shot at the 49ers.

"They are a good team. We are a good team. We will run back into them," said Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham after the loss.

Now, the Giants have that chance they wanted. Question is, can they take advantage of it the way they did against Green Bay? A trip to Super Bowl XLVI depends on it.

49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh Expects 'Much Different' Giants Team On Sunday - SB Nation New York
San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said during his Monday news conference that he expects the New York Giants to be a "much different than the team we played earlier" when the 49ers and Giants meet Sunday at Candlestick Park in the NFC Championship Game (6:30 p.m. ET/FOX).

Alex Smith: Cinderella Man - Niners Nation
Alex Smith, welcome to the other side. After six years of up and down play that resulted in countless arguments on this site, Alex Smith made "the leap." If he does nothing else for the rest of his career, he will always have Saturday afternoon. After years of derision, Alex Smith reached the mountain top.

Giants drag down pretty Packers with smash-mouth style - NFL - News, Rumors, Scores, Stats, Fantasy Advice
New York won this football game because it was a football game, not a beauty contest. Had it been a beauty contest, Green Bay would have won. Nobody plays prettier than the Packers.

But this game wasn't pretty. Some of the stats for New York look pretty, like Eli Manning's 330 passing yards and Hakeem Nicks' two touchdown catches, but the Giants beat Green Bay 37-20 on Sunday -- advancing to the NFC title game next Sunday in San Francisco -- because this game was ugly.

And nobody does ugly, nobody embraces ugly, like the New York Giants. They were built to win games like this -- ugly games, brutal games, temperatures in the 20s, the wind howling, the crowd booing.

How did Manning beat the Packers in the red zone? | National Football Post
Let’s go back to Sunday’s Divisional Playoff matchup at Lambeau Field, discuss red zone defense and take a look at Eli Manning’s TD pass to Mario Manningham. As we have talked about before, play action inside of the 10-yard line line can open up the middle of the field when LBs and safeties attack the line of scrimmage.

And that is exactly what we saw from the Giants’ playbook as Manning used run action to target the skinny post.

Cruz says 49ers win ‘works out in our favor’
I guess so. Just coming from our schedule and how it turned out and how we played against New Orleans and how we played against San Fran, definitely," Cruz said. "It works out in our favor a little bit that we are able to get San Fran as opposed to New Orleans just because of how we feel about them and we understand that we have a good chance of winning that game."

Who's Going To Super Bowl XLVI? Early Predictions For NFC, AFC Championship Games -
The AFC and NFC Championship games are set as the 49ers will host the Giants and the Ravens will travel to New England. But which two teams will advance to Super Bowl XLVI?