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New York Giants News and Notes: NFC Championship Week Hump Day Edition

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Good morning fellow Giants fans. Okay, we have reached the mid-point of the week our Giants are headed to San Francisco to play for the NFC title. It seems remarkable that we are sitting here saying that, but here we are, and if the Giants can pull off another upset on Sunday, they would reach the Super Bowl for the fifth time in team history. That said, we cannot get ahead of ourselves, because beating the 49ers will not be easy. Hopefully Tom Coughlin is stressing that to his team and coaches, that you cannot look ahead, and you cannot marvel that you are at this point. There is work that remains to be done, and hopefully more happy history to make from our standpoint. Here are some bits of news to get your hump day started.....

As NY Giants prepare for San Francisco 49ers, the infamous Trey Junkin remains haunted by bad snap, says 'I think about it every day' - NY Daily News
Junkin, who turns 51 on Sunday, is reliving the miscue from the end of the Giants’ 2003 wild-card loss to the 49ers on endless loops this week as the teams prepare to meet in the NFC Championship Game, their first playoff pairing since the last-second loss. Signed four days before that game — Junkin, then 41, submitted retirement papers to the league a month earlier and had not been on a roster in 2002. What ensued at Candlestick Park sullied a career celebrated for repeated excellence after two of his 12 snaps led to blown field-goal attempts. "It still jolts me from sleep," says Junkin, in an exclusive interview with the Daily News, his first since the day after the defeat.

Wow, I can't imagine having something like that haunt me. It's borderline Steve Bartman.

Related: Since Mike Brought This Up...

Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks putting on a postseason show with four scores in two games - The Washington Post
Nicks came into the season as the Giants’ No. 1 receiver and nothing really has changed despite Cruz’s record-setting season. Nicks is still Eli Manning’s go-to guy, and it has never been more obvious than in the playoffs. His 13 catches for 280 yards and four touchdowns rank in the top three in postseason statistics, with the four touchdowns being No. 1.

Coughlin's confidence inspired Giants' turnaround - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
Tom Coughlin’s New York Giants had just fallen to 7-7 courtesy of an ugly loss to Washington. His boss was already on record as being tired of these late-season collapses. His contract, and thus his 16-year NFL head coaching career, was about to expire. The fans were killing him. The media was only slightly better. The New York Jets were up next and, of course, barking non-stop. So what adjustments did Tom Coughlin make to save everything? None. Instead, in the depths of December, Coughlin met with his team and quickly pointed out the simple truth: They still controlled their own chance at the playoffs. He didn’t need to say he still believed they could get there; he just moved on to the game plan. His confidence was implied and impossible to miss.

Game On! talks NFL playoffs, Tim Tebow, Muhammad Ali, Dwight Howard –
Is it too early to remind folks that I picked the New York Giants to win Super Bowl three weeks ago? Probably. But the better reminder for the New York market is that Tom Coughlin is the coach the public keeps trying to fire, yet he's two wins from matching what Bill Parcells did with the Giants. Maybe he's in that position because he has this season's better Manning better. But New York Jets coach Rex Ryan should note that it's far more impressive to have a Super Bowl ring than a promise ring.

2012 NFL playoffs -- New York Giants changed their fortunes by defeating New York Jets - ESPN New York
If there was some sort of secret potion the Giants took, it would have been green since they turned their season and fortunes around by beating Rex Ryan's Jets 29-14 on Dec. 24.

NY Giants quarterback Eli Manning turns out to be the right fit for New York, just like Ernie Accorsi, John Mara and Archie Manning thought on draft day - NY Daily News
When it was pointed out to Reese that I really did mean defensive pressure, his answer came back this way: "Hard call. Most teams blitz us like crazy because it is hard to get pressure in this league with four-man fronts only." The better response, though, was the first one from Jerry Reese, about all the pressure Eli has faced since he got to the Giants, since he wanted the Giants coming out of Ole Miss, once it became clear that he didn’t want to go play for the Chargers, that he wanted to come to the Giants, wanted the big stage and big football history. Wasn’t afraid of the spotlight that came with being the quarterback of the Giants.

As Giants make postseason run, Terrell Thomas making progress in his own way |
There’s no doubt Terrell Thomas would’ve rather been getting a jump on film study of the 49ers Tuesday instead of running on an AlterG anti-gravity treadmill. However, considering it was the first time he ran since undergoing surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in late September, it was a pretty good day after all.

NY Giants NFC Championship rewind: Matt Bahr’s field goal lifts Giants over San Francisco 49ers, 15-13 - NY Daily News
The snap was fine, the placement was perfect and the prayers were answered. Bahr’s kick with time expiring, his fifth field goal of this fabulous NFC Championship Game, lifted the Giants to a thrilling 15-13 upset of the two-time defending champion San Francisco 49ers yesterday at Candlestick Park.

As bad as the 2003 loss was, the 1991 win was one of the greatest wins in Giants history.

Source: Steve Spagnuolo a candidate for New Orleans Saints D.C. - NFL -
A person familiar with the meeting says former St. Louis Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo has agreed to interview with the Saints on Wednesday for the club's vacant defensive coordinator job.

Wait, this guy hasn't signed with the Eagles yet? I mean, we still would not want him in the NFC, but Spags with the Saints is a way better scenario than Spags with Philly.

Eli tempted by idea of Peyton across town
Is New York big enough for both NFL Mannings? It remains pure speculation, but Giants quarterback Eli Manning sees solid upside to the distant prospect of his older brother, Peyton, winding up with the Jets next season. "It would be fun," Eli told WEPN-AM on Monday. "We could probably commute to work maybe, and, you know, come home, eat dinner together and have the kids be playing."

He forgot long talks at the kitchen table eating Double Stuff Oreos.

Brooklyn pizza maker Jerry Finazzo shows San Franciscans how it's done - NY Daily News
Big Blue's showdown with the 49ers this Sunday for the chance to play in the Super Bowl has all the makings of a classic — pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, onions and peppers. Those are the ingredients of a special "I Love New York" pie that Jerry Finazzo of Giardini Gourmet Pizza whipped up Monday at his Carroll Gardens pizzeria to honor our New York Giants. It’s also a tasty takedown of some upstart San Franciscans who presume to peddle New York style pizza — one with a roasted potato topping.

Potato???? No way. Not even close.

Sean Payton all but assures Drew Brees' return to Saints - NFL -
While Drew Brees could potentially become a free agent this winter and shop around for another team, that scenario strikes Saints coach Sean Payton as a bit far-fetched. "I don't even know if stunned would be a strong enough word," Payton said Tuesday after players had been dismissed for the season following their playoff loss at San Francisco. "I don't see that happening."

Not to harp on the Saints here, but Payton should not put the whammy on that situation, right guys? Hey Drew, I hear that Miami is a nice place to live.

Finally, I will leave you guys with this--a short article about Vegas and the possibility of big payouts if the Giants go all the way. I will let you read that and draw your own conclusions--cough, Bill Leavy--about some of the things that happened on Sunday in Green Bay. Nah, I won't hint at anything more.

Enjoy your hump day, everyone. And get your game face ready to put on. We're going back to Cali.....