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Fact or Fiction: Best games in Giants history


The crew is presented with four statements and must decide whether they are Fact or Fiction.

The 2007 NFC Championship was the best non-Super Bowl game in Giants history (Super Bowl era)

John Schmeelk: Fact - Lambeau Field. The weather. Overtime. The drama. The walk-off field goal. A key defensive play with Corey Webster's interception of Brett Favre. Eli Manning-to-Plaxico Burress a dominant combination. This is my favorite game I have ever attended, including the Super Bowl victories. It checks all the boxes. There's a case to be made for blowing out the Vikings at Giants Stadium in the 2000 NFC title game, but the Giants lost the Super Bowl that year.

Dan Salomone: Fact – If it weren't for what happened two weeks after it, you might not need the "non-Super Bowl" caveat when talking about the best game in Giants history. For the rest of time, there will never be a cold-weather game where a broadcaster does not bring up Tom Coughlin's frozen face. That game has staying power in the national consciousness, not just for Giants fans.

Lance Medow: Fact - The 2011 NFC Championship Game makes a strong case, as well, but give the edge to 2007 because of the frigid temperature and the constant back-and-forth that led to overtime. There were six lead changes and the Giants had two opportunities to move ahead in the fourth quarter, each team had a receiver collect at last 141 yards and there were several game-changing turnovers. In terms of edge-of-your-seat drama, you won't find a game that tops the 2007 NFC Championship.

Matt Citak: Fact – There were so many aspects to this game that made it the best non-Super Bowl game in Giants history. For starters, no one expected the Giants to make it this far in the playoffs. Playing their starters in Week 17 against the undefeated Patriots seemed to light a fire under the team, which began this special run to the Super Bowl. Then, you add in the trip to Lambeau Field to take on Brett Favre and the 13-3 Packers in the NFC Championship with the weather at -1 degrees and a wind chill of -23. Throw in the excitement of overtime and Corey Webster's clutch interception to set up Lawrence Tynes' game-winning field goal, and there really is no argument. Just thinking back to this game gives me the chills.

The 2011 NFC Championship was the best game of Eli Manning's career

John Schmeelk: Fiction - It is the 2007 NFC title game because of Manning's impressive production in those weather conditions. Manning showed great toughness in 2011, but from the third quarter through overtime the Giants punted on 10 of 12 possessions and gained only eight first downs. The only reason they scored a touchdown in the second half was a muffed punt that gave the Giants the ball on the 49ers 17. The only reason the Giants scored the winning field goal in overtime was a fumble that gave them the ball on the 49ers 13. Otherwise, the Giants might have been shut out for the entire second half and overtime.

Dan Salomone: Fact – The Super Bowls cemented his legacy in the history books, but the 2011 NFC Championship best defined the real Eli Manning. He was always there for his team, no matter how many hits he took.

Lance Medow: Fact - Eli Manning's performance the previous week in Green Bay in the Divisional round wasn't too shabby, but it's hard to top the 2011 NFC Championship in San Francisco - given all the hits he took on a wet field and the 58 passes he attempted. He just kept on battling despite being sacked six times. He finished 32-of-58 for 316 yards and two touchdowns in the 20-17 overtime victory. It may not have been his best statistical performance, but when you combine the numbers with his toughness, nothing surpasses it.

Matt Citak: Fact – A better term to use would be "impressive," as Manning certainly had performances throughout his career that looked better on paper than his outing in the 2011 NFC Championship. But the game against the 49ers was the grittiest game of Manning's storied career. The 49ers sported one of the best defenses in the NFL that season, and got after Manning throughout the day. He was sacked six times and took 12 quarterback hits, yet continued to stand in the pocket and make throw after throw. He attempted 58 passes and completed 32 of them for 316 yards and two touchdowns, helping lead the Giants to an overtime victory and a trip to Super Bowl XLVI. This was easily Manning's legacy game.

Take a look back at the team's win over the 49ers at Candlestick Park in the 2011 NFC Championship Game.

If you could watch only one game this weekend, it would be Kansas City vs. Cincinnati.

John Schmeelk: Fact - Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow? The ultimate gunslinger versus the young prototypical pocket passer. Tyreek Hill and Ja'marr Chase as two of the best receivers in the sport? Where do we sign? It should be high-scoring and very exciting. No offense to the San Francisco 49ers, but they do not bring the same level of juice to the table, even with Deebo Samuel and George Kittle.

Dan Salomone: Fact – When we look back, the epic Divisional Round will be seen as a changing of the guard. The NFL is in good hands with the next wave of quarterbacks, and it doesn't get much better right now than Mahomes vs. Burrow.

Lance Medow: Fact – The AFC and NFC Championships are rematches from the regular season, but the Niners and Rams are meeting for the third time because their divisional rivals - so that waters down the appeal of the matchup. When the Chiefs and Bengals met in Week 17 in Cincinnati, both teams combined for 65 points, there were several explosive plays and the game was decided on the last play. Although it will be difficult to top last weekend's four games, it's hard to not like a head-to-head battle between two of the top quarterbacks and offenses in the NFL.

Matt Citak: Fact – Not much has to be said about Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs offense. Mahomes is the most exciting quarterback in the NFL, while Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce are both at the top of their respective positions. But the Bengals' offense should not be overlooked. Joe Burrow is just over a year removed from a torn ACL, and yet he has looked like one of the top quarterbacks in the league all season. His 70.4 completion percentage was the highest in the NFL, and that was despite taking a league-high 51 sacks. Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd combine to make quite possibly the top wide receiver group in the league, as well. Although we got the game of the year last week between the Chiefs and Bills, you can expect a lot more fireworks in Kansas City this weekend between these two explosive offenses.

The Chiefs and Rams will advance to Super Bowl LVI

John Schmeelk: Fact – You can give the Bengals a puncher's chance, but the Chiefs' pass rush (watch Chris Jones) will make it too difficult for Joe Burrow to keep pace with Patrick Mahomes. The NFC game is interesting. The 49ers have beaten the Rams six straight. Kyle Shanahan might have Sean McVay's number but the Rams have a lot more talent on the field. When in doubt, side with the talent over the coach. It will be Rams vs. Chiefs.

Dan Salomone: Fiction – Although the Chiefs' experience could be the decisive factor over the Bengals on Sunday, the 49ers just seem to have the number of the Rams in the other conference. Sure, some may say the Rams are due after losing six in a row to the NFC West rival. But it might just mean the 49ers have an edge in the matchup.

Lance Medow: Fiction - It's hard to go against the Chiefs given their experience, dynamic playmakers and a defense that - although struggled a bit last week - has vastly improved from last season. You also can't overlook the fact that in the regular-season matchup, the Chiefs had several defensive lapses that contributed to a monster game for Ja'Marr Chase (11 receptions, 266 yards, 3 TDs) as well as 10 penalties. If they eliminate some of those mistakes, Kansas City will find a way to get past Cincinnati. The Niners seem like the latest wild-card team to get hot at the right time. We've seen this story play out several times before and let's not go against the trend. San Francisco has a very strong defense and has proven in consecutive games against the Cowboys and Packers that it can win with that facet alone. Moreover, Kyle Shanahan seems to have Sean McVay's number as he's 7-3 overall and has won the last six meetings.

Matt Citak: Fact – As great of a story as it would be for the Bengals to make the Super Bowl just one year after winning four games, it's hard to see them going on the road and defeating the Chiefs. As we saw last week, giving the ball back to Mahomes with ANY time left on the clock is going to lead to trouble for opposing defenses. Cincy's defense will be unable to slow down the Chiefs' offense, although Burrow will keep the Bengals close. As for the NFC, it is incredibly tough to beat a team three times in one season, which is what the 49ers will attempt to do in Los Angeles. Forgetting about last week's drama against the Buccaneers, the Rams' defense will step up and limit the SF run game, forcing Jimmy Garoppolo to throw his way to a victory. Garoppolo will struggle to keep up with Matthew Stafford and the Rams' offense.

View photos from Joe Schoen's first days on the job as the new general manager of the Giants.


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