The Giants re-wrote much of the team record book during the regular season and their 24-2 NFC Wild Card victory Sunday over the Atlanta Falcons started a revision of the postseason section of the book.
Not surprisingly, at the forefront of all this change is Pro Bowl quarterback Eli Manning, who set franchise records during the season for pass attempts, completions and yards. Manning's three touchdown passes Sunday increased his postseason total to 11 in eight postseason games, one more than Phil Simms' previous Giants' record of 10, set in 10 games.
The Giants have played 45 postseason games in their history and Manning's 72-yard touchdown pass to Hakeem Nicks was only the second play longer than 70 yards. The other was Scott Brunner's 72-yard pass to Earnest Gray at San Francisco on Jan. 3, 1982. The longest run in Giants' postseason history was Rodney Hampton's 51-yarder vs. Minnesota on Jan. 9, 1994.
Against the Falcons, Manning completed 71.9 percent of his passes (23 of 32). That increased his career postseason completion percentage to 60.44, which moved him past Kerry Collins (60.00) and into first place on the Giants' list. Manning has completed 136 of 225 postseason passes.
Manning has 1,574 postseason passing yards and needs 106 to pass Simms' team record of 1,679 – a total he should have no trouble reaching in the Giants' NFC Divisional Playoff Game in Green Bay, considering he is averaging 306.4 yards through 17 games.
The franchise's career postseason completions record could also fall Sunday. Manning has 136 and Simms holds the record with 157. Manning is averaging 22.5 completions a game.
One record not as easily within reach is postseason attempts. Simms is at the top of the list with 279. Manning has 225 and needs 55 to break the mark – he's averaging 36.5 passes a game.
Manning set career postseason highs against the Falcons with 23 completions for 277 yards. His previous playoff standards were 21 completions in the 2007 NFC Championship Game in Green Bay and 255 yards in Super Bowl XLII vs. New England.
*Against Atlanta, Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for 63 yards on 14 carries, a 4.5-yard average. That boosted his career postseason average to a Giants-record 4.37 yards (minimum 50 attempts). Bradshaw has run for 271 yards on 62 postseason carries.
Brandon Jacobs also had 14 attempts - for 92 yards – vs. the Falcons, a 6.57-yard average that was the second-highest in Giants playoff history for a back with at least 10 carries. Joe Morris had a 6.63-yard average (24-159) vs. San Francisco on Jan. 4, 1987.
Jacobs' career postseason average of 4.01 yards is third on the franchise list, behind Bradshaw and Ottis Anderson (4.03).
Jacobs increased his career playoff carries total to 97, moving past Anderson (93) and Tiki Barber (94) and into second place on the Giants' list. Morris owns the record with 140.
*Lawrence Tynes' six points in the victory over Atlanta increased his Giants' postseason total to 31, five shy of Brad Daluiso and Ken Strong, who share the No. 2 spot. Amani Toomer is the record-holder with 42 postseason points.
Tynes has kicked 13 postseason extra points for the Giants. Raul Allegre holds the record with 14.
*The fourth-seeded Giants have a chance to make history on Sunday when they visit the top-seeded, defending champion Green Bay Packers in an NFC Divisional Playoff Game in Lambeau Field.
Since 1990, when then NFL – which then had three divisions - added a third wild card team in each conference and began seeding the teams one through six - fourth seeds are 4-14 in the divisional round of the playoffs when they visit a No. 1 seed. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, NFC fourth seeds in those games are 0-8. In the AFC, they are 4-6. Those victories:
Year First Seed Fourth Seed Winner
1992 Pittsburgh Buffalo Bills, 24-3
1997 Kansas City Denver Broncos, 14-10
2000 Tennessee Baltimore Ravens, 24-10
2006 San Diego New England Patriots, 24-21
The Giants have played in one previous matchup of first and fourth seeds in the divisional round. In 2000, they were the NFC's top seed when they defeated Philadelphia, 20-10, on their way to Super Bowl XXXV. The Giants were seeded fourth in 1993 and 2005, but didn't face the top seed in a divisional playoff game.
They were seeded fifth in 2007 when they defeated the top-seeded Dallas Cowboys in the divisional round and the Packers in Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game.
*The Giants victory over Atlanta was the first NFL game to end in a 24-2 score since Dec. 24, 1980, when New England defeated Buffalo. It was the first 24-2 score in the 87-year history of the Giants.
*The Giants led at halftime, 7-2, the first time a Giants game had that score after two quarters since Oct. 8, 1961, when they won at St. Louis, 24-9.
*For the first time in history, the divisional round of the playoffs will feature four former Super Bowl MVP quarterbacks, including three from the NFC. Two of them will face each other: Manning (XLII) and Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers (XLV). The others are New Orleans' Drew Brees (XLIV) and New England's Tom Brady (XXXVI and XXXVIII),
*Manning was one of the NFL's best quarterbacks on third down and in the fourth quarter in the regular season, trends that continued in the Wild Card game on Sunday.
During the season, Manning was third in the league – behind Brees and Rodgers – with a third-down passer rating of 109.4. He completed 57.1 of his passes and threw for 13 touchdowns and four interceptions on third down.
On third down against the Falcons, Manning completed nine of 11 passes (81.8 percent) for 192 yards and a touchdown. His third-down rating of 149.1 was the league's highest on Wild Card weekend. Detroit's Matthew Stafford was second at 140.6.
In the fourth quarter during the regular season, Manning was second in the NFL – behind Rodgers – with a rating of 110.0. He completed 65.9 percent of his passes, threw an NFL-record 15 fourth-quarter touchdown passes and six interceptions.
On Sunday, Manning completed eight of nine fourth-quarter passes for 92 yards and a touchdown for a rating of 146.3 that was also the league's best last weekend. Brees was second at 137.5.
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