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Giants not surprised by Onside Attempts


It turns out the Packers' surprise onside kick wasn't so unexpected. 

After knotting the game at 10-10 on the first play of the second quarter, Green Bay tried to sneak one by the Giants. Placekicker Mason Crosby lined up as if to boot another touchback (which had happened on both of his previous two kickoffs), but instead flicked one off the tee to the right of the Green Bay logo at midfield.

The ball then shot up right into 's grasp as he fell forward for a few yards, and the Giants safely took over in Packers territory.

"We prepared for it the whole week," Martin said. "We knew he was going to kick it. He ended up kicking it that time, I was ready, and he kicked it right to me…I wasn't really surprised. I was more waiting, wondering when they were going to do it, what point in the game."

Spencer Paysinger, who was lined up on the numbers to Crosby's left, reiterated a day later that it didn't catch them off-guard. He further explained that they were looking for it on every kick, given the heightened repercussions in playoff football.

But it's more than that, he went on.

The special teams outfit has been on full alert since David Akers successfully pulled one off against them in San Francisco under similar circumstances.

In the Week 10 meeting, the 49ers went for it after just tying the game, 6-6, in the second quarter. The 49ers succeeded, and following the recovery, San Francisco turned it into a field goal and won the game 27-20.

It's all coming full circle for Paysinger, who was one of the closest Giants to Akers' kick.

"We say watch the onside before every kickoff because it's a big game, it can cause a big momentum swing," Paysinger said. "So we were aware of it, and ever since we had our first onside surprise against San Francisco, we've always been aware of it. We practice it and we're always mindful of it. We weren't surprised about it."

Meanwhile, later in the Packers game, Crosby again attempted an onside kick.

This one, however, was more of a garden-variety attempt as the hands team was out on the field with the Packers down by 10 with 4:46 to play. Crosby went left this time, and after it rolled under Paysinger, Victor Cruz corralled the ball. The Giants once again recovered and were in control of the game.

"I just tried to jump down because just trying to pick it up bent over is hard and they might come hit you," Cruz said. "So I just tried to get down on it as close as I can and I just tried to reel it in. Once I got it, I was holding on tight because the bottom of that pile is not very nice."

Since Crosby went right the first time, Paysinger had a feeling he would go left on this one and even told Cruz as much before they took the field.

"I knew it, I believed it 100 percent because they kicked it to the right before and D-Martin recovered it, Paysinger said. "So I said they're going to try to sidekick it and come this way. When he did it, I thought it was going to do a late pop because usually balls that get kicked on the ground pop late. So I was just playing the pop, but it just kept going. By the time I realized that the pop wasn't going to happen, I tried to fall on it but it went right out. Vic made a great play and was right there to get it."

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