Notes and statistics from the Giants' 20-17 overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.
*The Giants improved to 5-0 in NFC championship games and advanced to Super Bowl XLVI against the New England Patriots in Indianapolis on Feb. 5. It is a rematch of Super Bowl XLII, won by the Giants, 17-14. The Giants also won the NFC title in 1986, 1990, 2000 and 2007.
*The Giants are 3-0 on the road in the NFC Championship Game, winning twice in San Francisco and once in Green Bay. It was the second time they defeated the 49ers in a championship in Candlestick Park on a last-play field goal. In the 1990 title game, Matt Bahr kicked a 42-yard field goal as time expired to give the Giants a 15-13 victory.
*The Giants defeated the Patriots, 24-20, in Foxboro on Nov. 6. They are 3-0 in Super Bowls against teams they faced in the regular season and 0-1 against a team they didn't previously play (Baltimore in Super Bowl XXXV).
*The Giants will be the 10th franchise to play in at least five Super Bowls, joining San Francisco, Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Dallas, the Raiders, Washington, New England, Miami and Denver.
*Since they were 7-7, the Giants have won five consecutive games in which they've outscored their opponents 141-67.
*There have been five NFL/NFC championship games decided in overtime and the Giants have played in three of them. They lost the 1958 league championship game to the Baltimore Colts and defeated Green Bay in 2007 and San Francisco on Sunday in conference title games. The other NFC overtime games were Atlanta's 30-27 victory at Minnesota in 1998 and New Orleans' 31-28 triumph over the Vikings two years ago.
*The Giants played in a record 19th championship game. Dallas is second with 16 title games. The Giants are 8-11 in championship title games – 3-11 in NFL Championship Games prior to the 1970 merger and 5-0 in NFC Championship Games after it (1986, 1990, 2000 and 2007).
*The Giants are the third team since the introduction of the 16-game schedule in 1978 to reach the Super Bowl after finishing the regular season with a 9-7 record. The 1979 Los Angeles Rams and 2008 Arizona Cardinals were 9-7. Both of those teams lost the Super Bowl to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
*This was the fourth time – and the first time in the NFC - a fourth seed and a second seed met for a conference championship since 1990, the first season a sixth playoff team was added in each conference. The No. 4 seeds are 4-0 in such games. The Giants joined the 1992 Buffalo Bills (defeated Miami), the 1997 Denver Broncos (defeated Pittsburgh) and the 2000 Baltimore Ravens (defeated Oakland) as No. 4 seeds that beat No. 2 seeds in conference title games. The Bills lost the Super Bowl, the Broncos and Ravens won it.
*The Giants won their fifth consecutive road playoff game (three in 2007 and two this year), an NFL record. They had shared the mark with Dallas (1975, 1978 and 1980 seasons) and matched by Carolina (2003 and 2005 seasons).
*This was the 47th postseason game in the history of the Giants franchise. That is third-most in NFL history, behind Dallas (58 postseason games) and Pittsburgh (53).
*The Giants are 23-24 in the postseason. The 23 victories tie the Giants with Washington for sixth among NFL franchises.
*The Giants are 4-4 against San Francisco in the postseason. The four playoff victories is their highest total against any opponent. They have three against both Chicago and Green Bay.
*This was the eighth playoff game between the Giants and 49ers, tying an NFL record. The Giants and Chicago Bears and the Dallas Cowboys and the Rams (when they were based in Los Angeles) have also met eight times in the postseason.
*The Giants-49ers postseason series is now tied 4-4. The regular season series is tied, 14-14. Total points in the 36 games: 49ers, 738; Giants, 729.
*The Giants are 7-10 in Candlestick Park - 5-6 in the regular season and 2-4 in the postseason.
*Since 1981 – their first post-merger playoff season – the Giants are 12-5 in postseason games against teams they faced in the regular season (including victories the last two weeks in Green Bay and San Francisco). They are 3-2 against the 49ers in such games.
*The Giants played an overtime period for the first time since Nov. 22, 2009, a 34-31 victory over Atlanta in Giants Stadium. It was the fourth postseason overtime game in franchise history. The Giants lost both home games (the 1958 NFL Championship Game to Baltimore and a 1989 Divisional Playoff Game to the Rams), but won both road games, including the 2007 NFC Championship Game in Green Bay.
*The Giants have won seven consecutive overtime games, including the two championship games, since their last loss on Nov. 27, 2005 at Seattle. The streak started on Dec. 11, 2005 at Philadelphia.
*Despite the wet and windy weather, the Giants did not have a turnover. It was the seventh consecutive game in which they did not lose a fumble, their longest such streak since 2008. The Giants did not commit a turnover in three of their last four games, including the regular season finale vs. Dallas. They have won their last eight games (regular season and postseason) in which they did not turn the ball over.
*The Giants' time of possession of 39:36 was their highest in any game since they owned the ball for 42:34 in a 41-7 victory at Seattle on Nov. 7, 2010.
*The Giants' defense held San Francisco to one successful third down conversion on 13 tries – and that was on the final play of the fourth quarter, when the Niners snapped the ball from their own 38 and the Giants were playing back to prevent a miracle.
*Tom Coughlin improved to 11-7 as a head coach in postseason games. The 11 victories tie him with three coaches, including two former Giants coaches, for the seventh-highest total in NFL history:
Coaches Postseason Victories:
20: Tom Landry
19: Don Shula
17: Bill Belichick, Joe Gibbs
16: Chuck Noll
13: Mike Holmgren
12: Bill Cowher
11: Tom Coughlin, Bill Parcells, Dan Reeves, Marv Levy
Coughlin and Belichick are the only two active coaches on the list and will face each other in Super Bowl XLVI..
*The victory in San Francisco was Coughlin's seventh on the road as a head coach, tying Hall of Famer Tom Landry for the most in NFL history. Coughlin is 7-4 on the road in the playoffs (5-1 with the Giants). Landry was 7-7.
*Coughlin's seventh postseason victory with the Giants is one less than Parcells' Giants' record. Parcells was 8-3, a record Coughlin will match with a victory in the Super Bowl.
*In his 16-year head coaching career, Coughlin has 142 regular season victories and 11 postseason triumphs. The 153 victories tie him with Giants Hall of Fame coach Steve Owen for 18th place on the NFL's career list. Marv Levy is 17th with 154.
*Coughlin is 2-2 conference championship games, losing twice in Jacksonville in the AFC Championship Game and winning twice with the Giants.
*Eli Manning improved to 7-3 as a starting quarterback in the postseason, including 5-1 on the road. The five road postseason victories are an NFL record. Manning had been tied with five other quarterbacks, including Baltimore's Joe Flacco, whose Ravens lost the AFC Championship Game Sunday in New England. Note: Elias Sports Bureau counts Super Bowls as neutral site games.
*Manning completed 32 of 58 passes for 316 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. The attempts and completions both shattered the Giants' previous postseason records – both, ironically, which had been set in San Francisco. The record for attempts was 44 by Phil Simms on Dec. 29, 1984. The completions mark had been 29 by Kerry Collins on Jan. 5, 2003. The 33 completions also tied Manning with five other quarterbacks - including his brother, Peyton – for the fourth-highest total in a postseason game.
*Manning's 316 yards were the second-highest total of his postseason career; he threw for 330 yards in the divisional playoff victory in Green Bay. It is the fourth-highest postseason total in Giants history. Manning is the first quarterback in Giants postseason history with back-to-back 300-yard games.
*Manning now owns the franchise postseason records for passes (316), completions (190), completion percentage (60.13), yards (2,220) and touchdown passes (16).
*Manning was sacked six times, the most times he's been tackled attempting to pass since Dec. 14, 2008, when he was sacked eight times in a loss in Dallas. It's the most times he was sacked in a Giants victory since Sept. 17, 2006, when he went down eight times in an overtime win in Philadelphia.
*Manning, the first overall selection of the 2004 NFL Draft, and Alex Smith, the first choice of the 2005 draft, were the starting quarterbacks. It was the second time since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger that both starting quarterbacks in a conference championship game were number one overall picks in an NFL draft. The other time it happened was the 1998 AFC Championship Game on Jan. 17, 1999 when Denver's John Elway and the Jets' Vinny Testaverde were the quarterbacks. The Broncos won, 23-10.
*Victor Cruz caught 10 passes for 142 yards (including eight for 125 yards in the first half). The 10 receptions tied Cruz with Ike Hilliard for the second-highest total by a Giant in a postseason game. The record of 11 was set by Plaxico Burress in the 2007 NFC Championship Game in Green Bay. The 10 catches ties Cruz with three other players, including Hilliard, for the third-highest total ever in a championship game.
*Cruz's 142 yards was the fifth-highest postseason total in Giants history and was nine yards behind Burress' 151 in Green Bay, which is fourth.
*Hakeem Nicks caught five passes for 55 yards. In three postseason games he has 18 receptions for 335 yards. The 18 catches is tied for the second-highest total by a Giant in a single postseason (Burress had 18 in 2007). The record of 21 was set by Amani Toomer in 2007. Cruz has 17 receptions this postseason.
*Nicks' 355 yards in just three career postseason games is good for third on the Giants' list. Mark Bavaro is second with 366 postseason receiving yards.
*Nicks is averaging 18.6 yards per catch, easily besting the former Giants records of 13.9 held by Frank Gifford (17 catches for 236 yards) for receivers with at least 15 receptions.
*Tight end Bear Pascoe scored his first NFL touchdown on his first postseason catch, a six-yarder in the second quarter.
*Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for 74 yards on 20 carries. He increased his career postseason rushing total to 408 yards, which places him third in franchise history. Brandon Jacobs, who rushed for 13 yards vs. the 49ers, is second with 424. Joe Morris is first with 553.
*Bradshaw has 94 postseason rushing attempts and his 4.34 postseason yards-per-carry average is the highest in Giants history (minimum 50 attempts).
*The Giants sacked San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith three times for losses totaling 18 yards. Justin Tuck had 1.5 sacks. Osi Umenyiora, Jason Pierre-Paul and Mathias Kiwanuka each had a half-sack. Umenyiora has 3.5 sacks in three 2011 postseason games and 5.5 in his postseason career.
*Lawrence Tynes kicked two field goals (including the game-winning 31-yarder with 7:54 elapsed in overtime) and two extra points. The eight points increased his Giants postseason record total to 52. Tynes also owns the franchise postseason records for extra points attempted and made (17 each), field goal attempts (15) and field goals (11).
*Steve Weatherford punted 12 times, tying David Lee of the Baltimore Colts (in a 1977 AFC Divisional Playoff) for the second-highest total in NFL postseason history. The record of 14 was set by Jets punter – and former Giant – Dave Jennings in a 1986 divisional playoff game. All three games went into overtime. The former Giants postseason record was 11 punts by Brad Maynard against the Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV.
*The team record for punts in a postseason game is 13 vs. Chicago on Dec. 17, 1933.
*Weatherford's 557 punting yards easily outdistances the former postseason record of 422, set by Maynard in the Super Bowl 11 years ago.
*Devin Thomas recovered two punt return fumbles by Kyle Williams, the first setting up Manning's touchdown pass to Manningham, the second leading to Tynes' game-winning 31-yard field goal.
On the first of the two recoveries, the officials originally ruled that Williams didn't touch the ball and that Thomas had simply downed it. But Coughlin challenged the ruling, which was reversed by referee Ed Hochuli after replays showed clearly that the ball had hit Williams in the leg. Coughlin had lost his previous eight replay challenges. He had last won a challenge on Sept. 19 in a victory over St. Louis.
*The fumble that led to Tynes' game-winner was forced by rookie linebacker Jacquian Williams, his first career forced fumble.
*Manning, Jacobs, Chris Snee, David Diehl and Kareem McKenzie all played in their 10th Giants postseason game, which tied them with Michael Strahan and Simms for the third-highest total in franchise history. Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora each played in their ninth postseason game.
*The Giants won the coin toss and Coughlin elected to defer for the second time this season; he also did it in the regular season finale vs. Dallas.
*Center David Baas, a former 49er, suffered an abdominal contusion in the second quarter, forcing Kevin Boothe to replace him and Mitch Petrus to step in at left guard. Baas returned later in the quarter.
*A trio of former Giants representing each of their Super Bowl championship teams – Mark Bavaro, Michael Strahan and Rich Seubert - served as honorary captains for the NFC Championship Game.
*The Giants' inactive players were linebacker Mark Herzlich, wide receiver Ramses Barden, running back Da'Rel Scott, offensive linemen Jim Cordle and James Brewer and defensive linemen Jimmy Kennedy and Justin Trattou.