Mitch Petrus woke up Sunday morning excited, knowing that he was going to dress for just the second time this season. After going through his usual pregame routine, Petrus headed to the stadium with fellow offensive lineman Chris Snee, discussing B.J. Raji and the rest of the Packers' defensive front.
But at two o'clock – two hours before kickoff – his day took off when he got word he'd be the starting left guard.
"It got real serious from there," said Petrus, who played in 11 games as a rookie in 2010. "I was really pumped, really motivated, and just made sure I had everything ready to go. I'm all about wanting to seize the moment. That was my big deal. I wanted to play with no regrets, and I don't have any regrets. We played hard, we came up short, but we went in there and fought."
A surprise scratch of David Baas (headaches) moved Kevin Boothe to starting center, while Petrus was slotted to make his first career start. Petrus had one penalty in the game (a false start the play before Eli Manning fumbled late in the first half), but otherwise filled in admirably. The Giants rushing attack hit 100 yards exactly while Manning was sacked once and threw for nearly 350 yards.
"I give credit to a lot of the players that coming into the stadium didn't know they were going to play in the positions that they played in," Tom Coughlin said. "Mitch Petrus, Kevin Boothe, the defensive guys that got shuffled around because of injuries and all the guys that had to turn around and play special teams, those guys deserve a lot of credit. We battled back and forth and I thought that it would be a close game."
Petrus received encouragement from his veteran teammates on the line.
"These guys, they work with you," he said. "We communicate out there and that makes it easy. When you know who you're going to block, you can focus more on your technique instead of 'who am I blocking?' If you don't know who you're blocking, you're not going to have any technique."
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