Hitting Our Stride At Just The Right Time
Playoffs, baby. The tournament of tournaments. Win and move on, lose and make tee times. Nothing else matters but what lies ahead. If there's ever a time for a team to play its best, most complete game of the season, why not have it be the first game of the playoffs? That's just what happened Sunday when our Giants dismantled the visiting Falcons at the Meadowlands. And that's exactly why people call the playoffs the "second season."
Home field advantage aside, the only thing that matters from the regular season is making it to the next round. Everything else gets completely re-set. No rushing attack in the regular season? No problem - we got it going on Sunday. Soft defense? Not on Sunday. With the NFL, as we've seen nearly every year for the past few seasons, it's not about being good all the time, it's about being good at the right time. We're hot at the perfect time, and it looks to continue to be quite a ride!
The View From Home
Back in LA, the stage was set at the duplex on McClellan Drive. Joe, Vandy, Justine, and JJ were there in attendance. The viewing party got off to a shaky start though since JJ didn't show up until after the first few series. And the Giants had a shaky start in those first few series. Come on, JJ, you knew what time the game started, set your alarm clock to give yourself time to get ready. It's the playoffs - not the time for tardiness! But I digress…
Around halftime Justine and I changed things up a bit. She stood up to the left of the couch, and I stood up in place. As we did this, the scoring began pouring on. Joe went back and forth to his room, so it was great to have Vandy come sprinting out to greet us every time we'd cheer for the Giants. He knew what was going on - I think it's safe to say that dog has officially become a Giants' fan. It was a great environment. For the first time in a long time, we got to watch a game that the Gmen comfortably had in hand for the fourth quarter. Such a great, unfamiliar feeling.
Like I mentioned, that was without question the best the Giants have played as a team all season. As it was in the 2007 postseason, they understand that now is the time to peak, and they're doing just that. Before I forget, let me take a moment to congratulate Eli Manning on his 11th postseason touchdown pass, moving him ahead of Phil Simms for most all-time in Giants' franchise history. If any fans out there still doubt Eli's qualifications to be the leader of the New York Football Giants, they are clearly haters who know nothing about football and have no business rooting for this team.
It was a shaky first quarter, I'll admit that. Most Giants' fans I'm sure were especially heated at two times in particular. First was our third offensive possession of the game when Gilbride called a run to D.J. Ware on third and nine. THIRD AND NINE?! The second came late in the second quarter, before the half, where bad offense met bad coaching after a bad spot. There was a second-down pass to Nicks that seemed to be a first down based on forward progress. They marked it short by a yard, and instead of asking for a measurement or calling a timeout, we relied on the folks upstairs to bring it to light for us. Granted they should have, but they didn't. Instead, we hurried to the line and tried a poorly called deep pass that fell incomplete, and we were forced to give it right back. Fortunately our defense held strong to take us into the locker room, but that should have been more points. Mistakes like that won't fly in Green Bay.
Be it our suffocating defense (both run defense and pass rush), explosive running game, or pinpoint passing attack, we completely dominated the Falcons for the entire second half. Corey Webster had a great day in pass coverage. How about that final sack of the day from Osi of Matt Ryan, taking him down OVER THE SHOULDERS OF AN OFFENSIVE LINEMAN?!?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? Let's hand out some game balls:
Offensive Game Ball - Hakeem Nicks. Eli had an incredible day. No turnovers, and a huge run in the first half to pick up a first down. But it was Hakeem Nicks who stole the show, especially on that 72-yard third quarter touchdown catch and run. Our running game helped set it up, and Eli did a great job finding him, but man on a day when we needed big players to make big plays, Nicks did just that.
Defensive Game Ball - Defensive Line. For the second week in a row, it was our pass rush that completely shut down our opponent. On the first play of the second quarter, Linval Joseph got back there to stuff them on fourth and short. In the third quarter, it was Chris Canty who made the big play to stuff them once again on fourth and short. And I haven't even mentioned Tuck, Osi, or JPP in this. They just get better and better each week. GOTTA LOVE IT! (Honorable mention - Corey Webster).
The lone black spot - Lawrence Tynes. Again his poor kicking was overlooked due to the huge win, but as things progress I feel missed field goals like that could certainly come back to hurt us. He has to get his stuff together, and fast. This is not the time of the year for our kicker to start missing easy field goals.
Non-Gmen Thoughts of the Week:
- Facebook comment of the week: "Now THAT was BIG BLUE WRECKIN CREW FOOTBALL!!!!" - Geoff Amerman. Yes it was. It really was.
- Saw "The Artist" late Sunday afternoon. Amazing film. Really loved the dream sequence and the final shot(s) where they selectively include sound where necessary. Very effective and enjoyable, and just a very charming film overall.
- Aunt Cindy, Uncle Robert, Jordan, Jared, and Tootsie - I'M CALLING YOU OUT! As family of the Gmen Superfan living near Green Bay, Wisconsin, it's time now for you to look deep within yourselves and get your priorities in line. I know it's fun to root for the Pack out there, but Giants' nation needs as many Big Blue fans out there as it can get. I'm counting on you to do what you know is right!
We know what happened earlier this season in the Meadowlands. We know what happened in Green Bay back in 2008. Forget all of that! This is an entirely new game! We're arguably the hottest team in football right now, and need to keep that going! Only we can stop ourselves, and we can't let that happen! Get pumped, fans! One down, four to go for the ultimate goal! To talk all things Giants you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, find me on Facebook under the name "Gmen Superfan," and follow me on Twitter under the name "@gmensuperfan1." Until next week, GO GMEN!!
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