Happy 2012, G-Fam! And what better way to kick off the New Year than with our New York Giants taking the NFC East crown at home over the rival Cowboys? Several weeks ago Giants nation had questions regarding the toughness and pride of our beloved team. I think most, if not all, of those questions were answered Sunday night. And as "mediocre" as the previous week's win over the Jets might have appeared, that's how dominating a performance we gave last Sunday against Dallas (sans the third quarter).
Those who needed to step up did so in a BIG way. I've given Antrel Rolle a lot of flack this season, but he had a huge role in that playoff-clinching victory. We found ways to run the ball near the end of the first half, which we had to do. The pass rush was in Romo's face all night. Eli was Eli, and Cruz was Cruz. Nicks looked like the number one receiver he's expected to be. The third quarter aside, the only real black spot was the return game and Lawrence Tynes. Let's re-live that incredible night:
Ringing in the New Year with Big Blue
I had two more stops to make before heading back west. There was the Winter Classic in Philly the next day, but more importantly there was the Giants-Cowboys game Sunday night. JJ made the flight back east for both as well, and accompanied my dad and me as we got to the stadium around 6:30. Plenty of time to soak in the moment. Everywhere we looked there were hoards of Giants fans ready and waiting. Waiting for the game to start already. No one cared that it was raining - we already knew it was going to be a very special night. We had the towels to prove it.
In the seats were JJ, myself, and two of my brothers' friends. My brother and dad sat upstairs. I also had two tickets for my buddy Jon, and he and our mutual friend Rick were across the field. Eight of us total spread all over the stadium. From pretty much the first play everyone in was standing. There was just too much energy and excitement to sit down. And with all the scoring we did, who would want to? Things kept up at a great pace until halftime, when my brothers' friends went out to grab food, I think. It took them a while to get back, and JJ and I watched as our offense stumbled out of the gate and our defense let Dallas drive down the field for the score. Those two friends came back shortly after, in time for our first field goal and their second touchdown. It was a rough third quarter, but the fourth more than made up for it.
We stayed through to the bitter end, and it was awesome. As great as it is to see thousands of Jets fans moping, it's even better to celebrate with thousands of fellow Giants fans. What a huge win. The playoffs, baby! And we broke the hearts of millions of Cowboys fans all over the country! Running on only about twenty minutes of sleep and pure adrenaline from the New Year's festivities the night before, I got in my dad's car with JJ and a friend of my dad's and we headed south to Philly for the Winter Classic. The parking lot was a madhouse to get out of, but I don't really think anyone minded. For the first time in a long time, people had reasons to honk in celebration. A fantastic atmosphere.**
NFC East Champs, And It Feels So Good
**This game had everything riding on it. And the Giants' showed up in awesome fashion. You always want to be the team with the most momentum heading into the playoffs. And this year, the Giants are that team. Through countless injuries and seemingly questionable off-season moves, this team fought through all sorts of controversy to take the division. Fewell finally got this defense looking elite the last two weeks. Our offense, especially the passing game, has carried us all season. How about the Giants' doctors? Can they get some credit for absolutely knowing what they were talking about regarding Steve Smith's injury? Philly thought he'd be fine to play, and he ended the season on IR. Victor Cruz is insane, and this was only his first season as a starter! The only time I had my doubts Sunday night, outside of the third quarter, was when we passed out of the shotgun in the fourth quarter instead of running the clock out, but that was quieted pretty fast when Eli completed his final touchdown pass of the night to Nicks. Let's hand out some game balls:
Offensive Game Ball - (tie) Victor Cruz and Eli Manning. Watch the highlights from Sunday night's game - these two make up about 75% of them.
Defensive Game Ball - (tie) the entire defensive line. Knowing Romo was playing a little hurt, these guys exploited him all night, bringing him down six times in all. I haven't seen our pass rush play this electric since, well, the first game against Dallas last season. When Osi, Tuck, Canty, Kiwi, and JPP are all reasonably healthy and in the game, our defense has to be considered one of the best in the league. It was a sight for sore eyes. (Honorable mention - Antrel Rolle.)
Non-Gmen Thoughts of the Week:
- Facebook Comment of the Week - "Rex Ryan last week. Rob Ryan this week. Matt Ryan next week." - Dillon Thiele
- The Winter Classic was a lot of fun, especially seeing a New York team win in Philly. But man do I hate to be in Philly. It was cool though driving up to the hotel at around 2:30 in the morning and seeing three or four people in Giants' jerseys walking around and cheering with them. Don't get to do that there too often.
- Got the new Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Everything about it is great except despite my service being Verizon, it's a "Google phone," making it pretty much the only Verizon smartphone that DOESN'T run the NFL Mobile app. For shame, Google. For shame!
- Philly fans are just the worst. I know I already talked about my trip to Philly, but I just can't say that enough. By far the worst fans in the country. I pity them all, and if their city were one day gone, I wouldn't miss it.
- Spent New Year's Eve at Central Park in the city. There was a forty-minute fireworks display when midnight hit. FORTY MINUTES! Talk about an epic way to ring in the New Year. Plus it was relatively warm for NYC; everyone was out and about and in a really good mood.
- Now the third person has told me I HAVE TO see The Artist, so I'll try and see it this week. I hear the dog is especially good in it.**
*Final Thoughts *
If there's one team I'd like to play in our house in the first round, it's Atlanta. Matty Ice hasn't shown much in terms of postseason play, and it's always tough for a Southern-based dome team to play outdoors in a cold weather city. Let's hope for wind and snow. A GIANTS HOME PLAYOFF GAME! Doesn't get much better than that! Enjoy the week and celebrate aplenty, but remember we still have four more wins before the ultimate goal is met. To talk all things Giants send me an e-mail at email@example.com, find me on Facebook under the name "Gmen Superfan," and follow me on Twitter under the name "@gmensuperfan1." Happy 2012 once more Giants fans, and until next week, GO GMEN!!
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