Can history repeat for Big Blue?

When the Giants built that momentum that got them to the playoffs at the end of the 2007 season, their first opponent was the Bucaneers. I remember thinking that the Giants could totally win that game if they played as they did the week before against the undefeated Patriots. And they did.

Their next opponent was the dreaded Cowboys. I remember thinking that game could go either way. The Cowboys looked good going into the playoffs, and I wouldn't have been shocked at all if they won, but I thought Big Blue could do it. And they did.

Then there was that little game against Green Bay. Lambeau Field. The Frozen Tundra. Manning, a QB who had never played in weather like that, and ditto for many on the team, who I thought tipped their hand about the frigid temperatures presenting a problem. I recalled that the Bucs, who had never won a game when the temperature was below 40 at kickoff, had in a recent season knocked off GB up there, but I simply didn't give the Giants a chance. They had won two games in the playoffs, and nobody had a right to think this team could win the Championship game given how they were playing a month or two earlier. I thought that was the end of the road for the Giants. Yet, they gave a stellar performance: The defense stepped up big time, Plaxico Burress had what I think was the greatest game ever by a wide receiver, our kicker got a chance for redemption, and Favre threw a late pick. And they did it.

Now, the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl. Against the team that had just beaten them a month earlier. The Giants played that season finale nearly perfectly and New England didn't, but the latter still had enough to win. I also realized, however, that New England had some older players and simply weren't blowing out teams like they were earlier in the year. They seemed to have peaked weeks earlier, and the Giants were peaking now. But, did the Giants have enough? No, I didn't think or predict that the Giants would win. I remember, though, saying that I wouldn't be surprised if they won. And they did.

Fast forward to this season.

The Giants seem to be playing better and more consistently as they've gotten healthier and faced elimination pressure. Against Atlanta--a four seed playing a five seed--a close game was expected that I thought the Giants should win. And they did. And they really did.

Now they head back to Lambeau. Aaron Rodgers and company. What do I think now? A few injuries to those protecting Rodgers has me thinking the defense might get to him. The suddenly potent Giants ground game furthers my optimism, as does the reappearance of #82--a third WR threat for Manning. Rodgers, though, has had such a tremendous year that anything other than a Super Bowl would be a disappointment and a surprise. I can also imagine Green Bay licking their chops at the chance for revenge, meaning added motivation. I do think it's the end of the road for the Giants, but I still wonder...

Comments

  1. Ok, I posted this just before watching Inside the NFL. Wow, those guys think this is a closer matchup than I dared to write. I even tweeted at them after the show, and they confirmed in their response to me: "They definitely do with Eli playing well and the D looking sharp". The Giants really have a dangerous receiving corp, and they are running the ball very well... Hmmmm...

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