Monday, January 14, 2008

Giants 21, Cowpatties 17

So much to like.

After the Giants shocked the Cowmanure in Dallas, The Monk is quite happy and that will last a bit, no matter what happens next Sunday in Green Bay. The Cowgirls are now 0-6 in their last six playoff games (tied for worst playoff losing streak ever), for the second time they lost at home in the playoffs to a team they'd beaten twice in the regular season, and they are the first NFC #1 seed to bonk in the divisional round since the league expanded playoffs to the 12-team format.

Best parts of the game: (1) the Giants' last-minute drive to tie the game at halftime; (2) the Giants' pass rush.

Before the team's 70+ yard drive in 46 seconds right before halftime, the Giants were down 14-7, Dallas had controlled the ball for nearly the whole second quarter including a 10+ minute TD drive, and the Cowudders were set to receive the second half kickoff with a potential chance to get a two-score lead. Eli led the team to the tying score, changing the complexion of the game.

The Giants' pass rush finally rattled the Cows. Before yesterday's game, the Big Blue pass rush had only two sacks in two games against Dallas, but 51 in the 14 games against everyone else. During the loss at Giants Stadium, the GMen only hit Romo twice. SI's Dr. Z, Paul Zimmerman, noted that Giants Pro-Bowl DE Osi Umenyiora was completely shut out by Dallas LT Flozell Adams (and with a name like that, you better be 350 pounds and mean). Not so yesterday -- Osi pressured Romo constantly in the second half and Romo made stupid mistakes, like taking sacks after running out of the tackle box (when he could have just spiked the ball and had an incompletion).

So all credit to the Giants, who outplayed Dallas in two of the three key matchups of the game -- Giants' Defense v. Dallas Offense and the Special Teams battle. The Giants' to-do list for next week starts with the O-line -- the #4 rushing team in the league needs more than 90 yards on the ground and cannot let Eli get sacked on one of every seven pass attempts (12-18 passing, 3 sacks on 21 pass plays).

But today, The Monk has smiles for his Big Blue. They're going to the NFC title game (post AFL/NFL merger record = 3-0) to play the Packers (Giants = 1-4 in playoffs v. Pack, only win in 1938).

Woo hoo.

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