Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New York Giants Playoffs: Ranking their NFC Championship Games

Photo courtesy of Yahoo

Jose Otero
Featured Columnist

The third Sunday in January brings Conference Championship Sunday. While unfortunately, the Giants will not be participating this Sunday, lets take a look back and rank the five Giants NFC Championship Game appearances.


#5- 1986 NFC Championship Game
    January 11, 1987, Giants Stadium
    Giants 17 Redskins 0

The Giants did not disappoint in their first ever NFC Championship appearance. The tone was set during the coin toss. After the Giants won it, they elected to kick off with 32mph winds to their backs. With that advantage, the Giants went ahead quickly 10-0 by making the most of consecutive 3 and outs, and bad punts by Washington Punter Steve Cox putting the Giants in excellent field position.

After that, it was smooth sailing as the Giants defense held the Skins to just 190 yards in total offense and sacked Skins QB Jay Schroeder four times. Joe Morris added  87 tough Yards, and a TD to give the Giants their first ever Super Bowl berth.



#4- 2000 NFC Championship Game
   January 14, 2001, Giants Stadium
   Giants 41 Vikings 0

In perhaps one of the most dominating performances in Giants Playoff history, the Giants Defense held the Vikings high flying attack to just 111 yards of total offense. They held the duo of Randy Moss, and Cris Carter to a combined 5 receptions on 43 yards. Kerry Collins had his best game as a New York Giant and threw for 381 yards with 5 TDs as the Giants exploded for 41 points en route to Super Bowl XXXV



#3- 2011 NFC Championship Game
January 22, 2012 Candlestick Park
Giants 20 49ers 17 (OT)

In a cold, rainy San Francisco afternoon, the Giants were facing a tough 49ers defense. Eli Manning turned in one of his best playoff performances. He threw for 316 Yards and 2 TDs despite getting sacked six times. The Giants Pass Rush had Alex Smith on alert, as he was sacked two and a half times and did not complete a pass to a Wide Receiver.

Two key moments in this game came off of 2 turnovers by 49ers WR/KR Kyle Williams. With under 10 min to go in the game, and the Giants down 14-10, Williams had a Steve Weatherford punt go off his knee on a bounce, and recovered by the Giants at the SF 29, setting up a then go-ahead Eli Manning TD pass. Then again in Overtime, Giants LB Jaquan Williams knocked the ball out of Williams grasp, and was recovered by the Giants at the SF 23, setting up the Lawrence Tynes game winner.



#2- 1990 NFC Championship Game
January 20, 1991 Candlestick Park
Giants 15 49ers 13

The Giants went into San Francisco huge underdogs to a confident 49er team coming off of two straight Super Bowl wins, and expecting a third. San Francisco was so confident that they set up their Super Bowl headquarters at a Tampa Bay (the site of Super Bowl XXV) hotel. In one of the most physical games in NFL Playoff History, the Giants prevented any thought of a San Francisco three-peat by upsetting the favored 49ers at Candlestick.

The foot of Matt Bahr proved to be all they would need as he kicked 5 field goals, accounting for all the Giants points in the afternoon, including the game winner. The defining moment of the game came in the 4th Quarter when Giants DE Leonard Marshall furiously blindsided 1990 NFL MVP Joe Montana, knocking him out of the game.



#1- 2007 NFC Championship Game
January 20,2008 Lambeau Field
Giants 23 Packers 20

On the way to one of the most improbable playoff runs in sports history, the Giants played the Packers in what Sports Illustrated called a "Stone Cold Classic".  With temperatures at -7F and with a wind chill at a blistering -27, Big Blue stormed into the Frozen Tundra and upset Bret Favre (in what would be his final game as a Packer) and Green Bay.

After Green Bay's run game posted a  235 yard performance vs Seattle the week before, the Giants held the rushing attack to just 23 yards. On offense, they countered with a Rushing attack of their own as Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw combined for 130 yards and 2 touchdowns. After a classic back and fourth battle in regulation, the game would go into overtime when Lawrence Tynes missed two potential game winning field goals.

On the first possession in the extra period, Corey Webster picked off Favre's final pass and giving Tynes the chance to redeem himself.  And redeem himself he did!!  Tynes kicked a 47 yarder to send the Giants into Arizona for a shot at the undefeated Patriots.


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