The Giants are not through playing, not by a long shot. And, after dispatching of the defending Super Bowl champion Packers in a stunning upset, another Super Bowl is so close they can almost taste it.
There is a trip to be made, out west to San Francisco, where the resurgent 49ers will be waiting Sunday in the NFC Championship game. The Giants earned their way. Boy, did they ever. Getting past a Packers outfit that cruised to a 15-1 record this season was going to be a monumental effort but the Giants did not merely get past the Packers. They stormed into historic Lambeau Field and made history of the home team.
The Giants never trailed, used an incredible Hail Mary from Eli Manning to Hakeem Nicks in the last seconds of the first half to build a 20-10 lead and then never let their feet off the necks of Aaron Rodgers and his mates. The Giants scored 10 points in a wild one-minute span of the fourth quarter and left town with a resounding 37-20 victory in an NFC Divisional playoff game.
Unlike the epic 23-20 overtime thriller four years ago here in the NFC title game, the Giants this time around did not need any late heroics. That’s not to say they didn’t get any heroics.
Leading 23-13, Rodgers got the ball with 7:40 remaining, plenty of time to mount a comeback. Instead, the Giants put the hammer down. Safety Kenny Phillips nailed Ryan Grant after a 10-yard reception, forcing a fumble. Linebacker Chase Blackburn scooped up and rumbled 40 yards to the Green Bay 4-yard line. On the next play, Manning fired to Mario Manningham in the back of the end zone for a touchdown to make it 30-13 with 6:48 left.