Ten plays that helped the Giants get to the Super Bowl
Ten key plays throughout the New York Giants 2011 season that helped get them to the Super Bowl. Plays are ranked in order of importance.
By Tom Rock
NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Giants 20, 49ers 17
Key play: Giants rookie Jacquian Williams reaches out and strips the ball away from Kenny Williams, forcing a fumble that Devin Thomas recovers at the 49ers’ 24 to set up Lawrence Tynes’ game-winning field goal in overtime.
Giants 37, Cowboys 34
Key play:Jason Pierre-Paul comes up the middle and deflects a 47-yard field-goal attempt by Dan Bailey as time expires in regulation, giving the Giants a comeback win and first place in the NFC East.
Giants 29, Jets 14
Key play: On third-and-10 from the 1, Eli Manning hits Victor Cruz on a pass of about 10 yards. He eludes Kyle Wilson and Antonio Cromartie and hurdles Eric Smith near midfield on his way to an electrifying 99-yard TD for a 10-7 lead.
Redskins 23, Giants 10
Key play: It wasn’t on the field, but in the postgame locker room that Antrel Rolle sets the tone for the next month and a half by insisting that all of the Giants begin practicing and giving whatever they have each day.
Giants 24, Patriots 20
Key play: On third-and-10 and driving for the game-winning TD, Jake Ballard makes a sensational acrobatic catch down the seam for 38 yards to keep the Giants alive. They eventually score on Ballard’s 1-yard TD catch for the win.
NFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF
Giants 37, Packers 20
Key play: The Giants could have just run out the clock to halftime or settled for a field goal, but Eli Manning chucks a 37-yard pass in the end zone that Hakeem Nicks grabs, giving the Giants a 20-10 halftime lead.
Giants 29, Eagles 16
Key play: The first flash of what Victor Cruz could become comes when he catches a third-down pass from Eli Manning on the sideline and turns it up the field for a 74-yard TD. His 28-yard TD in the fourth quarterputs the Giants ahead for good.
NFC WILD CARD
Giants 24, Falcons 2
Key play: With the Giants holding a 10-2 lead, Jason Pierre-Paul and Chris Canty stuff a fourth-and-inches quarterback sneak in the third quarter. It is the second time in the game the Giants halt a fourth-and-inches play.
NFC WILD CARD
Packer 38, Giants 35
Key play: Chase Blackburn, who had only been signed that week, intercepts a pass by Aaron Rodgers. The Giants lost, but they prove they can play with the best team in the NFL and Blackburn fills a big hole at middle linebacker.
Giants 29, Cardinals 16
Key play: Hakeem Nicks catches the game-winning 29-yard TD in the same corner of the same end zone in the same stadium where Plaxico Burress won Super Bowl XLII. It is the first tangible comparison to the title run of 2007 — but not the last.