Fans celebrate after the New York Giants defeated the Dallas...

Fans celebrate after the New York Giants defeated the Dallas Cowboys. (Getty) Credit: Fans celebrate after the New York Giants defeated the Dallas Cowboys. (Getty)

After recovering from a midseason collapse, the Giants enter Sunday's wild-card game playing arguably their best football of the season.

The G-Men (9-7) will take on the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium in their first playoff game since the 2008 season, and despite the team's roller-coaster year, die-hard fans are predicting a victory.

"I think they look great right now," said season-ticket holder J.D. Durkin, 24, of Astoria. "There's a lot of confidence coming off the last month the season."

"The last couple of years have been kind of transitional ... so a win this weekend would mean a lot," Durkin added.

"All the city's focus is on the team, and it would be huge."

David Thalberg, 46, of the Upper West Side, and also a season-ticket holder, added that Eli Manning this season has cemented his place among the upper echelon of quarterbacks.

"Eli Manning has proved that he's one of the elite QBs in the league," Thalberg said. "Eli's a leader out there, and he can win a game when he needs to."

Manning and the Giants - who lost five of six games during one stretch - trounced the Jets and the Cowboys in the final two weeks of the season to reach the playoffs. Some experts say the team is peaking at the right time.

"I think they're looking fantastic," said Bobby Blackjack of Talking Football Live on Mix 1620-AM in northern New Jersey. "They've basically been playing playoff games for the past two weeks ... and they're really on top of their game right now."

Blackjack added: "People are pumped up like they were during that [2007] Super Bowl run. You can just feel the vibe and energy."

Still, victory is anything but assured against the Falcons (10-6). And even if the Giants pull out a win, they'll face either Green Bay (15-1) or San Francisco (13-3).

But for the true Big Blue diehards, hopes have never been higher.

"Giants fans care about this team," Thalberg said. "It's that simple. I'm counting on a raucous train ride home after the game."


New York vs. Georgia


New York, New York vs. The Devil Went Down To Georgia

Signature soft drink

Egg Cream vs. Coca-Cola

Outsized claim to fame

Capital of the World vs. Capital of the South

Original name

Marthasville vs. New Amsterdam

Crime Drama

"Law and Order" vs. "Matlock"

Iconic Football Moment

David Tyree's Super Bowl catch vs. Still waiting for it

Famous Wrestler

Chris Jericho vs. Hulk Hogan

Why tourists love city

We have everything! vs. It's the home of the Center for Puppetry Arts

Hip-hop kings

Jay-Z and LL Cool J vs. OutKast and Cee-Lo Green

Top Real Housewife

Bethenny Frankel vs. NeNe Leakes

Follow reporter Tim Herrera on Twitter: @tim_herrera

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