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Tuck grateful for win but grated by Matthews' comments

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning reacts in

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning reacts in front of Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, right, after throwing a 37-yard touchdown pass to Hakeem Nicks during the first the first half. (Jan. 15, 2012) Credit: AP

Justin Tuck was very appreciative.

“Thank you for giving us the game, Clay," the defensive end said today.

Why was he showing such fine manners? Because yesterday Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, in an interview with Yahoo! Sports, insisted that the Giants never beat the Packers in the NFC playoffs last January.

“We picked the most inopportune time to play our worst ball," Matthews said in the report. "The fact is, [the Giants] didn't beat us; we beat ourselves. We need to play our best ball when it counts. This year, I expect us to be right back where we should be."

Tuck may have been grateful. But he was also grated.

"Did they play their best ball?" Tuck asked. "I don't know. But we won the football game. I don't think they gave us anything.

"When they fumbled the ball, I think it was us that stripped it out," Tuck said. "We sacked them. I think it was us who beat their o-linemen and got to [Aaron] Rodgers. So I don't think they just ole'd everything and gave us the game. I think they were trying to win."

This isn’t the first time the Giants have heard other teams and other players suggest that they were lucky to win the Super Bowl and that their championship was a fluke. For a while, the Giants laughed it off. Tuck isn’t laughing anymore.

"I don't find it comical,” he said. “I find it somewhat depressing. We lost games last year where luckily for us we got the opportunity to play the next week … It’s football, it’s a funny game.”

Of course, this isn’t over yet.

“We will see Green Bay again this year,” Tuck said of the Nov. 25 prime time game at MetLife this season, “so we will see who lays down that week."

New York Sports