Giants vs. Packers: 5 Things We Learned from New York's 37-20 Win

Jeff Shull@Jeff_ShullAnalyst IJanuary 16, 2012

Giants vs. Packers: 5 Things We Learned from New York's 37-20 Win

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    Wow. One short word that sums up the outcome of the NFC Divisional round matchup between the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants

    Big Blue came away with the 37-20 dominating victory, scoring 17 points in the fourth quarter to put the game away. 

    Despite some help from the refs, the Packers struggled to move the ball offensively with uncharacteristic drops and fumbles. 

    Here are five things we learned about the Giants after the scintillating upset of the Packers. 

The Packers Were Rusty

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    Watching this game it was clear the Packers were very rusty. Many of the Packers' starters did not play the final game of the season on top of the Packers securing a bye week for the first week of the playoffs. 

    That means they had not played since Christmas. 

    I counted as many as eight drops, and the Packers gave the ball away four times (five if the refs didn't take one away). This was a different team than we saw in the regular season. 

The Refs Clearly Favored the Packers...Again

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    If you remember the postgame article from the regular season meeting between these two teams, I rightfully complained about the officiating. 

    Is it possible the referees were worse in this game? 

    It started when Greg Jennings clearly fumbled the football and the Giants recovered, but not only did the refs change the call on the field, but Bill Leavy did not overturn the call after Tom Coughlin challenged. 

    Everyone not wearing green and yellow thought that was a fumble. 

    It continued in the second half with the refs missing on two bad holding calls by Packers offensive linemen, two non roughing calls on Eli Manning and then a phantom roughing call on Aaron Rodgers

    I could go even further into the bad calls, but those are already enough to call it embarrassing by the refs. 

The Defense Is Playing Like a Top 5 Group

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    Perry Fewell has this unit playing very well over the past four weeks.

    The defense has averaged just 12 points per game in the Giants' last four contests, all of which have been double-digit victories. 

    Fewell simplified his game plan over the weeks, and it is showing in the results. It helps that the Giants are as healthy as they were when they started the season 6-2. 

    With the offense playing as well as they are, if the defense can continue to play like this there is no reason the Giants can't win it all. 

Tom Coughlin Has Bought the Right to Coach Until He Retires

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    With the incredible upset victory over the Packers, Tom Coughlin officially has everyone off his back.

    He turns 66 in August, and with this deep playoff run, he has earned the right to coach until he retires. 

    Much like the 2007 playoff run, Coughlin's ways have been accepted by his players, and they are getting motivated at the right time. 

Once Again, Eli Manning Provided 4th Quarter Magic

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    Once again fans were treated to the fourth quarter magic that Eli Manning provided all season long. It was not the same type of comeback magic, but rather clutch magic that kept the Packers offense off the field. 

    The Packers were within a touchdown with 12:54 to play as the Giants got the ball back after a huge fourth down stop by the defense. 

    Eli converted two big time third downs, got them close and the Giants were able to extend the lead with a field goal after a five minute drive. 

    Then after the Giants forced a fumble and returned it to the 4-yard line, Eli needed just one play to take the score to 30-13, effectively ending any hope of a comeback with seven minutes left. 

    The Giants now move to San Francisco to take on the 49ers in what is yet another rematch of a regular season game. 

    The NFC Championship should be a great game, and hopefully the Giants can keep their undefeated streak in such games in tact.