New York Giants: 7 Players We Trust the Most in the Clutch

Doug RushSenior Analyst IJune 26, 2012

New York Giants: 7 Players We Trust the Most in the Clutch

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    Picture this scenario.

    There's two minutes left in the game, two timeouts and you're trailing by four.

    Who do you want on the field on offense to win the game?

    Or, picture this scenario.

    There's a minute left in the game and you're on the your own 30 up by four.

    Which guys do you want on the field on defense to make a stop?

    These moments are known as coming up big in the clutch.

    For the New York Giants, what players do we as the fans trust in the clutch?

    As I see it, I feel there are seven key players the Giants have that the fans can count on in a big moment.

Corey Webster

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    Corey Webster is one of the most underrated stars, not just for the Giants, but in the NFL at defensive back.

    He's not a premier name like Champ Bailey, DeAngelo Hall, Nnamdi Asomugha or Darelle Revis, but Webster absolutely can hold his own against wide receivers.

    If you go back to Super Bowl XLII, on the final two plays for the Patriots, Tom Brady threw bombs downfield to Randy Moss.

    Webster went step-for-step with Moss and broke up both passes that caused the turnover on downs and wrapped up the Giants Super Bowl win.

    Webster had one of his best seasons in 2011, recording six interceptions and 51 total tackles.

    And at age 30, Webster will continue to provide the Giants with good coverage on receivers.

Osi Umenyiora

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    Osi Umenyiora is a force on the defensive line.

    He not only records sacks, but he is notorious for the strip-sack fumble, causing turnovers by bringing extra pressure, something he's adapted into his style of play when Perry Fewell took over as the defensive coordinator in 2010.

    When Osi is healthy and on the field, he can record double-digit sack totals.

    Even in 2011, despite playing in nine games, Umenyiora was able to rack up nine sacks and two forced fumbles.

    During the playoffs, Umenyiora came up big for the Giants, recording 3.5 sacks, one of which was against Matt Ryan of the Falcons to end the Divisional Round game where the Giants beat Atlanta 24-2.

    Giants fans want Osi bringing the pressure when the game is on the line.

Justin Tuck

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    Question: What game did Justin Tuck have his breakout performance in?

    Answer: Super Bowl XLII.

    Tuck had two of the Giants' five sacks on Tom Brady during the Super Bowl, causing havoc against the New England offensive line.

    Since then, Tuck has been the defensive captain of the Giants and a guy the Giants can't afford to not have on the field.

    In 2011, Tuck only played in 12 games and had five sacks, but in the playoffs, he really stepped up his game.

    He also had 3.5 sacks, two of which came against the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI at crucial times.

    The first was the opening drive that caused the safety on Tom Brady, which made it 2-0. The other was on the final drive on third down, which set up fourth and long.

Jason Pierre-Paul

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    This night was a turning point in the Giants' season.

    Week 14 at Cowboys Stadium, the Giants are 6-6 and had to rally from behind to take the lead over the Cowboys.

    Yet, Dallas had a chance to tie the game at the end of regulation, but Jason Pierre-Paul blocked the field goal and the Giants held on to win 37-34.

    The defense was struggling for the last week, but against the Cowboys, JPP took over the game for the Giants defense and hammered them into the ground.

    In the 2011 regular season, JPP recorded 16.5 sacks, although he only had a half sack in the playoffs, but most offensive lines were so focused on blocking JPP, it created other opportunities for Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck.

    When the Giants defensive line steps on the field, No. 90 is who the offense is looking for every time.

Victor Cruz

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    We all remember Victor Cruz torching the Jets on Christmas Eve for a 99-yard touchdown.

    That touchdown set the tone for the game and catapulted the Giants onto their playoff run.

    When the Giants needed a receiver to step up late in the season, Cruz did just that.

    Cruz torched the Jets for 164 yards and a touchdown in Week 16, then destroyed the Cowboys for 178 yards and a touchdown in Week 17.

    In the playoffs, teams would be forced to double-cover Cruz, which allowed Hakeem Nicks to step up.

    Against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, they double-covered Nicks, which allowed Cruz to have an amazing game with 10 catches for 142 yards.

    In 2011, Cruz became an extremely reliable receiver that could make big plays and get important catches, especially on third down.

Hakeem Nicks

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    Hakeem Nicks has clearly established himself as the number one receiver for the Giants.

    Nicks had a solid regular season for the Giants with 76 catches for 1,192 yards and seven touchdowns.

    But in the playoffs is where Nicks really made a name for himself for the Giants.

    Against the Falcons, Nicks killed the Atlanta secondary for six catches, 115 yards and two touchdowns.

    Against the Packers, Nicks decimated the Green Bay defenders with seven catches, 165 yards and two touchdowns.

    Nicks best play in that game was the one on the 37-yard hail-mary catch right before halftime that put the Giants ahead 20-10.

    Against the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, Nicks was Eli Manning's go-to receiver, catching 10 passes for 109 yards and making several key catches on the final drive in the fourth quarter.

    Nicks is recovering from a broken foot, which required surgery this offseason. He's a big reason why the passing attack of the Giants became a force.

Eli Manning

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    Eli Manning is the most clutch Giant of them all.

    In 2011, Manning had six come-from-behind victories in which he lead the Giants on game-winning drives.

    In the playoffs, Eli came up big for the Giants, throwing nine touchdowns to only one interception.

    In Super Bowl XLVI, Manning lead the Giants on a game-winning drive against the Patriots that ended with a six-yard touchdown run by Ahmad Bradshaw.

    In Super Bowl XLII, Manning lead the Giants on one of the most historic game-winning drives against the Patriots which featured the helmet-catch by David Tyree and then a 13-yard touchdown catch to Plaxico Burress.

    Manning also has two Super Bowl MVP Awards as well for his great performances against New England.

    Any time the Giants are down by seven points or less and they have the ball with two minutes or less left in the game, Giants fans know they have a chance to tie or win the game.

    They feel that way because when he has the ball with the game on the line, Eli Manning finds ways to win games.

    Manning has established himself as one of the NFL's elite quarterbacks and a lot of that has to due with being a clutch player who wins.