NFC Championships: A Giant Irritant

Bill DowSenior Analyst IJanuary 13, 2008

Next Sunday's NFC Championship game lines up two of the hardest-to-hate teams in the NFL: the Brett Farveulous Packers and the seemingly-mediocre New York Giants.

Yet, with my everlasting hatred of the tundra's King, as well as the ridiculous over-playing of the Metropolitans, I will be ready to melt no matter how could ol' Lambeau gets.

Throughout the season, the New York Giants have always been considered the favorite for the number five spot, but no realistic fan would have given them any shot of contending for the NFC crown.

We are all eating our words, and I just cannot stand it.

The Giants defense, despite having an astounding pass-rush, was always middle of the pack statistically. Antonio Pierce underperformed throughout the year, ending with under one-hundred tackles and just one sack.

The other linebackers? Let's just say Reggie Torbor and Kawika Mitchell aren't exactly Pro Bowlers, despite what Manhattaners will tell you. 

The defensive backfield cannot actually be considered elite. Sure they have played well, but twelve interceptions from the specialists doesn't prove that they are the guardians of the pass.

As for the line- the ends are fantastic. But the interior certainly doesn't match up.

The defense is the good; now to the bad.

Eli Manning has always been Peyton's ugly and neglected step-sister, and inconsistent at best. His 20 interceptions over the course of the season really establish him as the Jan Brady of our generation.

Plaxico Burress-me all you want; the only thing that could help stabilize this team was their reliable ground game.

At home? 3-5. Granted they did lose to four playoff teams, but the home arena, especially with the crazies from the Big Apple, should energize the team enough to win, say, five games.

Their inefficiency put them in perfect position for the playoffs- on the road. And they have taken advantage of it. Which makes me beg the question: doesn't it ruin the sanctity of football to see a team play so well wearing white? Shouldn't it hurt to see a football team be so successful despite having a losing record at home?

Can this team really be considered the second-best team in the NFC? On a neutral field, do the Giants beat the Packers, the Seahawks, the Redskins? I don't think so.

There is just something unusual about this team- they are lousy at home, yet they excel on the road. There is no justifiable reason, except to say they are fluky. But even that is unsatisfying. 

Maybe the most irritating thing about the Giants is the way they just cannot be comprehended. Right when you think they are inconsistent, they are fantastic. Right when you think they cannot win another road game, in a harsh environment, they do.

The scariest thing about the Giants is that we do not know what is so scary about them.

So maybe I am just lamenting the fact that the Seahawks could be hosting the NFC Championship game this week, but just contemplate the following...

The Giants are one win away from the Super Bowl.