The Giant Insider Online

Giants Rewind: 2011 Week 17: Giants Sweep Cowboys to Begin Super Bowl Run

In 2011, the New York Giants were 8-7 going into their Week 17 showdown with the 8-7 Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. The winner would win the NFC East and head into the playoffs.

The Giants had not won playoff game since knocking off the undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, and after missing the postseason in 2009 and 2010, they were desperate need of a win over their heated rivals to get back into the championship fray.

The did it in style. They jumped out to a huge lead and stayed there. The game was never in doubt, going on to win, 31-14. You know the rest. They would go on to defeat Atlanta in the wild card round, then Green Bay in the Divisionals and San Francisco in the NFC Championship Game. In Super Bowl XLVI, they took down Tom Brady and the Pats again, 21-17, to claim the fourth Lombardi Trophy in team history.

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Here’s what I wrote the next morning after the Dallas game for SNY.tv:

Yes, I have been reborn. After three seasons of hiding my head in the sand after Week 17, I have a new sense of purpose. Why? Giants Football is back, that’s why.

The past two weeks the Giants went up against a teetering opponent and finished them off. The fact that they were the Jets and the Cowboys makes my breakfast taste a little better this morning.

Last night, the Cowboys came to play. Jason Garrett had his guys ready. Tony Romo’s detriment was greatly exaggerated. He played a terrific game. He took what the Giants gave him and moved his team against an aggressive Giants defense.

In the end, it wasn’t enough. The Giants were just too good.

The Giants had their guys, too. The defensive line is back in business. The Giants bettered their five-sack performance against the Jets by one last night. They are who we thought they were – finally.

Osi Umenyiora came back and had a two-sack game. Justin Tuck continued to surge and Jason Pierre-Paul imposed his will once more. Chris Canty has been steadily escalating his performance with each game.

Eli Manning spun out of a sack and threw a 44-yard completion down the middle of the field (sound familiar?) to wunderkind Victor Cruz. Bear Pascoe and Henry Hynoski took a page out of Kevin Boss’ book and hurdled over defenders. Antrel Rolle, who has been craving an interception, got one.

The fans, who were MIA the past several years, are back. The gloss is off MetLife. The paint is dry. It is finally home, and when bathed in blue it is a spectacular site. The rock and roll is back in Giants Football.

Sure, there are holes and shortcomings to examine this morning (i.e. why can’t Brandon Jacobs make a yard when we need it?), but I’d rather dwell on the positives.

The offensive line is beginning to come together, too. I’d like to hear your thoughts why, but I suspect continuity has a lot to do with it. How about that Hynoski..? When was the last time the Giants had a fullback teams had to account for?

Hey, I’m “All In” like the Giants told us to be. The playoffs are here again. Atlanta is coming – a team we know very little about. It may not matter.

Wait’ll they get a load of us!

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