GREEN BAY – They had played more than 1,139 minutes of football games from September into the last…
Game Story: Giants 23, Packers 20 (OT)
Stat worth noting: The Giants defense was able to get the Packers off the field with regularity. Green Bay was only able to convert one of its 10 third-down opportunities.
Stat worth noting II: New York absolutely dominated the time of possession battle, holding the ball for 40:01 to only 22:34 for Green Bay.
Turning point: No one exemplified the up and down roller coaster of these 2007 Giants better than Corey Webster. It was his interception in overtime that set up Lawrence Tynes for the game-winning FG 2:35 into OT. Brett Favre, who got shakier as the game went along, was looking for Donald Driver, who had earlier beaten Webster for a 90-yard TD. Webster stepped in front of Favre's toss and returned it nine yards to the Packers 34-yard line. Four plays later, the game was over and the Giants were headed to Arizona.
Play to remember: The third time was definitely the charm for Lawrence Tynes. The longest of his five field-goal attempts was true and the Giants were victorious. Tynes was confident on his game-wining 47-yarder despite missing his two previous opportunities to win the game.
Play to forget: The Giants were dominating the Pack, yet led only 6-0 early in the second quarter. On Green Bay's first play after botching the kickoff, Packers WR Donald Driver chucked Corey Webster at the line of scrimmage, and with the Giants safeties nowhere to be found, Driver got himself totally free in the New York secondary for a 90-yard TD. Brett Favre threw a perfect pass and Driver was off to the races with a trio of Giants defenders unable to prevent him from reaching paydirt.
By the Numbers
-1 – Temperature at kickoff
7 – Years since Big Blue last played in the Super Bowl
72,740 – Total fans at Lambeau Field, the venerable venue's largest crowd ever
"Basically, you go out and you give everything that you have all season…and it all falls down the drain just in one game." – Packers CB Tramon Williams
"The thing that I'm most proud of about this team is the way they hang together." – Giants coach Tom Coughlin
What went right
For all the earlier heartache, Lawrence Tynes drilled the FG the Giants needed to win. Talk about being mentally tough, huh? Had he missed again, he might have had to go into Witness Protection.
The defense continued to come through in the clutch. Anyone who had Brett Favre in the office pool for two huge INTs deserves every cent they get. The run defense, which allowed only 28 yards, was exceptional. And to say Corey Webster's OT pick was huge just doesn't quite do it justice.
Plaxico Burress was unstoppable. He caught 11 passes for 154 yards, averaging 14 yards a grab. And he just missed coming up with another long pass right before halftime.
Big Blue got off to a quick start. Eli Manning was very impressive leading the offense 71 yards in 14 plays on the Giants first drive. The march, which ended with a 29-yard field goal, chewed up 7:48 of the first-quarter clock.
Manning was back at work to start the second half. Right out of the locker room, he led the offense 69 yards in 12 plays to regain the lead at 13-10. Brandon Jacobs capped the march with a one-yard TD run.
What went wrong
Missing a potential game-winning field goal as the clock expires is about as awful an experience as one could ever have to endure. Luckily for Big Blue, Tynes bounced back in the best possible way.
Sam Madison's foolish retaliatory penalty kept a third-quarter Green Bay drive alive. Madison was flagged after a third-down play on which the Pack did not move the sticks. On the very next play, Favre connected with a wide-open Donald Lee for a 12-yard TD and a 17-13 lead.
That was only one of numerous penalties that hurt New York. They finished the contest with six flags for 50 yards in losses. Included in that was a third-down illegal contact penalty on rookie Michael Johnson that kept alive a Green Bay FG drive in the second quarter.
R.W. McQuarters made a great defensive play by picking off a Favre pass in the final period. However, on the return he fumbled the ball right back to Green Bay. Ryan Grant knocked the ball free and Mark Tauscher recovered it. That led to Mason Crosby's game-tying field goal with less than 12 minutes to play.
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