AP Photo - David J. Phillip
So, Lawrence Tynes, you just pulled off the unthinkable, knocking through the game-winning field goal in overtime after blowing your two previous tries. Lawrence? Where’s Lawrence?
“I spent enough time in that damn cold,” Tynes smiled afterward. “I ran right in. It was too cold out there. I was sick of it.”
Just as Tynes would have been sick of hearing all the criticism all offseason long had he not made things right in OT. To recap, with the score tied at 20 midway through the fourth quarter Tynes was wide left on a 43-yard try. Then on the final play of regulation Tynes was wide left again. Sure rookie snapper Jay Alford’s snap was high, but had Tynes been able to power it through the uprights, New York would have been celebrating its first trip to the big dance in seven years.
Luckily for Tynes, the third time was the charm and he was true when it mattered most, sending everyone home with a beauty of a 47-yard field goal, a kick that served as the only successful field goal from outside of 40 yards in Lambeau Field postseason history.
“I kidded with Lawrence and said we just needed to move it back a little bit further for him,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. “He was a little bit too close before.”
Coughlin admitted afterward that he considered “going for it” before Tynes’ Super Bowl clincher. New York had a fourth-and-five from the Packers 29 and with the two previous misses still fresh in Coughlin’s memory no one would have blamed him. Coughlin said he decided to give Tynes another turn at bat when he saw a “sign.”
The sign Coughlin was reticent to admit but was actually referring to was the sight of Tynes already running on the field. He didn’t need Coughlin to make any call. He was going to get right back out there and win it, previous misses be damned.
“I just saw Lawrence run on the field and said ‘I’m going with him,’” Giants punter and holder Jeff Feagles laughed. “He hit the only one that mattered. I’m so proud of Lawrence for coming back like that.”
And Tynes, as all good kickers are, was supremely confident before the big kick.
“I knew the third one, if we got the snap and hold, that I’d make it,” Tynes said.
For Alford, it was redemption as well. It was his high snap on the kick as regulation expired that helped cause overtime in the first place.
“I put too much pressure on myself,” the rookie said. “I was thinking all about this being for the Super Bowl and only having four seconds left. I made myself nervous. I was feeling that the game was on my shoulders. I did it to myself.”
But a pair of veterans helped calm Alford before his final snap, which was as perfect as could be.
“Feags just told me that it’s just like practice,” Alford recalled. “Snap. Hold. Kick. And Sam (Madison) came up to me and told me to calm down because I was going to get another play.”
Once Corey Webster’s pick gift-wrapped another opportunity for Tynes, Alford didn’t have a doubt.
“I had full confidence in him,” he said. “He’s a great kicker.”
Not a bad rookie year, after all.
“I was ecstatic,” Alford said. “Once it went in the air I knew it was good and I started jumping. Going to the Super Bowl during my rookie year. This is unexplainable. It’s almost like a dream.”
Giants President/CEO John Mara couldn’t have been happier with Tynes’ persistence.
“For Lawrence to do that after missing two was impressive,” Mara said. “I actually thought we were going to go for it. I guess that’s why (Coughlin’s) the coach and I sit upstairs.”
C-Web’s the hero
While everyone will always remember Tynes’ game-winner, most will probably eventually forget that it was Corey Webster that set the whole thing up. Webster played Donald Driver perfectly in overtime and was able to pick off Brett Favre’s pass and give Big Blue great field position and a chance to pull this thing out after all.
“I read (Favre) the whole way,” Webster explained. “I felt the ball was coming my way. I was able to undercut the route and make a play on the ball.”
Coughlin was proud of his cornerback, who has gone through his share of adversity this season.
“I’m real, real happy for Corey Webster,” he said. “That was one heck of an interception to put us in position there to kick the last field goal.”
Webster is a microcosm of this entire Giants team that very easily could have packed up their tents and folded several times in Green Bay. After all, following two straight road wins, most people looked at the NFC Championship Game as just gravy. But not these Giants.
“We just keep fighting,” Webster said. “This team never gives up.”
It’s that resiliency that helped the underdog Giants rip off three road wins in a row. Last week in Dallas, Webster dropped one of the easiest INTs he’s ever going to see.
“I wasn’t going to let another one slip away,” he said. “I had the opportunity to make a play and I made it.”
“I’m proud of that guy,” Justin Tuck said.
Taking a cue from his coach Webster pointed to the fact that New York’s work is not finished.
“We’re going to celebrate this one 24 hours and then get to work on the Patriots,” he said.
Dock a no-go
While Sam Madison and Aaron Ross were able to play in Green Bay, Kevin Dockery, who didn’t practice all week with a hip flexor, was unable to go. Once again, second-year WR Sinorice Moss didn’t dress. Joining those two on the inactive list were RB Danny Ware, OT Adam Koets, DT Manny Wright, TE Jerome Collins and DT Russell Davis. Jared Lorenzen was the third quarterback.
The Giants have signed former Packers and Ole Miss linebacker Rory Johnson to a reserve/future free agent contract. Johnson was on New York’s practice squad earlier in the season.