Giants going to the Super Bowl

Win second OT game in NFC Championship history
January 21, 2008 9:22:06 AM PST
The Giants and Green Bay made sure that this 2007 NFC Championship game will be remembered for more than the bitter, bitter cold.The teams took it to overtime, tied 20-20 at the end of the fourth quarter, before the Giants took it all with a field goal minutes later.

It marked only the second time in NFC history a game has gone to overtime. Atlanta beat Minnesota in 30-27 in 1999.

A suddenly matured Eli Manning guided the Giants to their 10th straight road win Sunday, a frostbitten 23-20 overtime victory over the Green Bay Packers for the NFC championship.

Now comes Mission Impossible for Manning and the Giants, who will play the unbeaten New England Patriots in two weeks for the NFL title.

After Lawrence Tynes missed a 36-yard field goal at the end of regulation following a bad snap, he got a reprieve in overtime following Corey Webster's interception of a struggling Brett Favre. He nailed a 47-yarder on his third attempt to win it, then sprinted directly to the locker room as the rest of his frozen teammates celebrated on the field.

The Giants grabbed their first NFC championship in seven years, capping a monthlong surge that reversed a trend of mediocrity built around Manning's inconsistency. He has been a revelation in the playoffs, however, and his calm leadership keyed New York's turnaround.

Manning shook off below-zero temperatures and a wind chill that would make a Siberian husky shiver. He repeatedly put the Giants (13-6) in position to win in the third-coldest championship game ever - and certainly the most frigid of his young career.

And then he saw Tynes make his first game-winning field goal of the season in the first OT title game in nine years.

One year after older brother Peyton finally won a Super Bowl, earning MVP honors to boot, here comes Eli.

Just a month ago, Eli's moxie was being questioned as the Giants struggled to clinch a wild-card berth. He responded with the best work of his four-year career, including four touchdown passes in the season finale against the Patriots.

He and the Giants are getting another shot at New England, the first team to go 18-0. The Patriots will be after their fourth Super Bowl title in seven years on Feb. 3 at Glendale, Ariz., as well as the first completely perfect season since Miami went 17-0 in 1972.

But don't discount New York, which led the Patriots by 12 points in the third quarter before falling 38-35 on Dec. 29.

With the cold, heaters were used under the Lambeau Field tarp up until two hours before kickoff, but the harsh conditions seemed to affect both teams and most players sprinted to the locker rooms at halftime and huddled around large portable heaters at each end of the benches.

The Giants face the Patriots in Glendale, Arizona on February 3rd.