Alyssa "G-Men Girl" Franklin
BGB Featured Columnist
All year long fans of the New York Giants knew that there were talented guys on the squad that truly are special. But I believe on Sunday, January 22nd, other guys stepped and proved that they are just as special.
The special teams units on the New York Giants have had a pretty good year. I wouldn’t say great but it’s been pretty good. The best free agent signing this season was Steve Weatherford which I would have to say is a huge upgrade from Matt Dodge. He has done such a wonderful job. He came over from the Jets and has just been a great asset to the organization.
The return game hasn’t been stellar but I would have to say that the coverage unit has performed very well.
Now let’s skip to why I am writing about a part of the team that is under valued.
On Sunday, January 22nd, for the NFC Championship game the Special Teams unit truly epitomized the meaning of special.
The game was an absolute slug fest in true NFL football style. The weather was horrible, both teams struggled to get any kind of momentum going and the running game was really going no where. It was up to someone to make some plays.
Eli managed to get the ball downfield before the half giving Tynes good field goal range. Tynes gets it in to put the Giants up by 3. If it wasn’t that three then the ending would have been a lot different.
Now with 11:14 into the 4th quarter, Devin Thomas, who was taken off of kick returns earlier in the season for muffing a punt shows that he has true concentration. The way he was able to see after the punt that the ball grazes the knee of Kyle Willams and picks up the ball and takes it into the end zone. How special is that?? I mean he had enough focus to see something that some people who are not able to see because in all honesty I did not notice it til the replay, and recover the ball?
The ball went back and forth with a couple of touchdowns in between. Then all of a sudden it’s a tie game and it’s going into overtime.
Anyone thinking déjà vu? At the time I was so into the game that I had not thought back to the NFC championship games in Lambeau Field in 2007. The rules were different this time but in a minute you will see a eerie similarity.
Eli did what he could under nasty conditions to get the ball down for a TD but to no avail. The weather conditions were nasty. It was wet, muddy and that San Fran pass rush was getting to Eli. It was time to punt.
Now as a Giant fan I was too stressed out. It was hard for anyone to get down the field with two monstrous defenses on the field. Someone again from somewhere else was going to have to make a play.
Now something special happens. The punt is sent into the air, Kyle Williams catches the short punt and takes off only to have a chance meeting with Jacquain Williams where Jacquain strips the ball out of Kyle Williams’s hands and Devin Thomas makes another play landing on the ball to recover for the Giants.
If that isn’t special I don’t know what is. It puts the Giants in perfect position to take over the game and kick a field goal to go to the Superbowl. But again, like in 2007, it may just rest on the shoulders of Lawrence Tynes.
You can’t make this kind of stuff up!
It was time for Weatherford and Tynes to shine. No pressure. Weatherford gave a nice little voice of encouragement to Tynes. The snap was low and in the conditions of the wetness and the weather and Weatherford did a great job on the hold and Tynes did a spectacular job in making it through the uprights.
GIANTS ARE GOING TO THE SUPERBOWL!
The guys who play on special teams don’t really get a lot of accolades and kickers don’t really get a lot of respect. You don’t have to be in the spotlight every week to be special. If you can step up and make a play when the team really needs you in a pressure moment to go to your ultimate goal and you can be counted on in the time of need then that makes you special.
Because of the Special Teams unit the Giants are going back to the Superbowl in Indy. Now THAT’S special.
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