The New York Giants took advantage of a sloppy
performance by the Green Bay Packers to spring a major upset in the
final game of the divisional playoffs with a 37-20 victory.
As seen in the other three games, an inability to avoid
turnovers cost the Packers dear, with quarterback Aaron Rodgers throwing
an interception and losing one of three Green Bay fumbles on an
The Giants' offence was praised during the run-up to the
game, but their defence was equally hot on a wintry evening at Lambeau
Field where the partisan home fans were largely silenced from the start.
After trading field goals, Giants' quarterback Eli Manning found
Hakeem Nicks who raced into the endzone for a 66-yard touchdown.
Still, few gave the Giants much chance though. While they
only sneaked into the playoffs at the last minute, the Packers cruised
through the regular season seemingly with plenty to spare.
Courtesy of having one of the two best records in the NFC,
the defending Super Bowl champions even had an extra week off to rest
their aching limbs and prepare themselves tactically for the Giants.
But if anything the Packers seemed to have lost momentum and looked ring-rusty as the Giants soon announced their presence.
Sloppy defending during the final play of the first half
resulted in Eli Manning's speculative Hail Mary pass being caught for a
touchdown by Hakeem Nicks as the Giants went into the break with a 20-10
The Packers gave themselves hope with a field goal in the
third quarter, but the Giants were simply too strong in the fourth with
Mario Manningham (four-yard touchdown reception) and Brandon Jacobs
(14-yard touchdown run) running up the score either side of a 16-yard
touchdown catch by Donald Driver.
The Giants will now travel to San Francisco for the NFC
Championship game on 22 January, knowing that a Super Bowl appearance
against either New England or Baltimore is now tantalisingly within
their grasp. The 49ers on Saturday edged New Orleans in one of the finest postseason games in NFL history.
Earlier, Baltimore secured an AFC Championship showdown against New
England after their mean defence helped them to a 20-13 victory over
The Ravens fully capitalised on a pair of Texans turnovers to
race into an early 17-3 lead, courtesy of Joe Flacco's touchdown passes
to Kris Williams (one yard) and Anquan Boldin (10 yards).
The visiting Texans - their offence fighting to make