Giants Sent the Packers Packing Up from the Superbowl Sunday
A shocker indeed has happened when favored team Green Bay Packers was defeated by the New York Giants 37-20 to set up an NFC Championship game at San Francisco next week. The reigning champion, the Packers, were favored to retain the Vince Lombardini Trophy but was unfortunately outplayed from the start with Giants quarterback Eli Manning outdueling Aaron Rodgers, for whom the vaunted Giants pass rush made life especially difficult. Earlier on Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens ousted visiting Houston 20-13 and they will now play New England in the American Conference final at Superbowl Sunday. The winners of next Sunday’s games will meet at Superbowl Sunday XLVI at Indianapolis on the 5th of February. Manning’s favorite target was Hakeem Nicks, catching seven passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns. The Giants' defenders forced four turnovers as the hosts, who went an NFL-best 15-1 this season and averaged 35 points a game, were ousted in sub-freezing cold. "It shows our hard work and determination," Nicks said. "We're peaking right when we need to. We're stronger than we have been all season." The head coach of the Green Bay Packers Mike McCarthy was baffled by his team’s performance. “We did not play to our identity,” he said. “The biggest thing was self-inflicted wounds, dropped balls. We left some yards on the field. “We did not do a very good job handling the football. No excuses. We practiced well. There was nothing in preparation that led me to believe this was going to occur.” Baltimore's Joe Flacco threw two touchdown passes against Houston but, despite its good record against New England, Ray Lewis says his team will head to Foxboro as underdogs after the Patriots routed Denver 45-10 on Saturday. "What they did to the Broncos, they sent a message to whoever was coming up there," Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said. "We have to be ready for them."
Lewis managed to have a team-high seven tackles and the Ravens forced four turnovers, there were two interceptions by Ladarious Webb, setting up 17 points and spoil the first playoff trip in the Texanâ€™s 10-year history. With the score at 17-13 at half-time, the only addition in the second half was a late Baltimore field goal, but Ravens coach John Harbaugh took a measure of pride in this when addressing his team afterwards. "Nobody holds onto a four-point lead in this league like that except the Ravens," said Baltimore coach John Harbaugh, whose brother Jim coaches fellow final-four franchise, the San Francisco 49ers.