Thursday, January 5, 2012
Giants confident about playoff chances
By Ohm Youngmisuk ESPNNewYork.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Just a few weeks ago, the New York Giants were fighting for their playoff lives.
Now, linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka thinks the Giants have what it takes to win it all again.
"This is definitely a Super Bowl team," Kiwanuka said. "We just have to go out there and get it done."
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The Giants' confidence is swelling after winning two must-win games against the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys. Defensively, the Giants held both the Jets and Cowboys to 14 points each and have a total of 11 sacks and three interceptions in both wins.
They also are getting healthier at the right time, with Osi Umenyiora returning from an ankle injury last week and tight end Jake Ballard (knee) working his way back for Sunday's wild-card game against the Atlanta Falcons.
"Hopefully we will be able to go on a run here and it will be like it was back in 2007 (when the Giants won the Super Bowl). Hopefully things will get to that level," Umenyiora said. "We probably have a better offense than we did (in 2007). Defensively, our pass rush, we were crazy back then, I think we are getting to the level now that we were back then. Defensively we can get better and we are playing very, very well on defense. It is coming together at the right time."
Offensively, Eli Manning is in the midst of his finest season ever and has been the most clutch quarterback in the NFL, with 15 fourth-quarter touchdowns this season.
All these reasons are why the Giants feel they can make another deep postseason run the way they did in the 2007 season.
"I know we can," Kiwanuka said. "I think if we continue to put solid games together, not just defensively but if No. 10 (Manning) continues to play the way that he does, and obviously Victor Cruz is a guy who's been carrying us, but if he continues to do the things that he does, then we'll be good."
"I think we're at the peak of our confidence right now for this entire season," Kiwanuka said. "We had some injuries early on in the year. You can point to a number of different things for reasons why we weren't playing the way we should. But the issue is right now we're finally clicking and we're getting there."
Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com.