Sunday, December 31, 2006

Dysfunctional Giants Near Playoff Berth

I had zero faith they could do it, but they likely live to see another day. Now we'll probably see them head to Philadelphia next week, which surely will make them nervous down there.
Tiki Barber did everything he could to ensure he'd play another day. And in the process, he all but assured Tom Coughlin will coach another day.

In last night's 34-28 victory over the Redskins, Barber delivered the kind of dominating, game-changing performance he hadn't turned in since late last season. The Pro Bowl running back juked and barreled his way to a franchise-record 234 rushing yards and three touchdowns, leading the Giants (8-8) to a victory that all but put them in the postseason after a near collapse to their season and their final regular-season game.

And he proved he's not retired yet -- physically or mentally.

"I've been playing this game for a long time and some people might not agree with me all the time, but I know what it takes for us to win as a team," Barber said. "I know when I get an opportunity to do my job that I'm damn good."

That was a pretty good way to describe his entire night, especially his touchdown runs of 55, 50 and 15 yards. Entering the game, his longest run of the season was 46 yards.

"Sometimes, he gets out there running and I become a spectator," wide receiver Plaxico Burress said. "I know it's not supposed to happen, but when I'm on the other side of the field and I see the back of his jersey, it's always a good thing."

Barber's career game, which broke his previous rushing record of 220 yards set against the Chiefs last year, gave him 1,662 rushing yards on the season -- 120 more than the 49ers' Frank Gore for the NFC lead.

But more importantly, it pretty much gave the Giants back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time since 1989-90.

: And they're in.

No comments: