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Final four set to fight to the end

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Heatherthepackgirl, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. Heatherthepackgirl
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    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

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    By BOB McGINN
    bmcginn@journalsentinel.com
    Posted: Jan. 6, 2008



    If the Giants can upset the Cowboys in a divisional game at Texas Stadium and the Packers manage to defeat Seattle, the NFC Championship Game would be played back at Lambeau Field.

    "Dallas is a tremendous team and does everything well," Giants guard Chris Snee said Sunday after New York's 24-14 victory over Tampa Bay. "Will we be intimidated? No. Obviously, playing at home is a tremendous advantage in the playoffs. The two top records were Dallas and Green Bay. But we'll just have to be on our game."

    New York lost twice to the Cowboys, 45-35 on opening day in Dallas and 31-20 in Week 10. In those two games, Eli Manning completed 51 of 75 passes for 548 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions. Dallas outgained New York, 801 yards to 738.

    The defeat on Sept. 9 at Texas Stadium is the only blot on the Giants' 8-1 road record.

    "The Giants have played good enough football the last couple weeks to really change the whole scope of it," Buccaneers personnel man Doug Williams said. "What people need to understand is they've got guys on the ends that can rush the passer and play the run."

    The Giants have gone 4-4 at Texas Stadium in the last eight seasons.

    "I think it sets up for a good storyline for everybody," Tampa Bay defensive tackle Chris Hovan said. "You've got the (NFC) East showdown in Dallas and Seattle is going back to Green Bay, (Mike) Holmgren's old city. I can't pick anybody right now. Too much can happen in a playoff. It will be a very, very exciting playoff race."

    The status of wide receiver Terrell Owens is of significance. Owens suffered a high left ankle sprain last month and still hasn't practiced. The coaches say his chances of playing this weekend are iffy but, on Saturday, owner Jerry Jones said he expected Owens to play.

    "On paper, Dallas probably is the best team in the NFC," Williams said. "But I saw them in Washington and I saw them without T.O. They ain't the same."

    Earnest Graham, the Buccaneers' leading rusher, picked Dallas for the Super Bowl.

    "They run the ball well, they get the ball to the tight end and they play great defense," Graham said. "I think they'll step up in the playoffs. They've got that type of team. Terrell knows how to show up. (Tony) Romo's going to show up."

    Although the Buccaneers haven't played Green Bay since Week 3 of 2005, they have been impressed from afar.

    "They've still got that old guy at quarterback," Williams said. "He makes the difference. They've got two young receivers along with Donald Driver and Donald Lee, they've found a running game and their defense is as good as they come."

    Two Tampa Bay players, center John Wade and linebacker Barrett Ruud, also prominently mentioned the impact of Brett Favre on the NFC's final four.

    "Dallas has played well all year but if I were a betting man I might put my faith in the old man," center John Wade said. "But don't count the Giants out."

    Said Ruud: "Obviously, I know what No. 4 can do and they're not beating themselves, which is key when your defense is playing well. Obviously, I think the Cowboys are a really good team, but the Giants are playing well right now. It will be a good game."

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