Remember Giants-Packers? Not the one a couple weeks ago. The one way back on December 4th. You know… the one that was almost two months ago? That was the last game the Giants lost a fumble.
Since then, the Giants have seen Felix Jones lose a key fumble inside his own 20 in that thrilling 37-34 nail-biter against the Cowboys. They had Mark Sanchez fumble a snap exchange at the 1 yard line, which they recovered in the end zone for a touchback. They sealed a win in the game against the Cowboys that decided the NFC East when they got a sack/fumble/recovery of Tony Romo.
And then, once the playoffs got underway, their opponents really started to give it up.
In the last two games, Giants opponents have fumbled a staggering seven times. All of them, with the exception of an Aaron Rodgers fumble, were the result of careless ball security. The Giants recovered five of them. A quick recap:
- John Kuhn runs into his own teammate, coughs it up, and Antrel Rolle is there to scoop up the loose ball. The Giants kick a FG on the ensuing drive.
- Aaron Ross bites on a double move, and Aaron Rodgers has a WIDE OPEN receiver streaking down the sideline. Rodgers sees it and is about to unload what should have been an easy TD pass, but Osi Umenyiora gets one of his patented Osi swats, and knocks the ball out. Deon Grant is there for the recovery. The Giants go three-and-out on the next series, but they save 7. Hail Mary aside, it’s probably the biggest play of the game.
- Ryan Grant, fighting for extra yards, has a weak hold on the football, and Kenny Phillips is able to knock the ball out without a ton of effort. Chase Blackburn scoops and returns it to the GB 4 yard line. Next play: TD Manningham. Game.
- Kendall Hunter and Kyle Williams fumble a failed handoff exchange on a reverse. The Niners recover it, but lose 10 on first down. As a result, the Niners go three-and-out.
- Kyle Williams Disaster I. Muffed punt. Devin Thomas recovers and “scores,” but you can’t advance a muffed punt. The Giants have a short field, and score the go ahead TD anyway on a pass to Mario Manningham.
- At the end of regulation, Delanie Walker fumbles, recovered by Kendall Hunter. Meaningless play.
- Kyle Williams Disaster II. Overtime. Jacquian Williams gets a paw on the football, and it pops out of Williams’ hands. Atrocious ball security in a moment like that. Devin Thomas is there once again for the recovery.
That list doesn’t even include the horrible officiating job on the should-have-been Greg Jennings fumble that was recovered by the Giants.
It really isn’t rocket science. This is how the Giants are winning. They’re playing their version of “perfect football.” Their opponents are making mistakes, the Giants are capitalizing, and they aren’t making egregious mistakes of their own. It’s classic Tom Coughlin football. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all.