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View will be running through the Super Bowl Janoris Jenkins Jersey , highlighting the glory of the Giants’ past and celebrating the biggest playoff wins in franchise history. The Giants RisingJan. 8, 2012NFC Wild Card gameGiants 24, Falcons 2Antrel Rolle tapped himself on the chest, right over his heart, to make his point clear. It’s all about this.It’s all about heart. “If you don’t got it in the heart, I don’t know ...” the safety and soul of the 2011 Giants told me and other reporters that afternoon in their devastated postgame locker room. “We’re 10 times better than what we showed out there on the field today. “I don’t know, man. I don’t know. I don’t know.”The Giants did not have nearly enough heart, not on that mid-December Sunday in 2011. Not enough heart or intensity or anything else needed to beat the last-place Washington Redskins at home — not even as their postseason hopes seemed to be slipping away. The 23-10 debacle was the Giants’ fifth loss in six games, dropping them to 7-7. Just two games remained, and their slim playoff chances depended on winning both despite a 6-2 start.Just three weeks later, it seemed impossible that the Giants could have fallen into such a chasm after they comfortably dispatched the Atlanta Falcons, 24-2, in an NFC Wild Card game at MetLife Stadium. It was their first postseason victory since Super Bowl XLII and their first home playoff win since the 2000 NFC title game.Eli Manning and Co. were accustomed to performing near-miracles, as they showed in 2007. But it seemed the magic had run out in Week 15 after that loss to Washington.However, the 2011 Giants would prove just how resilient they were. It showed in how they always rose to the occasion in clutch moments Kerry Wynn Jersey , finding a way to win whenever they had to.And that started with a bond among the players and the trust and belief they had in each other. Rolle stood up in front of his teammates in a meeting late in the season and implored them to crank up the intensity, kicker Lawrence Tynes remembered. He called it “a turning point” for a team that was struggling.“Antrel had a lot to do with the 2011 year because of his leadership,” Tynes told Big Blue View. “He played so hard, and everyone respected him. He stood up and spoke to us. [Coach Tom] Coughlin was even in the room at the time.“He just kind of laid it all out there and said, ‘We’re too good for this.’ That was definitely a turning point for us when he spoke to the team and laid all his emotions out there.”Suddenly, the Giants were playing as well as anyone.They needed to.Their final two regular-season opponents? The Jets — coming off back-to-back AFC title game appearances — and the NFC East-leading Cowboys.In Week 16, Victor Cruz broke Rex Ryan’s Jets defense with a 99-yard catch-and-run touchdown from Manning right before halftime. It gave the Giants a lead they would never relinquish.And then they jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead on the Cowboys in the season finale to win the division and clinch a playoff berth.“I know it’s kind of clich茅d, but if you believe, you can achieve,” captain and defensive end Justin Tuck said after the win over the Falcons.He added: “Right now we have a high level of belief in each other, and it’s showing on the football field.”Manning felt it too, completing 23-of-32 passes for 277 yards and three touchdowns. Hakeem Nicks caught six of them for 115 yards and two touchdowns. And the defense had transformed into a suffocating unit, yielding just 56 points in four playoff victories.Osi Umenyiora overcame injuries — he missed seven games due to right knee surgery in training camp and a high-ankle sprain in late November — to record two sacks in the regular-season finale and then 3.5 in the postseason.Tuck, who was limited by a number of injuries the entire season, registered a sack in each of the last two regular-season games and then 3.5 in the playoffs.The Giants won those final two regular-season games and then beat Atlanta in the first round of the playoffs , but there was little optimism outside the team that they would make a deep postseason run. Not with 15-1 Green Bay waiting at Lambeau. And not with 13-3 San Francisco waiting after that. And both had beaten the Giants in the regular season.But Rolle believed. And Tuck believed. And so did Jason Pierre-Paul — who earned All-Pro honors with 16.5 sacks in 2011.“We’re going to win,” the defensive end said, predicting a victory over the Giants’ divisional round opponent, the Packers, after beating Atlanta. “A hundred percent we’re going to win.”Why?“Because we’re the best,” he said.Aaron Rodgers and Alex Smith would learn that soon enough. And then Tom Brady would learn it all over again in Super Bowl XLVI. A Date To Remember is an occasional series Big Blue View will be running through the Super Bowl, highlighting the glory of the Giants’ past and celebrating the biggest playoff wins in franchise history. The Circus InterceptionJan. 7, 2001NFC Divisional round gameGiants 20, Eagles 10Some called it The Cartwheel Interception.Others called it The Juggle.Whatever you label it, the circus interception was spectacular, bordering on unbelievable.The Giants held a 10-0 lead late in the first half of their NFC divisional round game with the archival Philadelphia Eagles at Giants Stadium. Then came the play everyone in America would be talking about the next morning.Jason Sehorn dove in front of Torrance Small, stretching out for a Donovan McNabb pass he tried to cradle in his arms. The ball squirted out of his grasp as he rolled onto his back. So Sehorn batted it up while lying on turf, pivoted onto one knee and snatched it near his shoulders. He then popped to his feet and sprinted 32 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown.Game over.Somehow, the play has largely been forgotten in the Giants’ rich lore, despite coach Jim Fassel calling it the best interception he had ever seen.It was too momentous a play — and Sehorn was too good a player — to be relegated to the overlooked Rhett Ellison Jersey , dusty archives of franchise history.And the 2000 team (12-4 in the regular season) accomplished too much, even if it was the only squad in franchise history to lose a Super Bowl.But first came the Giants’ 20-10 win — their ninth consecutive victory over the Eagles.And the Giants did it without scoring an offensive touchdown.They jumped out to a 7-0 lead when rookie Ron Dixon returned the opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown. The lead increased to 10 after a Brad Daluiso 37-yard field goal.Then came Sehorn’s heroics. He was part of a defense that limited Philadelphia to just 186 total yards and a garbage-time touchdown just before the two-minute warning.Sehorn’s name comes up infrequently, if at all, as the second decade of the 21st century nears an end.But blessed with 4.3 speed, he collected 19 interceptions and four defensive touchdowns in a 10-year career, nine of which were spent with the Giants. He intercepted 11 passes and forced seven fumbles combined in 1996 and 1997, building a reputation as one of the NFC’s best cornerbacks despite never receiving an invitation to the Pro Bowl.He missed the entire 1998 season after tearing the ACL and MCL in his knee in a preseason game and then missed six games in 1999, dampening his candidacy.A week after beating the Eagles, the Giants thoroughly dominated the Minnesota Vikings, 41-0. Sehorn held Hall of Famer Randy Moss to only two receptions for 18 yards.Then the Giants headed to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa for Super Bowl XXXV. Kerry Collins and Co. ran into the Baltimore Ravens and its all-time defense, headlined by Ray Lewis and Rod Woodson.But it was still a season worth remembering.
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