By Sean Hartnett
» More Columns
SAN FRANCISCO — (WFAN) The New York Giants are heading to Indianapolis to face the New England Patriots in a Super Bowl re-match.
Lawrence Tynes’ 31-yard field goal sent Giants fans across the country into ecstatic celebrations. Here’s how the Giants’ amazing 20-17 NFC Championship victory happened:
Eli Manning fumbled and was stripped by Ray McDonald. Kareem McKenzie recovered the ball but the Giants were forced to punt.
Alex Smith connected with Vernon Davis who went untouched into the endzone on a 73-yard touchdown. Davis was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and the 49ers were forced to kick from their own 20.
Hakeem Nicks went down favoring his shoulder but was able to return. Brandon Jacobs frustrated Giants fans by once again failing to convert on a short yardage situation. The Giants elected to go for it on 4th and 1 but were unsuccessful after the chain gang determined that Jacobs was short.
David Baas had to leave the field and was replaced by Kevin Boothe at center. Baas later returned in the second quarter.
Eli Manning led an impressive drive 69-yard drive in the second quarter and found Bear Pascoe in the endzone on 2nd and goal. The game is now tied at 7-7.
Since the Davis touchdown, San Francisco has struggled making conversions on 3rd down. The sloppy field conditions appeared to be limiting the 49ers in their home stadium during the first half.
The Giants have sparkled on 3rd down situations compared to the 49ers during the first half. New York was 5-for-9 on 3rd down while San Francisco was a meager 0-for-4.
Victor Cruz made a number of important catches as the Giants tried for another touchdown before halftime. His 13-yard reception set up a successful 31-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes.
The Giants began the 3rd quarter ahead 10-7. Justin Tuck ran into 49ers’ kicker Andy Lee but San Francisco declined the penalty as the Giants were pinned at their own 7-yard line.
Vernon Davis again went untouched into the Giants’ endzone as he sprung a 28-yard touchdown. The 49ers went ahead 14-10.
San Francisco’s defense pressured and hurried Eli Manning throughout the third quarter. New York’s offensive linemen must protect Eli better in the fourth quarter.
Manning was pressured time after time, on third down situations. He almost threw an interception before the end of the third quarter. The 49ers’ Tarell Brown walked off under his own power after he collided with teammate Dashon Goldson.
New York punted to the 49ers before the third quarter ended. Thus far, the Giants have struggled to gain yards on the ground. Going into the 4th quarter, the Giants have only rushed for a total of 54 yards.
San Francisco kept pressuring Manning as the Giants’ offensive line continued to break down. The Giants punted were after to get the ball back after the ball went off the knee of Kyle Williams. Special teams stand-out Devin Thomas recovered.
On-field officials reviewed the call and the original ruling was overturned. The Giants took over on the 49ers’ 29-yard line.
New York’s success through the air continued as Eli Manning found Hakeem Nicks and Ahmad Bradshaw before Eli completed a 17-yard laser pass to Mario Manningham for the go-ahead TD. The Giants led 17-14 with 8:34 remaining in the 4th quarter.
David Akers hit a 25-yard field goal at 5:39 in the fourth quarter to even the contest at 17-17. The 49ers forced Manning to a three and out at 4:19.
The Giants’ defense returned the favor and forced San Francisco to punt. Manning continued to be pressured by the 49ers’ defense and was sacked back to his own 15-yard line.
New York faced a 3rd and long at the two-minute warning and Manning’s pass to Cruz fell incomplete. Steve Weatherford punted inside the 49ers’ 30-yard line.
The game became a defensive battle as the Giants held San Francisco to a quick 3 and out.
Eli Manning went to work and found Ahmad Bradshaw for 30 yards, bringing them nearer to field goal range. Manning again hooked-up with Bradshaw as the Giants marched closer but were forced to punt after Victor Cruz nearly pulled off an unbelievable catch.
A poor snap meant Weatherford’s punt was short and a good return gave the 49ers the ball at their own 36. Justin Tuck sacked Smith and San Francisco took one more shot before overtime with four seconds left in regulation. Smith completed a long pass but time expired and the game went to overtime.
New York called tails and won the coin toss. They received the ball to begin overtime. Akers kicked the ball into the endzone for a touchback and the Giants began on their own 20-yard line. Manning almost got intercepted by Carlos Rodgers on first down. Giants again were held to a 3 and out and Weatherford booted a 48-yard punt.
The defensive battle continued into overtime. Vernon Davis came just short of extending the 49ers’ drive but the Giants forced a 49ers’ punt. New York took over at their own 36-yard line.
Manning found Travis Beckum for a first down to begin the drive. Eli tried for a long pass that fell incomplete. Manning was sacked for a 6th time on third down, putting the Giants out of field goal range.
Kyle Williams fumbled on the punt return and New York’s Devin Thomas again recovered. Jacquian Williams forced the fumble to give the Giants a shot at winning.
Ahmad Bradshaw pushed the Giants forward and set-up a 31-yard attempt for Lawrence Tynes. Tynes hits the field goal, the Giants are going to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis!!!
What do you make of the Giants’ unbelievable overtime victory? Share your thoughts below and follow Sean here: @HartnettWFAN.