Jacobs, Bradshaw give Giants 20-17 lead over Packers after third Print
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Sunday, 20 January 2008 16:23
NFL Headline News

 GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw ran for touchdowns and the New York Giants took a 20-17 lead over the Green Bay Packers with a quarter remaining in a frigid NFC championship game Sunday night.
Bradshaw's touchdown capped a quick, 57-yard drive highlighted by Eli Manning's 23-yard pass to Amani Toomer, who stretched out and cradled the pass on the sideline, keeping his feet inbounds.
Bradshaw scored from the 4 with right tackle Kareem McKenzie pulling him in as the Giants sought to return to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2001.
The Giants' quick answer came after Favre's second touchdown pass, a 12-yard flick in the corner of the end zone to tight end Donald Lee.
New York hurt itself after taking a 13-10 lead off Jacobs' touchdown inside the 1 by letting Tramon Williams return the kickoff 49 yards to the New York 39.
Then cornerback Sam Madison and running back Vernand Morency got tangled up and the officials flagged Madison for unnecessary roughness after Favre's third-down pass to Donald Driver left the Packers 5 yards short.
With a new set of downs, Favre, looking to return to the Super Bowl for the first time in 10 years, found Lee open to make it 17-13.
New York used up a large portion of the third quarter on its first drive, which lasted 7:04 and included four defensive penalties before Jacobs found the end zone. He had 18 carries for 56 yards after three quarters.
The miscues came at the worst times for the Packers.
Al Harris intercepted a pass from Manning on third down, but was flagged for throwing Plaxico Burress to the ground. Packers safety Nick Collins also took a roughing-the-passer penalty on another third down play.
Those extra chances gave Manning a chance to find Burress for an 18-yard catch, one of a career-tying 10 receptions he already had by the end of the third quarter, to move to the Packers 11. Jacobs fumbled at the 1, but tight end Kevin Boss recovered to set up first-and-goal.
The Packers were then flagged on consecutive plays for offsides before Jacobs scored easily and mocked the crowd by moving toward them for a Lambeau Leap he didn't attempt.
Green Bay built a 10-6 halftime lead off a 90-yard touchdown pass from Favre to Driver and a 36-yard field goal by rookie Mason Crosby.
Favre, the three-time MVP, hadn't done much until he hooked up with Driver down the right sideline. The completion came one play after Koren Robinson failed to cleanly catch a kickoff and needed Williams to cover up the loose ball at the Green Bay 10.
On the scoring play, Favre made a quick fake on both a short pass and a draw before spotting Driver open behind Giants cornerback Corey Webster, who missed jamming Driver. It was the longest passing play in Green Bay playoff history and Driver's first TD catch since Week 3. Crosby added his field goal with 1:30 left in the half.
New York got two field goals by Lawrence Tynes, from 29 yards and 37 yards, as the Giants built an early lead.
With the gametime temperature at 1 below zero with a wind chill of 23-below and dropping, the Giants could have had a much bigger lead early after going 14 plays and 71 yards on their first possession, taking over half the first quarter.
But New York twice squandered red zone opportunities despite big catches from Burress, who had his way with the Packers cornerbacks and jawed with their teammates on the sideline nearly every chance he got.
Still, the Giants couldn't make it count until the second half.
With the cold, heaters were used under the Lambeau Field tarp up until two hours before kickoff, but the harsh conditions seemed to affect both teams and most players sprinted to the locker rooms at halftime and huddled around large portable heaters at each end of the benches.
The winner goes to the Super Bowl in Glendale, Ariz. on Feb. 3, against the New England Patriots, who beat San Diego 21-12 earlier Sunday.
 

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