|Giants CB Webster gets redemption, too, with overtime interception|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 20 January 2008 23:40|
Webster, who was beaten badly on a 90-yard touchdown play in the second quarter from Brett Favre to Donald Driver, made amends in overtime with an interception to set up Lawrence Tynes' game-winning kick as the Giants beat the Packers 23-20 on Sunday night in the NFC championship game.
Tynes had missed two field-goal attempts in the final 6:49 of regulation that sent the game into overtime before hitting a 47-yarder. Webster stepped in front of Favre's pass to Driver on the second play from scrimmage, setting up Tynes' kick four plays later.
``I kind of figure that they would be looking to go to him,'' Webster said. ``I got a good jam on him at the line of scrimmage and then I was able to jump the route.''
Favre said that Driver ran a shake route, and his favorite target had slipped by Webster to the outside.
``I just didn't get it out far enough, it's too bad,'' Favre said.
Webster, a third-year cornerback, had missed a jam on Driver earlier in the game and left the Packers' top receiving threat wide open downfield after Favre first faked a short pass then a draw play.
Favre fired deep down the right sideline, and Driver made the catch in stride. From there, it was a foot race as Driver outran Webster and New York safeties James Butler and Gibril Wilson for a 90-yard effort, the longest passing play in Green Bay playoff history and Driver's first TD catch since Week 3.
But Webster rebounded in a big way.
``I've been trying to use each game as a stepping stone,'' Webster said. ``As a team, we have been just grinding it out.''
DISAPPEARING RECEIVERS: Forget five wide receivers, Favre and the Packers failed to complete passes to more than three receivers on Sunday night.
Driver finished with five catches for 141 yards, but 90 yards came on a touchdown toss from Favre and 20 more came on one play in a drive that set up a field goal to give the Packers a 10-6 halftime lead. Greg Jennings also had a catch for 14 yards in the first half.
After the half, Driver managed just three catches for 31 yards, while Jennings had none. Rookie James Jones, the third receiver, was held without a reception for the game.
Only Koren Robinson had catches among Packers' wide receivers with four receptions for 16 yards as Green Bay went 1-for-10 on third down.
``They had a good mix, they're a good defensive football team,'' Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said. ``We didn't have a very good rhythm or tempo out there. Part of it is obviously our execution, again, part of it is you have to credit the Giants.''
WICKED WEATHER: The temperatures kept dropping in Green Bay from the start in the third-coldest game in NFL history, behind the 1967 Ice Bowl and the 1981 AFC championship game.
Kickoff temperature was 1 below with a wind chill of 23 below zero. It fell to 3 below as the game wore on and players huddled around two heaters that sat at both ends of the benches.
``I don't know what anybody else says, that was cold out there,'' Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce said. ``We didn't focus on that. We had a game to play and guys made up their minds with regard to the weather, regardless of the score and regardless of what was going on, we were going to come away with a win.''
A little more than a dozen fans were treated for minor cold-related issues, Packers officials said.
GRANT SILENCED: Ryan Grant never got going against his former team, and now the Packers' running back will watch the New York Giants represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
Grant, who emerged midway through the season for Green Bay, had 29 yards on 13 carries and was never a factor in the Packers' 23-20 overtime loss to the Giants.
``They played better than us. They executed better than us. We just didn't get it going. We went out there with a motto, 'Let's take it.' When you get an opportunity, you've got to take advantage. We didn't do that,'' Grant said.
Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce said they took away the lanes by being physical.
``We called it the Great Wall of China. Everybody builds that wall and don't let them cross that line, and I think we did a good job with it,'' Pierce said. ``We tried to make them one dimensional.''
Grant said the run defense did a good job of clogging his cut-back lanes.
``To lose like that, it hurts,'' Grant said.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said the offensive line didn't do a good enough job knocking the Giants' defensive line off the ball. He also blamed himself for not sticking with the run in his play-calling.
The Giants traded Grant to the Packers for a sixth-round draft pick a week before the start of the season, and were worried the move was going to come back to haunt them in the playoffs.
They shut him down instead.
The Giants, who won their 10th straight road game, will go to Glendale, Ariz., to play in the Super Bowl in a rematch with the Patriots.
``Ten straight, looking for 11. Our next game is a road game, too,'' Pierce said. ``That's how we're treating it.''