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Playoff experience

One issue that has not been talked much about for the upcoming game between the Giants and the Forty Niners is simply this, just how much playoff experience do these teams have and does it matter if they do. As far as I’m concerned it does matter, it matters a lot, this is a place the Giants have been before. Many of the players who were on the 2008 Super Bowl winning team are still on the roster and play important roles as starters. Just how much playoff off experience do the Niners have? Why does it matter someone might ask, during these types of games it’s do or die, there is no next week. All season long subconsciously you know there is a game next week and if the team loses there will be another one to play. Not so in the playoffs, for someone who has little to no experience it’s possible they cannot make that connection no matter how hard they try. Nothing beats the experience of both winning and losing in the playoffs, they both can be used for motivation.

You know the feeling you get when you win, many times that works against a team and makes them complacent if they win a Super Bowl, many times it makes them hungry to win another one. With the Giants that was long enough ago to not have a negative effect on them. Losing in the playoffs brings a frustration and a hunger to work harder and go that extra distance to win the next time they get there, the Giants are there. Michael Strahan knew the feeling of losing a Super Bowl and the 2007 season being his last in the NFL wanted that ring. He showed the other Giants players what it will take to win and they did. He led them to an emotional intensity that you see very rarely in sports or life for that matter. Do the Niners have a player like that? These Giants also know the feeling of losing in the playoffs and I know that it has left a sour taste in their mouths. Especially players like Eli Manning and Antre Rolle, Tuck, Osi, Kiwi, Snee and the list goes on, because those players are winners. Do the Niners have players who have both tasted victory and defeat? No, this is their first taste of the playoffs.

The only player I could find who has some playoff experience might be the most important player on the Forty Niner roster for this game, David Akers the Forty Niners kicker. This might very well end up as people are saying a very low scoring game. A game like that means it could come down to a last minute field goal. If a scenario like that does happen who has the advantage? Even though I am a Giants fan I have to say I have little confidence in Tynes. Akers is the better and more consistent kicker, but in his defense Tynes does have playoff experience. He has been in a lot of high pressure situations, but so has Akers with the Eagles. In this very important area it is the Forty Niners who have a huge advantage.

Other than Akers does any Forty Niner have playoff experience? Do they have a Michael Strahan who had the bad taste of a Super Bowl loss in his mouth stuck between those two front teeth? No they don’t. They do not have that veteran leadership who can show the younger players what it takes. The thing that I will never forget was how the Giants defense played like nothing else mattered, win or die, as though they were in an actual battle in a real war. It was an amazing display of pushing the envelope of what is humanly possible. That’s what made that game so amazing, it was not only the catch and Eli getting away from the rush but how the Giants outplayed what I feel was a better team. The Giants still have many of those players on the team, they did it, they know what it takes, the question is can they dig down deep and come up with another game like that. We know for sure the Forty Niners have never done that and do not know where it is within them to dig from. But as competitors like the Giants did that day, they too might find that place few people know about or ever had to tap into.

The last time the Forty Niners were in the playoff was the 2002-2003 season and they did beat the Giants. I think it’s possible actually one player is still on the team, the long snapper but I am not sure he was in that game. The Forty Niners are a great team and already beat the Giants this season by seven points. This is the playoffs, everything that happened before means nothing, it’s a new season. In this case it’s the Giants who have the upper hand against the Niners, the Giants are the more experienced team, they are the team who knows what it takes to win in the playoffs and win a super bowl. This is new for the Forty Niners, this is unknown waters to them, the pressure is on them not the Giants, this is where the Giants have already proven that they have what it takes to win. When it’s in the last few minutes and the game is close, all the players are tired and hurt and feel like they have nothing left. Which team has done it before and reached into themselves to find that extra something to win the game. The Giants have proved themselves in these situations on the BIG stage, the Niners have not, maybe not yet. I think the Giants win by 3 points.

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4 Responses to “Playoff experience”

  1. Jason C. says:

    To save you time from having to address people saying “well the 49ers beat the Saints and they have a lot of playoff experience”, well they did, but they also have a pretty long history of losing on the road in the playoffs, as in 0-3 under that soft, screen pass flinging, dome resident known as Drew Brees.
    As I stated earlier the only experience I worry about is the Giants have not done a good job of winning low scoring games this year, and this might be what they find themselves in. However if the same tackling from last week shows up for the 49ers we should be fine. I’m sticking with 31-16 unless something sways me. (I also like NE in a rout).

    • Big Daddy says:

      I think you missed my point. This is like another season and has little to do with the regular season. I’m talking about the psychology of it all. The Giants are much more battle hardened, this is unknown territory for the Niners.

      Yes they beat the Saints, one game, one playoff game. Does that really count compared to what the Giants did over the last how many years. One game against how many games? Not to mention so many of the players are still on the team and starting from even before the Super Bowl win. It’s a huge advantage.

      And the Saints just hired Spags, so they knew why they lost. I’m sure if he didn’t leave their DC was going anyway.

      Watch out for the Saints next year with Spags. He has something to prove and so do they, like the Giants do now. Fewell has a history of being passed over, nothing better than a Super Bowl to get that Head Coaching job he desires as Spags did before him.

      It’s a whole different mentality going into this game from the Giants and the Niners. That’s my point, which mentality will take you that extra step. It’s an interesting angle to look for. This also goes for the head coaches, like who blinks first, there is so much more to this match up, psychologically, strategically, statistically and so on.

  2. BOOGUMBA says:

    playoff exp has nothing to do with what is going to take place tommrow. san fran will win this gave via field goals. Giants will lose via turnovers. They will give san fran a run for there money defence wise but they cant stop akers, NO ONE CAN. Anyone who thinks this game is going to have a team score in the 30s is out of there mind.

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