Giants not picky about who they will face

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By ASSOCIATED PRESS in East Rutherford, New Jersey

At least now the New York Giants don’t have to root for the Dal­las Cow­boys.

Af­ter Tampa Bay lost to New Or­leans on Satur­day, the Giants ad­vanced to the play­offs. Had the Buc­ca­neers won, the Giants would have needed their archri­val from Dal­las to beat Detroit on Mon­day night to se­cure a post­sea­son berth.

In­stead, New York (10-5) is in the play­offs for the first time since 2011, when it won the Su­per Bowl. The Giants must wait un­til af­ter the reg­u­lar sea­son fi­nales to find out where they will head on Jan 7 or 8 for a wild-card game.

“There is a process in pro­gress­ing to your ul­ti­mate ob­jec­tive,” said coach Ben McAdoo, who re­placed Tom Cough­lin this year.

“This is the next step in the process. But each step re­quires fo­cus on the task at hand, and our fo­cus right now is on learn­ing from Thurs­day night’s (loss at Philadel­phia) and mov­ing on and get­ting bet­ter.”

This will be the Giants’ 32nd post­sea­son ap­pear­ance, ty­ing them with Dal­las for the most in NFL his­tory. The Pack­ers will also par­tic­i­pate in their 32nd post­sea­son should they qual­ify.

New York could face Green Bay, which it lost to on Oct 9, or Detroit, which it beat on Dec 18. It could also be at At­lanta or Seat­tle.

The Giants need their of­fense to come alive. Quar­ter­back Eli Man­ning has been in­con­sis­tent, of­ten res­cued by the su­per pass-catch­ing skills of Odell Beck­ham. New York’s at­tack has im­proved re­cently, but it was so weak for much of the sched­ule that it had nowhere else to go but up.

The of­fen­sive line is the weak­est link, forc­ing Man­ning to of­ten throw be­fore he’s set.

But as in their 2007 and 2011 cham­pi­onship sea­sons, the Giants have de­vel­oped a dy­namic pass rush, even with­out star DE Ja­son Pierre-Paul.

Their sec­ondary, a ques­tion mark when the sea­son be­gan, has be­come a strength as safety Lan­don Collins blos­somed into a Pro Bowler and cor­ner­backs Janoris Jenk­ins and Do­minique Rodgers-Cro­mar­tie have per­formed well.

The Giants cer­tainly won’t fear the Cow­boys, whose only two losses this sea­son were against New York. But they haven’t been much of a road team, go­ing 3-4, with one vic­tory a “home game” for the Rams in Lon­don.

And bar­ring a bevy of up­sets, they won’t be play­ing any post­sea­son games at MetLife Sta­dium as the No 5 seed in the NFC.

In wild-card matches, the Giants are 6-4. Two of those wins came in their most re­cent Su­per Bowl years.

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