Wow.... What a game! Even people that don't care about football were standing and cheering as the game was winding down. Watching the final 3 or 4 drives were so exciting, I can't remember a time when I cheered that much for a game that I really had no rooting interest in. Deep down I was pulling for the Packers, mainly so we could see Favre vs Brady in the Super Bowl, but I really could have cared less. There were a ton of exciting plays, especially in the 4th quarter. Plays like when Favre through an interception that was picked off by McQuarters but then fumbled and recovered by a big 'ol offensive lineman. Can you imagine how excited John Madden or Dan Dierdorf would have been if they had been announcing this game when that happened? Then how about with 2:30 to go in the game the Giants muffed the punt, almost turned the ball over, 2 different Packers had a chance to fall on it.... we were literally jumping out of our couches. Those are times when you know you are witnessing something special. It was exciting and I'm sure it was the same for anybody reading this. Instant Classic all over this one.
Now, as for the officiating. Terry McAuley and crew, in my opinion, did a much worse job than Triplette's crew did during the first game of the day. First of all there were 13 total penalties in this game vs only a total of 3 during the first game. Out of the 13, they broke down like this:
NYG - 6-50
GB - 7-37
Now, the false starts and offsides are obvious and a ref has to make those calls. There were a few calls, however that I thought were a little questionable. For example, with 2:15 to go in the 4th quarter and the game tied at 20, Ahmad Bradshaw broke through the Packers secondary and scampered his way all the way to the endzone. The Giants fans we were watching it with were going crazy and thought they had just sealed the deal. Then all of a sudden, the little yellow "flag" symbol popped up on the screen. The Packers fans of course start shouting FLAG! FLAG! and next thing you see is McAuley giving us the "Holding... on the offense" signal. Upon watching the replay - I thought it was very questionable, especially considering it came on such a crucial play during the game. I don't think Triplette's crew makes that call.
Overall, I thought most calls went the Packers way. The 7 penalties against them is a little deceiving considering that 2 of them were for 0 yards because there were back to back offsides on Green Bay at the 1 yard line. One call that Packer fans could possibly complain about would have been the illegal hands to face call on Al Harris which was called after he intercepted an Eli Manning pass early in the 3rd quarter. Even though Harris did smack Burress in the face, both those players were playing pretty rough all night. Burress was never called for anything, and Harris was called for 2 penalties even though they were evenly smacking each other around. In the end though, neither team can really complain about the officiating, because I thought they pretty much evened themselves out.
The complete breakdown of calls was:
8:16 C Williams - Encroachment, 6 yards
13:33 - A Harris, Illegal use of the hands, Declined
13:00 - M Hedgecock - False Start, 5 yards
5:44 - D Diehl, Offensive Holding, 8 yards
4:40 - Illegal Shift, Declined
3:41 - M Johnson, Illegal Contact, 5 yards
12:51 - A Harris, Illegal Contact, 5 yards (nullified interception)
11:17 - N Collins, Roughing the Passer, 15 yards
8:24 - C Williams, Defensive Offsides, 0 yards (ball at 1 yd line)
8:19 - C Williams, Defensive Offsides, 0 yards (ball at 1 yd line)
5:40 - S Madison, Unnecessary Roughness, 12 yards
8:12 - C Woodson, Defensive Pass Interference, 6 yards
2:44 - C Clifton, False Start, 5 yards
9:04 - A Toomer, Offensive Pass Interference, 10 yards
2:15 - C Snee, Offensive Holding, 10 yards (nullified touchdown)