Christie comes through in the clutch

IRVING, Tex. – It wouldn't have been all that surprising if no-nonsense coach Tom Coughlin had released Steve Christie following his three-miss afternoon in Green Bay. However, since the Giants beat the Packers and Christie was an accomplished kicker that's been around the block, Coughlin decided to keep the 15-year vet around.

Was that ever a smart move. Christie nailed all four of his field goal tries and was as much a reason for New York's huge victory in Dallas as Tiki Barber, Kurt Warner and the Giants defense.

"Steve Christie played an outstanding game," Coughlin said afterward. "I thought Steve deserved another opportunity."

He delivered in a big way. He was true on kicks from 31, 51, 47 and 26 yards, as well as two PATs, giving New York 14 of its 26 points. Christie outscored the entire Cowboys club himself.

"I didn't have a doubt he'd bounce back," holder Jeff Feagles said. "He's a veteran, he's been around 15 years. He knows how to come back from adversity."

Christie felt as if he had no choice.

"It was a great feeling, I just had to fight through it," he said. "It was especially hard because I'm new. I don't want to let everyone down. I don't even know anybody."

Despite that, Christie said his teammates and coaches were very supportive. "Coach said to just work on hitting the ball solid," Christie said. "Get over it, put it behind you and don't worry about it."

He did just that.

"I had a great week of preparation and it paid off," he said.

Despite the length and importance of the 51-yarder that drew New York within 10-6 heading into halftime, no kick carried more pressure than his first try, a 31-yarder that snapped his skid of three misses in a row.

"To get that first one under his belt was big," Feagles said. "It took the weight of the world off his shoulders."

"It was good to get one even though it was a short one," Christie stated.

With all his confidence back, Christie added two fourth-quarter FGs to seal the deal for New York.

Obviously, Feagles was happy to see his fellow kicker succeed. "He was down in the dumps all week," he said. "I'm proud of him the way he bounced back."

"For him to come in and kick that way was impressive," Michael Strahan said. "I don't know if I could have done that with all the pressure he was under. Experience obviously does matter."


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