Giants Punt Return Game in Very Good Hands

R-dub back deep – You all certainly remember Phil McConkey, right? Well, you can consider R.W McQuarters the 2008 version. Now that Domenik Hixon has been inserted into the starting lineup for Plaxico Burress, Tom Coughlin has decided that McQuarters is the safest option back there.

No, he's certainly not the most dangerous. If TC wanted to go that route, he could have Ahmad Bradshaw, Sinorice Moss or even Mario Manningham returning punts. But in the late season and now postseason, there's nothing more important to Coughlin – and the other 11 coaches still alive – than protecting the ball. So, while we're all moaning and groaning at the minute returns provided by McQuarters, let's just be glad that you can count on him to hold onto the ball. That's really all that matters at this point. Yes, he only gained a grand total of 11 yards on three punt returns in Minnesota. But we all know that the catch is the most important part of the return.

On the bright side, we finally saw a little spark out of Bradshaw on kickoff returns. One of the biggest surprises this season has been his inability to break anything. He was ever so dangerous as a rookie, both as a running back and a returner, and unfortunately we haven't seen too much of that in '08. But when he ripped off that 58-yard runback against the Vikings, Giants players, coaches and fans everywhere had to be smiling. An added jolt to the kickoff return game – while the punt return unit remains in McQuarters' very steady hands – is a great way to enter the postseason.

Class move – Did you expect anything different from Eli Manning? With C Shaun O'Hara and RG Chris Snee already voted in to play in the Pro Bowl on Feb. 8, Manning let the rest of his starting offensive line know that they'll be going as well – with their wives – thanks to him. Manning said he plans to pay the way to Hawaii for RT Kareem McKenzie, LG Rich Seubert and LT David Diehl. It's not like any of them couldn't afford their own trip to Honolulu, but it sure was a very nice gesture on Manning's part, which was hardly surprising.

Oh, happy day – Could you have asked for more last Sunday than getting to watch both the Cowboys and Jets simply implode with their entire season on the line? All the Cowboys had to do was win one of their final two games. Instead, they were embarrassed by the Ravens in their Texas Stadium finale and then absolutely crushed by the red-hot Eagles with all the playoff marbles on the line. How hilarious.

As for the Jets, sure it ended up that they wouldn't have gotten in regardless of whether they won or not. But they certainly didn't know that as Brett Favre was throwing five-yard flat patterns only four yards and right into the opposing defender's arms. The Jets, just like the Cowboys, totally wilted with the playoffs in sight. And with the Giants already all locked up as the NFC's top seed, nothing could have been more enjoyable to watch.

It's time – We've been nothing but impressed by Brett Favre throughout his whole Hall-of-Fame career. But now there's no doubt that it's time. We pleaded with Favre in this very space last offseason to just go away. Now, he really needs to just go away. We'll give it to him. He did a much better job in New York than expected, even though the crash landing since they knocked off the previously-unbeaten Titans has been of epic proportions. And he most definitely put the Jets back on the NFL map. But it's plain to see that the magic is gone. Please, Brett, do us all the favor and call it quits – and stick to it this time. You're too good to continue to drag yourself – and NFL fans – through the mud any longer. We would all be best-served if you just let the five-year Canton clock start ticking immediately.

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