Justin Tuck had a little trouble Sunday night before finding his intended Gatorade target— Tom Coughlin— after the New York Giants defeated the Dallas Cowboys, 31-14— but it sounds like the Giants defensive end plans on dumping a cooler of the juice on his head coach after the Super Bowl.
"We're capable of winning the Super Bowl," said Tuck after the Giants clinched their first playoff spot since 2008.
Tuck finally did douse Coughlin with the Gatorade— with a little help from the coach's son-in-law Chris Snee—after the Giants handily beat the Cowboys at MetLife Stadium.
Tuck's optimism is not unfounded. After a lackluster performance against the Washington Redskins, the G-Men had relatively easy wins against two bitter rivals— the Cowboys and New York Jets.
The Giants defensive line is healthy for the first time this season and sacked Tony Romo six times and chased him all over the field.
Last week against the Jets, the Giants got to Mark Sanchez five times and forced three interceptions.
The Giants (9-7) run to the Super Bowl is a marathon and kicks off next Sunday in a wild card game against the Atlanta Falcons (10-6) at MetLife Stadium.
The Falcons might prove to be a bigger challenge than either the Cowboys or Jets. Dallas came to New Jersey with Romo and his bruised throwing hand and the Jets were there with Sanchez and his black and blue ego.
The Giants now face a formidable opponent with another Ryan on their side.
After beating loudmouths Rex and Rob, they will face Matt Ryan— a quarterback who does his talking on the field.
Combine Atlanta's Ryan with running back Michael Turner, receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White and veteran Tight-end Tony Gonzalez and you have a multi-faceted offense that can run up the score.
Let's play devil's advocate and assume the Giants do beat the Falcons and the New Orleans Saints defeat the Detroit Lions, then they will have to play the Green Bay Packer at Lambeau Field.
The Giants almost beat the Packers in a 38-35 shoot-out on Dec. 4 at MetLife Stadium and did beat the Pack in the NFC Championship game in Green Bay on their run to their 2008 Super Bowl title.
Tuck isn't the only Giants player sipping the Gatorade.
"I think we're in the perfect position," said linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka. " We didn't get here the way that we wanted to, but regardless of what happened during the season, we're in the playoffs, we won our division, we have a chance at the Super Bowl."
The Giants are the first NFC East champion to finish the regular season with less than 10 wins but in 2007 no one gave New York any chance of making the Super Bowl— never mind beating the undefeated— and 12-point favorites— New England Patriots.
Tuck, who has battled through a series of injuries throughout the season, says he is healthy now and—combined with Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul— give the Giants the best pass-rushing trio in the NFL.
Never one to be left out of the verbal mix, Giants running back Brandon Jacobs backed Tuck's bravado.
"I wouldn't want to face the New York Giants right now," said Jacobs. "It's going to be tough to beat us in the playoffs."