Big Boley: Giants no longer hamstrung with healthy LB

The Giants are the "hot" team, a reason no one would be surprised if they beat the 49ers in Sunday's NFC Championship Game in San Francisco.

It's probably no coincidence that the Giants' fiery play over the last month coincided with linebacker Michael Boley's return to the field from a pulled hamstring, coincidently suffered against the 49ers in Week 10, a 27-20 loss in which New York allowed two fourth-quarter touchdowns with Boley on the sideline. He missed the next two games -- losses to Philadelphia and New Orleans -- and returned in Week 13, but admittedly was only "70 percent" in a span of three games, including two more losses.

Keep an eye out for X-Factors

Each Thursday at NFL.com/Chevy, former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks looks at under-the-radar players who could have a major impact in games. More ...

Since he's been 100 percent, the Giants have won four straight, including Sunday in the divisional round against the Packers, a game in which he played a significant role in the outcome.

Boley had two sacks of quarterback Aaron Rodgers, performing the championship-belt "dance" after each one that the Packers quarterback made famous. He also deflected a pass that teammate Deon Grant intercepted late in the game.

"He did an awful lot of things," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said on Monday. "He rushed the passer with the two sacks, he had hits on the quarterback, he was very physical in his tackling and he covered well. He displayed a lot of the things that he can do, and when he is on the field we have a lot more options than we have when he is not."

Now he gets a chance to play the 49ers again, this time for all the NFC marbles.

"I guess going back up there could be a little extra incentive because I didn't finish the first one," he said.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
Gamepass_vert_web_r

See all the Action

Replay every game all season.