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Justin Tuck fires back at Clay Matthews for saying Packers ‘beat ourselves’

If the Packers played their best ball against the Giants in the playoffs last season, Clay Matthews thinks Green Bay would have won the game. That may be true, but that doesn’t mean New York didn’t earn the victory. On Tuesday, Matthews told Yahoo! Sports that the Packers “beat ourselves” and that it was not the Giants who beat them. It should come as absolutely no surprise that Justin Tuck disagrees with that assessment.

“Obviously you’d believe that success would breed reality, right?” Tuck said before practice Wednesday according to the NY Daily News. “I guess people love living in Fantasy Land and want to make excuses for the situation.

“Thank you for giving us the game, Clay. I appreciate it a lot. Did they play their best ball? I don’t know. But we won the football game. Talk is cheap. Play the game. We’ll see Green Bay again this year so we will see who lays down that week.”

While I have never been a big fan of Tuck and and his typical trash talk, I tend to agree with him in this situation. Any team could claim they are a better team that simply beat themselves. It’s a cop-out. Did the Packers play their best ball that day? No, but that doesn’t mean the Giants didn’t beat them. As Tuck went on to say, New York forced them into bad situations.

“When they fumbled the ball, I think it was us that stripped it out,” explained according to ESPNNewYork.com. “We sacked them. I think it was us who beat their O-linemen and got to (Aaron) Rodgers. So I don’t think they just Ole’d everything and gave us the game. I think they were trying to win.”

While the concept of winning vs. not losing is something that Tuck himself has talked about before, it’s not like the Giants were a fluke. They went on to overcome arguably the best defense in the NFL in beating the Niners and the best offense in beating the Patriots. Nothing was handed to New York. Matthews is simply making himself feel better about a tough loss.

Photo credit: Jim O’Connor-US PRESSWIRE

Justin Tuck says Eli Manning being ranked No. 31 on ‘Top 100′ list is a ‘joke’

Eli Manning is only 31 years old, but he has already won two Super Bowls and established himself as one of the most clutch players in the game. Last season, he threw for 29 touchdowns and nearly 5,000 yards. He has eclipsed the 4,000-yard passing mark in each of his last three seasons, yet for some reason Manning is not considered by many to be an elite NFL quarterback.

On the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2012 list, Eli ranks 31st. That places him behind quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. Depending on how the NFL determines their rankings, that seems a bit low. Justin Tuck thinks it’s laughable.

“That’s a joke,” Tuck said when asked about Manning’s ranking according to NFL.com. “No question he is top five. Hands down. Top five. You win the Super Bowl, you have the season he had, you are automatically top 10. But it’s how he did it, as far as the fourth-quarter comebacks, leading a team that really didn’t have a super, super star wide receiver at the beginning of the year. He made two guys in Hakeem (Nicks) and Victor (Cruz), he made those guys what they are now. I really feel as though he should have been a lot higher than he was.”

Hakeem Nicks may take offense to those comments, but that’s a discussion for another day. Personally I tend to agree with Tuck, who also pointed out that Peyton Manning is only 19 spots behind Eli despite not touching the field last season. What more does Eli have to do? The stats have been there and the hardware is certainly there.

Tuck is not the first person to call this year’s Top 100 list a joke, and he probably won’t be the last. There’s no pleasing everyone when something like that is assembled, but Eli has a pretty legitimate gripe.

Photo credit: THE STAR-LEDGER-US PRESSWIRE

Justin Tuck has an insanely protective new facemask (Picture)

Before long, Justin Tuck will be looking through a cage to try to see the football field in front of him. After he returned from a neck injury last season to help the Giants win a Super Bowl, Tuck had quite a few extra bars on his facemask to protect his neck from being jammed or poked at. The photo on the left that you see above shows Tuck’s facemask during the postseason last year. The photo on the right, which Paul Lukas of Uni Watch shared on Twitter, is supposedly the facemask that Tuck plans to wear this season. That should keep him safe.

If you ever combined this facemask with the chrome helmets Oregon wore during the Rose Bowl, we’d see running backs running the other way if they saw Tuck coming.

H/T Shutdown Corner
Photo credit: Jim O’Connor-US PRESSWIRE

Justin Tuck Calls Anonymous Jets Sources ‘Cowards’

It is not very often that I agree with Justin Tuck. Typically I’m annoyed by the fact that Tuck loves to flap his gums for no reason about a rival team or call opponents dirt bags, but there is always an exception.  In a tweet that he sent out on Wednesday, Tuck came up with the perfect word to describe the anonymous Jets sources who ripped Mark Sanchez to shreds in a recent NY Daily News article.

As we expressed on Wednesday, we tend to agree with Justin.  Playing in a place like New York is tough enough with the way the media jumps all over any opportunity to eat its own.  The aggressive media is something players and coaches have to learn to deal with when playing in a place like New York, Boston, or Philadelphia, but there’s no reason Sanchez should have to be blasted by teammates who don’t even have the guts to reveal themselves.

If someone within the Jets locker room has something to say to or about Sanchez, they should give him the respect of doing so to his face.  If they feel the need to express it by way of a newspaper article, they should at least have the courage to reveal their identity.  Whether you think Sanchez is the man for the job in New York or not, it is disgraceful to rip someone like that behind their back when things haven’t gone well.  The way Tuck described the so-called “sources” is the only way they deserve to be described.

Falcons on Being Called Dirt Bags: Maybe We Should Brand that Nickname

You didn’t expect the Falcons to care that the Giants and other teams have accused them of playing dirty, did you? If playing cheap has helped Atlanta get to the playoffs and kept their Super Bowl hopes alive, they aren’t going to stop now. Chances are Justin Tuck was just looking to work the refs when he called the Falcons offensive line a bunch of dirt bags earlier this week, but the birds aren’t letting it bother them.

“Maybe we should start branding this and make a profit in the New York market,” Falcons tackle Will Svitek joked according to the NY Daily News. “Maybe it’s an opportunity. Who knows (why Tuck said it)? We don’t get upset about it. We might joke about it, the whole dirt bag comment, but who knows? We’re always going to be there. We want them to know we’re there because if you don’t play to the whistle, they’re going to be taking shots. We don’t view it as cheap. We view it as physical. If that’s his point of view, so be it.”

Atlanta is not bothered by the accusations — nor should they be.  I’m not advocating dirty play if they have indeed been playing that way, but you don’t start worrying about your style of play when the playoffs start.

The Giants like to talk, so the Falcons would do well to just keep quiet and let them do their thing.  As cliche as it sounds, the games are won on the field.  The Giants like to try to win them during the week, too.

Justin Tuck on Falcons O-Line: Most People Would Call Them Dirt Bags

A number of defensive players have taken issue with the way the Falcons offensive linemen have played this season. Players from both the Packers and Lions accused the Falcons of dirty play earlier in the season. As the Giants prepare to take on Atlanta in the opening round of the playoffs this weekend, it should come as no surprise that Justin Tuck seized the opportunity to chime in on the topic on Monday.

“We know they have that quote unquote reputation,” Tuck said according to ESPNNewYork.com when asked about the Falcons offensive line on Monday. “But in a way it kind of is exciting. Most people, you would call them dirt bags. But it is what it is. We got to make sure we do our job and if we are doing our job well, then they will be upset and they will be trying to do things to get us off our game and we got to take that as a compliment. But in the same sense you got to protect yourself and hopefully the referees have 20-20 vision this week.”

You might remember when B.J. Raji accused the Falcons of foul play earlier in the season when he said they are “coached to play after the whistle.”  Ndamukong Suh (hilarious, right?) made a similar accusation after Detroit’s meeting with Atlanta.

While Atlanta has certainly built a reputation, this is the playoffs.  If there is stuff the refs have been letting go all season long, it’s highly unlikely they’ll start throwing unsportsmanlike conduct flags that will affect the outcome of the game in the postseason. Regardless, Tuck couldn’t go a week without being heard.  He ripped on the Cowboys last week and we all saw what happened in that game. Now is no time for the Giants captain to stop exercising his jaw.

Justin Tuck Says the Cowboys Should Never Have Been America’s Team

It has been quite some time since the Cowboys won a Super Bowl.  Dallas was once the powerhouse of the NFL, but they have had little success in the postseason over the past decade-plus.  The Cowboys’ success in the 1970s earned them a reputation as “America’s Team,” which was cemented when they won three Super Bowls in four years from 1992-1995.  However, Dallas has won two playoff games since 1996.  For that reason, Justin Tuck thinks this “America’s Team” stuff needs to stop.

“I don’t know if they ever deserved to be America’s Team,” Tuck said on Thursday according to the NY Daily News. “I don’t have a vote on that. The only people that it rubs the wrong way are the people who don’t root for them.”

If you ask DeMarcus Ware, Tuck is putting on an act and loves the Cowboys.  The thing about the Cowboys that ropes people in is that they are rarely horrible.  They may not have had much success in the postseason since the 90s, but they they’re typically in the hunt every year.

With his brand new stadium and flashy ways, Jerry Jones has been able to maintain much of the fan base he grew back in the Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin days.  That, and the fact that there was an NFL Films documentary in 1978 entitled “America’s Team.” If Tuck is determined to prove that people should no longer consider Dallas America’s Team, he can start by trying to embarrass them on Sunday.