Giants co-owner Steve Tisch believes a 29-14 victory over the Jets in Week 16 galvanized his team and changed the course of the season.
"It was kind of like a mini Super Bowl and it was a very important game," Tisch told reporters Friday. "There was a lot more at stake than just a regular-season game against the Jets. New York City, pride, Jets fans, Giants fans, two different cultures, two different mythologies.
"It was their home game so it added just an extra level of 'We did it, we're good, we're moving on, let's go.'"
The Giants had lost five of their previous six heading into that game, but will take a three-game winning streak into their NFC divisional playoff matchup with the 15-1 Packers on Sunday in Green Bay.
Tisch wasn’t about to revel in the fact that the Jets missed out on the postseason.
"No, the Jets aren't the enemy," Tisch said. "We're partners in this stadium, we are co-hosting a Super Bowl in 2014, we both have great football teams, great coaching, great players. A fan base that is divided amongst Jets fans and Giants fans. They're our partners, not our enemies.
"I'm thrilled where we are right now, where we find ourselves on the eve of traveling to Green Bay. The other seven teams that are in the playoffs this weekend, I'm very happy for. It's going to be great. This is a great weekend for football fans and for football players and for the eight teams at this stage of the playoffs. And I'm thrilled for those of us that get to play this weekend."
Tisch sees a lot of similarities in this team and the one that shocked the world and won the franchise's third Super Bowl title in 2007.
"I do because it's the same leadership," he said. "I think coach [Tom] Coughlin has prepared this team for the Packers game. I can't talk about [it] beyond the Packers because I just don't want to go there, but I think we're ready for Green Bay Sunday afternoon and this is a very well-coached, well-prepared, very focused, extremely united team."
He didn't forget about quarterback Eli Manning, who broke the NFL record for fourth-quarter touchdown passes (15) and threw for the sixth-most yards in league history (4,933) during the regular season. He also has a Super Bowl MVP on his résumé, which doesn't hurt.
"I have tremendous confidence in Eli, week in, week out," Tisch said. "Preseason, regular season, postseason. Knowing Eli does have the experience and that Eli has a great capacity to not get frustrated and to not get flustered, and we've seen that for the last couple seasons. How focused he is.
"He's finding his receivers and he's playing with a tremendous level of confidence. I'm thrilled that he’s our guy and that he's our quarterback and he's taken us into the playoffs this weekend, and hopefully beyond."