Justin Tuck fires back at Packers

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews says the New York Giants didn't beat his team, but rather the Packers beat themselves in their playoff meeting last year.

When told about that comment, defensive end Justin Tuck said he thanks Matthews for the gift.

"Thank you for giving us the game, Clay," Tuck deadpanned. "I appreciate it a lot."

"Did they play their best ball?" Tuck continued. "I don't know. But we won the football game. I don't think they gave us anything."

Matthews told Yahoo! Sports that the Packers "picked the most inopportune time to play our worst ball."

"The fact is, (the Giants) didn't beat us; we beat ourselves," Matthews said to Yahoo! Sports. "We need to play our best ball when it counts. This year, I expect us to be right back where we should be."

The Giants stunned the Packers 37-20 in the NFC divisional round last postseason in Green Bay on the way to their Super Bowl win. They nearly upset the Packers during the regular season before dropping a 38-35 loss. Tuck agrees with Matthews that teams have to play their best at the right time. But he said he feels the Giants did just that at Green Bay.

"When they fumbled the ball, I think it was us that stripped it out," Tuck explained of a key play during the playoff win at Green Bay. "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."

Despite winning their final six games in a row and the Super Bowl, the Giants have taken notice of those who doubt the defending world champs.

The Giants have mentioned how some have picked the Dallas Cowboys or Philadelphia Eagles to win the NFC East and how there are some who believe the Giants got lucky and hot at the right time.

"Who cares," Tuck said when asked if he finds it comical how some are doubting the Giants this season. "I don't find it comical. I find it somewhat depressing. We lost games last year where luckily for us we got the opportunity to play the next week.

"It is football, it is a funny game. Talk is cheap. Play the game. We will see Green Bay again this year so we will see who lays down that week."

The Giants are scheduled to host the Packers on Nov. 25 at 8:20 p.m. ET.