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Giants gamers recall notorious ‘boat image’ forward of long-awaited return to NFL playoffs

Sometimes a photograph actually is value a thousand phrases. Even, after enduring a protracted playoff drought, a single picture continues to comply with the New York Giants – the notorious “boat” image.

Six years in the past, Sterling Shepard and then-fellow Giants teammates Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz and Roger Lewis determined to constitution a personal jet to Miami after they wrapped up the regular-season. 

A day after their arrival in Florida, a photograph surfaced of the soccer participant shirtless on a ship with singer Trey Songz and different celebrities.

After the image went viral, lots of the gamers seen within the photograph spent the following a number of days answering or deflecting questions concerning the journey. The Giants went on to wrestle in a 38-13 playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 18: Sterling Shepard #87 of the New York Giants celebrates his touchdown with teammates against the Detroit Lions in the first quarter at MetLife Stadium on December 18, 2016, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. 

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – DECEMBER 18: Sterling Shepard #87 of the New York Giants celebrates his landing with teammates in opposition to the Detroit Lions within the first quarter at MetLife Stadium on December 18, 2016, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. 
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Sterling Shepard, who was a rookie on the time of the photograph, continues to be on the Giants roster and expressed remorse when he spoke concerning the getaway earlier this week.

“I remorse it within the facet that I really feel like the main focus of the sport was now put some other place,” Shepard instructed The Post on Wednesday. “In the constructing I felt like we have been all good, however guys depart the constructing and activate the TV and it was on all day round right here. It positively drew away from the place the eye ought to’ve been.”

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None of the gamers missed any workforce conferences or practices main as much as the playoff recreation.

Beckham, Cruz and Lewis should not at the moment enjoying within the NFL. Beckham was courted by the Dallas Cowboys over the past a number of weeks of the regular-season, however in the end by no means signed because the workforce waited for him to be medically cleared.

Beckham suffered an ACL harm throughout final season’s Super Bowl when he was with the St. Louis Rams. On Wednesday, Miami-Dade police launched physique cam footage of Beckham being escorted off a flight in November after he was unresponsive when attendants allegedly requested him to place his seat belt on. 

At the time of the incident, Cowboys proprietor Jerry Jones mentioned the state of affairs would don’t have any bearing on whether or not the workforce determined to signal Beckham.

GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 8:  Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants runs with the ball while being chased by Micah Hyde #33 of the Green Bay Packers in the third quarter during the NFC Wild Card game at Lambeau Field on January 8, 2017, in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

GREEN BAY, WI – JANUARY 8:  Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants runs with the ball whereas being chased by Micah Hyde #33 of the Green Bay Packers within the third quarter through the NFC Wild Card recreation at Lambeau Field on January 8, 2017, in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Shepard has grown into one of many key items of the Giants’ offense over the previous few seasons. Though he won’t play this weekend on account of a torn ACL he suffered in Week 4, he stays steadfast in his perception that the viral image from 2017 was not an element within the playoff loss.

“That kind of stuff occurs each week,” Shepard mentioned, “however I really feel like from the eye facet it wasn’t the appropriate factor.”

Landon Collins was additionally a member of the Giants on the time of the photograph, and mentioned he doesn’t maintain the boat journey in opposition to his teammates.

“We nonetheless don’t. If we did, I’d be yelling at Shep nonetheless,” Collins joked. “It had no affect on the sport or the locker room. A ship doesn’t cease you from catching the ball, a ship doesn’t cease you from tackling, a ship doesn’t cease you from throwing the ball. … The media blew it up and made it the point of interest.”

The huge receivers who went on the journey delivered a poor efficiency through the playoff matchup at Lambeau Field, which solely fueled the unfavourable sentiments. The huge receivers corps was credited with seven dropped passes on the day, together with one in the long run zone.

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“We didn’t execute the sport plan,” Shepard mentioned. “We had some big-time drops all through the receiver room and didn’t benefit from our alternatives. It’s stayed with me all through my entire time right here. As a rookie, I didn’t actually understand how exhausting it’s to get within the playoffs.”

GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 8:  Micah Hyde #33 of the Green Bay Packers breaks up a pass intended for Sterling Shepard #87 of the New York Giants in the first quarter during the NFC Wild Card game at Lambeau Field on January 8, 2017, in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

GREEN BAY, WI – JANUARY 8:  Micah Hyde #33 of the Green Bay Packers breaks up a move supposed for Sterling Shepard #87 of the New York Giants within the first quarter through the NFC Wild Card recreation at Lambeau Field on January 8, 2017, in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Giants’ points through the playoff recreation prolonged past the huge outs. The protection surrendered a 42-yard landing on the ultimate play of the primary half to extend Green Bay’s lead going into the locker room. 

“We had a chance in our arms and it type of slipped away,” Collins mentioned. “That [Hail Mary] simply type of took our soul away. That ought to by no means have occurred. We allow them to inch their manner again in, and so they took over.”

First-year head coach Brian Daboll is credited with turning issues round and serving to quarterback Daniel Jones have the perfect season of his profession. The Vikings host the Giants on Sunday within the wild-card spherical.

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