EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — There were no whoops, no screams, no champagne and very little visible emotion in the New York Giants' locker room after they captured the NFC title and earned a trip to the Super Bowl on Sunday.
There was still one more to go, and that will take place in two weeks in Pasadena against the Denver Broncos.
"One of the reasons you don't hear all the boisterous laughter is because we've come this far and we still have more to do before we accomplish what we want," Giants' center Bart Oates said. "All we want is a Super Bowl victory, not a Super Bowl appearance."
Other Giants felt the same way after their 17-0 victory over the Washington Redskins.
"We have one more to go," linebacker Harry Carson said. "After that, we can all pop the ginger ale tops."
Carson, an 11-year veteran, was thrilled by the victory.
"You'll have to pinch me," he said. "It's unbelievable. Maybe it hasn't hit me yet, but I feel great for the team and for (owner) Wellington Mara."
The Giants barely had room to celebrate as they immediately were surrounded by about 100 reporters and a dozen television crews.
"How can I jump around with all these things in my face?" Giants' guard Chris Godfrey asked. "We feel great, but you're always at a loss for words in this situation. My spirits are soaring now. Once we get a little space, we'll do some celebrating."
The players were showered with ticker-tape thrown from the stands in the final five minutes of the game. It was the Giants' first conference title since 1963.
In handing the Redskins their first shutout since 1980, the Giants limited Washington's offense to 199 yards. In two playoff games this year, New York has held its opposition to a total of three points.
"It's frightening the way we're playing on defense," said defensive end Leonard Marshall. "What have we given up, three points? We hadn't expected to play this well, but it's great."
Marshall said the Giants were able to shut down Washington quarterback Jay Schroeder with a strong pass rush and heavy hitting.
Another key to the game was the matchup between Giants' tackle Brad Benson and Washington defensive end Dexter Manley. For the second time this season, Benson held Manley without a sack.
At the beginning of the second half, Benson said, Manley bet him $500 that he would get a sack.
"I'm not going to hold him to it," Benson said. "If he buys me a little beer (at the Pro Bowl) in Hawaii, I'll be satisfied. If he doesn't buy me a beer, I'm going to call his financial planner."