The Packers beat the Giants in a squeaker in week 13, but the Giants are more dangerous this time around. That game featured nearly 900 yards of total offense combined. It took a 2-minute drill by Aaron Rodgers to lead the Packers into field-goal range, eventually winning it on a Mason Crosby field-goal with 58 seconds left.
That was the Giants fourth-straight loss, but they have recovered since then, to make the playoffs and catch fire just at the right time. Let's take a look at how these two teams match up in round two.
Quarterbacks: Aaron Rodgers vs Eli Manning
Aaron Rodgers is the favorite for NFL MVP, but both guys are the outright leaders of their teams and have great command of the offense. Each one is dangerous in their own way. Rodgers can score at will and isn't afraid to go deep, or even tuck the ball and run for it. Eli Manning is the most clutch quarterback in the NFL this year. He has led the Giants to 6 fourth-quarter comeback wins this year, so his team is never out of a game until the clock says zero. In the end, I think Rodgers is at home and finds a way to get the job done. Nobody can beat the Packers offense when they're clicking on all cylinders. You can't pick against the NFL MVP. I'll take Aaron Rodgers.
Running backs: Ryan Grant/James Starks vs Ahmad Bradshaw/Brandon Jacobs
It's clear the Packers don't have much of a running game. It's not that Grant and Starks have been bad, the Packers are a pass-first offense and they have a slew of targets down field. The Giants are completely the opposite. They will want to pound the ball on the ground with big bodies Bradshaw and Jacobs. The Packers defense may get worn down because of how physical and persistent these two guys are. I've got Bradshaw and Jacobs.
Receivers: Jennings, Nelson, Driver, Finley vs Nicks, Cruz, Manningham
Aaron Rodgers has connected with 18 different players for touchdowns this year. Eli Manning has Nicks and Cruz, two guys that are deadly when it comes to yards after the catch. The Packers can simply spread the ball around a lot more than the Giants can. I'll take the Packers.
Big Play Ability
I'm calling this one dead even. Rodgers and Manning are two of the best in finding guys deep and getting quick scores. You saw it in the first game. 38-35 Packers, but it was back and forth until the very end. Push.
Both teams give up a lot of yards. The Packers give up nearly 400 yards per game, including dead last in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game. The Giants give up a lot of passing yards, 299 per game, but the numbers don't tell the story of how this defense is playing right now. They have one of the best defensive lines in the league and will get after Aaron Rodgers in the pocket. Aaron Rodgers with less time to throw will go a long way to beating the might Packers in the frozen tundra. I'm taking the Giants.
The Packers have one of the most electrifying young returners in the NFL. Rookie Randall Cobb returned a kickoff for a touchdown against the Saints in week one. He returned a punt for a touchdown on Monday Night Football against the Vikings. He's the key to getting the Packers good starting field position. Packers.
Last time these two met in the playoffs, the Giants won in the NFC Championship game at Lambeau Field and later won the Super Bowl.
Overall, this will be a close game and I won't be surprised if many people take the Giants to beat the Packers. The Giants are playing their best football at the right time, and all it takes is a hot team to roll to the Super Bowl, just like the 6-seeded Packers did last year.
It will be interesting to see how the Packers respond after having a week off, because the Giants will want to jump on them early and take the crowd out of it. It will be up to the Packers to make an early statement that they're the top seed in the NFC and 15-1 for a reason.Back to the Green Bay Packers Newsfeed