Giants (11-5) vs Packers (10-6)
The Packers won their Sunday night game with the Detroit Lions 31-24. Both
teams knew going in they would be in the playoffs, but the division title and
home field advantage was on the line.
The Giants finished up with an 11-5 record.
They fought hard for a win in their last game of the season with the Redskins
19-10, even though the results would have no impact on their playoff standing.
- Redskins Wrap-Up
Green Bay Packers
The Packers have been
in the playoffs every single year since 2009. That's eight straight years now,
and in five they earned the NFC North Division title to get there. The other three
times they were a wildcard team, and that included last year, where they went
on to win the first playoff game at Washington.
Green Bay lost their second in Arizona, despite Aaron Rodgers forcing the game
into overtime with a 41 yard Hail Mary pass in the final seconds of regulation
time. The Cardinals got the ball first and scored a touchdown on just three plays.
With overtime rules in effect, Rodgers didn't get another shot for a comeback.
Aaron Rodgers was determined to
get his team the six straight wins they needed to grab the division title away
from the Lions. Rodgers threw four touchdown passes, and ran with the ball ten
times for 42 yards in Detroit last week. He had some reliable help of course.
Missing running backs Eddie Lacy and James Starks, fullback Aaron Ripkowski and
wide receiver Ty Montgomery ran for 105 yards, averaging over six yards a carry.
With both Lacy and Starks suffering injuries this season, Montgomery became the
team leader with 457 rushing yards, and Rodgers is second on the team with 369.
Montgomery also has 44 receptions for 348 yards.
Jordy Nelson and Davante
Adams each had touchdowns in the first meeting with the Giants, and have combined
for 26 of Rodgers' 40 total touchdown passes on the year. Randall Cobb is next
with four, and he had 9 catches for 108 yards against the Giants. Cobb has missed
the last two games due to an ankle problem, but he may be back on Sunday. Overall
Rodgers has been a one man team, averaging over 4 yards a carry, and has a 71
percent completion ratio over his last six games, all wins in which he's thrown
15 touchdowns with no interceptions.
They are a real tough unit up front,
great at stopping the run, and in bringing quarterback pressure. It's a good thing
too, because they have an extremely weak secondary. The unit went from being a
number six passing defense last year, to 31st. Aside from losing Sam Shields,
their best cornerback early on, they have sustained numerous injuries. They know
they'll have to control Odell Beckham Jr. who Manning threw to twice as many times
as any other player, and who scored the only touchdown on them in that last game.
Starting cornerback Quinten Rollins was on Beckham, helping to limit him to just
5 catches on 12 targets, but Rollins will be out this time due to a concussion.
LaDarius Gunter also played well against Beckham in that game, and Damarious Randall
is expected to start even though he left the game last week with a knee injury.
In all, three cornerbacks were hurt last week, and safeties had to fill in against
the Lions. Like we said, the Packers need pressure up front. It certainly helped
the team to jell this season when linebacker Clay Matthews returned after missing
three games with a hamstring injury.
The Giants have not reached as
much as 20 points in the last five games, and even though they won three of them,
it's not a formula that will get you very far into the playoffs. It was encouraging
that the Giants ran for a season high 161 yards in their game with Washington
last week. Still, Manning wasn't able to play off that with his top receivers
and put points up on the board. Running backs Paul Perkins and Rashad Jennings
were able to bring it to the Redskins, and Green Bay is a better defense in that
area. Even though the Giants scored one rushing touchdown for the first time in
long while, that's probably not how it's going to go this week.
We hope that
the Giants remember that even though they were stuffed for 43 rushing yards on
15 carries last time, running back Bobby Rainey caught all six of Manning's passes
for 52 yards. The return of left
guard Justin Pugh, coming back from a knee injury after five weeks, has certainly
helped the running game, and possibly given Eli Manning more confidence to hang
in a bit longer before throwing the ball. Same as for the Packers, this game is
on the quarterback. For the Giants it will be on Manning, who certainly is willing
to put himself at risk for the team to move on in these playoff games as he has
done many times before.
When the Giants faced Green Bay
earlier in the season, Aaron Rodgers came into that game not having thrown for
300 yards in 12 straight games, including two playoffs. The Giants defense held
him to 259, got Rodgers for two interceptions, and as it turned out, he had his
worst completion percentage of the season playing in that game with the Giants
(51.1). The Giants still took a 23-16 loss, as Eli Manning managed to score with
a touchdown pass to Odell Beckham Jr. on their last possession of the game.
Giants defense has improved since that night in Green Bay, but the trouble is,
so has Rodgers, with his ability to do it all with his passing arm or running
ability. He keeps the chains moving, and can rely on
tight end Jared Cook on third downs. Eli Apple and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
were hurt the last time these teams played, and
Rodgers still threw two interceptions. The
Giants should expect to see a lot of short passes coming their way in this game.
Packers are a hot team, scoring at least 30 points in each of the last four games.
The Giants haven't hit the 30 point mark all season long. They've been living
off their defense, so it comes down to this. Can the second best defense in the
league hold back a fourth ranked offense, playing even better than that over their
last four games? Remember, the Giants are fielding a healthier team, and there's
another thing to consider, the Ben McAdoo factor.
McAdoo knows all about Aaron
Rodgers and the Green Bay offense as well as he knows his own. With nothing on
the line last week, McAdoo had the Giants playing on the road going all out against
a Washington team that needed to win or else. McAdoo got them up to playoff intensity,
and has possibly established enough of a running game to make the passing one
more effective. Look for Eli Manning to work off that, picking his spots against
a vulnerable Packers secondary and take the win.
Sunday at 4:25pm Giants (11-5)
at Green Bay (10-6).
The Packers are favored to win this game.
Paul Perkins leads
the Giants in rushing yards since Week 12.
have allowed the second fewest yards per rush attempt in the NFL - 3.6.
Giants have allowed only two running backs to break the 100-yard mark this year.
- Green Bay.
Aaron Rodgers has
four, and Ty Montgomery has three of the total 11 rushing touchdowns on the season.
have won the NFC North Division title for the fifth time in six years.Packers
have lost just four playoff games at home in their long history, two to Eli Manning
and the Giants.
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