New York @ Green Bay (-5.5), Sunday, 4:40 pm
Wildcard Weekend ends with the game everyone will be watching. Both teams enter the playoffs on the rise. The Giants haven’t been in the playoffs in 4 years, and their defense is poised again to make another run. Oh yeah, and this guy.
Ok one more:
If there’s any team hotter than the Giants, it’s the Packers. At 4-6, the Pack were left for dead and everyone was wondering is this the end of Aaron Rodgers, and when will Mike McCarthy get fired. Perhaps folks got a bit ahead of themselves, as Green Bay won their final 6 games and clinched the NFC North and a home playoff game. And Aaron Rodgers threw 40 tds and he and Jordy Nelson are still a lethal 1-2 combo. Once again, the discount double-check is cool.
This game is going to be close. You’ll hear a lot of the “experts” talk about how neither team runs the ball well, but that’s a bit misleading. Sure, no one on the Giants or Packers ran for more than 600 yards this season, but the running game for both teams has improved as of late. Last week, the Packers ran for 153 yards. The Giants ran for 161 yards. Establishing a running game will be important, as controlling the clock will be key. In that department, we give the edge to the Giants. Look out for Paul Perkins, the Giants rookie (5th round) draft pick out of UCLA. He could be the difference maker. For Green Bay, converted WR Ty Montgomery has stepped up huge in Eddie Lacy’s absence.
These teams played each other this year (at Green Bay) in Week 5, which seems like ages ago. The Packers won 23-16, but the game wasn’t even that close. Green Bay dominated, running for 147 yards, and Rodgers threw 2 touchdowns. But throw that out the window. We’re talking playoffs.
And while we’re talking playoffs, the edge goes to the Giants. In each of their last two Super Bowls, the Giants won on the road in Green Bay. Who could forget those cheeks?
So who wins? Well, we’ve talk about some of the difference makers…Rodgers, Odell, Jordy, but there’s one guy we didn’t mention yet [cue: Superman music]
That’s right. Playoff Eli. He will be the difference maker. The stage is perfectly set for him. Eli’s had a so-so year, which has led many to questions whether he still has it (or ever had it), and that his role is changing to that of a game manager. [sidenote: does any two time Superbowl MVP get more shade than Eli?] But if Eli loves one thing, it’s proving people wrong, and the playoffs is where he’s done that. Over his last 9 playoff games, here’s Eli’s stats: 15 tds, 4 ints, 8-1 with 2 Superbowls. Oh yeah, and the Giants were after thoughts in both the ’07 and ’11 Superbowl runs. We pray, hope, stay up at night wondering whether it will ever happen again, think that Eli’s got some gas left in the tank, and he and his dad bod are ready for another run to glory.
Final Score: Giants 24, Green Bay 20