The Packers faced the New York Giants earlier in the year and squeaked out a 38-35 win. This week, they will face the Giants in the divisional playoffs in a rematch. The Packers, sitting at 15-1 and atop the NFC, are the superior team, but the Giants have won their last three in a row and are plenty fired up to pull off the upset.
The Giants have the talent to be an elite football team, even though they have underperformed in many of their games throughout the past few years. Still, this is a dangerous football team for any NFL playoff team that faces them, so the Packers could have their hands full as they face a hot Giants team.
Here are five reasons the Packers might need to be worried about the Giants pulling off a giant upset in Lambeau Field.
The Giants seem to be masters at pulling off big upsets. They did it in the playoffs in 2007, when they defeated the 13-3 Cowboys, the 13-3 Packers and the 16-0 Patriots, all on the road. They've also pulled off some big upsets this year, defeating the Patriots in Foxborough and defeating the Cowboys twice to win the NFC East and get into the playoffs.
Of course, the Giants have also blown some big games, as well, giving up a 38-10 lead against the Eagles in the 2010 season, and then the next week, getting routed 45-17 by the Packers, a team which effectively knocked them out of playoff contention.
The Giants can be a highly inconsistent team, but when they are on a roll, and when everyone is counting them out, they sometimes will play their best football, so the Packers are going to have to be prepared to face this team, even if they have a mediocre 9-7 record and are members of the weak NFC East.
Had the Falcons beaten the Giants and gone to Lambeau, they would have likely had a difficult time playing in a tough, cold weather environment, especially coming from a domed stadium in the South.
However, the Giants play in New York, which can also be cold this time of year, making them a better matchup for the Packers when it comes to playing in difficult conditions.
Although the weather report is expecting a somewhat mild Sunday anyway, the Giants won't likely be fazed by a little cold weather or even snow; they've dealt with it before.
Four weeks ago, the Giants were stunned by the Washington Redskins at home, as they barely put up a fight against the struggling 5-11 team. However, since then, they have regained their composure, defeating the New York Jets and the Dallas Cowboys to advance in the playoffs, and then defeating the Atlanta Falcons last week in the Wild Card Round.
After the 24-2 rout of the Falcons, Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul predicted a Giants win. This is a team that has had its struggles, losing to the likes of the Redskins and Seahawks, but they have stayed alive all year long, and are getting hot at the right time.
The Giants are on a mission, much like they were in 2007 when they won the Super Bowl, and much like the Packers were when they won the Super Bowl in 2010. However, they will have a very tough test as they face the best team in the league in their own home stadium.
It will be a tough task, but the Giants have done this before; can they do it again?
The Packers defense has not been the same as it was last year, ranking last in the league in total yardage. This may not bode well for them, especially against a Giants offense that is led by Eli Manning, who is having a great year, and who played very well against the Packers defense in Week 13.
However, the biggest weapon this Packers defense has is turnovers, and Eli Manning and this Giants offense can be prone to giving up the ball. If the Packers can turn the ball over a few times on the Giants, the Packers will have a good chance of winning the game. But if Eli Manning has a good game and doesn't make any mistakes, we could be in for a shootout.
In the past two weeks, the Giants have successfully stopped the Falcons and Cowboys, two very good offenses that can put up some points. This season, the Giants were also able to stop the Patriots' offense for most of the game, an offense that is just as explosive as the Packers.
In Week 15 against the Chiefs, the Packers proved that their offense can be stopped if opposing defenses can get to Rodgers, and if they can successfully cover Rodgers' receivers. This can be very hard to do, but the Giants defense has been able to put together some very solid defensive performances several times this season, most notably last week against the Atlanta Falcons.
If they are able to figure out how to successfully stop this Packers offense, then the Packers could be in some trouble, especially if their defense continues to struggle.