Giants vs. Packers: Brandon Jacobs Must Shine for New York to Pull off Upset

Thad NovakCorrespondent IJanuary 14, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 08:  Brandon Jacobs #27 of the New York Giants runs the ball against the Atlanta Falcons during their NFC Wild Card Playoff game at MetLife Stadium on January 8, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

The downside of Eli Manning’s career year at quarterback for the Giants has been that he’s had little choice but to keep the passes flying. New York’s ground attack was the worst in the NFL this season, averaging less than 90 yards per game.

Last week against the Falcons, though, the Giants backfield came through to gain 172 yards in a convincing win. New York will need another big showing this weekend as they take on the heavily-favored 15-1 Packers in Green Bay.

The only loss the Packers suffered this season saw superstar QB Aaron Rodgers put in one of his worst showings of the year, as he threw for just 235 yards and one TD against the Chiefs. However, Kansas City’s defense was only part of the equation in containing Rodgers.

The Chiefs won that game in large measure because they held onto the ball for 36 minutes—or nearly 13 minutes longer than Green Bay. The Giants would do well to emulate that model and keep the ball out of Rodgers’ hands as much as possible.

Of New York’s two-headed feature back pairing, Brandon Jacobs has been the standout lately and must continue his strong performance. He’s a more powerful runner than Ahmad Bradshaw and better suited to grinding out tough yards on a frozen field at Lambeau.

No matter how well Jacobs plays, it will take a great deal of luck to see New York come out on top in this game. If the Giants do win, though, count on the ground game being a major part of the equation.