Giants vs. Packers: 5 Predictions for Sunday's Game
The last game of the divisional round features a rematch of a thrilling 38-35 Week 13 victory by the Green Bay Packers over the New York Giants that has all the makings of being yet another riveting shootout.
Here's a look at a handful of predictions for the tilt between the Pack and G-Men, as well as my take on who will advance to face the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game.
1. Both Ground Games Will Get Grounded
Whether it's the New York Giants' duo of a dinged-up Ahmad Bradshaw and the bruising Brandon Jacobs or the Green Bay Packers' three-headed monster of James Starks, Ryan Grant and Brandon Saine, the running backs won't be a big factor in a contest that will quickly evolve into an aerial assault.
In fact, not one running back on either team will break the 50-yard mark in rushing.
2. Jordy Nelson Will Burn the Giants Big
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson was a big part of the Packers' win over the Giants earlier this year, racking up four catches for 94 yards in the victory, including a huge over-the-shoulder catch on the game-winning drive.
With Greg Jennings perhaps a bit rusty in his return from a knee injury, Nelson will improve on those stats in the rematch, rolling for more than 125 receiving yards and scoring at least one touchdown.
3. Eli Manning Will Do His Part
Eli Manning has enjoyed one of the finest seasons of his eight-year career in 2011, and the first game between these two teams was no different, as the New York Giants quarterback threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns.
Manning will quite possibly need to better those numbers for the Giants to have a shot at Lambeau this Sun,day and better them he shall, topping 400 yards and tossing three more scoring strikes.
4. The Packers Will Score a Touchdown on Defense
Unfortunately for Manning and the Giants, he also threw one interception in the first meeting with the Packers, and that pick was a costly one, as Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews returned the errant throw for a Packers touchdown.
Sunday will present Manning with a horrifying case of deja vu, as another bad pass will cost the Giants six points, this time when cornerback Tramon Williams continues his recent penchant for making big plays in the postseason.
5. The Packers Will Win a Wild One...Again
Much as in the first matchup, Sunday's game is going to be a wild, back-and-forth affair in which you'd better time your bathroom breaks right, lest you miss three touchdowns while you're on the throne.
However, much like that first showdown, a combination of Green Bay's offensive buzz-saw and their opportunistic defense will prove too much for the Giants to overcome, and the Packers will move on to face the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Title game.
Final score: Green Bay 41, New York 37