Few stadiums in the NFL have the playoff mystique that comes with playing at Lambeau Field in January. Ordinarily, though, the proverbially frozen tundra is associated with gritty defensive standoffs like the famed Ice Bowl.
This afternoon, a slightly warmer (though still probably sub-freezing) Lambeau could play host to one of the biggest displays of offensive fireworks in franchise history. Aaron Rodgers, who already holds the club records for passing yards (423) and TDs (four) in a playoff game, has a real chance to break both marks against the Giants.
In spite of its imposing pass rush, New York ranks all of 29th in the NFL against the pass. Even worse, Aaron Ross—one of the few Giant corners with any ability—is coming off a concussion.
There’s also the fact that this game, like Rodgers’ record-setting performance against the Cardinals in 2009, has a serious chance of devolving into a shootout. Eli Manning is having a career year, and the vulnerable Packer secondary may not be able to keep him from trading TDs with Rodgers.
The cold weather won’t help either passing game, but it’s not going to be enough to seriously affect the playing surface, so play-calling is likely to be wide open. With plenty of weapons for both quarterbacks, there should be plenty of points on the scoreboard.
When it’s all over, Green Bay will be headed to the NFC title game, and Rodgers may have the pleasure of replacing his old record-setting loss to Arizona with a record-setting win.
New York Giants at Green Bay Packers, 4:30 p.m.