Both teams come into this game as healthy as they have been all season.
For the Giants, linebacker Mark Herzlich (ankle) is listed as out. Cornerbacks Aaron Ross and Corey Webster, running backs Da’Rel Scott, Danny Ware and Ahmad Bradshaw, safety Deon Grant and defensive end Osi Umenyiora are all listed as probable and will play Sunday.
For the Packers, linebacker Rob Francois (hamstring) is doubtful and will likely not be in uniform. Tackles Chad Clifton and Bryan Bulaga, center Evan Dietrich-Smith, wide receivers Randall Cobb and Greg Jennings and running back James Starks are all probable.
The weather will be vastly different from the last time the Giants visited Green Bay for a playoff game. Green Bay received more than four inches of snow Thursday and Friday, but game-time temperature is expected to be 32 degrees with no precipitation.
What is at stake is a berth in next week’s NFC Championship against the San Francisco 49ers, who beat the New Orleans Saints 36-32 in a scintillating divisional playoff game on Saturday. If the Giants win, they go to San Francisco next week. The Packers would host the 49ers with a win on Sunday.
New York seems to have its running game back on track. After finishing last in the NFL with an average of 89.2 yards rushing per game, the Giants ran over the Atlanta Falcons for 172 yards in their wild-card victory last week, the first time this season the Giants ran for more than 150 yards. The Giants have won 14 straight games when rushing for 150 yards or more.
While the Week 13 results, when Eli Manning threw for 347 yards and three scores in a 38-35 loss to the Packers, would indicate throwing the ball against Green Bay’s league-worst pass defense that allowed 299.8 yards per game, the Giants might be better served to try to wear down the Packer run defense, which allowed 111.8 yards a game.
The Packers, meanwhile, scored 560 points during the regular season, best in the league and the second-most in league history behind the 2007 New England Patriots. According to ESPN, the Giants surrendered 24 passing touchdowns this year when in nickel and dime packages, the most in the league in such situations. This is why the Giants will likely not blitz much, or at all; if they can get pressure from the front four, they can keep seven guys in coverage.
One final note: With a win, Manning would tie Roger Staubach, Jake Delhomme, Mark Sanchez, Joe Flacco and Len Dawson with his fourth road playoff victory, the most of all time, and would have a chance to break the record next week.