When the Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants meet at Lambeau Field to determine who will face the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game, fans might see one of the best games of the year.
The matchup has all the makings of an instant classic. The Packers won the first meeting this year, 38-35, and both sides have reason to believe they will have a better game this time around. It will pit two high-flying offenses against two defenses that were porous much of the regular season but have improved.
Many people are comparing New York's early success to their improbable Super Bowl run in 2008, when they shut down another high-flying offense in the New England Patriots. Ironically, the Giants had played the Pats to the wire in a 38-35 loss earlier in the year, and that seems to be why many are seeing the Giants pull off a similar feat against the Packers.
Despite all the hype that the Giants are getting, however, the Packers offense will surprise the Giants and end up moving up and down the field all game.
New York has been talking all week about how much they have improved. Their confidence seems to be through the roof, and they aren't afraid to show it. However, they may be biting off a little more than they can chew against the best what might be the best offense in football.
Despite the Giants' success along the defensive line as of late, the Packers get tackles Chad Clifton and Bryan Bulaga back and should be ready for the matchup. If the line gives quarterback Aaron Rodgers time, he will be able to pick New York's secondary apart.
On top of that, Green Bay has one of the best overall receiving corps in the NFL. Between Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings (another stud who will be healthy for the game), Jermichael Finley, James Jones and Donald Driver, the Packers will overmatch the Giants' young and depleted secondary.
Running back James Starks will also be available for today's game, and if taking a look at his season statistics doesn't make you think he'll make much of an impact, don't forget about his playoff performance last season.
Starks stepped up and provided Green Bay with a running game in the playoffs, which helped them peak at just the right time. A Super Bowl run would have been much less likely were it not for Starks' efforts.
The Green Bay Packers finally seem to be at full strength, and with an extra week to prepare for the surging New York Giants, they will have had plenty of time to figure out how to beat them again.
It's pretty tough to see the Packers losing at Lambeau Field, and all signs point to Green Bay's offense running and passing all over the New York Giants.