Packers vs. Giants: Spread Info, Line and Predictions

Mike Hoag@MikeHoagJrCorrespondent IINovember 23, 2012

Jan 15, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) throws a pass under pressure from Green Bay Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop (55) during the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Lambeau Field.  Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

The New York Giants (6-4) are fresh off of a bye and ready to host the Green Bay Packers in a clash of the titans on Week 12's edition of Sunday Night Football.

It's a game with some serious playoff implications riding on it. The Pack are tied, but leading, the NFC North with the Chicago Bears (7-3) while the Giants are holding onto a narrow two-game advantage (with a win) over the Dallas Cowboys (5-6) and surging Washington Redskins (5-6).

This mathchup has the makings of a shootout but will likely come down to the play of each team's pass rush. Letting either Eli Manning or Aaron Rodgers sit back in the pocket and dissect your secondary isn't wise endeavor.

Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.

When: November 25 at 8:20 p.m. ET

Watch: NBC

Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket

Listen (radio): WTAQ 1360 AM and 97.5 FM (Green Bay); WFAN 660AM and 101.9 FM (Giants)

Spread: New York -3 (via Covers)

Not only do I not think the Giants will fail to cover, but they're going to lose convincingly. It's hard to touch this one, though, because both teams are banged up and both are capable of going hot or cold on any given week.

If the Giants that lost two-consecutive games before their bye week show up, it'll be long and painful night for Eli Manning on national television.

Over/Under: 51 (via Covers)

That these two high-powered offenses will eclipse 51 points seems like a given. But, I'm not buying it this week. Green Bay has struggled to protect Aaron Rodgers at times and the Giants have a formidable pass rush.

Likewise, the Packers have had a lot of success rushing four linemen and getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Eli Manning was taken down six times in the team's Week 9 and 10 losses after only being sacked five times through the first eight games of the season.

Defense, surprisingly, will keep this game lower than 51 points when it's all said and done Sunday night.

Injury Report via CBS Sports (as of 11/22/2012)

Green Bay Packers

WR Donald Driver, Thumb, Questionable

WR Greg Jennings, Groin/abdomen, Questionable

RB John Kuhn, Hamstring, Questionable

LB Terrell Manning, Shoulder, Questionable

LB Clay Matthews, Hamstring, Questionable

TE Andrew Quarless, Knee, Questionable

DT B.J. Raji, Ankle, Probable

CB Sam Shields, Ankle, Out

LB Vic So'oto, Ilnness, Probable

LB Erik Walden, Ankle, Probable

S Charles Woodson, Collarbone, Out

DL Johnny Jolly, Suspension, Out

New York Giants

RB Ahmad Bradshaw, Foot, Questionable

WR Domenik Hixon, Ankle, Questionable

DT Linval Joseph, Knee, Questionable

S Kenny Phillips, Knee, Questionable

LB Keith Rivers, Calf/knee, Questionable

S Tyler Sash, Ankle, Probable

LB Jacquian Williams, Knee, Questionable

Fantasy Big Plays

Green Bay: WR Randall Cobb

Cobb has broken out as the one must-start receiver in a stable that Aaron Rodgers loves to spread the wealth to. He's scored six touchdowns during his past four games and has helped revitalize the Packers' offense with his ability to make plays after the catch.

The Giants are the 26th-ranked team in the league when it comes to giving up fantasy points to wide receivers and are surrendering 250-plus yards through the air. Rodgers is going to put up some big numbers at the Meadowlands and Cobb will be a big benefactor of that.

Projected Stats: 7 receptions, 115 yards, 1 TD

New York: WR Victor Cruz

There's been no salsa dancing for the Giants' standout wide receiver over the past three games. He's been keyed in on and taken away by opposing defenses leading to no scores and just 10 catches for 116 yards during the slump.

Who better to get back on track against than the Packers' secondary that's giving up 22.4 fantasy points per game to opposing receivers. Sure, he'll share the wealth with Hakeem Nicks, but he has the ability to find creases in the secondary and exploit them. Chances are he exploits the Packers on more than one occasion Sunday night.

Projected Stats: 8 receptions 91 yards, 1 TD

Key to Victory

Pressure the QB

The Packers have shown they're unable to keep Aaron Rodgers safe at times this season. In fact, he's been sacked a league-high 32 times this season. New York will gladly turn the heat up this week in an attempt to slow down the hot quarterback and his weapons by blanketing him with pressure throughout the game.

On the flip side, the Packers have also been able to apply some pressure of their own. They're second in the league in sacks with 33 on the season. Without Clay Matthews the team has turned to pressuring with their front four and it's worked to this point. Sending additional blitzers against Eli Manning is a risky gamble.

If they don't get there, the coverage better be good because Manning will find open receivers if the pressure doesn't put him down.


Look for a strong defensive performance by both of the teams' pass-rushers that will result in multiple sacks of both quarterbacks. 

It's going to be a long day for both offenses but ultimately a key special teams play by the Packers and a late touchdown throw to Jordy Nelson will end up being the difference-makers in this one.

Manning and the rested Giants aren't going to have enough to knock off the Packers just as they've started to hit their stride.

Final Score: Packers 31, Giants 17


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