NFL Picks Week 16: Aaron Rodgers and The Green Bay Packers Keys to Victory

James Evens@JamesEvensCorrespondent IDecember 22, 2010

NFL Picks Week 16: Aaron Rodgers and The Green Bay Packers Keys to Victory

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    DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 12:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is tackled during a second half run by Brandon McDonald #33 of the Detroit Lions on December 12, 2010 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    The Green Bay Packers are coming off a tough 31-27 loss against the New England Patriots last Sunday without their star quarterback Aaron Rodgers.  The good news for the Packers is that Rodgers will be able to play this weekend when they meet up against the New York Giants in what is a must win for the Packers if they plan to make the post-season.

    After speculation as to whether or not Rodgers would be able to play this weekend, that is passed as it was announced that Rodgers was practicing and cleared to play on Sunday.

    Here are some keys to victory against the New York Giants.

    James Evens is a Purdue student and Basketball/Football Featured Columnist for the Boilermakers, along with being a Writing Intern at Bleacher Report.  Follow him on Twitter or like him on Facebook.

Stop Ahmad Bradshaw

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 19:  Ahmad Bradshaw #44 of the New York Giants runs with the ball as Trent Cole #58 of the Philadelphia Eagles defends during their game on December 19, 2010 at The New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (P
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Bradshaw has been a running machine this season.  He has ran for 1,182 yards for eight touchdowns on the season.

    Bradshaw is a downhill runner that has the ability to break a big play if not stopped at the line of scrimmage.  

    If the Packers wish to stop this Giants offense they will first need to stop Bradshaw.

Stop Brandon Jacobs

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 19:  Brandon Jacobs #27 of the New York Giants runs with the ball against  the Philadelphia Eagles during their game on December 19, 2010 at The New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Get
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Jacobs is a very explosive running back.  He shares time with Bradshaw, and they might be the best running back duo in the entire league.

    Jacobs has ran for 727 yards on the season for eight touchdowns.  He is averaging just over 5 yards a carry and is truly a beast.  He can break open the field in a flash, having run for eight 20+ yard gains this season.

Establish Brandon Jackson Early

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    FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 19:  Running back Brandon Jackson #32 of the Green Bay Packers runs the ball against the New England Patriots during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots won the game 31-
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Brandon Jackson hasn't had a very good season.  He has only rushed for 645 yards and three touchdowns on the season.  

    It is important that the Packers establish the running game in this game to give Aaron Rodgers time to throw the ball.  If he can get going and make some plays it will really open up the passing game this week.

Protect Aaron Rodgers

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    FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 19:  Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers, inactive due to an injury, looks on during warm-ups before the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Rodgers is coming off of his second concussion of the season.  It is very important to protect him in this game, or else it could mean losing him for the season, if not his career.  

    Concussions are a very dangerous thing, and stopping the tough defensive pressure that will be brought by the Giants will be important.  

    The Giants have knocked six quarterbacks out of games this season, and are looking for seven against the Packers.

Greg Jennings Must Have a Big Game

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    ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 28:  Brent Grimes #20 of the Atlanta Falcons tackles Greg Jennings #85 of the Green Bay Packers at Georgia Dome on November 28, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Greg Jennings is a difference maker for this offense. He is able to create plays and really make things happen.  Jennings only had four receptions for 30 yards in his last game.

    This prime-time receiver has got to step up and make plays in this one if they are going to win the game and make the playoffs. 

Pressure Eli Manning

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 19:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants is sacked by Moise Fokou #53 of the Philadelphia Eagles at New Meadowlands Stadium on December 19, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    The Packers need to get pressure on Eli Manning if they are going to be successful.  Manning has not had a good year, and has been proven to choke when under pressure.

    Forcing him out of the pocket and dropping him on the ground a few times would go a long way for the Packers.

Ensure Eli's Interception Problem Continues

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    FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 19:  Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws a pass against the Green Bay Packers in the first quarter of the game at Gillette Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Manning has had a horrible year with interceptions.  He has thrown 20 interceptions this season and hasn't shown signs of letting up.

    Although his touchdowns are still greater than his interceptions, it is still a big problem.

    If a few picks could made it would greatly benefit the Packers.

Win The Special Teams

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    LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 21:  Cornerback Bruce Johnson #25 of the New York Giants runs with the ball after intercepting punter Hunter Smith #3 of the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field on December 21, 2009 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty
    Win McNamee/Getty Images

    Winning the special teams battle could be essential in this game.  Last weekend we saw how important special teams actually were, and this is no different.  We know that the Giants are struggling on special teams, and it would be great for the Packers to exploit that weakness.

Stop Hakeem Nicks

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 19:  Hakeem Nicks #88 of the New York Giants celebrates his touchdown with Derek Hagan #85 in the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles during their game on December 19, 2010 at The New Meadowlands Stadium in East R
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Nicks has had a great season so far receiving 956 yards this year for 10 touchdowns.  

    The Packers need to contain him if they are going to win this game.  Nicks is looking to break 1,000 yards receiving and this one, and it's important that the Packers do not let him.

Big Comeback By Aaron Rodgers

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    DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 12:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers throws a second quarter pass while playing the Detroit Lions on December 12, 2010 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Rodgers needs to comeback strong if the Packers are going to win this game.  He is going to have to have a huge game.

    Rodgers has thrown for 3,289 yards this season for 23 touchdowns while only throwing 10 interceptions.  It's important for Rodgers to come out and have a strong day, or else the Packers playoff hopes could be over.