Giants Vs Packers: Big Blue May Be A Huge Underdog, But With A Revitalized Defense, This Could Be Their Game To Lose

The Giants are going to have to be near perfect to beat Green Bay. (AP photo)
  By Steve Morton  
When the 2011 NFL season began, many figured the road to Super Bowl XLVI would go through Green Bay. Certainly, however, no one figured it would be the New York Giants that would be the team driving through.

Sunday’s showdown in Green Bay is without a doubt the “can’t miss” playoff game of the week. Although I know few will miss Tim Tebow and the Broncos postseason encore against the Patriots on Saturday, you have to love the matchup on Sunday against the defending Super Bowl champs and the hot-streaking Giants.

The two teams met in Week 13 of the regular season, with the Packers (15-1) upending the Giants (10-7) by a field goal on the game’s final drive. The Giants made an impressive fourth-quarter touchdown drive and tied the game at 35 apiece after making a two-point conversion with 58 seconds left in the game. The Giants defense, however, put up little resistance to Aaron Rogers and the Packers offense, which moved the ball almost at will and scored on a Mason Crosby 31-yard field goal as time expired.

The rematch should be just as interesting. And though the Packers are at the moment an 8.5-point favorite, I still believe the Giants are the team to beat.

For starters, the Giants defense is playing at a much higher level now than it was six weeks ago. The Giants showed what they are capable of last Sunday against the Falcons, shutting down the sixth-ranked offense and pitching a shutout. Mind you, the Falcons' lone two points of the game were scored on a safety by the Falcons' defense. The Giants defense allowed the Falcons nothing offensively. Quarterback Matt Ryan was held to a mere 183 yards and running back Michael Turner held to just 41. The Giants had also stuffed the Falcons three times on fourth down conversion attempts, keeping them from scoring.

Ironically enough, coming into the game, the Falcons had scored 31 or more points in three of their last four games. Not so against the Giants. New York is now allowing an average of less than 10 points per game in its last three games and has compiled 13 sacks.

Granted, the Packers are the true team to beat this postseason, but it was only four seasons ago that these two teams met in Lambeau Field in the NFC Championship game. The Giants upset the favored Packers that year by a field goal in overtime.

Now say what you want about me, but I’ve been screaming about how inconsistent the Giants have played all year. But the last three weeks have been different. The Giants are a team that have hit their stride and have played extremely well over that time.

Do the Packers pose an immense threat to the Giants continuing yet another magic carpet ride as they did in 2007? You bet. Can the Packers be beat? You better believe it.

The Giants were close to being the first team to beat the Packers in Week 13. And I must ask why would someone say the Packers are clear winners by eight or more points when they weren’t able to beat the Giants by more than three in the regular season. I look for New York defensive coordinator Perry Fewell and his charges to figure out a way to surprise Rogers and the Title Town faithfuls. The Packers defense is way more porous than the Giants.

As the saying goes defense wins championships. I wouldn’t call it an upset though. I think the Giants are really the better team right now. So look for a Giant win on Sunday, 20-17.

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