We’re going to be filling up the docket here at GMEN HQ with plenty of Giants-Packers NFC Divisional Round game preview pieces all week long. So gear in and get ready to be inundated with Giants-Packers information overload.
After the break we’ve compiled a few early in the week things to look out for that you will probably be hearing a lot about as the week progresses…
- The Packers injured O-Line. The Packers will be coming into this week’s game against the Giants with an offensive line that has had to be re-tooled throughout the season due to injuries to players like Derek Sherrod, Bryan Bulaga, and Chad Clifton. Stopping the Giants staunch pass rushers of Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul is a tough enough task itself. But when your O-Line’s been as beat up as the Packers’ O-Line has been all year long it might turn out to be a long day for Aaron Rodgers.
- Week 13 Revenge. The Packers took out the Giants on a 31-yard field goal with the 4th quarter coming to an end after marching 80 yards downfield with an under minute left in the game. The Giants and Eli Manning showed they could match Rodgers and the Packers touchdown for touchdown. How much will that loss motivate the Giants this week?
- Packers Revenge. Greg Jennings tweeted about how the Packers haven’t forgotten their 2008 NFC Championship overtime loss to the Giants that sent the Giants to the Super Bowl and Brett Favre to the New York Jets.
- JPP’s guarantee. Guarantees are always taken with a grain of salt in the world of sports. Joe Namath’s Super Bowl III victory guarantee was the first and last time a guarantee meant something. Now everybody says them. Including Jason Pierre-Paul guaranteeing a win this Sunday, where he said: “One hundred percent we’re going to win… because we’re the best.” That guarantee will either come back to haunt JPP or be lauded by everyone. We won’t know until the game is finished. What we do know is that it will be talked up all week long leading up to the game.
- Packers and Giants (lack of a) run game. Neither team has been efficient when running the ball this year. The Packers ranked 27 in the league with a rushing yards per game average of 97.4. The Giants ran the ball 89.2 yards per game, good enough for dead last in the league. The Giants, however, have shown some life at times this season running the ball. In Week 13 they rushed for over 100 yards against the Packers, albeit the Packers were without linebackers Desmond Bishop and A.J. Hawk that game. What was probably more promising for the Giants was this past Sunday’s 24-2 victory over the Falcons, where Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs combined to rush for 155 yards on 28 carries, which was good for a 5.5 YPC average.
- The Rest Debate. Is it better to play your starters heading into the playoffs or give them time to rest and gear up for a playoff run? This has been a debate that has waged on in the NFL for a long time and will be put to the test once again this year. The Packers rested most of their starters in Week 17, which means that those who didn’t play, such as Aaron Rodgers will have not been in a game situation for two full weeks heading into Sunday’s kick-off. Will they be rusty? Will it matter? Will a Giants team that has been going full steam ahead into the playoffs have an advantage Sunday?
So, those are just a few key points that will be beaten into the ground during the week by the media and everybody that follows the NFL, including this site right here. Just keep an eye out for them and many more and stay tuned to GMEN HQ.