Can Umenyiora be the X-Factor against the Packers?

The last time the New York Giants took on the Green Bay Packers, it was a shootout on Week 13 at MetLife Stadium. The outcome of the game ended in a Giants defeat by the leg of Mason Crosby.

This time around, the Giants are taking on the Packers at Lambeau Field in the NFC Divisional Round; a game that not even Nostradamus could have predicted in Week 13.

Even though the Giants lost the battle, they still have a chance to win the war. The Week 13 showdown was a turning point in the Giants season. They came out with fire against the Dallas Cowboys and Jason Pierre-Paul became recognized as an elite defensive end.

The reason Pierre-Paul was able to show off his freakish abilities was due to an injury to Osi Umenyiora. Umenyiora had a much publicized feud with Giants ownership and even threatened to hold out if his contract was not re-structured. Ultimately, he decided to report to camp and came back to the Giants lineup in Week 4.

Umenyiora was able to rack up 7 sacks from Week 4 to Week 12. The cause of concern began from Week 10 when Osi noticeably slowed down against the 49ers.

Osi sat out from the Packers game until Week 16 to rest for a chance to win the NFC East. He returned with a vengeance on the last game of the season to sack Tony Romo twice and bring the Giants back to the playoffs.

Umenyiora also managed to sack Matt Ryan last Sunday and propel the Giants to where we are today.

A healthy Umenyiora along with a confident Giants defense and offense can be a deadly combination against Rodgers and company.

The Giants cohesiveness parallels that to the Green Bay Packers of last year and is sure to be a talking point prior to kickoff.

With that said, if the Giants can show up with the same intensity they have shown in the past three weeks, it would not be a surprise if they make their way to the NFC Championship game.

The X-Factor?

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Tags: 2012 Nfl Playoffs Green Bay Packers New York Giants Osi Umenyiora

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