Final Word: Giants at Packers

January, 13, 2012
1/13/12
1:30
PM ET
Divisional Final Word: Saints-49ers | Broncos-Patriots | Texans-Ravens | Giants-Packers

Three nuggets of knowledge about Sunday's Giants-Packers divisional round game:

Run, Giants, run: The Giants, who averaged a league-worst 89.2 rush yards per game in the regular season, ran for 172 in their wild-card round victory over the Atlanta Falcons. It was the first time this season that the Giants had rushed for more than 150 yards in a game. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Giants have won their past 14 games in which they have rushed for at least 150 yards. So although the Week 13 results and the Packers' league-worst pass defense (299.8 yards allowed per game) could tempt Eli Manning & Co. into a shootout, the Giants' best bet may be to try to wear down the Packers' run defense, which gave up just 111.8 yards per game on the ground.

[+] EnlargeNew York's Brandon Jacobs
Andrew Mills/US PRESSWIREBrandon Jacobs ran for 92 of the Giants' season-best 172 yards on the ground in the wild-card round.
Vulnerable down the field: ESPN Stats & Info also reports that the Giants gave up 24 passing touchdowns this year when using five or more defensive backs -- the most in the league while in such formations. Just more proof of why the Giants don't blitz and rely on their front four to pressure the quarterback. They need all the help they can get on the back end of the defense, and in a game like this against Aaron Rodgers and his array of weapons, that's more true than ever.

Good playoff omens: The Packers this year scored 560 points, which is the second-highest single-season total in NFL history. The only team that scored more was the 2007 Patriots, who of course went undefeated until losing in the Super Bowl to the Giants. Also, Manning has three career playoff road wins (all in that 2007-08 postseason, and not counting that Super Bowl victory on a neutral field). If he wins this game, he'll tie the record for the most career playoff road wins, which is shared by Roger Staubach, Jake Delhomme, Mark Sanchez, Joe Flacco and Len Dawson. Flacco's playing at home this weekend, and the rest of those guys are off. Though I guess Delhomme is the Texans' backup, so if T.J. Yates got hurt, Delhomme could technically pick up a fifth and make this note moot. Hey, we're covering all bases here.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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