Sunday, January 8, 2012
Quick Take: Giants at Packers
By Kevin Seifert
Three things to know about next Sunday's New York Giants-Green Bay Packers divisional playoff game:
1. Memories: It's inevitable. Tom Coughlin, Eli Manning, Lawrence Tynes, Corey Webster and their Giants teammates will all return to the scene of one of the Packers' most disappointing games ever: an overtime loss in the 2007 NFC Championship Game. On a minus-3 degree day at Lambeau Field, quarterback Brett Favre threw an overtime interception to Webster on what turned out to be Favre's final pass as a Packers player. Tynes kicked a 43-yard field goal to pull off the upset and deny the Packers a chance to play in the Super Bowl. Sunday's rematch will be the Packers' first home playoff game since that loss. For those interested, long-range forecasts are calling for a high of 21 degrees. Here's what receiver Greg Jennings tweeted Sunday afternoon: "The team that kept us from our potential Super Bowl in 08 is back on OUR turf now. Trust me, we haven't forgotten. Here. We...GoPackGo! #BeGreat"
2. Close as ...: The Giants might have given the Packers their second-toughest game of the regular season, getting 347 yards from Manning in a 38-35 Packers victory. It wasn't until quarterback Aaron Rodgers led the Packers on a 69-yard drive over the final 58 seconds that the Packers were able to secure a victory with the decisive Mason Crosby field goal. The Giants rolled up 447 total yards despite holding the ball for only 26 minutes, 47 seconds, getting big chunks along the way and averaging 8.7 yards per play. The Packers were the better team that day, but the teams were evenly matched for most of it.
3. Theory tested: If they are to win the Super Bowl again, the Packers quite possibly will have to defeat a Pro Bowl quarterback every step along the way. That begins with Manning and could move next to the New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees. That will be the ultimate test of a Packers defense that gave up more passing yards than any team in NFL history during the regular season. The Packers got by because they also led the league in interceptions, but the concern during the regular season was that an elite quarterback could roll up the yards, avoid the interceptions and knock the Packers out of the playoffs. Manning is first up.