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Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Giants look to change tune on swoon

By Ohm Youngmisuk
ESPNNewYork.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Tom Coughlin says the New York Giants should not have any difficulty finding motivation this week.

After losing two straight games, the Giants come off their bye week with a pivotal game against the Green Bay Packers.

Not only will this be a rematch of last year's NFC divisional playoff meeting, when the Giants stunned the Packers in Green Bay, but it is a meeting between the last two Super Bowl champions.

"This is a huge game," Coughlin said. "It's a huge game for them. It's a huge game for us. I'm not going to stand here and talk to you about motivation, but I can give you a half an hour of it. Why wouldn't we be excited about playing? Look at the time of the year. After Thanksgiving, you better be playing your best football or on your way towards playing your best football."

Mario Manningham
The last time the Giants and Packers met, the G-Men shocked the Pack at Lambeau Field.

Of course, an almost annual problem for the Giants is that they often don't play their best football in November. The Giants (6-4) are hoping to put an end to talk about them experiencing another midseason swoon after losing their last two to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati and having not played their best football for over a month.

The Giants' lead in the NFC East is now down to one game over the Dallas Cowboys (5-5).

"I'm really tired about answering all the questions about what's wrong," Coughlin said. "And I'd rather we play a game and play it well and answer the questions that way."

Eli Manning can certainly help the Giants get back on track. Manning hasn't thrown a touchdown pass in his last three games -- the worst three-game stretch since the second, third and fourth starts of his rookie season.

Manning had two costly interceptions that led to two Bengals touchdowns in a 31-13 loss at Cincinnati on Nov. 11 -- the last game the Giants played -- and has thrown for only one touchdown in his past 18 quarters.

"He's excited, I can tell you that," Coughlin said of Manning. "He's excited about playing. He's looking at this as if it's a start to a new season."

While the Giants are looking to get back on track, the Packers (7-3) are riding a five-game winning streak. Aaron Rodgers has completed 66.9 percent of his passes and has 24 touchdowns and just four interceptions in his last seven games.

The Giants know they must slow down Rodgers by getting pressure on him.

During their 37-20 upset in the playoffs last year at Lambeau, the Giants sacked Rodgers four times and picked him off once while also forcing Rodgers into one of the Packers' three lost fumbles.

But Justin Tuck does not think Rodgers can be rattled into making mistakes.

"I think we can probably speed him up a little," Tuck said. "Maybe we can slow him down a little bit. Rattle? He's played in a lot of big-time games, and played well in those games. He's gotten hit a lot in certain games and come out and [will] take your heart at the end of the game.

"I don't think he's 'rattleable,'" Tuck added.

The Giants are hoping that they can look unflappable against the Packers for the second straight time. They certainly know Green Bay pretty well by now. This is the fourth time they will face the Packers since Dec. 26, 2010.

Tuck believes the Giants will have a better idea of where they stand as a team after Sunday night's game.

"We've played crappy football over the last couple of weeks," Tuck said. "We really would like to swing this momentum back in our favor. We'd really like to come out of this football game feeling very confident about where we are as a football team heading into the rest of this schedule. It's just a great opponent, a great measuring stick for our football team, to see exactly where we are."