1. QB Eli Manning: With many beginning to think that Eli has turned the corner in his career, Sunday will be his chance to prove that the Giants and him are on the right track. Last weekend Manning and Co. beat Romo’s Cowboys, and just after Romo was held in high hopes, he was immediately brought back down to reality after the loss. Manning’s impressive outburst of great play has surprised NFL fans all around, so the question is, can the youngin’ keep up with the ultimate Vet Favre?
Although Eli is showing that he is still learning the game, the young QB has shown great pocket presence and accuracy. Thus he needs to keep connecting with what got him here: Amani Toomer and Plaxico Burress. While following Coughlin’s lead, the run game should be in full effect while Eli needs to be careful throwing into Packers’ coverage. CBs Al Harris, Charles Woodson, and Atari Bigby are something to worry about. The receivers better be ready to get hit, and Manning better be careful not to get him or his receiving core hurt after tossing any stupid throws.
2. RB Brandon Jacobs: Jacobs has given the Giants what they needed this season: a RB to pound the rock with the size of a beast and the quickness of a trackstar. The Packers haven’t seen the likes of Jacobs, and they could be in for a rude awakening as their D may crumble if Jacobs gets on a roll allowing Manning to open up the pass game.
3. C Shaun O’Hara: With O’Hara the Giants are united and ready for battle. Without him they are lost and unconfident. His veteran presence has led to the Giant’s confidence and wins. He’ll battle it out with the Packers trio of DTs Cullen Jenkins, Ryan Pickett and Justin Harrell. Can O’Hara stop the Packers DTs and give the needed confidence to his fellow O-Line to hold off Aaron Kapman and KGB from taking out Manning?
1. QB Brett Favre: Two seasons ago we were calling Favre in the championship, but it never happened. Last season seemed shaky as Favre leaned towards retirement, and I would have never expected for the inexperienced Pack Squad to make it to the NFC Title Game this season. Well they’re there now, and it’s because of Favre’s vet presence. He can do it all and more for someone right under 40 years old. He makes the underhand and overhand throws, and he knows how to win. Although, in his 17 year career, he hasn’t won a championship since 1997, he definitely wants to get back there after loosing to the Broncos in Super Bowl XXII (1998). With the run game on pace, Favre’s got the for a win in Green Bay on Sunday.
2. CB Al Harris: Although Plaxico Burress has dealt with injuries throughout the season, you can’t expect him to falter just yet. Al Harris has to lock down Burress because the lengthy receiver can be a threat at any moment in the game. Harris’ veteran coverage skills should keep Burress in check, but you never know with a talent like Plax.
3. MLB Nick Barnett: Barnett has been the anchor to the Packers LBs this season. Although the Seahawks managed to slip through some of his tackles, I’d blame the snowy conditions. Barnett’s talents and on-the-field leadership are the reasons he’s the only Packer LB that’s been there since 2003. His monstrous season racked in 131 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 4 passes deflected and two interceptions. He’ll have to add a huge playmaking game if he wants to send the Giants home, and the Packers packing for Super Bowl XLII.