The sweet 16 is down to the elite 8, and the Green Bay Packers have drawn the New York Giants as their first opponent in the 2011-2012 NFL Playoffs. The Packers played the Giants in week 13, coming out of New York with a gritty 38-35 win showing the NFL nation again, that our defense cannot contain a balanced offense and that our offense will simply have to outscore their opponent. Eli Manning threw for 347 yards and 3 TDs, 1 INT. As a group, the Giants rushed for a modest 100 yards but Ahmad Bradshaw was in his first game back from a broken bone in his leg, and looks much more agile as of late. The Giants matchup well with the Packers, possessing a good two back combo, three good to great WRs, and a Super Bowl winning QB. The Giants pass rush has been feared for years and they are getting stronger as the postseason continues. The Packers will be favored, by probably 3 or 4 points, but there are some key matchups the Packers will have to exploit to advance to the NFC Championship. Here are a few I have found….
1. Our beat-up Tackles vs. Tuck, Pierre-Paul and Umenyiora – Like I mentioned, the Giants have one heck of a pass rush, led by these three ends. Umenyiora did not play in the week 13 matchup, but these three are no joke. This list does not include Kiwanuka and Canty, who can rush the QB as well. The Packers will be reluctantly welcoming back Chad Clifton who tore his hamstring against the Falcons in week 5, and Bulaga is coming back from a knee sprain that has held him out the past three weeks. These guys might as well be trying to corral deer because these DEs are quick. There will be no warmup game to get back into playing shape, they will thrown directly into the fire. Rodgers having time to pick apart the Giants’ weak secondary will be key in this game.
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