New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers begin defense of the Super Bowl crown as they host the New York Giants in the final NFL Playoff game of the weekend. The Packers are -9 point favorites over the Giants with an over/under point total set at 51.5.
The Green Bay Packers have been the best team in football during the regular season and posted the best record but they know as well as anyone after winning the Lombardi Trophy as a Wild Card team a year ago that anything can happen in the second season that is the playoffs. The Packers looked to have a chance to be one of the few NFL teams in history to go undefeated during the regular season but the dream died in Kansas City when we were once again reminded why so few teams have ever accomplished that feat. Aaron Rodgers didn’t have the most yards in the NFL this season, he wasn’t even all that close but his efficiency is what should make him the NFL MVP as he completed 68.3 percent of his passes for 4,643 yards with 45 touchdowns and six interceptions. Ryan Grant returned from injury and he combined with James Starks and Brandon Saine gave Green Bay a potent and diverse attack out of the backfield. Greg Jennings ended the regular season injured but he will be back for this one as he has 67 catches and nine touchdowns, Jordy Nelson had 68 catches and 15 touchdowns, and Jermichael Finley returned to have 55 catches and eight touchdowns despite dropping several easy catches. Statistically the Packers had the worst defense in the NFL allowing 411.6 yards and 22.4 points per game but they had a plus 24 turnover ratio with 31 interceptions and 13 fumble recoveries. Charles Woodson had seven interceptions, Charlie Peprah had five interceptions, and Desmond Bishop had 115 tackles. Green Bay is going to be a handful and if their defense can come together in the last few games like it did a year ago they are going to be very tough to beat.
The New York Giants had a chance to beat the Green Bay Packers just a few weeks ago but they were unable to do so losing by three at home. The Giants earned another crack at the defending Super Bowl champs by pounding Atlanta, stopping them on two fourth down attempts, and making them pay. Another Super Bowl ring would take Eli Manning’s status to a new level and he looked determined against the Falcons completing 71.9 percent of his passes for 277 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw split carries evenly at 14 a piece with Jacobs averaging 6.6 yards and Bradshaw averaging 4.5 yards. Hakeem Nicks was a difference maker catching six passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns including a 72 yarder that was a back breaker while Mario Manningham had four catches and a touchdown and Victor Cruz had two catches. The Giants defense was stout against the Falcons and while they didn’t force any turnovers and had just two sacks, they came up big with Atlanta’s only points coming on a safety. Antrel Rolle and Chase Balckburn had nine tackles each and Jason Pierre-Paul had eight. The Giants were very close to knocking off the Packers in their last meeting but it will take a much bigger effort in January at Lambeau Field.
Green Bay is 8-1 against the spread against a team with a winning record, 4-0 against the spread in their last four playoff games, and 11-4 against the spread in their last 15 games against NFC teams. New York is 6-0 against the spread in their last six road playoff games, 6-0 against the spread in their last six games as an underdog, and 5-0 against the spread against a team with a winning record. The road team has covered in five of the last seven meetings of these two and the underdog has covered in four of the last five.
The total in this one opened at 51 and shot up to 52.5 but I still have it going over that number.