The best part of January: playoff football.
Wild Card weekend is here.
In Sunday afternoon’s second Wild Card match-up, the No. 4 Green Bay Packers will play host to the No. 5 New York Giants. What could get better than a January Sunday afternoon Giants/Packers match-up at Lambeau Field?
How New York can win…
Eli Manning and the G-Men strung together a mid-season six-game win streak, and won three of the season’s last four games, to capture the five-seed in the NFC. They somehow managed to sweep the 13-3 Dallas Cowboys this season, which accounts for two of Dallas’ three total losses. In New York’s previous 10 postseason games, they have posted a 9-1 record with two Super Bowl victories (5-0 on road in that span). The 10-game span also happens to include two road victories over Green Bay. Recent history appears to be on New York’s side, especially given New York’s defense is top 10 in both points allowed and yardage. But then again the postseason is a whole new ball-game.
How Green Bay can win…
All-Pro, future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers hasn’t thrown a pick since November 13 against Tennessee, and he’s thrown just seven all season. At home games this season (6-2 record), Rodgers has 22 touchdowns and just four picks. I think we can all safely agree that the 33-year old veteran has been lights-out at Lambeau this season, and already won a 23-16 match-up in Green Bay earlier this season. One thing that should worry the Packers heading into this afternoon is the fact they currently rank 22nd and 23rd in scoring and yards allowed, respectively, on the defensive side of the ball. But with New York’s offense failing to put up 30 or more points all season long, and being held to under 20 points in the last five games of the season, putting up a couple of offensive touchdowns very well could do the trick for Green Bay this afternoon.
Our Pick: Packers, 21-17.
These two teams have played seven head-to-head postseason games in team history, with the first match-up dating all the way back to 1938. Green Bay is winning the series 4-3, but the Giants have won the previous two (37-20 in 2011-12 and 23-20 in overtime in 2007-08). Neither team has much of a rushing attack, so I believe whichever quarterback plays the best will win this game. I’ll give it to Rodgers at Lambeau, snapping the two-game playoff losing streak against New York.
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