Green Bay Packers
The Giants put together their most complete game of the season, dominating the Atlanta Falcons 24-2 in the first round of the NFC Playoffs. Eli Manning threw for three touchdowns, two to Hakeem Nicks, and the Giants’ rushing attack had a season best 172 yards.
But the true star of the game was the defense. A laughing stock for most of the season, the Giants pitched a shutout, with the Falcons’ only score being a safety when Manning was called for intentional grounding in the end zone. The defensive line had two sacks, but pressured Matt Ryan constantly. Michael Turner ran for just 41 yards for the Falcons. And Ryan was stopped twice on fourth and 1, both times on a QB sneak.
Now the Giants head out to the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field for a rematch with the Green Bay Packers. The two teams met in Week 13, with the Packers pulling out a 38-35 win on a last second field goal by Mason Crosby. The Packers were without two linebackers, while the Giants were without Osi Umenyiora, Ahmad Bradshaw, and Mario Manningham.
It’s also a rematch of the 2008 NFC Championship Game, when the Giants ended Brett Favre’s career in Green Bay with a 23-20 overtime win en route to a Super Bowl title.
The Giants are definitely peaking at the right time, like they did in 2007 and the Packers did last year. It should be a great game.