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The View Back East: A Giant Rematch At Lambeau

By Joe Kleiber, Special To CBSDFW.COM
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The New York Giants dominated the Atlanta Falcons last week to earn them a shot at the Green Bay Packers with the right to move on the NFC Championship on the line. The Packers have been great all year with only one loss. The last time these teams met it was a shootout with the Packers winning 38-35. Can the Giants gain some revenge and march into Lambeau Field and pull off the upset? Here is a preview of that game and a recap of the wildcard game against Atlanta.

Giants 24 Falcons 2

136582484 The View Back East: A Giant Rematch At Lambeau

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 08: Michael Turner #33 of the Atlanta Falcons runs the ball against Chase Blackburn #93, Mathias Kiwanuka #94 and Michael Boley #59 of the New York Giants during their NFC Wild Card Playoff game at MetLife Stadium on January 8, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Both these teams got off to a slow start, but the Giants controlled the game after the first quarter. Eli Manning had another great game with 277 passing yards and three touchdowns. Hakeem Nicks had a huge game with six catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns. The Falcons secondary was overmatched all game and could not stop anybody. Mario Manningham also had a great game with four catches for 68 yards and a touchdown. The biggest thing was that they finally got the running game going. Brandon Jacobs had 92 rushing yards and Ahmad Bradshaw had 63 yards.

The Giants defense pitched a shutout. The only points the Falcons scored were on a safety. The defense got two sacks and hurried Matt Ryan all day. If this defense plays this well against Green Bay, they just might pull off the upset.

Divisional Round Preview: Giants at Packers

135371041 The View Back East: A Giant Rematch At Lambeau

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 04: Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants can't make the catch on a pass in the endzone against Jarrett Bush #24 of the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium on December 4, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Packers won 38-35. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

The last time these teams met in the playoffs was in 2008 and Brett Favre was still the quarterback for the Packers. The Giants came into Lambeau Field and upset the heavily favored Packers in the NFC Championship. The Giants would go on to upset the undefeated New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. Can the Giants find that same magic and overcome the odds again?

It looks like both these teams are better than the teams that played in 2008. The Giants offense is definitely better with Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham. Eli Manning has also proved his critics wrong and has become an elite quarterback in this league. Their defense is also just as good. Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora are the key to a victory. If they can rush Aaron Rodgers all game and put heavy pressure on him, they can win. Rodgers is very tough to bring down because of his mobility and awareness outside the pocket. The Packers also have several weapons the Giants need to cover. They now have a healthy Greg Jennings to add to Jordy Nelson, Jermichael Finley, James Jones, Randall Cobb and Donald Driver.

The Packers defense has struggled this year and that is not good when they have to face an explosive Giants offense. The Giants torched this secondary the last time these teams met and they can do it again. The Packers will need to create turnovers and get pressure on Manning. They will also need to get off to a fast start and put the Giants into an early hole. The Packers need to run the ball in order to keep Manning and the offense off the field.

This should be a tight game with a lot of points scored. The Packers have the slight edge at quarterback. The Giants have an edge at running back with Jacobs and Bradshaw over Ryan Grant and James Starks. Both teams have healthy offensive lines so that is even. Both teams have an elite receiving core, but the Packers have more depth if you count Jermichael Finley and Randall Cobb.

The defensive-line edge goes to the Giants. No team has a better defensive line than the Giants. The Packers have an edge at linebacker with Clay Matthews and Desmond Bishop. The Packers also have the edge in the secondary with Tramon Williams, Charles Woodson and Morgan Burnett. Corey Webster is having a great year for the Giants, but the other corners have struggled. Kenny Phillips and Antrel Rolle are both having solid years. The Packers have a huge advantage in special teams with Mason Crosby over Lawrence Tynes and Randall Cobb in the return game.

Who will win this game? It will be a great game, but one team will come out on top. It’s hard to imagine any team slowing down Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense. The Giants have the personnel on defense to do it, but the Packers have too much firepower. The Packers will force a late turnover to win. Prediction: Packers 34 Giants 27

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