As I watched the Dallas vs. NY game this weekend I had put on all of my old Giants gear from when I lived in New York and was screaming so loud I lost my voice. By the end I was so happy I probably would have kissed Eli Manning if I had had the chance. But now that the Championship round is under way, it is time to diagnose the matchup of New York Giants versus the Green Bay Packers.
My marquee matchup this week is going to be...
Chad Clifton vs. Osi Umenyiora
Clifton must do a great job of protecting Favre and his backside against one of the best pass rushers in the game. Osi is strong fast and physical, he will give Clifton hell all game but Cliftons skill might be able to match Osi's. The other key thing Clifton will need to do is get some big push on Osi when Grant is running. Since Grant loves to cut back the DE will be looking for that all game but if Clifton can neutralize Osi in the run game, it could be a long day for the G-Men.
Brett Favre vs. Giants Secondary
Favre has been great all season and last time the G-men played the Packers Favre tore them up the second half. Now since both teams have changed drastically it is hard to tell how they will do. If Ross can be at full health with the rest of his secondary they have a better chance. But since I figure him to be beat up and the Giants secondary is already getting thin, Favre should have his way with the Giants especially when they spread the defense out in the 4 and 5 wideout sets.
Giants O-Line vs. Packers D-Line
The Packers D-line is probably one of the most untold stories of the year. They are all strong, and physical and all can play the run and pass, but the most important thing is they are very deep at DT. The Packers D-line rotation can wear offenses down and keep them fresh but unfortunately for the Packers the Giants O-Line isnt a cup cake line. The G-Men's line have played all 16 games togethor and have been very solid in both the running and passing game, allowing 28 sacks and rushing for over 2000 yards in the regular season. Again both of these lines are some of the unsung tales of this season. It is very hard to tell who will win the battle, but with the G-Men's performance at Dallas I am going to say...
Edge: Slightly Packers (only because of the depth).
Brandon Jacobs vs. Packers Linebackers
Jacobs rumbles, tumbles, and plows his way through 'backers and D-lineman. But the Packers LB's proved all season they are one of the best cores in the entire league. What I think it will come down to is whether the Packers linebackers can tackle low enough all game instead of throwing themselves at Jacobs shoulders helplessly. If Jacobs can get a full head of steam its over but with the Packers D-line im not sure he will be able to. Although with the threat of the Eli now, the packers will commit more to the pass than the run allowing more lanes for Jacobs.
Edge: Slightly Jacobs
Al Harris vs. Plaxico Burress
Plaxico has been hurt all year with a torn legament in his ankle but for most of the season it hasnt slowed him down. But with the physical play of Harris I am not quite sure how that ankle will hold up as well as the rest of his body. If Harris can get his hands on him early, we wont see much from Burress the whole game.
Edge: Al Harris
Packers Receivers vs. Giants Secondary
This will be tough for NY because the Packers have so much depth at WR and can split out 5 receivers, all of whom are playmakers. It will be very tough for the Giants depleted secondary to cover that. I realize they did a good job shutting down the Cowboys receivers and quarterback, but what we all must realize is TO was hampered by an injury and the only way the other receivers get good yards if he is flying around drawing all the attention. I just dont think the G-Men will be able to handle the deepest WR core in the NFL, not to mention they get the most YAC in the NFL.
EDGE: Packers Receivers
I just dont think the G-Men will have the depth to beat the Packers, they packers have played only 1 game now where this will be the Giants third. The Packers proved last week they could run, pass, and have composure to catch up to an early deficit. The Giants won the game in Dallas on pure emotion, they wanted it more, but the Giants will face an even eager team looking to send Brett Favre out with one last Super Bowl win. And yes I know New York is very good as an away team but the Packers are good at home too, only losing one game at home to the Bear.
Final Score: 35-17 Packers win.