Green Bay Packers to Host Giants in Wild Card

Mike Morbeck  Flickr
Mike Morbeck Flickr
Author

06 January, 2017

The top seed and consensus best team in the NFC on the Giants' first ride was ... the Cowboys.

It would hardly be going out on a limb to say the Giants-Packers victor is the team with the best chance to beat Dallas and win the NFC championship, and, in fact, because of experience at quarterback, might actually have an edge in such a game.

Where the Packers are, as Favre said, "hitting on all cylinders" most is on offense.

Sunday back in Lambeau Field will be the first chance to see whether it matters for Playoff Eli this time.

That one year was the closest thing we had to a truly great rivalry in the last decade between the two Midwestern titans. In fact, in 2008, in a poll of NFL coaches conducted by ESPN, Hochuli tied Mike Carey as the league's best referee. He is set to interview for the head coaching vacancies in San Diego and Denver. Already without Sam Shields in the secondary as well as Eddie Lacy and James Starks on the offensive side of the ball, it's wonderful they're still alive and in contention. In October, the Packers simply sat back in a two-shell look, keeping both safeties deep to prevent Beckham from big plays. And most of those losses have been real gut-punch defeats. From the second quarter on, it seemed like penalties were the only real obstacle for Green Bay. He threw only seven interceptions. For those of you who are saying that Aaron Rodgers "called his shot", he hasn't yet, and none of you can say that he did until Super Bowl Monday. Through four games, Rodgers' rating was an unsightly 87.6. He's started 29 games in 2015 and 2016, completing 62.6% of his passes, 209 passing yards per game, 37 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and a passer rating of 94.2. In freezing temperatures during the 2007 matchup, Manning didn't light up the scoreboard, but he was tough in the elements and put the Giants in a position to win the game in overtime, 23-20, thanks to Lawrence Tynes' 47-yard field goal. Who was the referee for that game?

The Giants' playoff run begins Sunday in Green Bay against the Packers. My instinct is to pick the Giants to prevail, even though Aaron Rodgers has appeared unstoppable in recent weeks and the game is in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

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For a second straight game, Detroit fell flat in the second half. As you'll read in today's Cheese Curds, McCarthy has been calling plays that suit his running backs' strengths down the stretch, a good sign that he will be able to diagnose what is likely to work well against the stout Giants line.

It isn't so much that the Giants have won the past two playoff games in Green Bay, and that the Giants were Cinderellas both times, and that the Giants went on to win the Super Bowl each time. In other words, both teams should be at nearly full strength.

If there is any referee that could be considered a good luck charm for the Packers, it probably would be Gene Steratore. The Packers downed the Lions last week to wrap up the NFC North title.

Wild Card weekend 2017, which kicks off this Saturday, will feature two of the hottest teams in the NFL.

Wisco Kidz hope "Run the Table" keeps rolling as an anthem for Packers fans right through the playoffs. NY emerged victorious in nine of its last 11 contests, following a Week 5 loss at Green Bay, while the Packers completed Rodgers' "run the table" proclamation and won six in a row to finish out the campaign. Luckily (or unluckily), your game was flexed to the Sunday Night Game, so our spot was clinched before kickoff; but could you imagine what the entire city of Detroit would have been like if we hadn't been flexed?


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