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Win and In

If the Giants win in Green Bay this Sunday, it will allow Giants fans to not have to go through the excruciating process of scoreboard watching in week 17. A Giant win means the Giants clinch a playoff birth. It won't erase the sting for last weeks collapse, but it will ease us Giants fans knowing we punched our ticket to the big dance.

Giants defense vs. Packers offense

The Packers run a creative offense that uses multiple packages. Earlier on Sunday Morning Countdown on ESPN, Bob Holtzman reported that during practice this week, the Giants faced two different scout team offenses back to back to simulate how the Packers run their offense. This year, Rodgers has been excellent against the blitz, posting a QB rating of 109.5. Jennings leads the team in targets, with the next highest being Donald Driver, who is 27 targets behind Jennings. Look for the Giants to shadow Jennings with Webster all game. Considering how effective Rodgers is against the blitz, it will be imperative for New York to get to Rodgers with their front four. I would expect the Giants to test the Packers rookie RT Bryan Bulaga by lining up Osi and Tuck on this side on passing downs. Considering the Packers are no threat to beat a team on the ground, the Giants should have plenty of opportunities to test the Packers offensive line.

Giants offense vs. Packers defense

The Packers boast one of the most underrated defenses in the NFL this season. They are bolstered by arguably the top corner back tandem in the league, in Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams. Against the run is where the Packers have been vulnerable; they are tied for 26th with Bufallo, giving up 4.6 yards per carry. One of the main culprits, surprisingly, has been Clay Matthews. Here is what ProFootballFocus had to say about Matthews performance last week after his game against the Patriots:

"After having an amazing start to the year, LOLB Clay Matthews (-2.6) doesn’t look remotely like the same player. For the second week in a row, he got the worst grade on the Packer D in run defense"

The Giants love running to that right side, where they have two stud linemen in Chris Snee and Kareem McKenzie. With the Packers starting a free agent linebacker at the right side today, I would expect the Giants to attack the edges of this Packer defense, and hope to wear out NT B.J. Raji by forcing him to pursue ball carriers laterally. No doubt the Giants want to come into this game and wear the Packers out on the ground.

Overall

You can make the argument this is the biggest regular season game for the Giants since their week 17 game against the Eagles back on December 28th, 2002. A win that game guaranteed a wild card berth, a loss meant they needed some help on Sunday. The Packers offense play into the strengths of what the Giants do best - attack the quarterback. I would expect the Packers to throw some screens and draws early in this game to keep the Giants pass rush off balance, but ultimately, if this game is won, it will be won by both defenses. The Giants haven't had a defensive touchdown all year, even though they lead the NFL in total takeaways. Which ever team's defense is able to make the big plays and swing the momentum, will win this game.

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-MattBNYG

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