With the New York Giants facing the Green Bay Packers this week in an NFC Divisional Round playing game I reached out to SB Nation's Packers website, Acme Packing Company, and traded five questions with the site's lead writer, Brandon Benson.
The results of our Q&A are below. Brandon will have my answers to his questions up at some point, as well. Play nice with the Packers fans, gang. These are two of the classiest organizations in all of sports, and let's represent them that way.
Big Blue View: When you think about this game do you think at all about what happened in 2008 in the NFC Championship Game? Does it have any bearing at all?
Acme Packing Company: I think back on the game and players who played in it, like Greg Jennings, have even mentioned it as motivation. On the other hand, there have been so many changes for both teams that the game might as well be a distant memory. Aaron Rodgers sat on the bench in that game. How many great players like Jordy Nelson, Clay Matthews, Hakeem Nicks, and Victor Cruz were still in college? Though I'm sure the memories are still fresh for both coaching staffs.
Big Blue View: Are you worried at all by the layoff and by the perception that perhaps the Packers weren't playing as well at the end of the season as they did maybe the first three quarters of the year?
Acme Packing Company: No and no. The layoff was a good thing because some key players (Chad Clifton, Bryan Bulaga, James Starks, Greg Jennings) needed the extra week to rest. Their only loss, at Kansas City, came near the end of the season, but three of their last four games were at home and they scored a combined 126 points in those last three home games. The defense was as porous as ever, but the offense wasn't stopped at all and no team has won a shoot-out against the Packers this season.
Big Blue View: Better receiving corps -- Giants or Packers? Secondary question -- how do you defend Greg Jennings, with vastly inferior numbers, making the Pro Bowl instead of Victor Cruz?
Acme Packing Company: Sometimes each team is so good in some area that I just consider it a push. Any team would look great with a one-two punch of Nelson/Jennings or Nicks/Cruz. If I have to choose, it didn't look like Manningham played as well as the Packers No. 3 receiver of the week, so I'd pick the Packers. The Packers had good seasons out of James Jones, Donald Driver, and Randall Cobb, but not usually at the same time. Each week one of those three receivers played well, but it was impossible to predict which one it would be.
Big Blue View: What worries you most about the Giants?
Acme Packing Company: No disrespect to the Giants offense, but I'm not expecting them to be stopped. So the Packers will have to out score them, and they'll need their offensive line at least play the Giants defensive line to a draw. If the Giants four man line can stop the run and pressure Rodgers without blitz help, then I'd be worried.
Big Blue View: Do you have any injury concerns heading into the game?
Acme Packing Company: None this week. That open week was a big help. While guys like Bryan Bulaga, Greg Jennings and James Starks could have played last week, they would have been hobbled. They appear to be in much better shape this week.