Can the New York Giants do it again? Can they go into Lambeau Field in Green Bay and reprise what they did four years ago, knocking off a heavily-favored Green Bay team to continue an unlikely march through the NFL Playoffs?
We find out Sunday afternoon beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET on FOX. The 10-7 Giants are a nine-point underdog against the 15-1 defending Super Bowl champion Packers. That underdog status did not matter the last time these teams met in the playoffs, with the Giants winning, 23-20, in overtime. It certainly has not seemed to matter to the Giants this week as they have prepared for the Packers.
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"I think everybody knows its win or go home, I don't think it's any added pressure needed to be there. We have nothing to lose. We can go out there and put our best foot forward," said Giants cornerback Corey Webster. "I think they are going to do the exact same thing. I think it will be a good challenge for us to go out there on Lambeau Field and I think we are going to be up for it. I think all the guys are preparing, flying around to the ball this week. We have a lot of enthusiasm going through our practice and I think that's going to carry over to our game."
There is no doubt that the Giants have an opportunity here. They have the pass rush that is required to at least have hope of slowing Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense. They have the big-play passing attack capable scoring enough points to hang in a high-scoring game. They have a resurgent running attack that could help keep the Packer offense off the field. They have a head coach in Tom Coughlin who has been down this road before, and succeeded.
None of that means they will get it done Sunday evening in Green Bay. The Packers lost only once for a reason -- they are very good.
I talked earlier this week about the need for the Giants pass rush to be effective. Our cohorts at Acme Packing Company don't think rushing Rodgers makes any difference. In fact, the folks at APC don't fear the Giants defense at all, saying "The Packers scored 45 points in their previous meeting at Lambeau in December 2010, and I don't see any reason why they can't be that good again on Sunday."
That. of course, ignores the fact that the Giants are healthier and more cohesive on defense than they have been at any time this season.
Matching up the Giants offense with the Packers defense, I do have to agree with Acme that "The Packers defense is going to have it's hands full. I would also agree that the deciding factor there will be turnovers. Can Green Bay create them on defense? Can the Giants avoid them on offense?
We only have to wait a few more hours to find out.