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NFL playoff bracket 2017: Giants will play Packers in NFC wild-card game

Big Blue opens NFL playoffs in Green Bay

New York Giants v Washington Redskins Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The fifth-seeded New York Giants will travel to Wisconsin to meet the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in the playoffs for the third time in nine years. Green Bay earned the fourth seed with a 31-24 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday night. The Giants won the previous two meetings in 2008 (23-20) and 2012 (37-20), and went on to win the Super Bowl both times.

The Giants clinched the NFC’s fifth-seed in Week 16, but still played most of their starters the entire way in a season-closing victory over the Washington Redskins Sunday. Their 19-10 win knocked the Skins out of playoff contention and wrapped Ben McAdoo’s first season as head coach with a record of 11-5.

Green Bay (10-6) caught fire after a 4-6 start, winning their final six games to overtake the Detroit Lions and win the NFC North. Aaron Rodgers has been otherworldly during that stretch. Since Nov. 20, Rodgers has thrown for 18 touchdowns and zero interceptions.

It will be the second meeting between the two teams this year. Green Bay beat New York, 23-16, in a sloppy Sunday Night Football matchup during Week 5 of the regular season. Janoris Jenkins picked Rodgers off twice and the Giants held him to a season-low 51.1 completion percentage (23-of-45), but Eli Manning and the offense couldn’t capitalize. The Packers dominated time of possession (36:38 to 23:22) as the Giants’ couldn’t sustain drives, allowing Eddie Lacy (81 yards) to wear down Big Blue’s overexposed defense.

Much has changed since then. The Giants’ defense, which has been just as hot as Rodgers over the last two months, has proven it can compete with anyone. The offense has been another story. They’ve improved some — their 161 yards rushing against Washington was a season-high— but they’ll have to be better than they’ve been at any point this year if Big Blue hopes to advance.

Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017

Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017

*Byes: Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons, New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs