Green Bay, WI
Why the Packers Will Win
The main reason the Packers will advance to Super Bowl XLII is simply because their opponent is the New York Giants. These are the same Giants who made the NFC playoffs only by Wild Card qualification with a 10-6 record. The same Giants who enter the game after already playing back-to-back road playoff games. The same Giants who have Eli Manning at quarterback.
If the Packers offense is as efficient as it they were in last week’s Divisional Playoff against Seattle–over 400 total yards, a 70 percent third-down conversion rate and scoring six touchdowns–they will be hoisting the George Halas Trophy come dinner time on Sunday night.
Defensively, the Packers have the edge. Aaron Kampman, Nick Barnett and Atari Bigby stuffed a good Seahawks offense, including yielding just 28 yards rushing.
Why the Giants Will Win
The main reason the Giants pulled off the Divisional Playoff upset over the Cowboys was because defensive ends Osi Umenyiora and Michael Strahan got pressure on the quarterback. If they can apply the same type of pressure to Brett Favre, who tends to panic and throw the ball up for grabs, they’ll have a shot getting some turnovers.
Obviously it will be important for the Giants to run the ball but they’ll have to have quarterback Eli Manning find ways to get the wide receivers the ball. Plaxico Burress has been bothered by an ankle injury but its been the crafty vet, Toomer (11 rec, 154 yds, three TDs), and the wily youngster, Steve Smith (7 rec, 77 yds), stepping up huge in the postseason.
Packers Fans: Stupid or Insane?
How about both.
First, take a look at this story out of Portage, Wisc.: Upset that his seven-year-old son wouldn’t wear a Packers jersey during the team’s playoff victory Saturday, a man restrained the boy for an hour with his jersey taped to him.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning is on the record of saying his favorite TV show is Seinfeld. Green Bay’s Fox affiliate has decided to pull their scheduled re-runs of the sit-com in hopes of making Manning feel uncomfortable while in town for the weekend.
Favre and the Packers played poorly in cold conditions in their Week 16 loss to the Bears but when the season was on the line in the Divisional Playoffs, they passed with flying colors.
We know Favre can handle the nasty elements, how will Manning and the Giants?
The temperature at Lambeau Field will have a high of six degrees and low of two on Sunday. The winds, at 12 mph, should make for an interesting day for the kickers, as well.
Packers right tackle Mark Tauscher manhandled Seahawks Pro Bowl defensive end Patrick Kerney last week. Tauscher will be tested again this week against Strahan.
On the other side, it will be up to left tackle Chad Clifton to protect Favre’s blindside from the oncoming rush of Umenyiora.
The Heckler’s Pick
Green Bay was clicking on all cylinders a week ago. Though they’ll be facing a tough Giants defense, they have the weapons to get the points needed to punch their ticket to Arizona.
The Giants offense managed only 57 total second-half yards versus Dallas. Unless their defense and special teams can find ways to score, I don’t see Manning being able to keep up in the poor weather conditions.
The Packers will be awarded with the right to be the last team the New England Patriots beat in their perfect record setting 19-0 season.
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