Giants vs. Packers: 3 things to watch

Aaron Rodgers

The Giants face the defending champions in the NFC divisional playoff round. Metro takes a look at what it will take for Big Blue to knock off the 15-1 Packers at Lambeau Field (4:30 p.m., FOX):

What to watch for …
 
1. Mann for Man

Look for Eli Manning to match Rodgers yard-for-yard. No team gives up the big play like the Packers’ secondary and Manning has already had experience torching Green Bay’s defensive backs. In the first meeting, Manning went 23-of-40 for 347 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Manning came within seven yards of breaking the 5,000-yard plateau this season, so getting into a shootout will not be a daunting task for Manning and Co.
 
2. QB hits

The Giants will need to do everything they can to slow down a Packers team that averaged 35 points per game and had the second-highest single-season points total in NFL history — right behind the 18-1 Patriots in the 2007 season. The last time these teams met, a 38-35 Packers win, Rodgers went 28-of-46 for 369 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Getting sacks is unlikely, but what the Giants’ defensive front will need to do is get pressure up the middle to not allow Rodgers to step up to throw and get hits on the passer. No quarterback, no matter how elite, likes to get repeatedly hit in the mouth. The Giants’ front four is the key.

3. Down to the wire

Look for a close game, as these teams certainly have enough offensive firepower and game-changers on defense. The Giants lost the first meeting, but took away many good things from the loss. Despite being down double-digits in the second half, allowing Packers linebacker Clay Matthews to return a Manning pass for a touchdown and yielding the game-winning drive in a mere 90 seconds, the Giants still made the Packers sweat. They needed a long field goal at the gun to eke out the win and remain unbeaten.



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