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Giants' 3 storylines to watch

Giants vs. Packers

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Giants vs. Packers

1. Will the meltdown
against the Philadelphia Eagles hang over the Giants like a gloomy storm cloud
or can they refocus their energy on the Green Bay Packers in what is
essentially a must-win game?

Defensive end Justin Tuck said following the
Philly game that perhaps the G-Men are cursed when it comes to the Eagles:
“We’ll find a way to get over this, I guess, jinx of the Eagles [but] who
knows?” Defensive tackle Barry Cofield was equally dour as recently as Monday
afternoon: “Not right now I won’t get over it but perhaps over time.” Doesn’t
sound like a team with tunnel vision, does it? Head coach Tom Coughlin said
there is no “snapping out of it” necessary because he feels the team realizes
the importance of Sunday’s tilt – but we’ll see.

. Will the running
game regain its form?

The undersized Eagles’ defensive front stymied Brandon
Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw last week, as Bradshaw had a pedestrian 66 yards
rushing. Philly stuffed Big Blue’s vaunted rushing attack [1,909 combined
yards] twice this year but may receive a break this week. The Packers as a
whole have a better defense than the Eagles, as they’re tied with the
Pittsburgh Steelers atop the NFL in the points allowed category [15.7 points
per game], but they are mediocre against the run. The Pack are allowing 117
rushing yards per game, which is 19th in the league. There may be
hope for Bradshaw and Jacobs just yet.

. Something has to
give: Will Manning piggyback off his stellar performance against the Eagles
last week or will he revert back to his inconsistent self?

What meaty numbers the
Packers allow on the ground, they’re just as stingy through the air, ranking third
in the NFL in passing yards allowed [192.4 yards per game]. The defense has
limited opposing passers to a meek 70.3 rating this season, which is tops in
the league. Manning has 28 touchdowns but also a league-high 20 interceptions
and can be baited into bad throws. If he goes back to his skittish ways, Green
Bay will pounce on those mistakes, as they’ve registered 18 interceptions this
season, good for fourth in the league. If the Packers secondary befuddled the
Patriots’ Tom Brady [15-of-24, 163 yards passing], imagine what they’ll do to
Manning if he’s not on point.

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