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Playoffs on the line vs. Packers

The last time the Giants faced the Green Bay Packers the NFC championship was on the line. Although the stakes won’t be that high, Sunday, this matchup is important in its own right, as the loser will have crippled its playoff hopes.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br />

The last time the Giants faced the Green Bay Packers the NFC championship was on the line. Although the stakes won’t be that high, Sunday, this matchup is important in its own right, as the loser will have crippled its playoff hopes.

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin knows how important the Green Bay game is and didn’t have to reiterate that to his team, as they’re also well aware of the implications.

“Oh, absolutely they’re clear as a bell -- just like last week was,” Coughlin said when asked if he had to bring up the stakes of Sunday’s game. “In this day and age everyone is aware of exactly what is at stake, so it’s very honest and very straightforward to express that and to make players aware of it. They are aware of it and it’ll be a playoff atmosphere.”

The Giants [9-5] still control its own destiny and if they win out – the Packers on Sunday and the Washington Redskins the following week – they’ll be assured a playoff spot. Defensive end Justin Tuck said resiliency has been the word bandied in the locker room since the meltdown against the Philadelphia Eagles.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and we’re not dead. We’ve got two more to go and we’ve still got a great opportunity to make the playoffs,” Tuck said, adding that if the team isn’t ready for Green Bay another loss will mount. “I’m looking forward to the next one. That’s what you have to do. You can’t allow yourself to get caught up in the emotions of [the Philly game] and not be ready for Green Bay. We’ve got another tough place to play this week.”

Quarterback Eli Manning, who called a players-only meeting earlier this week to basically bury the Eagles game forever, agreed with Tuck.

“We know we have two games left and we have to win the next two. We have to go to Green Bay, a good team, and we have to find a way to get a win there,” Manning said, adding that a win Sunday will help ease many peoples’ minds. “That will solve some issues, solve some problems.”

Manning said no one is panicking or thinking about the Philadelphia game anymore because their main objective – making the post-season – is still well within reach.

“We know our goal. We have to get into the playoffs, that is the ultimate goal,” Manning insisted. “We still have a shot and that is all you want. You want a shot to get in and it is going to come down to how you finish and we have to finish strong.”

The Giants need to focus all of its attention on the Packers [8-6] because a loss would make the NFC Playoff seedings scenario murky.

Manning, who had a career playoff performance the last time he ventured up to Green Bay, said he’s just looking forward to preparing for the Packers and no longer talking about the Eagles.

“We’ve learned from that [Philly] and now this week is just as big of a game, if not more important at this point,” Manning said. “We have to make sure we have a great week of practice, we are focused, and are determined. And get back to working and make sure we get better and go in and make sure we get a win this week.”

 
 
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