NY Giants (11-5) at Green Bay (10-6)
When: Sunday, January 8th 2017
Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
Time: 4:40 ET | TV: FOX
The Green Bay Packers make their eighth straight appearance in the postseason when they host the New York Giants on Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field. The Packers looked to be left for dead after a four game losing streak in the middle of the season that saw them surrender 153 points. Since that last loss at Washington, the Packers have won six straight entering the playoffs. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers tossed 15 of his NFL-best 40 touchdown passes during the Packers’ winning streak and recorded his second straight four-TD performance in Sunday’s 31-24 victory over Detroit, securing the NFC North title for his team and conference Player of the Month honors to boot. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson recorded one of his NFL-best 14 touchdowns in Green Bay’s Week 5 win over the Giants (23-16). Fellow wideout Randall Cobb was also good against the Giants earlier this season with nine receptions for 108 yards. He participated in both practices this week after missing the last two games with a left ankle injury and should be ready Sunday. Davante Adams, who also had a highlight-reel TD grab versus New York in the first meeting, had two touchdowns against the Lions last week and has five scoring receptions in his last five home games. Pro Bowl S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (team-high five interceptions) has made three picks in four career playoff games, while LB Nick Perry registered one of his career-high 11 sacks this season versus the New York.
While the Packers have been a staple in the Playoffs, New York will be making their first trip since they posted a victory over the Packers in the divisional round of the 2011-12 playoffs en route to upending New England in Super Bowl XLVI. Eli Manning, who has won eight of his last nine playoff starts, completed just 18-of-35 passes for 199 yards in a 23-16 loss to Green Bay on October 9th. The flashy Odell Beckham Jr. (101 receptions for 1,367 yards) and fellow wideout Victor Cruz were quick to dismiss Monday’s celebrity-filled off-day trip to Miami as “much ado about nothing” rather than any sort of distraction heading into the playoff game. Beckham had five catches among his team-high 12 targets and found the end zone in the closing moments of the first meeting with the Packers while Cruz was held without a catch. The Giants could use a boost from their 29th ranked rushing game, as starter Rashad Jennings has yet to eclipse the 100-yard barrier this season. Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week after recording two of his NFL second-best six interceptions in a 19-10 victory over Washington on Sunday.
I know the Packers are rolling right now, but it’s hard to ignore Manning’s playoff record and the fact that New York has an excellent defense that I believe will slow down Green Bay in the cold. I think this is a great game that will come down to the wire.
Pick: Giants +5