New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers
Date and Time: Sunday, January 8, 2017, 4:40 p.m. ET
Location: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
NFL Playoff Odds at BookMaker.eu: Packers -4.5, O/U 44.5
New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers TV Coverage: FOX
When New York Has the Ball…
We talk a lot of garbage about the offenses in the AFC, but the Giants have been pretty darn bad on the offensive side of the ball of late. They haven't scored 20 in a game since November 27, and the only time they scored more than 20 against a team with a winning record this year was back in Week 3 against Washington; that game was lost 29-27.
Simply put, New York has to get the ball to Odell Beckham Jr. more often. You hate to say that 101 catches doesn't cut it for the Giants' best player, but if you take his average game this season of 6.3 catches, 85.4 yards and 0.6 touchdowns per game and just say that this is going to be an average affair, you'd also have to say that that probably isn't good enough to get the Giants a win. There aren't enough other weapons on this offense, and though Sterling Shepard has been nice for a rookie and Victor Cruz has made a few splash plays, that's about all that's notable.
The Packers have very quietly not allowed more than 27 in a game since November 20, and you have to think that keeping the G-Men in the 20s in this one is going to be good enough.
When Green Bay Has the Ball…
Sometimes, Rodgers just makes plays. We saw that on the TD that effectively put away the NFC North title on Sunday when he was flushed to his left and threw the ball across his body on a line to Davante Adams on the back line of the end zone on 3rd and long, and we'll inevitably see it a time or two in this one, too.
But the Giants have to make life as hard on Rodgers as possible. His offensive line isn't great, and that means that Olivier Vernon and the rest can pin their ears back and try to get after No. 12. Furthermore, this running game is nowhere to be found. Ty Montgomery isn't a legitimate running back, and with James Starks and Eddie Lacy both out, that threat of a power game just isn't there at all.
One-dimensional offenses don't often win championships, but they do often beat suspect teams. This is where we're going to see if the Giants have a championship defense or not, because they're going to be up against it if their offense can't figure out how to score more than two TDs.
The X Factor
It's going to be just a tad bit nippy in Green Bay on Sunday. By the time this game kicks off, the sun is basically going to have set, and the temperatures around game time are expected to be around 15 degrees or so, dropping to around 10 by the time the game is over with. Fortunately, snow isn't in the forecast, nor is anything in terms of notable wind, but the cold temperatures could play a factor here.
Though the Giants are certainly a cold weather team as well, Green Bay is better suited for this merely because Rodgers seems to just thrive in these conditions as Brett Favre did for all those years.
That said, it's worth remembering that temperatures were literally close to zero when the Giants beat the Packers both in 2007 and 2011 right here at Lambeau Field in the playoffs as well.