GREEN BAY PACKERS (7-3)
at NEW YORK GIANTS (6-4)
Kickoff: Sunday, 8:20 p.m. EDT
Line: New York -3, Total: 50.5
The well-rested Giants try to put an end to Green Bay's long win streak when the two teams meet in a playoff rematch on Sunday night.
The Packers have won five in a row SU (4-1 ATS) and New York lost back-to-back games before its bye week. Giants QB Eli Manning was reportedly dealing with a "tired" arm. He hasnít thrown a touchdown pass in his last three games while throwing four interceptions. He did throw for 338.5 YPG, 6 TD and only 2 INT in his two meetings with Green Bay last year (a regular season home loss and a playoff win). QB Aaron Rodgers led a comeback win over Detroit last week. While he lost to the Giants in last yearís Divisional playoffs, he has 386.5 YPG and a 121.2 passer rating against them over two regular-season matchups.
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Rodgers has been sizzling during the five-game win streak, throwing for 264 YPG with 17 TD and just 2 INT. New York's 25th-ranked passing defense (258 YPG) doesn't figure to slow him down much. In the three meetings with the Giants over the past two calendar years, Rodgers has thrown for 346 YPG, 10 TD and 2 INT. Although his top WR Greg Jennings (abdominal surgery) has been practicing this week, he is not expected to suit up on Sunday. But Rodgers has plenty of other weapons with WRs Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Nelson has compiled 218 receiving yards, which included an 80-yard touchdown, in two meetings with New York in the regular season. Cobb led the team in targets (12) last week in Detroit, and has scored in each of the past four games. While the passing game remains one of the best in the NFL, the rushing attack continues to be subpar, with 99 rushing YPG on the season (24th in league). James Starks has taken over the rushing workload for this team with 43 carries in the past two weeks, but has a mere 135 yards (3.2 YPC) with all that work. Green Bay has done a great job protecting the football with just three turnovers in the past five games combined, but the Giants are outstanding in creating miscues, compiling 19 takeaways over the past six games.
Manning says his arm is no longer "tired" and the Giants are likely to test that theory early and often against Green Bay's 21st-ranked passing defense (244 YPG) that will be missing two of its top defensive backs in Charles Woodson (collarbone) and CB Sam Shields (shin). Both of Manning's top wideouts have gotten open frequently against the Packers. Victor Cruz has 193 yards on 12 receptions in two career games versus Green Bay, while Nicks has scorched the Pack in his three career games against them with 346 receiving yards and 5 TD. Nicks was targeted 14 times in the last game, a 31-13 loss at Cincinnati. The Giants are still an above-average rushing offense (111 YPG, 13th in NFL), but they have carried the football just 89 times (22.3 per game) in the past four games, resulting in just 91 rushing YPG. Top RB Ahmad Bradshaw has just 56.5 rushing YPG in this span, but that's also been due to a pesky foot injury that has likely healed more during the bye week. Green Bay has a strong run-stop unit that allows just 99.5 rushing YPG this year (10th in NFL). But the Packers star DT B.J. Raji has been slowed by an ankle injury and OLB Clay Matthews is out indefinitely with a hamstring injury. Matthews (9 sacks) has been a big reason why Green Bay entered the week second in the NFL in team sacks. But Eli Manning is not one to hit the turf very often as he has been sacked just 13 times all season. No team has been sacked less than New York this year.