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Article:NFC Championship Preview: Packers v. Giants

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Brett Favre 4

Favre looks to lead Green Bay to its fifth Super Bowl.

Breaking Down Green Bay

After an amazing 13-3 regular season, Brett Favre will try to add to his great legacy by leading the Packers to their fifth Super Bowl with a win over over the visiting New York Giants. While Favre certainly gets the majority of the media attention, the Packers are a team that has more pieces than just the 38 year old gunslinger.

Against the Seahawks a week ago, running back Ryan Grant had another outstanding performance, as he rushed for over 200 yards and scored three touchdowns. What was most encouraging about Grant’s effort was the fact that he was able to recover from two early fumbles. Grant is surrounded by plenty of talent on offense, especially at wide receiver and tight end. Look for the Packers to line up in four and five wide receiver sets to expose a pretty weak Giants secondary. Both Packers receivers Donald Driver and Greg Jennings had Pro Bowl caliber seasons as they proved to be reliable targets for Favre.

The Packers might have one of the league’s most underrated defenses. So far this season the Pack have allowed just 18 points per game, good for 6th best in the entire NFL. Their front seven is nearly as good as the Giants with Aaron Kampman, Cullen Jenkins, and Nick Barnett leading the way. However, its their secondary that makes them a top defensive team. Cornerbacks Al Harris and Charles Woodson are two of the best shutdown corners in the game and they could make it very difficult for Eli Manning to find either Amani Toomer or Plaxico Burress down field.

Breaking Down New York

After two shocking playoff upsets over the Buccaneers and Cowboys, the Giants will try to punch an even more unlikely ticket to the Super Bowl. What has made the Giants so effective this post-season is the play of their quarterback Eli Manning, who has failed to throw one interception against the Bucs or ‘Boys. Relying on a mistake-free Eli and a power running game with Brandon Jacobs, New York has found an offense that is capable of scoring just enough.

The Giants don’t need to score thirty plus like the Patriots because they have one of the league’s better defenses. Currently, the Giants are tops in the NFL in total sacks. Against the Cowboys, the Giants front four put so much pressure on Tony Romo that he made one poor throw after another. Defensive end Michael Strahan should give Packers right tackle Mark Tauscher fits, and Osi Umenyiora will likely win a few battles against Chad Clifton on the left side.

Final Analysis Even with New York being the media capitol, not very people are even picking the Giants to win. With the weather expected to be around minus-5 wind chill, and breezy, with flurries, it just seems like a Packer type of game. However, the Giants are a team that is on a roll, winning 9 straight road games. Their front seven should test Green Bay’s average offensive line and give the Packers offense some fits. Look for the G-Men to play extremely well but in the end Brett Favre and company should prevail. Packers 28-20

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