2012 Divisional Preview: New York vs. Green Bay

This is the final post this week examining the Divisional matchups in the NFL Playoffs. Thanks for reading!

The final matchup of the NFL Divisional playoff pits the New York Giants against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field at 4:30 ET on Fox today. The Giants are coming off a big home victory over the Falcons in a game many expected Atlanta to win. Instead, New York demolished the Falcons by a score of 24-2. Now, the Giants face an even bigger test as they face the NFL’s top team. The Packers lost just one game this year, at Kansas City, and put up a huge number of points along the way. The Packers and Giants faced off once before this year in the Meadowlands, with Green Bay narrowly escaping with a 38-35 victory. Here’s a look at the matchup:

Offense: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers leads Green Bay’s offense, throwing for more than 4500 yards and 45 touchdowns this year. Green Bay was third in the NFL in passing and total yards per game as it put up offensive numbers at an impressive rate. Rodgers’s favorite target was Jordy Nelson, who caught 68 passes for 1263 yards and 15 touchdowns. Wide receiver Greg Jennings also racked up almost 1000 yards and nine touchdowns himself. On the ground, the Packers are led by running backs Ryan Grant and James Starks. Neither back put up a tremendous stats but they combined for more than 1100 yards on the year.

The Giants’ offense continued to perform at a high level last week and it was led by quarterback Eli Manning. Manning completed 23 of 32 passes for 277 yards and three touchdowns without throwing an interception. Hakeem Nicks caught six of those passes, two of them for touchdowns while Victor Cruz was held to just two catches for 28 yards. Running back Brandon Jacobs rushed for 92 yards on 14 carries while Ahmad Bradshaw chipped in with 63 yards. Continue reading “2012 Divisional Preview: New York vs. Green Bay”

2012 Wild Card Preview: Atlanta vs New York

This is the third of four posts this week examining the Wild Card matchups in the NFL Playoffs. Check back tomorrow for the final preview:

Sunday’s Wild Card games get going when the Atlanta Falcons head up to New York to take on the Giants at 1 pm ET on FOX. The Giants ended the year with a huge win-or-go-home victory over the Dallas Cowboys to the NFC East and earn a playoff spot while the Falcons have won five of their past seven, with their only losses coming at New Orleans and at Houston. However, they haven’t beaten anyone that good in that stretch either. The teams did not face each other during the regular season so both will be preparing using lots of video team instead of analyzing a previous meeting. Here’s a look at the matchup:

Offense: Eli Manning has had a much better season than experts have given him credit for. He threw for just under 5000 yards with 29 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. The interceptions number is a bit high, but he’s had one of his best years this season and has come through in pressure situations. The emergence of star wide receiver Victor Cruz has helped Manning tremendously as well. Neither Ahmad Bradshaw or Brandon Jacobs were particularly adept at running the ball this year (the Giants as a team were dead last in the NFL in yards per carry) so the onus will on Eli Sunday to lead his team to victory.

For Atlanta, quarterback Matt Ryan and running back Michael Turner offer the Falcons a two-headed offense that can beat both through the air and on the ground. Ryan through for over 4000 yards and 29 touchdowns and threw just 12 picks while Turner rushed for 1340 yards and 11 touchdowns himself. The Falcons will show the Giants a couple of different looks and have the luxury of attacking New York’s secondary or trying to wear down its defensive through a hard-nosed running game. Continue reading “2012 Wild Card Preview: Atlanta vs New York”

Daily Sports Roundup 1/6/08

Sunday is always a pretty slow day in sports, but there are a couple of interesting stories that made news today. Here they are:

Wild Card Games: The final two wild card games of the NFL Playoffs are today. The New York Giants visited Tampa Bay while the Tennessee Titans travelled to San Diego. In the first game today, the Giants defeated Tampa Bay 24-14 behind a strong outing by Eli Manning. The Buccaneers stadium was rocking, but three costly turnovers helped Eli and the Giants escape with the win. Manning completed 20 of 27 passes for 185 yards and 2 touchdowns while Bucs’ quarterback Jeff Garcia completed only 20 of 39 pass attempts for 207 touchdowns while throwing one touchdown and two interceptions. The Buccaneers chose to shut down the Giants’ running game, which they did as New York averaged only 3.3 yards per rush. Unfortunately, in shutting down the run, Tampa gave Manning the opportunity to pass. He took that opportunity and made the best of it, leading the Giants to the victory. New York will face Dallas in the Divisional Playoffs next weekend. The AFC Wild Card game takes place tonight. Vince Young will need to play a great game to overcome the Chargers’ balanced attack. If the Chargers win, they will face Indianapolis in the next round, but if the Titans win, Tennessee will face New England.

Arenas Hopes To Return This Year: Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas is hoping to play basketball again this year, but doesn’t want to risk further injury. Arenas had surgery last April and then another surgery in November to repair his knee. Though he is progressing, Arenas is still months away from returning. He wants to get back this year, but realizes that it may not be in his best interest to do so. “I have to protect the rest of my career, too, so I won’t jeopardize that for just 15 games if I’m not 100 percent,” he said Saturday “If it’s aching, if I’m out here practicing and it’s swelling up then, I’ll see you next year.” Continue reading “Daily Sports Roundup 1/6/08”