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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Prediction: NYG 24, GB 37

Line: GB by 8, OU = 52.5

The Giants defense had no problem squashing the visiting Falcons last week and now they hit the road where they were 5-3 this year and go to Green Bay. The Packers come off their first round bye with some needed health returned to some players and look to improve their 8-0 home mark.

This is a rematch of week 13 when the Packers won 38-35 in New York when the Giants tied the game with 58 seconds left but then the Packers were able to kick a 30-yard field goal for the win as time expired.

The Giants are also facing a Packers team that averaged 41 points per home game and the only time they fell below 35 points at home was against the Rams in a game they mailed in and still won by 21 points.

New York Giants
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @WAS 14-28 10 @SF 20-27
2 STL 28-16 11 PHI 10-17
3 @PHI 29-16 12 @NO 24-49
4 @ARI 31-27 13 GB 35-38
5 SEA 25-36 14 @DAL 37-34
6 BUF 27-24 15 WAS 10-23
7 Bye - 16 @NYJ 29-14
8 MIA 20-17 17 DAL 31-14
9 @NE 24-20 18 ATL 24-2
Giants Report | Statistics | Roster
NY GIANTS Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning - - 330,3
RB Brandon Jacobs 50 - -
RB Ahmad Bradshaw 50 40 -
TE Jake Ballard - 30,1 -
WR Victor Cruz - 80,1 -
WR Hakeem Nicks - 100 -
WR Mario Manningham - 50,1 -
PK Lawrence Tynes 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Giants defense has improved weekly since the original meeting with the Packers six weeks ago but this time is a road game and they've been less adept at stopping top flight offenses. Of course what we all want is a shootout this week and this should end up at the highest scoring game. Both teams are healthier now than they have been but that should play out better for the Packers than the Giants.

QUARTERBACK: Eli Manning has enjoyed one of his best seasons and consistently thrown for multiple touchdowns and high yardage every week. Against the Packers he threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns with one interception and a lost fumble. He rallied the team from a 29-17 deficit to tie with only a minute left in that game but then watched Aaron Rodgers make it all meaningless with his final drive.

No doubt that this should see high yardage and scores from Manning this week - the Packers secondary has been one of the worst in the league this year and the rushing defense has been better at home for the Pack.

RUNNING BACKS: Brandon Jacobs led the Giants with 59 yards on eight runs and one score in the last meeting with the Packers while Ahmad Bradshaw was held to only 38 yards on 11 runs but those were at home and Jacobs had a couple of longer runs to help his stats. The Packers will be rested and healthier in this game and at home should hold the rushing effort of the Giants to lesser numbers if only because of a better offensive effort that should push the Giants into passing earlier and more often.

There is always the chance for the odd touchdown but the Packers have only allowed three scores to running backs in their eight previous home games.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Playing against the Packers always means good things for the wide receivers and in week 13, Hakeem Nicks scored twice on his seven catches for 88 yards. Victor Cruz ended with 119 yards on seven receptions and Mario Manningham did not play that week. Nicks is on a nice roll lately but the scary part is that his nine scores this year only had two happen in road games and his only score away from home over the last twelve games was when he only had two catches for 41 yards in San Francisco. Over half of Cruz's touchdowns were away from home (5 of 9).

Both players are must starts in a game like this and Manningham should figure in as well with five touchdowns over his last seven games.

TIGHT ENDS: Jake Ballard turned in an average game last time - three catches for 47 yards but he is still not 100% healthy because of his knee that he hurt back in week 15 and made him miss two games. Still this is a big weakness of the Packers and Ballard should be better.

Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 7 8 3 18 24 10
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 31 14 31 31 8 6

Green Bay Packers
Homefield: Lambeau Field
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 NO 42-34 10 MIN 45-7
2 @CAR 30-23 11 TB 35-26
3 @CHI 27-17 12 @DET 27-15
4 DEN 49-23 13 @NYG 38-35
5 @ATL 25-14 14 OAK 46-16
6 STL 24-3 15 @KC 14-19
7 @MIN 33-27 16 CHI 35-21
8 Bye - 17 DET 45-41
9 @SD 45-38      
Packers Report | Statistics | Roster
GREEN BAY Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers - - 350,4
RB Ryan Grant 30 - -
TE Jermichael Finley - 70,1 -
WR Greg Jennings - 120,1 -
WR Jordy Nelson - 80 -
WR Donald Driver - 30,1 -
WR James Jones - 30,1 -
PK Mason Crosby 3 FG 4 XP -

Pregame Notes: The loss to the Chiefs meant no perfect season and the hype around the Packers has quieted down while the Saints have set records and looked like the new unstoppable team. But this still remains the #1 team for fantasy points scored by quarterbacks or wide receivers. One tragic detail in this game - OC Joe Philbin had his 21-year old son found drowned in river after apparently falling through the ice. How that plays into the game could go either way and is always hard to determine.

QUARTERBACK: Aaron Rodgers has lost the limelight a bit in recent weeks but he still ended 2011 with 4643 yards and 45 touchdowns and he never had any game with fewer than two scores. He also rushed in three touchdowns as well. In week 13, Rodgers accounted for 369 yards and four scores in the comeback win over the Giants. Rodgers is money every week and at home with a full complement of receivers should be as good as ever.

RUNNING BACKS: The Packers could be without James Starks this week since he never practiced last week and his ankle continues to be an issue. Starks has not been a factor since week 11 anyway. The Packers as a whole had little success rushing against the Giants before anyway and Aaron Rodgers (4-32) was the best runner in that matchup.

I'll hold Starks out for now at least but the Giants strength is against the run anyway and the Packers won't produce much on the ground unless someone breaks a longer run.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Greg Jennings is due back this game and says he could have played in week 17 had there been any reason. Expect a 100% healthy Jennings that is over his MCL sprain. He led the team with 94 yards and a score on seven catches in the last matchup with the Giants while Donald Driver scored twice on his 34 yards on two catches. Jordy Nelson did not score but did rack up 94 yards on four receptions.

This is the weakness of the Giants who are on the road this week against a rested and healthy set of Packer wideouts. Any of these receivers could have a big game but Jennings and Nelson are always the better bets. Nelson has 15 scores on the year but only two came in road efforts.

TIGHT ENDS: No arguing that Jermichael Finley has been disappointing this season but one of his best games was when he posted 87 yards and a score on six catches in New York. Now back at home, he faces the same defense that has allowed seven touchdowns to tight ends over their last five road games. Consider Finley a very strong play this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points GB 1 26 1 9 4 3
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 28 19 29 28 13 10


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