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Prophet’s Pulpit-Preview and Playoff Prediction

Written by: Tony “The Prophet” Yantosca

Well the Giants Fans have waited half a decade to get back to today’s playoff game. It has not been since Super Bowl 46 that the Giants have tasted the postseason.

I have been Jerry Reese’s biggest detractor, but his long needed off-season acquisitions have made the Giants competitive again. I have to give him credit even if it has been several years too late: I think the Giants are one year away.  During the offseason, they need to find  the following starters: two offensive linemen and one more quality backup, a real pass-catching tight end and two linebackers, including one with very good pass covering skills.

Concerning last week’s game, I made the wrong call because I though the starters would only play a half at best in a meaningless game. The game turned out to be close and competitive, and McAdoo didn’t have the heart to pull anyone out except Beckham. The team played great, especially the defense. It was the most mentally tough game I have seen the Gmen play since the 2011 NFC Championship overtime game against the 49ers. I was worn out just from watching that game. The Giants refused to lose that day in the rain. Eli got pummeled. They held Alex Smith to 1 out of 15 third downs completed. They got the break on the Kyle Williams fumble on the punt and won the game in overtime, 20-17. I saw the same intensity in the Giants that I really have not seen since that year. This bodes well for the Gmen if they can carry it forward.

The other comment I want to make on the game is McAdoo’s coaching. He should have kicked the field goal to make the game 13-0 instead of going on 4th and 2 at their own 29. The momentum totally changed for the rest of the game on that play. McAdoo still has some brain fades as a rookie coach, but I’ll give him credit for the 11-5 record.

Turning to the playoff game, here is the evidence that says the Packers should win. The Packers have averaged 31 points per game in their six-game winning streak to close the season. Rodgers has 40 TDs against only seven picks, which is the best in the NFL. He has 18 TDs vs. 0 picks in last seven games. The Packers are 46.7% on 3rd down conversions, 2nd best in the NFL. Their defense has 40 sacks and 17 interceptions. The Giants suspect OL has to worry about Perry, Peppers and Clay who have 23.5 of those sacks. If they can turn over the Bad Eli, they can win.

Concerning their game plan, The Packers want to use Montgomery in the short pass game to control the ball, along with Cook over the middle, which has been the Giants soft spot in the defense all year. Then, they will take some shots down the field. I expect the wild card to be Adams. He is being covered by Eli Apple, who is playing better but is still on the DB learning curve. Jenkins will handle Jordy, who will still get some catches. DRC has been playing the best of his career the last four weeks. The Giants will have to watch Rodgers when the play gets elongated. He has been their leading rusher most of the year, especially on plays that break down.

Here is the evidence that says the Giants are going to win. Eli is the only QB to win two road playoff games at Lambeau. The Giants won the Ice Bowl 2 and a few years later beat a heavily favored 14-2 Packers team on the road. The Packers are 3-5 in their last eight playoff games. Rodgers is 1-3 in the playoff vs. Super Bowl QBs. The Giants are 38.3% on 3rd down defense, 3rd best in the NFL. The Giants have the best red-zone defense. The Packers are 31st against the pass. They have given up 53 plays of 20 yards or more, which is only better than the Browns in the NFL.

In order to win, The Giants will want to establish the running game. They finally had a 100-yard rusher in Perkins last week, and he will be a key in this game. They want to win the time of possession and keep Rodgers off the field. They will have to throw to win this game. The Packers secondary is hurting with three CBs on IR and Rollins out. Eli should be able to exploit the Packers’ weakness. Beckham represents 34% of the Giants passing yards, the most of any single player in the NFL, and he and Sheppard will need big games for the Giants to win.

The Giants games are always close. Eight of the 11 wins have been decided by a touchdown or less. This is a field goal game either way. Officially, I am going to call it a victory for the Packers, 24 – 21. However I would not be surprised, based on the way the Giants are playing, if they win the game 24 – 17. The Giants have only given up an average of 12 points in the past seven weeks. If the Giants win, they will meet Dallas, whom they have already beaten twice. They may be able to mount their third road-warrior playoff ride to the Super Bowl.

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Author:

New York Football Giants blogger since 2007. Appeared on ESPN radio, New York Times, Long Island sports talk 1240 am.

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