Instead of just giving you one perspective on the NFL playoff games to be played this season, GuysNation gives you a whole round table discussion!

Sunday, 4:30 – New York Giants at Green Bay Packers

Rob: Six weeks ago when these two teams played, the margin of victory was just three points in a game where they combined for 73. That week 13 victory for the Packers was a road trip to New York, and they won’t have as difficult a time when they host the Giants on Sunday afternoon. A few years ago the Giants proved they could go on the road and win playoff games, but that’s not the type of thing that you can count on four years later.

Danny Rouhier (@funnydanny on Twitter): I hate the New York Giants. I think people need to do a better job hating the Giants. Anyway, I hope Green Bay scores 100 points this Sunday. The Giants secondary isn’t very good and the quick strikes of GB’s offense will negate that NYG pass rush. Too many weapons for Green Bay and Eli Manning is going to turn it over a couple times. GB rolls in this one and I send a million tweets about how Eli is a tool.

XIV: Like I said last week… Huge Eagles fan. Hate the Giants, but MAN were they damn impressive last week against the Falcons. Shut down Matty Ice, Michael Turner, and the rest of the Falcons weaponry.
Eli made plays. The running game looked like the running game from 2 or 3 years ago. Which brings me to another confession. I have a giant man-crush on Aaron Rodgers. I own a Rodgers’ jersey, as well as a “Bleacher Creature” (an awesome christmas present) – So I don’t care how good the Giants look. GB has been amazing this season. Can the G-men keep it close? Sure. If that Pass rush is like it was last
week, and they get to Rodgers. Can the Giants score? Probably, the Pack’s defense has not been their forte this season, but its rested. Key guys will be back and be healthy. They’re at home, and I did the
advanced research for the weather. While the midwest is getting crushed by a snow storm right now, they’re looking at 20’s to possibly teens for their game Sunday night. I think the weather could play
into the Giants run game, but still… Green Bay 24 New York Giants 21

Wallace (@bwall87): I have to agree with Danny about hating the Giants. That said, I think they will put up a fight and this game is going to come down to the end, but Green Bay will win it. They have so many weapons and they are healthy. Everyone knows Eli Manning will make mistakes so as long as Green Bay can take advantage of those mistakes and limit their own they will be on their way to the NFC Championship game

Dube: To preface, I happen to live in Oshkosh, which is about 45 minutes south of Green Bay (and unfortunately is where the body of GB’s offensive coordinator’s son was found earlier this week), so I’ve seen all GB has to offer this season. It’s why I’m going to nitpick and also be extremely negative here. I know their strengths but I’ve seen more than enough of their weaknesses. Having seen their defense this season, it’s been smoke and mirrors. I don’t see how many people can deny that when they gave up the most yards in the league. Sure, they’re getting it done when it’s ‘crunch time’ with the opponent deep in GB’s territory–often times holding the opposition to field goals instead of allowing touchdowns. Yes, they pick up an inordinate amount of interceptions which can shorten the field and to date have rarely turned the ball over. Sure, the opponent is forced to throw quite often after finding itself in a quick hole. Sure, the opponent is forced to throw in ‘garbage time’ while GB is more concerned with running the ball and letting the clock run. With all that in mind, there’s really no excuse for a 15-1 team to be outgained for the season. While the numbers weren’t terrible numbers-wise against Kansas City (instead were ‘just bad’), there were no turnovers caused. Without those turnovers, Green Bay is a sitting duck–high powered offense or not.

The Giants were without Mario Manningham the first time they played GB this year. They will now have three capable receivers including the big-play weapon in Manningham, but of course anyone who can catch is big-play capable against the Pack this year. Just ask Giants tight end Travis Beckum who, on his second catch of the SEASON went 67 yards for a touchdown. The same Beckum that caught five passes all year for a total of 93 yards. Ask the Kansas City Chiefs who had numerous big-play screens in their victory. Back in week 13, Eli Manning put up virtually the same numbers as Aaron Rodgers. If it’s “Good Eli” that takes the field, this will be a shootout and being at home would normally be an advantage for the Packers, but they’re playing a team that’s also an outdoor, cold weather city-based team. That means the run game will come into play. The Giants have one and showed it the last time these two met up. Kansas City was able to run the ball effectively, even if not with amazing numbers by any single back in their win. One can certainly say New York’s run game is better than KC’s. Now, if “Bad Eli” shows up, this whole argument is moot and Green Bay will likely win this one with no problem.

Green Bay’s offense doesn’t need to be explained much. They get back Greg Jennings and as long as his knee doesn’t bother him, that makes a huge difference–as if Green Bay needed a huge difference. New York’s defense is nothing special this season. When they played before, Rodgers was able to avoid the Giants rush more the most part that late afternoon, but then again, the Giants were without Osi Umenyiora. Adding him against GB’s line that contains a returning but injured Chad Clifton and a banged up Bryan Bulaga should spell trouble. I still remember New York’s D-Line from January 2008 and this one scares me just as much, if not more. Rodgers has been excellent throwing on the run and deciding when to run versus throw so far in his career and that will likely come in to play. Green Bay also has it’s featured runner James Starks returning. Now, whether he can go the whole game on his bad ankle is another story. Green Bay’s run game last year was AWOL and had to set up in the playoffs and Starks sparked it. The same can be said for this year. If Starks can stay healthy all game and pull off what he was doing last year or even simply run for some first downs if only grabbing 60-some yards, that should be a factor. If the Packers’ receivers play like they did against Kansas City–a terrible case of the ‘dropsies,’ the run game will be a must. That’s why I hate this time of year. Yes, an NFL receiver should be able to catch a ball in cold weather, but the colder it gets, the more I worry about drops (I’m looking at you, Jermichael Finley and James Jones). If Starks goes down, Packer fans can hope for Ryan Grant to perform like he did against Seattle in January 2008–201 yards (okay, he probably won’t need that many but you never know).

In summary: Going against Cruz, Manningham AND Nicks frightens me, especially since a huge weakness for GB is it’s lack of safety play. New York’s D-Line frightens the heck out of me with Osi in there. While GB may put up some points, the Giants will be able to strike right back. Is Rodgers due for a bad game? Yes. Will it be this week? If there was ever a time for him to lay an egg, this would be it (as strange as that may sound to Giants fans). Just because he’s been awesome all year doesn’t mean he can’t have a bad game. The smoke and mirrors of the defense is due to let up. I’d much prefer GB win, but I don’t see it happening. Please prove me wrong, Pack. I beg you. New York 38, Green Bay 28

Rob: Well it looks like the Giants have their first supporter, and I wouldn’t be surprised if other people picked New York to win as well. I just tend to think that Brandon Jacobs success last week was due
mostly to Atlanta’s failings, and that the Giants won’t be so lucky against Green Bay as to have an opponent who can’t reach the end zone.

Robert Aitken (@RobertAitkenBR): The team who goes far in the playoffs is the team who is hottest and healthiest. The Giants are so healthy right now that they are having to make healthy scratches to members of their roster. As for how hot they are, last week spoke for itself. Believe what you want about Atlanta’s faults, but New York was running on all cylinders. The Giants have lost just once this year when their rushing game produces 100 or more yards. That one loss was their game against the Packers, when Green Bay gave up exactly 100 yards on the ground in just 20 attempts. For all that is made of Green Bay’s high-powered offense, a Giants offense that did not have Mario Manningham was step for step with the Packers. The last team to hold the ball won a few weeks back in MetLife Stadium. This time around, I can see the Giants avenging their loss, pulling off the road win, and stomping into either San Francisco or New Orleans next Sunday.

JMB: The Giants looked great last week on the defensive side of the ball, and I think that their abilities to rush with four to get pressure combined with the ability to run the ball that could serve them well with weather potentially playing a role in this game. I echo Dube’s sentiments that this Packers team reminds me a great deal of the Patriots team that lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl – a great, quick strike passing offense that had most teams on their heels quickly, which covered up for a lack of a running game, and simplified the game for the defense as the opposing offense became one-dimensional. I think that really explains how the GB defense picks up so many turnovers in spite of their yardage issues – forcing other teams to throw, and to be one dimensional let’s you go ball hawking. My gut tells me that the Giants are going to keep this one close, and they are going to learn from their play calling mistakes (I.e. not taking time on the goal line and giving the Pack on more shot), and keep by doing both they can keep a balanced attack going. I know I could be wrong, but I just see the Packers going down this year due to their great liabilities to go along with their great offensive strengths. I’m picking the Giants in an amazing upset – but even if GB pulls it out – I think it ends with the Saints next week.

Another IWC Jerk (@AnotherIWCJerk): After last week, I could see how it would be easy to take the Giants, but does anyone realize just how crappy Atlanta was last week? The Packers are way better than the Falcons on their best day.

Enter the Giants’ D. That could make all the difference, and it could be easy to pick the Giants just based on the “Defense wins championships” theory.

Green Bay comes into this game with all their starters coming off of two weeks rest. Could this strategy backfire? Or was it genius to sit everyone out Week 17?

Ultimately, I think Green Bay takes this. It will probably be very close, but the Packers offense has more threats than the Giants’ D has solutions for them. Plus, Aaron Rodgers can make that big throw whenever he needs to, to whoever he needs to. Eli Manning doesn’t have as many options.
Official pick: Green Bay Packers

Jon: Oh stewardess, I speak jive. I have no idea what to think of this one. The Packers have been largely invincible, except when the Chiefs exposed their one-dimensionality and did not commit any turnovers. The Giants have lost to the Redskins twice, but then summarily whipped the Falcons like the fruits they are. Meanwhile, the Giants and Packers actually played a match to the death just a few weeks ago. The best analysis I can offer is the Giants have balance on offense and a playmaking defense, while the Packers have a passing attack and little else. I think the Giants may just pull this off. NY 32 – GB 31

XIV: The table is round. I’m under the assumption discourse is allowed, so? I’m tagging myself back in, and picking up the pom poms on this one. Dube, the safeties don’t become an issue if Nicks, Cruz,
and Manningham are on the field, cuz GB should be in a nickel, anyway. There is definitely room to be nervous about this. Especially if last week’s NYG’s show up this week. I see a LOT of NFC East Games.
The Giants are the most inconsistent team left in the playoffs. If they show up, specifically the pass rush and the running game, they COULD be a handful for Green Bay, and make it as competitive as it was a few weeks ago. But if you’re giving me a rested and as healthy a Green Bay since week 1? I’m gonna take them every time. An interesting side note of “he who shall not be named, even in THIS
round table”, and the “in vogue pick” in the Giants… no one is really talking about Green Bay. I can’t remember a 15-1 team… let alone the defending Super Bowl Champions that has felt more under the
radar going into their playoff game. #12 plays great with a chip on his shoulder. Chip. En.Gaged. *BJ Raji dances away from the table*.

Mark C: I will say this: Packers win. Giants have a decent team this year but almost didn’t make the playoffs. I don’t see this one being that close and I think the Packers have this one hands down. My disclaimer is that I hate the Giants. I see a lot of stats and comments going back and forth that make some interesting reading, but in the end I don’t think the Giants have what it takes.

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So the Round Table has spoken, what say you?