Aaron Rodgers has been on fire for the Packers. Photo: Jim Prisching/AP
The Green Bay Packers will go into their showdown with the New York Giants full of confidence after stringing together five straight wins after an indifferent start to the new campaign. As always, the 2011 Superbowl champions have been masterfully led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has thrown for 27 touchdowns and just six interceptions this season. He has been sacked 32 times already in the same period, however, and this will be an area which its hosts will try to exploit, having sacked him four times in last season’s playoff matchup.
The Packers' pass rush has itself effected an NFC-best 33 sacks in the 2012/13 season but will be without two key defensive weapons for this crucial match. Clay Matthews is likely to be ruled out, while former defensive player of the year Charles Woodson will not take his place due to a broken collarbone.
As much as Green Bay relies on Rodgers, the Giants rely on Eli Manning. The most recent Superbowl champions have lost their past two matches and Manning has failed to throw a touchdown pass in the past three. New York had the bye last week and will be hoping that any tiredness in the 31-year-olds arm will have dissipated by the time he steps on to Metlife Stadium.
Although Manning is 0-3 in regular season fixtures against the Packers, he masterminded playoff victories against Green Bay in his side's march towards both the 2008 and 2012 Superbowl titles. The Giants won the NFC Divisional playoff match between the sides 37-20 in January this year, while the regular season showdown that they played was another high scoring affair , with the Packers scoring a narrow 38-35 success.
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