It is safe to say the New York Giants surprised many people when they defeated the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisional Round. The Packers were 15-1 and a lock for everyone to make it to the Super Bowl and win it. The Giants changed their plans, and changed the plans of the San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots later to win it all.
Apparently, LB Clay Matthews doesn’t like giving credit. In the off-season Matthews told the media the Giants didn’t beat them. Instead, he stated the Packers beat themselves with drops and costly miscues. Obviously, the Giants didn’t take those statements too kindly.
Giants DE Justin Tuck pointed to this game and said no more. Ever since Matthews made those comments, many of the Giants players had this game circled on their calendar. Given the circumstances of the past couple of games, it makes this game even more important.
Matthews hasn’t been the only guy with negative comments about the Giants. Packers DT B.J. Raji, pretty much only known for his pick six in the NFC Championship Game against the Chicago Bears in the 2010 season, stated the Giants offensive line was soft.
Raji and the rest of their defensive line proceeded to be dominated by the Giants offensive line. Giants QB Eli Manning was barely touched as he had all day to throw against the Packers suspect secondary.
Raji or Matthews hasn’t done any talking leading up to this game. Matthews is injured, so it is now known whether he will play or not. Raji is dealing with an ankle injury from this Sunday’s game, but he’s expected to play.
One thing is for sure in this game. Both teams will be ready to play football. This game certainly doesn’t have the same magnitude of the playoff game in January, but there’s a certain sense of urgency for both teams. Packers want revenge. Giants want to hold onto their division lead.