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NFL Playoffs 2012, Giants Vs. Packers: Position-By-Position Breakdowns, The Offenses

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Getty Images

Let's break down the offenses of the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers position-by-position in advance of Sunday's NFC Divisional Round playoff game (4:30 p.m. ET/FOX).


The Packers have Aaron Rodgers. last-season's Super Bowl MVP and generally considered the best quarterback in the league. Rodgers had 122.5 rating, best single-season mark in NFL history. Set NFL season record with 13 games with 100+ rating and 12 games with 110+ rating. Had franchise record 4,643 pass yards and 45 touchdowns. Is the only quarterback in NFL history to pass for 4,000+ yards and have six or fewer interceptions. In postseason, Rodgers has completed 118 of 174 (67.8 percent) for 1,517 yards with 13 touchdowns vs. 3 interceptions for 112.6 rating, highest in NFL history. Also ranks first in NFL playoff history with 67.8 completion percentage and 8.72 average game.

The Giants have Eli Manning, who had the best season of his career in 2011. He had 15 fourth-quarter touchdown passes, most ever in season, topping Johnny Unitas and Peyton Manning. Eli led five fourth-quarter come-from-behind victories this season.

Advantage: Packers ... but not by a lot. Both guys have Super Bowl titles and MVP trophies, and Manning is in the elite category -- even if some people still don't believe it.

The defenses, position-by-position
The special teams

Running Back

The Giants averaged a league-worst 89.2 yards per game running the ball, but have done much better in recent weeks and have two quality backs. Ahmad Bradshaw led the Giants with 659 yards rushing in the regular season (3.9 yards per carry) and Brandon Jacobs had 571 (3.8 per carry).

James Starks led the Packers with 578 yards (4.3 per carry) and ex-Giant Ryan Grant had 559 yards (4.2 per carry).

Advantage: Giants ... only because Bradshaw and Jacobs have run more like their old selves the past few weeks, and because the Giants rely on the run to set a physical tone.


Green Bay has Pro Bowler John Kuhn, who can block, run and catch. Kuhn rushed 30 times this season (2.6 yards per carry) and caught 15 passes.

Giants' rookie fullback Henry Hynoski seems to be getting better each week, and becoming more important to the team's offense. He caught 12 passes during the regular season and is a sometimes devastating lead blocker.

Advantage: Packers ... Hynoski has a chance to be Pro Bowl fullback, but Kuhn already is one.

Wide Receiver

This is an interesting debate. Both teams have deep, talented, play-making receiving corps. Let's look at the numbers:

Green Bay
Jordy Nelson ... 68 catches, 1.263 yards, 18.6 yards per catch, 15 touchdowns
Greg Jennings ... 67 catches, 949 yards, 14.2 yards per catch, 14 touchdowns
James Jones ... 38 catches, 635 yards, 16.7 yards per catch, seven touchdowns
Donald Driver ... 37 catches, 445 yards, 12.0 yards per catch, six touchdowns

New York
Victor Cruz ... 82 catches, 1,536 yards, 18.7 yards per catch, nine touchdowns
Hakeem Nicks ... 76 catches, 1,192 yards, 15.7 yards per catch, seven touchdowns
Mario Manningham ... 39 catches, 523 yards, 13.4 yards per catch, four touchdowns

Advantage: Even ... Yes, I'm taking the easy way out here. The Packers have four top guys vs. the Giants three, but I still think Nicks is the best of the bunch. And it's impossible to say Cruz hasn't had the best season.

Tight End

Jermichael Finley of the Packers caught 55 passes for 767 yards (13.9 per catch) with eight touchdowns. The 55 receptions tied his career high.

Jake Ballard of the Giants was a huge surprise this season with 38 catches for 604 yards (15.9 yards per catch) and four touchdowns in 14 games.

Advantage: Packers ... It's not a huge advantage, though.

Offensive Line

The Giants have struggled with injuries and inconsistency all season in a revamped line, but right now the group is playing better than it has all season. Center David Baas, an off-season free-agent acquisition from San Francisco, is healthy and finally settling in. Kevin Boothe is doing a good job at left guard. Football Outsiders ranks the Giants sixth in the league in pass blocking, but only 28th in run blocking.

The Packers rank 16th in the league in run blocking and 23rd in pass protection, according to Football Outsiders.

Advantage: Even ... The Green Bay line is going to have to find a way to deal with the New York pass rush on Sunday.