(Sports Network) – Though mistakes have plagued the unit throughout the course of the year, New York still fields a dangerous offense that’s amassed the third-highest yardage total in the NFL (383.9 ypg) and possesses very good balance. The backfield tandem of Ahmad Bradshaw (1182 rushing yards, 8 TD, 40 receptions) and Brandon Jacobs (727 rushing yards, 8 TD) has averaged over 135 rushing yards per game and a strong 5.1 yards per carry this season, while quarterback Eli Manning (3458 passing yards, 28 TD, 20 INT) is second in the NFC with a career-high 28 touchdown passes and matched a personal best with four scoring deliveries against the Eagles last week. Wide receiver Mario Manningham (52 receptions, 7 TD) was on the other end of two of those connections as part of an eight-catch, 113-yard effort and teams with sophomore talent Hakeem Nicks (75 receptions, 959 yards, 10 TD) to form a excellent outside combo. Tight end Kevin Boss (33 receptions, 5 TD) has helped offset the season-ending loss to possession receiver Steve Smith with an increase in production, with the fourth-year pro having caught a touchdown pass in three of the past four weeks. Turnovers have been an issue, however, as New York’s 35 giveaways are tied for the most in the NFL.
Look for the Giants to try to pound away on a Green Bay defense that’s been extremely stingy as a whole but has shown a vulnerability at times against the run, with Detroit grinding out 190 yards on the ground en route to its upset win two weeks back. Inside linebackers A.J. Hawk (94 tackles, 2 INT) and Desmond Bishop (88 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 INT), the team’s top two tacklers, will be in charge of containing New York’s effective running back pairing and trying to get their opponent into obvious passing situations in order to unleash a formidable pass rush that’s generated 40 sacks, tied for third-best in the league. The Packers have one of the best in the business in that area in relentless outside linebacker Clay Matthews (53 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 1 INT), as well as a top-notch cornerback duo in 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Charles Woodson (83 tackles, 2 INT, 10 PD) and Tramon Williams (52 tackles, 5 INT, 17 PD), who are a big reason why Green Bay stands atop the NFL in pass efficiency defense. The Packers won’t have one key stopper available for Sunday’s game, however, with end Cullen Jenkins (18 tackles, 7 sacks) sidelined with a calf injury, and Pro Bowl free safety Nick Collins (62 tackles, 2 INT, 9 PD) is a question mark due to sore ribs.