Free NFL Pick: New York Giants at Green Bay 12-26-2010

December 26, 2010

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New York Giants at Green Bay Packers

Sunday December 26th, 2010 4:15 PM EST

Line: New York Giants -3

Overview:

The Green Bay Packers have lost two straight at an inopportune time. With Aaron Rodgers being knocked out in the Lions game two weeks ago, the Packers were forced to go with Matt Flynn. They came away with a loss and failed to score more than three points in that outing. Last week, they were projected to be blown out when they headed into Foxboro to take on the soaring Patriots. They held their own, losing by only four, but they still came up just short.

The Giants are battling with the Packers to take a Wild Card spot. They are one game behind the Eagles in the NFC East, but are also one game ahead of the Packers for the number two Wild Card spot. The Saints, Giants, and Packers are all fighting over one playoff spot. That means that someone is going to be left in the cold when January hits.

Keys to the Game:

  • Does Aaron Rodgers play? Rodgers has been cleared and his team needs him to play. He is the heart and soul of the Packers’ organization and it is nothing short of remarkable what he has been able to overcome this season. The defense has been playing well, but Green Bay is an offensive team. With a banged up running game and receiving corp, the offense cannot afford to have Matt Flynn under center. Flynn was not horrible in his starting debut, but Rodgers certainly has the edge. The team can rally around Flynn, should they hold Rodgers back, but they would certainly like to have him at the helm on Sunday.
  • The Giants defensive line has to step up and take over this game. Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck in particular completely control the flow of the game while the opposition has the ball. When they dominate and wreak havoc in the backfield, they are virtually unbeatable. The Giants won a Super Bowl as heavy underdogs on the shoulders of their defensive line. If Matt Flynn is in the game and Umenyiora is always within reach and making life in the pocket uncomfortable, Flynn could fall victim to the pressure.

Key Matchup:

Ahmad Bradshaw Vs. Green Bay’s run defense

  • The Packers have a great pass defense. Eli Manning commands a fairly decent passing attack, but the Packers could have the best secondary in the league at this point. While the Giants shouldn’t be afraid to throw the ball, they have to get something going on the ground. That all starts with Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw has the potential to have a 100 yard game on any given week. He has hit the century mark four times this season and could do it again this week, as long as the Giants find a way to neutralize B.J. Raji, the Giants should be able to move the ball.

Wrap Up:

This is a tough one to call. If Aaron Rodgers plays, it is going to change everything. I’m picking the Giants, simply because of the uncertainty at the quarterback position. The Packers have played through adversity before, but the loss to Detroit should stand as evidence enough that they take a giant leap backwards when Rodgers is not in the game.

Free NFL Pick: New York Giants -3


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