The Green Bay Packers (7-3) travel to New Jersey to face the New York Giants (6-4) in prime time, Sunday night.
Coming off their bye, the Giants have lost two in a row (Pittsburgh and at Cincinnati). The Packers, meanwhile, have won five in a row.
Who’s not going to play?
The Packers will be without Clay Matthews for a second consecutive week. Charles Woodson and Sam Shields have also been ruled out. Greg Jennings, who hasn’t played since Eisenhower was in the White House, is actually questionable after practicing all week. The Giants will be without receiver Domenik Hixon and linebacker Jacquian Williams. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who’s been banged up for a few weeks, is probable.
Who should I bet on?
This one’s all over the place. The Packers opened as two-point favorites. Now, they’re between 1.5 and three-point underdogs, depending on where you look. I don’t like any of that, but it feels like the Packers are due for a loss and the Giants are borderline desperate, so the Giants are the pick here.
What to watch for
Giants quarterback Eli Manning has been sucking balls lately. He hasn’t thrown a touchdown since week seven. Over his last three games he’s thrown for 192, 125 and 215, while throwing four picks and no touchdowns. That’s led some people to suggest Manning has dead arm. Like, he’s thrown so many balls, his arm just doesn’t work right anymore. Is that even possible? We doubt it, but the point is, Eli needs to pick it up if the Giants are going to be any good. If he doesn’t, we’ll be seeing a lot of…
Peyton’s got it, Archie probably has it and Eli definitely has it — that unique brand of hangdog expression that says, “I’m a Manning.”
Which Super Bowl team shows up
Both of these teams uncannily resemble the teams they were when they won the past two Super Bowls. The Giants, who won the Lombardi last season, were a mediocre group during the regular season with tons of talent that everyone considered underachievers. Same thing this season. The year before, the Packers were an injury-plagued bunch that started slow and then got hot. Same thing this season. Which team will most resemble their Super Bowl version on Sunday?
The commercial battle
Here’s a fun game for you to play during breaks. Bet on who will have the next commercial — Manning or Aaron Rodgers. If you’re wrong, drink. If you’re right, make someone else drink (possibly double if they’re wrong). Both of these clowns have a bunch of clownish commercials and since they’re playing each other, you’re going to see a lot of them. You might as well make it enjoyable.