Mike McCarthy called the Giants’ wild-card playoff victory over the Falcons “the best film I’ve seen on the Giants,” as the Packers began preparing for this Sunday’s NFC divisional playoff showdown.
McCarthy said contingency plans were in place for the team to deal with the absence of Offensive Coordinator Joe Philbin.
“We’re prepared to do whatever we need to do as a staff to make sure our football team is ready to go,” McCarthy said.
The Packers will have to be ready for a hot Giants team that won its last two regular-season games to capture the NFC East title and then dominated the Falcons, 24-2, in the wild-card round.
The Packers have seen a lot of film on the Giants this year, having prepared to play them back on Dec. 4, and then studying more film last week with the Giants one of three possible playoff opponents.
McCarthy felt the Giants’ latest effort, in which they rushed for 172 yards and limited the Falcons to just 247 total yards, was without question their best.
“I thought the Giants had a very decisive victory against the Falcons,” McCarthy said. “I think it really started up front on both sides of the ball.”
The Giants defense was most impressive, not allowing any points and stopping the Falcons on a pair of quarterback sneaks on fourth-and-short. Both fourth downs came with the Falcons in field-goal range and the game very much in the balance.
That kind of dominance by New York’s defensive line was the same strength the Giants rode to the Super Bowl title four years ago. Their deep group up front, led by Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and All-Pro Jason Pierre-Paul, gets after quarterbacks as well as any unit in the league.
“It’s a four-man line scheme, and to run the scheme you have to have the horses up front,” McCarthy said. “I think they have a very good seven-man rotation, they’re healthy, and they’re going to put it on their down linemen to generate the pressure.”
As for whether Pierre-Paul, who said after the win over the Falcons that he was “100 percent” sure the Giants would come into Lambeau Field and beat the Packers, put any undue pressure on his own team, McCarthy dismissed the idea that anything would serve as bulletin-board material this week.
“I would expect a team that’s playing in the divisional playoff round to think they should win the game,” McCarthy said. “We fully expect to win the game. We’re going to prepare throughout the week to win the game, and we’ll be ready to go Sunday.
“That (guarantee) stuff, what are they supposed to say? They’re going to lose? I think guys should expect to win. That’s the National Football League.”