1. Packers offensive line vs. Giants pass-rush—The Giants employ a bevy of edge-type pass-rushers and they use them in multiple ways. One strategy is to move DE Justin Tuck inside and move LB Mathias Kiwanuka up and let him put his hand on the ground at his former DE position. Osi Umenyiora is expected to miss the game, but that’ll create even more playing time for second-year sensation Jason Pierre-Paul, an impact pass-rusher who has 10.5 sacks. Blocking the Giants’ pass-rush is job one for the Packers’ offensive line.
2. Giants corners vs. Jennings and Nelson—Corey Webster and Aaron Ross will have their hands full against Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and company. The Giants are 26th against the pass and if they play to that level on Sunday, the Packers figure to have a big day through the air.
3. Randall Cobb vs. Giants coverage teams—The Giants struggle to cover punts and Cobb is one of the game’s emerging, big-play punt-returners. This matchup could be a difference-maker.
4. Giants run game vs. Packers nickel defense—Against the league’s worst rushing attack, the Packers figure to play a two-man line in their “nickel defense” most if not all of the day. Giants Coach Tom Coughlin, who has long been obsessed with balance between run and pass, will likely challenge Brandon Jacobs and an offensive line that’s better than the Giants’ No. 32 rush ranking, to create the balance Coughlin seeks and force the Packers out of their two-man.
5. Eli Manning vs. Aaron Rodgers—Manning played up to Tom Brady’s level and even trumped him at crunch time, to defeat Brady and the undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. He’ll have to play up to Rodgers’ level or higher to upset the Packers. Additional coverage - Dec. 2