The Green Bay Packers started the 2016 NFL season off extremely slow and few gave them a chance to make a run back to the playoffs. Despite all of the criticism that they received from the media, Green Bay won their final six games of the regular season and won the NFC North division title and a date with the New York Giants in the Wild Card round of the NFC playoff bracket.
Aaron Rodgers went from people wondering how much time he had left before retirement to being one of the leaders in the MVP race. He put his team on his back and powered them to the playoffs.
Mike McCarthy heard rumors all season long about being on the hot seat and even still to this point keeps hearing those rumors. Despite those rumors, McCarthy has kept his head on straight and figured out ways to put his team in the best position possible to pull out wins.Looking ahead to this week's playoff matchup at Lambeau Field, there are a lot of nerves involved on both sides. Just a few short years ago, the Packers were upset by the Giants in the exact same kind of matchup. They are hoping to change things this time around.
All of that being said, what five reasons can be given to support the statement that the Green Bay Packers will defeat the New York Giants on Sunday afternoon?
Aaron Rodgers Will Continue His MVP Caliber Play
No one can take away the numbers that Aaron Rodgers has put up this season. He ended the season leading the league in touchdown passes and seemed to find his passion for the game of football again. Perhaps the most obvious sign of that was the discount double check coming back over the last few weeks.
Green Bay Will Rack Up 150+ Rushing Yards
One of the biggest pleasant surprises for the Packers this season has been the emergence of their rushing game despite the injury to Eddie Lacy. After he went down with a season-ending injury, the outlook for the ground game looked bleak. Ty Montgomery, Aaron Ripkowski, and Christine Michael have turned that around and the Packers will rack up 150 yards or more on the ground this week.Home Field Advantage Will Make an Impact
There are very few stadiums in professional sports that yield the kind of home field advantage that the Packers have at Lambeau Field. Green Bay fans are loud and wild and that will be the case again this week. Every Green Bay fan in attendance will be doing their best to disrupt the Giants' offense, which will come into play at some point in the game.
Despite the Struggles, Green Bay Has Defensive Playmakers
Even with all of the injuries that the Packers' defense has been wrecked with this season, they are still capable of forcing turnovers and making plays. Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers are just two of the Packers' talented pass rushers. Looking ahead at this week's matchup with Eli Manning, the defense should match up just fine.New York Has Been Extremely Inconsistent
New York may be playing at a high level entering the playoffs, but inconsistency has been an issue for them this year. Odell Beckham, Jr. has had temper tantrums on the sideline and there have been weeks that the Giants didn't look like a playoff team. Due to those inconsistency issues, it would be reasonable to say that this week could be one of those struggles.
Expect to see the Packers and Giants play hard-fought game. Neither team is going to blow the other out, but Green Bay is simply playing impressive football. If the Packers play up to their ability, they should be moving on to the divisional round of the NFC playoffs.
Do you think the Green Bay Packers or New York Giants will end up winning this matchup? What are your final score predictions for the game? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Featured Image by Paul Sancya/AP Images]