This Sunday, the 15-1 Green Bay Packers will begin their quest to defend their world championship against the 9-7 New York Giants at Lambeau Field. The Giants, coming off an impressive 24-2 win over the Atlanta Falcons, are looking to play spoiler against Aaron Rodgers and company in a rematch of the 2008 NFC Championship.
For Packers receiver Greg Jennings, this Sunday’s game is a chance at redemption. “The team that kept us from our Super Bowl in ‘08 is back on OUR turf now. Trust me, we haven’t forgotten. Here. We…GoPackGo! # BeGreat,” Jennings tweeted, referring to the 23-20 overtime loss to the Giants in the 2008 NFC Championship.
Jennings, who is a valuable member of a talented Green Bay receiving core, compiling 949 yards and nine touchdowns, and is making his return from a small tear in his MCL which kept him out the final three games of the season.
Although future-Hall-of-Famer Brett Favre was still the quarterback of the Pack when they lost to the Giants those years ago, Jennings seems to have no doubt that they have the perfect guy for the job now. “I haven’t really found a QB that has done it the way (Rodgers) has done it,” Jennings said to ESPN 1050.
The All-Pro receiver even went as far as to say Rodgers is better than Favre. “They both bring different things to the table, but honestly right now I definitely have to go with…Aaron, his body of work at such a young age, his attention to detail, his discipline, I think it’s really second to none- its un-paralleled,” said Jennings.
A-Rod has led the Pack on a very impressive run, losing only one game in 2011 to the Kansas City Chiefs 19-14. His stats are the strongest of his career, throwing for more touchdowns (45), and fewer interceptions (6), than any season he has started in the past.
Jennings is not the only player participating in Sunday’s game that is promising victory. Giants’ second-year defensive stud Jason Pierre-Paul seemed more than confident that New York would be able to get the job done. “We are very confident. Last time they came in here and they beat us, which they shouldn’t have, and we are just going to go out there and play some football,” Pierre-Paul said. “It’s going to be cold and the atmosphere will be theirs but we’re going to be ready to play.”
This dominant defensive end is having one of the best seasons in the NFL thus far, and has emerged as the leader of the Giants defense. With the 16.5 sacks this year, Pierre-Paul is now the reigning single-season sack leader for the Giants for the last four years. That’s including the two other defensive monsters the Giants have – Justin Tuck and Usi Umenyiora.
Fellow Giants are trying to follow in Pierre-Paul’s footsteps. Although not going as far as to guarantee victory; they certainly back his swagger and confidence. “Whatever my teammates say, I don’t care if they say something obnoxious, I’m backing them all the way,” said Antrel Rolle. “Especially if JPP says it, we’re gonna go out there and get it done.”
On the other hand, Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin is trying to keep the players focused on the task at hand. “Right now, let us study them and then we will talk about them,” said Coughlin. “I realize everybody is anxious and I am, too. I told the players that let’s cover the game and learn from the game we just played, let’s keep things in perspective, let’s get started looking at some tape but let’s not get too carried away just yet.”
It’s sure to be a battle at Lambeau, with the weather forecast only predicting a high of 21 degrees. After Sunday, the NFL will have a better idea of who its champion might be as we get down to the final four, and the winner of this game is going to be a favorite to go all the way.