The Green Bay Packers are America's team. Forget what the marketing department in Dallas tells you. Politicians race to be more Packer than the other guy every election year. Cameras swoon for Aaron Rodgers, imagined as the nation's most perfect everyman. America's team needs a foil, and the New York Giants fit the bill perfectly.
The Orthogonian Eli Manning spends most of his time frowning, when he's not leading improbable game-winning drives. Football doesn't come as effortlessly to Manning and the Giants as it does Rodgers and red, white, green and yellow.
After a rough start to the season, Green Bay has rattled off five straight wins. New York followed up a four-game winning streak with a pair of losses to the Steelers and the Bengals. During that stretch, Manning has no touchdowns and three interceptions, setting off the normal chorus of doubt about the Giants' fate, nevermind the fact that the team is defending a Super Bowl championship. Those kind of conditions might make Vince Lombardi himself carry around a hangdog expression, depleting our national supply of inspirational quotes.
There is history between these two teams. Last year, Manning thew three touchdowns in a 37-20 playoff win, New York's second stop on the way to sullying up His trophy. It was the first time Eli Manning beat the Packers since Rodgers took over the reigns in 2008.
That playoff game was a rematch of a Week 13 Packers' win, when Aaron Rodgers effortlessly threw four touchdowns in a narrow win. These two teams met one other time since Rodgers' ascendancy, in Week 16 of 2010. Rodgers threw four touchdowns in that one as well. Manning threw four picks. Green Bay won 45-17, a tune up game on the way to a Super Bowl win that season.
What happens this time around? The Giants, the host, are favored slightly. The over/under is set at 50 points and change, and you would be well advised to take the over.
Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is on fire, but his secondary isn't offering enough help to hold off an air assault from Rodgers, Randall Cobb, James Jones, et al. As for Manning, he's had a full week to cool his heels, offering his thanks that the Jets have Tebow and all the oxygen in the NYC media market. He hasn't thrown a touchdown pass since Week 7, the longest drought since his rookie year. That's unlikely to continue.
The outcome will reorder the NFC. Our national character will survive regardless.
Cast of Characters
Aaron Rodgers, Gambling Addicts
There have been a lot of great stories this year, but none better than this one, where we learned that (1) Aaron Rodgers is friends with Boyz II Men, and (2) Aaron Rodgers bet on the 49ers-Packers game with Boyz II Men. Then, (3) Aaron Rodgers said it was all blown out of proportion, and (4) TMZ called out Aaron Rodgers for blowing it. Really wish Vince Lombardi could've been here for this.
Mason Crosby, Siiiiiiiiiiick
You can't tell me Mason Crosby didn't play high school lacrosse at some prep school in New England. NFL or not, "Mason Crosby" was born to CRANK IT, BRAH.
Mike McCarthy, Proof
Proof that if a coach has a great quarterback (Aaron Rodgers) you can fool people into trusting you for farrrrrrr too long. I can't wait for this to happen with Mike Shanahan, too.
Eli Manning, NOT ELITE
Eh, just kidding. Who gives a shit?
Jeremy Shockey, Not on the Giants Anymore
But don't you wish he was?
Giants Fans, The Worst
After every horrible Giants loss the past 4 years, we've had to hear Giants fans laugh and say, "Oh man that was awful, but we can't complain TOO MUCH." And they're right! The Giants could miss the playoffs this year and it wouldn't really matter, because their last two Super Bowls were awesome enough to last at least a decade. It's awful, and I'm jealous.
LOCALE: New York
New York's Giants are famously New Jersey's, and unabashedly so. The Giants former nest--the Meadowlands--now sits beneath the earth with the corpse of James Hoffa. Buried with it are the memories of Super Bowls, Phil McConkey's towels, and no seriously, possibly the corpse of Jimmy Hoffa, who was allegedly had a permanent seat six feet beneath the end zone. You will hear people wax rhapsodic over many stadia, and one of those places is never the old Meadowlands.
MetLife Stadium has yet to host the corpse of a famous labor leader, but it beats the daylights out of its predecessors by every other measure. The sight lines are clean, the seating comfortable, and the concessions are surprisingly affordable for a Northeastern NFL venue. It also gets high marks for being clean, unless…well, take it away, Yelp.
"The facilities are always clean before the large crowd of JET fans come in on Sundays, but even during the 4th quarter, they aren't too bad unless some guy puked his face all over the place."
The Giants' swamp palace and its inhabitants also get positive reviews from opposing fans, mostly because they are drunk, loud, and largely not taking things too seriously, and also because they are not Philadelphia fans. You will be cold, yes, but you will not be in Philadelphia surrounded by Eagles fans. This is a positive not only in MetLife Stadium, but in thirty other NFL stadiums.
Ask the Locals: Giants
It’s Still November.
The Giants stink in November. They have lost six straight games in November and are 13-20 during the Tom Coughlin era during November. The have turned the November swoon into an art form -- you might call the Giants Picasso of the November swoon! Can somebody just sprinkle some pixie dust over Coughlin, Eli Manning and the rest of the Giants and convince them it isn’t November anymore? They are pretty good in October and December, and really good in January and February. In fact, they are pretty good any time expect November. So, somebody please hide the calendars and convince the Giants to play like they do when it isn’t November.
We’re sick of the Packers already.
This will be the third time in less than a year that the Giants have faced the Packers. In that time the Giants have played the NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles once. We’re sick of Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews and the “discount double-check” already. Of course, we’ll take another matchup with Green Bay in January if it means the Giants are still playing.
Ask the Locals: Packers
What's the over-under on how many times the announcers talk about the away fans?
The Green Bay Packers have been an entertaining team with a very good quarterback for quite some time, but I think they actually get thrown on national television so that Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth can troll 31 other fan bases. They will take approximately 12 breaks from talking about football during the broadcast to tell you about how awesome the away fans are. If you've been on legal ticket scalping sites recently, you might have noticed that there were thousands of seats available. They've almost certainly been snapped up by random people from New Jersey who started supporting the Packers in the 1990s. Listening to Michaels and Collinsworth talk about how Packers fans travel better than any other fans while I listen to Steelers fans scream at the television will be the highlight of my Sunday night.
Assessing the Bodily Injuries
1. Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, NYG (neck, foot)
The head of the running back committee will play. You're not watching this game to see the Giants running backs.
2. Greg Jennings, WR, GB (groin)
Yes, there is an outside chance Jennings could return to play this week. He is now the least valuable Packers receiver, but should make for some exciting trade rumors this spring.
3. Clay Matthews, OLB, GB (hamstring)
Matthews is out this week. It's not fair, at least not for those us who feed our children with GIFs of Manning Face.
4. Kenny Phillips, S, NYG (ankle)
Phillips thinks he's "good enough to play" and he might be. Unfortunately for him, Stevie Brown is more than "good enough" to play.
Gentlemen, Place Your Bets
Statgasm: Worried Squirrels
In 140-character Conclusion...
GUYS: imagine if Joe Biden and Eli Manning ever hung out
This Thanksgiving I am thankful for the fact that I am not Tony Romo.
I'm bout to heat up 10 hot pockets for tonight and put them in the microwave! Lmao but I'm not joking.
Harbaugh has done such a great coaching job that people are actually outraged he's benching Alex Smith.
Jack Taylor, a DIII basketball player scored 138 points in one game. The Kansas City Chiefs have 152 points in 10 games.