And I have loved the Giants' defense since I wrote about its dominating 16-13 Week 2 victory over the New Orleans Saints.
"I feel like we're capable of getting back to where we want to go, and that's the Super Bowl", Matthews said. At the time, I anticipated their offense would improve.
Four years later, the temperature was warmer and so were the Giants in posting a 37-20 win that included a Hail Mary from Eli Manning to Hakeem Nicks just before halftime. But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves.
Prior to Green Bay's 2012 home playoff loss to the Giants, their previous encounter four years earlier was another contest hosted at Lambeau Field, the 2008 NFC Championship Game. In other words, both teams should be at nearly full strength.
Casillas pointed to Rodgers' unique abilities to not only make the throws, but extend plays as factors that make him such a tough customer to face. His numbers weren't impressive, but he improvised well at important moments in the game. 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. The Giants hardly blitzed at all.
Chicago doesn't have many options unless they can score a quality QB in the draft. The Giants rank second in points allowed per game (17.8), second in opponents' passer rating (75.8) and fourth in interceptions (17). Occasionally, the safeties would double the slot receivers on both sides, rather than play deep halves.
Rodgers saw an explosion in every single statistical category and it's not like it was all of a sudden, his receivers making him look better. Or even that Manning is the only remaining major figure from the first meeting in 2008, and one of just a handful from 2012. The Packers would win the next four games and National Football League championships in 1939, '44, 61 and '62. They've got it going offensively.
Tynes had missed his last two field goal attempts and he seemingly made the decision of whether to attempt the long kick by running out on the field before Coughlin told him to go. Perkins rushed for 102 yards and led the way for the Giants' best running game of the season. Unfortunately for the Packers, Lacy is on injured reserve and won't be available Sunday.
Run the table is exactly what Rodgers and the Packers did.
It would not be a Packers game if the game were not played in the cold. Aaron Ripkowski and Ty Montgomery averaged 6.8 and 5.5 yards per carry, respectively. "And, I've always believed in that, and they believe in that".
Metro Tickets owner Robert Lodes believes prices for Dallas' first playoff game on January 15 could soar even higher by the time kickoff rolls around. What makes their defense great is their secondary play. I think we will be partying a month from now in celebration for the Packers, and I'm sticking to it. The Packers are a ideal 2-0 in playoff games officiated by Steratore, with those wins coming in the last two seasons - last year over Washington and two years ago over Dallas. Odell Beckham Jr. said "It's flawless football weather". And that seemed to be enough to short-circuit the Giants' offense. Including the Patriots, the overwhelming favorites to go back to the Super Bowl from the AFC, as they were before on the Giants' title runs (definitely after their ideal 2007 regular season, only slightly less so in 2011).
Domonique Foxworth is a writer at The Undefeated.