Last week was a big game. This week is the big game. New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers on the fairly frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. The winner probably goes to the playoffs. The loser is almost certainly watching the post-season on TV.
Even with no running game and a fragile Aaron Rodgers, the Packers are dangerous. The Pack has a real defense, the kind that doesn’t give up a lot of points (220 allowed, versus 288 for the Giants). The players on everyone’s preseason Super Bowl favorite are certainly aware that the trip to the playoffs which was once viewed as a foregone conclusion now demands two wins on their home ice.
It comes down to this: Big players make big plays in big spots.
The Giants have their share of big-time players – there are several on either side of the ball.
Those guys are capable of making big plays – for three quarters last Sunday, somebody came up big on almost every play.
But in big spots? Those have been in short supply.
Eli Manning has far fewer two-minute scoring drives this year than in the past, and no one on the offense has been making key plays down the stretch. The defense has had one flash of brilliance – the closing sequence against Jacksonville. Otherwise, the Giants formula has been to build a big lead – and then watch it evaporate.
There won’t be much evaporation going on at Lambeau today, chemically speaking. But the Giants are going have to make something happen in the clutch. It’s going to be yet another edition of Stressor Theater.