By Travis Duncan
-Coach Mike McCarthy announced playoff captains Thursday: Aaron Rodgers and Donald Drivers are offensive captains, while Charles Woodson and A.J. Hawk are defensive captains. On special teams Jarrett Bush and Mason Crosby are captains.
-The Packers practiced indoors Thursday due to weather, and simulated the wind inside the Hudson center, while adjusting the temperature in the facility to 30 degrees. Wind gusts are expected to be at 6-8 mph on Sunday. WBAY forecasts the high will be 24 and a low of 17 on Sunday.
-So much of the conversation this week has been about what the Giants front four can do against the Packers offensive line, not a lot has been said about the pressure which the Packers hope to put on Eli Manning, and subsequently the interceptions they hope to create from that pressure.
B.J. Raji had this to say to reporters when asked about the Giants offensive line, as reported by the Newark Star Ledger:
"I mean, I played them once this year and once last year. I can only judge by my vantage point up front, not necessarily the most physical — their backs are pretty physical, but not the toughest o-line. Not saying they're soft, but not the toughest group I've been against."Raji's comments created a mini-uproar among New York/New Jersey media and fans Thursday on Twitter.
Cobb the X-Factor
-McCarthy said that Randall Cobb should be fine for Sunday's game, as he recovers from a groin injury. McCarthy also said that he feels good about the ball security or fumble issues the rookie had earlier in the season.
Cobb may actually benefit from the weather, according to special teams coach Shawn Slocum who told the Journal Sentinel "I think his running style is good for bad weather because he's a guy that has excellent balance and ability to break an arm tackle. He runs with his body over his feet."
Cobb is hoped to be by many Packers fans to be something of an X-Factor Sunday-but rest assured the Giants and special teams coach Tom Quinn are well aware of the rookie.
Going Sleeveless=Mental Toughness?
-New York Giants receivers have made a pact to go sleeveless for Sunday's game.
"Hakeem [Nicks] started it after the Washington game, because he felt like we came out and we played a little tentative because we were worried about the cold and stuff like that. So we’ll come out no sleeves, and just mentally be ready to go," Victor Cruz told the Newark Star-Ledger.
-If the Packers come away victorious Sunday afternoon it will be the 30th postseason win in franchise history. Only the Cowboys and Steelers have more franchise postseason wins in NFL history, each with 33.
-A big question, at least nationally, is whether the Packers can play well-or will need a quarter or two to warm up, following the first-round bye and a meaningless Week 17 game. Defensive end Mike Neal says the Packers are ready to go:
"You can tell just by the intensity of practice, everybody is out there moving and practicing a whole lot faster," said Neal. "Everybody is excited, you wanna get to that game, you want to play, you wanna win it."
A Simple Breakdown
-Wide receiver James Jones broken down the game pretty succinctly, "They don't do anything tricky, you can stop anyone's pass game if you can get pressure on the quarterback and that's their goal. Hopefully we can keep Aaron protected and be able to make some plays down field."
Not the same Giants to Rodgers
-On pass protection Aaron Rodgers told the media, "It starts with protection any week, regardless of who we're playing. This week it's a tough front. Those guys are relentless in getting to the passer; they're playing really well as a whole. There haven't been those occasional holes (in the defense) that we saw a few weeks ago when we played them."
Capers generating interest
-Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers is a candidate to become the next Raiders head coach according to Jason La Canfora of NFL.com
Bump and Run+Pressure=Giants Victory?
-Former Packers Sterling Sharpe gives his analysis on how to beat the Packers on NFL Total Access, also at NFL.com
"The Chiefs alerted us that we can play bump-and-run coverage on the Green Bay Packers and force Aaron Rodgers to hold on to the football. What the Chiefs were able to do was mesh rush and coverage."
Sharpe added, "I think the New York Football Giants bring this ability to the table, especially the way their front four played against Atlanta. What the Giants bring is their ability put pressure and collapse the pocket, that puts seven guys into coverage. You don't want just straight up one-on-one with the ball in Aaron Rodgers hand."
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