Wayne Larrivee's Packers-Giants Pregame Primer I: History and the present

Wayne Larrivee's blog
Posted at 6:59 PM, Oct 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-07 21:06:08-04
The Packers and Giants have a long storied history between them. They played for five NFL Championships prior to the Super Bowl era. They met for the 2007 NFC title and again four years later in the NFC Divisional playoffs.
Consider this: the winner of each playoff matchup between the Packers and Giants has gone on to win the NFL Championship or Super Bowl.
Furthermore, Vince Lombardi came off the Giants coaching staff to take over the Packers in the late 50's. Now that’s history!
Overall the Packers lead the regular season series 27-23 with two ties. In the postseason, Green Bay has a slim 8-7 advantage.
The last time these two met was back in 2013 when the Packers, without injured quarterback Aaron Rodgers, fell to the Giants 27-13 at Met Life Stadium.
This year, the Giants bring a 2-2 record into Lambeau Field to face the Packers.
This is not the caliber of squad that ousted Green Bay from the post season twice during the McCarthy era. Those Giants teams were tough and physical in the trenches. They were resourceful on offense and the first two levels of their defense dictated the direction of the game.
In January of 2008 the underdog Giants came to Lambeau Field for an NFC title game showdown with a young Green Bay Packers squad. Future Hall of Fame defensive end Michael Strahan was the Giants captain and he keyed that unit.
Bruising running back Brandon Jacobs set the tone in the game when he bowled over All-Pro cornerback Charles Woodson in the first half, and the Giants eventually prevailed in overtime 23-20 on one of the coldest nights (in more ways than one) in Green Bay football history.
Much of the same cast was in place four years later with the addition of a young Linval Joseph at nose tackle and veteran inside linebacker Chase Blackburn. His midseason addition to that roster spurred a second half rally to the post season.
The 2011 Giants took on the 15-1 defending champion Packers, also at Lambeau, and eventually dominated the best offense in football, scoring a 37-20 victory, sacking MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers four times, intercepting him once as the Packers lost three fumbles!
Those Giants teams of that era didn’t win any more than they had to (ten regular season victories in 2007 and just nine in 2011), but both of those clubs went on the take down the undefeated Patriots in the Super Bowl following the 2007 campaign and a 13-win New England squad in the championship game following 2011.
Tough, physical, resourceful, a team that was keyed by their defense - they personified their coach Tom Coughlin.
This team coming to Lambeau Field is a different animal so to speak, with the exception of quarterback Eli Manning. This Giants team is about Eli and one of the top-receiving trios in the NFL: Odell Beckham, Jr., Victor Cruz and rookie slot receiver Sterling Shepard.
Therein lies the challenge for a Green Bay secondary that has already given up 16 passing plays of twenty yards or more, three plays of 40-plus!  How the Packers “contain” the Giants passing attack will essentially tell the story of Sunday night’s showdown.