National Football League
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PLAYOFFS
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      === Resurgent Giants take on Rodgers-less Pack ===
 
 (SportsNetwork.com) - The Green Bay Packers aren't used to losing two in a
 row. Dropping three straight is even less likely unless Aaron Rodgers isn't
 playing quarterback.
 
 The Rodgers-less Packers hope to stop their current two-game slide when they
 visit the resurgent New York Giants Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium.
 
 Green Bay lost two straight twice back in 2010 and hasn't suffered three
 consecutive defeats since a five-game slide from Nov. 24 - Dec. 22, 2008. The
 losing ways continued in last Sunday's 27-13 decision to the Philadelphia
 Eagles at Lambeau Field, as the defense gave up 415 yards of offense,
 including 204 rushing.
 
 Eagles quarterback Nick Foles had another strong start and completed 12-of-18
 passes for 228 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. The Packers
 couldn't stop running back LeSean McCoy and he ran for 155 yards on 25
 carries, playing a big role in Philadelphia's late drive in the fourth
 quarter.
 
 "We're obviously not playing our best football," Packers head coach Mike
 McCarthy said when asked what's going on late in games. "We've looked at it.
 We've looked at every play call and things like that, but at the end of the
 day, the focus and discipline required to perform is where we need to make an
 improvement. It's nothing earth-shattering as far as what needs to be done.
 It's the fundamentals, it's the little things, and as a football team, we've
 been talking about it too long."
 
 The two-game losing streak comes on the heels of four straight wins for the
 Packers and now they'll try to extend their road winning streak to three games
 against the Giants. The Packers (5-4) are still alive in the NFC North
 Division and sit tied with Chicago (5-4) at a game behind Detroit (6-3).
 
 The biggest storyline coming out of Packers camp this week is the quarterback
 situation. Rodgers is still sidelined with a broken clavicle, so it was
 up to Seneca Wallace to move the chains versus the Eagles. Wallace, though,
 exited the game on the first series with a groin injury and Scott Tolzien took
 over, passing for 280 yards and completing 24-of-39 attempts with one
 touchdown and two interceptions.
 
 Tolzien set franchise records for completions and passing yards by a
 quarterback in his first game with the Packers.
 
 "I thought Scott Tolzien played as well as to be expected, he made just the
 one throw down in the end zone where he probably wants that throw back and
 I'll tell you right now Scott Tolzien will start against the New York Giants,"
 McCarthy said this week.
 
 The Packers clouded the situation a bit more by bringing back Matt Flynn.
 Wallace was placed on injured reserve and Flynn is now back for a second tour
 of duty in the Land of Cheese. Flynn, in his sixth year in the league, was
 drafted by the Packers in 2008 and spent his first four seasons with them
 (2008-2011). He threw for 480 yards and six touchdowns in his second start for
 the Packers in 2011.
 
 Flynn has played for the Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills
 since leaving Green Bay.
 
 The Giants (3-6) suddenly have life in a less-than-stellar NFC East and have
 ripped off three straight wins since an 0-6 start. They are right behind
 Dallas (5-5) and Philadelphia (5-5) in the division and posted a 24-20 victory
 Sunday at home versus the Oakland Raiders.
 
 New York erased a 17-14 halftime deficit and ran Andre Brown into the ground
 30 times for 115 yards and a touchdown. It was Brown's first game of the
 season and he was activated off injured reserve before the game. Brown was the
 Giants' sixth starting running back of the season.
 
 "Andre played great," Giants quarterback Eli Manning said Sunday. "He ran hard
 and also hit some big runs, got some 10-yard, 11-yard runs, which was nice.
 And obviously that last possession we knew we were going to need two first
 downs to run out that clock and that's exactly what he was able to do. Get
 huge first downs, not give the ball back to Oakland and run out the clock so
 that was a great job by that offensive line and Andre, he did help us out."
 
 Brown said he felt sore afterward, but added it wouldn't play a role in this
 week's game with Green Bay. The Packers have had issues stopping the run
 lately and Brown could be in for another heavy workload. McCarthy talked
 briefly about the defenses struggles against the run.
 
 "I don't think it's as simple as that," McCarthy said. "We've had some change
 in personnel, and the tackling the last two weeks is clearly not where it
 needs to be."
 
 Packers linebacker Clay Matthews returned from a thumb injury versus the
 Eagles and played with a club on his hand. That could play a role again this
 week against a Giants team that will try to establish the run once again to
 take pressure off of Manning. Manning had a season low 12 completions and
 threw for 140 yards with a TD and an interception. He only has just two TD
 passes and a pick during the recent win streak.
 
 Manning talked about what he saw from Green Bay on tape.
 
 "They're a good defense. They show a lot of different looks. They've got a lot
 of guys with sacks. They bring pressure from every player. Everybody has a
 chance to get to the quarterback," Manning said. "Obviously, (Clay) Matthews
 is back playing now. He missed the last few games, so he's a guy you have to
 watch and be careful about. They've got good corners, so they have a talented
 defense. They show a lot of different looks and we've got to prepare for a lot
 of things."
 
 Manning has made 144 starts in a row, the longest active streak by a QB.
 
 The Giants' remaining schedule is a daunting one with Green Bay, Dallas,
 Washington twice, San Diego, Seattle and Detroit on the docket. All of those
 teams have a shot at making a postseason run.
 
 New York defeated Green Bay the last time the two teams met in a 38-10 romp at
 MetLife Stadium. Manning has thrown for 926 yards, nine touchdowns and two
 interceptions in the past three games in this series, including the playoffs.
 Green Bay holds a 31-25-2 edge in the all-time series, which includes a 4-3
 postseason record.
 
 
 WHAT TO WATCH FOR
 
 Both the Giants and Packers are allowing more than 100 yards rushing a game,
 so look for Brown and Packers running back Eddie Lacy to have strong days.
 
 Brown, of course, was back in action for the first time last week and adds
 another dimension to New York's improving offense. It's been a while since the
 Giants have had some consistency running the ball and hope Brown is the
 answer.
 
 Lacy was "held" to 73 yards on 24 carries because the Eagles knew if they
 we're going to lose, Tolzien would have to beat them. So Philly loaded the box
 and took Lacy out of the game. Lacy leads the NFL with 618 rushing yards since
 Oct. 1 and the rookie out of Alabama has at least 70 yards rushing in the last
 six games.
 
 "The balance is the key in what they've done," Giants head coach Tom Coughlin
 said. "He's an exceptional power runner. They do a nice job with their big
 offensive line. If you look across the board, you're going to find 320-
 pounders. Lacy is a powerful runner and you're going to have to get a number
 of people to the ball in order to contain or control what he can do. You watch
 him break tackles on tape."
 
 Coughlin is hoping his star defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul will be able to
 play Sunday after injuring his shoulder versus the Raiders. Pierre-Paul is a
 two-time Pro Bowl selection and has never missed a game in his career. He is
 unsure of his status for Sunday and Coughlin said he is "still sore."
 
 "I'm just going day-by-day," Pierre-Paul said. "Once it stops hurting me, I'll
 play. As of right now, I'm taking it day-by-day."
 
 Pierre-Paul had one of four sacks last week and has just two this season.
 Giants cornerbacks Terrell Thomas (knee) and Corey Webster (groin/ankle) are
 also dealing with injuries.
 
 
 OVERALL ANALYSIS
 
 The likelihood of Tolzien leading the Packers out of the Meadowlands with a
 win is slim because MetLife Stadium is a tough place to play, especially for a
 quarterback wet behind the ears. Look for Giants defensive coordinator Perry
 Fewell to turn it up a notch Sunday with blitz packages and several looks.
 
 In what could turn out to be a close game, it will boil down to turnovers,
 stops and converting on third down. Manning has been protecting the football
 during this win streak and will have another efficient performance to keep New
 York's playoff chances on life support.
 
 Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Giants 26, Packers 23
 
 
 
 11/15 12:15:36 ET