It wasn’t exactly a guarantee, a la Joe Namath in Super Bowl III. But the Giants’ Jason Pierre-Paul sounded pretty certain of his feelings for his team’s Nov. 15 NFC Playoff matchup against the mighty Packers in Green Bay.
“We know what’s at stake,” New York’s second-year defensive end said, as quoted by SportingNews.com, following his team’s 24-2 romp over the Atlanta Falcons on Jan. 8. “We know it’s one and done. We aren’t going to let that happen. We are going to go out there and give all-out effort, and we are going to walk away with a win.”
That’s a tall order, for sure, when you take into consideration the Packers are defending Super Bowl champs and finished 15-1 behind heralded quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who engineered a 38-35 victory over the Giants at MetLife Stadium in Week 13 of the regular season.
A field goal on the game’s final play was the difference in that game.
“We are confident,” said Pierre-Paul, named an Associated Press All-Pro on Jan. 6. "Last time [the Packers] came in here and they beat us, which they shouldn't have. It's going to be cold and the atmosphere will be theirs, but we're going to be ready to play.”
The Giants went to Lambeau Field and at beat the Packers 23-20 in the NFC Championship game on their way to becoming Super Bowl champs in 2008.
“Trust me, we haven’t forgotten,” Packers receiver Greg Jennings posted on Twitter, the New York Post reported.
Oddsmakers have the Giants as nine-point underdogs this time. Jennings said Rodgers is the key for Green Bay, which depended on an aging Brett Favre at quarterback in the ’08 clash.
“They both bring different things to the table,” Jennings said on ESPN Radio comparing Rodgers to Favre, “but honestly right now I definitely have to go with ... Aaron, his body of work at such a young age, his attention to detail, his discipline, I think it's really second to none — its unparalleled,”
But the Giants’ defense is healthier than it was in the last meeting, and the Falcons’ Dunta Robinson said no one should count out New York.
“If that defense goes out and plays [the way they did against Atlanta], they have a chance against anybody,” veteran Falcons cornerback was quoted as saying by the Post. “That kind of pass rush would be very disruptive. And if they can stop the run, they’ll be a force. It’s going to be a great matchup.”
Pierre-Paul has no doubts about the outcome.
“They can’t run the ball on us,” he was quoted as saying in The New York Times, adding that the Giants “are going to walk away with a win.
—JOE GREENE, NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM