Scott’s Commentary for Thursday, January 12th..
The Green Bay Packers are clearly the best team in the NFC. They have the best quarterback, the best recieving corps, Charles Woodson, a near perfect record and the home field advantage for Sunday’s division round playoff game against the New York Giants. That said, the Giants are quite capable of beating the Packers. The numbers don’t present the case for the Giants because they reflect injuries that kept them from having the running back tandem of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw available at the same time for much of the season, forced the recieving corps to come together on the fly while Victor Cruz assumed the super star role and Jake Ballard became a serious short threat and don’t give proper credit to a defensive line that wasn’t nearly as fearsome early as it is now that Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck are healthy at the same time, making them as fierce a pass rushing unit as the NFL currently knows. The defensive numbers are weighted by a young secondary that has grown on the job and, while still suspect, is much better than it was in the first half of the season. One way the Giants won’t be able to beat the Packers, however, is by talking them to death. Unfortunately they seem to believe that’s where their advantage lies, filling the New York headlines and, in all probability the Packers locker room bulletin board, with a lot of bluster bouyed by their performance over the last month. No successful ambush has ever been laid by letting the opposition know you’re coming. The Giants don’t have to look far for a good example. Their head coach and quarterback set a proper standard for preparation. Talk is cheap, action wins games. Too bad the Giants looked all the way across their own stadium for inspiration. The Jets set a new standard for yap-flapping this season and all it earned them was league-wide disdain with calls from all quarters to just put a sock in it. No lesson learned there as a parade of Jets unwilling to attach their names to their comments rushed to the newspapers to beat up on their quarterback, accusing Mark Sanchez of being soft, being lazy and not showing nearly enough improvement in three years to make them a Super Bowl team. Even center Nick Mangold, who stepped up to support his quarterback and condemn the anonymous finger pointers, wasn’t full throttle with his support, saying he wished Sanchez was more like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning in striving for perfection. It must be something in the air in New York that causes so much uncontrolled chatter. The Jets failed to learn their lesson and they’ll suffer the consequences right into next season. If the Giants don’t learn soon that talk is cheap and it doesn’t win football games they’ll waste everything they’ve spent a season developing and join their friends from the other side of the stadium watching the rest of the playoffs from their living rooms. With a comment from the sports world, I’m Scott Gray.