The Green Bay Packers and New York Giants face off in the NFC Championship today in a game that will go down in history before it even has started. With temperatures in the single digits and wind chills around 20 below zero, the game will be one of the coldest ever and second coldest in Lambeau Field. Ice Bowl II they are calling it. I know I am looking forward to the game but sitting in those stands is going to be a nightmare, I can’t imagine what it would be like trying to concentrate on playing football.
I think anything can happen today but the team that gets the early lead will have a huge advantage, it is always colder when you are behind. Having played in a cold game already this year and losing in Chicago, the Packers know what is in store for them. The Giants don’t have a clue. The fact that Eli Manning is contemplating wearing a glove on his left hand because he is worried about the snap exchange tells me the Giants are scared. They should be scared, but that doesn’t mean they can’t win.
This game could come down to just who is the luckiest. The ball will bounce funny, the cold will wreck havoc on the players concentration and affect their motor skills. If the Packers can’t run the ball today the Giants will be able to hang around and put themselves in a position to win. If the Packers are able to run the ball I think they win going away. That is a lot to put on young Ryan Grant’s shoulders, but after last week he may have proved worthy of the task.
Special teams could also be a major player in today’s game. Covering punt and kickoff returns and the ability of the kickers to even kick the ball will be tested. Here is the perfect chance for Jon Ryan to redeem himself after that woeful performance in Chicago.
Like I said after the Bear game, in weather conditions like this the home team always has the advantage, today should be another example of that. The conditions and the fact that the Packers are the better team and playing at home will carry them to a 24-14 win and trip to Glendale to face the Patriots and their 18-0 record. Lets get it on!