Giants and rival Packers set to clash in pivotal game

Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:01pm EST
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By Larry Fine

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Reuters) - The New York Giants are desperate to take the next step in a steep climb into the playoff picture while the Green Bay Packers are striving to halt a slide in Sunday's showdown between old rivals.

Green Bay have lost their last two games with quarterback Aaron Rodgers sidelined with a broken collarbone to slip to 5-4 in the competitive NFC North, while New York have won three in a row to stir hopes after opening 0-6 in the mediocre NFC East.

The teams are both accustomed to success as winners of three of the last six Super Bowls. The two old franchises have won 21 NFL titles between them - Green Bay, a record 13, and the Giants eight - including seasons before the advent of the Super Bowl.

New York, Super Bowl winners of the 2011 and 2007 seasons, are gaining confidence but have yet to approach top form.

"We're definitely a 3-6 team," defensive back Antrel Rolle said on Wednesday, dismissing a suggestion that the Giants consider themselves better than that. "We can't mistake that under any means, but our level of confidence is definitely rising each and every week."

Eli Manning, who ranks 31st among NFL quarterbacks, has cut down on the flurry of interceptions he threw at the start of the season but has failed to get the passing game in top gear.

"We're still fighting. We're still fighting to get back on track and get back to where we need to be," Manning told reporters by his locker. "We can't let any more slip away."

New York also ranks a lowly 29th in yards rushing.   Continued...

East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Rashad Jennings (27) picks up first down against the New York Giants during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports