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Giants-Packers matchup of the day: Friday

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Dan Arkush

darkush@pfwmedia.com
Executive editor

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By Dan Arkush

Here's a look at a key matchup heading into Sunday's Week 16 battle between the Giants and Packers at Lambeau Field:

Giants DEs Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck vs. Packers OTs Chad Clifton and Bryan Bulaga

Both Clifton, who will be mostly matched up against Umenyiora, and Bulaga, who will be mostly matched up against Tuck, have been up and down lately, and they will have to be at the top of their games this Sunday against a pair of very tough customers who have 10 sacks each and a combined 14 forced fumbles. It's worth noting that most of Clifton's "up" performances this season have come against high-profile pass rushers. Bulaga is coming off a tough outing against New England, having broken down in key situations against Patriots LBs Dan Fletcher and Tully Banta-Cain, who registered back-breaking sacks of QB Matt Flynn late in the game.

In the Giants' 38-31 loss to the Eagles, Tuck was a terror, registering, 1½ sacks for 14 yards in losses, seven tackles (tied for team-high with two other players) and three total hurries. Umenyiora, who has been limited in practice this week by a knee injury, was less effective against Philly with only two tackles and one hurry.

Bulaga will have to do a better job than he's been doing lately staying with his run blocks and using his hands against Tuck, who often moves around to play tackle and even linebacker in some nickel packages. Both Tuck and Umenyiora have an excellent combination of speed and strength that has been preserved more this season with talented first-round rookie Jason Pierre-Paul also being worked into what has been one of the league's most potent DE rotations.

 

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