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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

Giants safeties Kenny Phillips, Antrel Rolle and Deon Grant vs. Packers TE Jermichael Finley

After dropping multiple passes in the Week 13 game vs. the Giants in the Meadowlands, Finley has been saying this week that he's anxious to make amends this Sunday. It wasn't like Finley didn't show up in that game, however, as he had six catches (11 targets) for 87 yards and the Packers' first score of the game (a 12-yard TD), as well as the 24-yard catch in tight coverage that initiated Green Bay's 58-second drive to set up Mason Crosby's game-winning 31-yard field goal with no time remaining. In Green Bay's regular-season finale vs. Detroit, Finley (55 catches for 767 yards and eight TDs for the season) did a much better job holding on to the ball, catching seven of the eight balls thrown his way for 64 yards and the game-winning TD (a four-yard score) with the clock winding down.

A joint effort by the Giants' safeties (seven regular-season interceptions combined) is expected against Finley, mostly operating out of a nickel package in which all three safeties are on the field. As is usually the case, Finley likely will line up all over the field. Phillips (four interceptions, one forced fumble), the Giants' first-round pick in 2008, has played a lot better in the past month after making a lot of mistakes earlier in the season. He's a good tackler who usually plays center field. Rolle (two interceptions, one forced fumble, team-leading 96 tackles), a former corerback with the Cardinals, has solid coverage skills and likes to mix it up in the box, as does Grant, a savvy 12-year veteran. Grant is currently hampered by a quad injury but is expected to be able to play Sunday.

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