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Giants and Packers meet in marquee wild-card matchup

Aaron Rodgers has led the Packers to six consecutive victories and a home playoff game after the team opened the season 4-6. (Paul Sancya / Associated Press)
Aaron Rodgers has led the Packers to six consecutive victories and a home playoff game after the team opened the season 4-6. (Paul Sancya / Associated Press)
By Genaro C. Armas Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. – Aaron Rodgers won’t be the only quarterback in Green Bay this weekend who knows how to “run the table.”

Eli Manning has gone streaking, too, for the New York Giants. In fact, Super Bowl runs in the 2007 and 2011 seasons took the Giants through Lambeau Field each time.

Two of the league’s marquee franchises meet again in Titletown when the Packers host the Giants in an NFC wild-card game on Sunday.

“We just know what it takes to win, and obviously the feeling of being on the other side of that, which we’ve had,” Rodgers said about the importance of postseason experience. “We’re pretty hot right now and usually the teams that are hottest and can stay healthy are the teams that are there at the end.”

The NFC North-champion Packers (10-6) roll into the playoffs on a six-game winning streak. They haven’t lost since Rodgers said he thought that Green Bay could “run the table” after falling to 4-6.

In some ways, this season has a similar feel to the Packers’ wild-card run in 2010, when Green Bay also finished the regular season 10-6 and overcame a slew of injuries to win the Super Bowl.

Rodgers is leading the way again: 15 touchdown passes and no interceptions during the six-game winning streak.

A master at extending plays playing behind a good offensive line, Rodgers is giving receivers time to get open and delivering laser-like throws.

“I just see a guy that’s playing with an edge … and he’s playing with a killer instinct,” first-year Giants head coach Ben McAdoo said.

McAdoo should know. He was an offensive assistant under Packers coach Mike McCarthy from 2006-13 before a two-year stint as Giants offensive coordinator. McAdoo has seen up close what Manning and the Giants (11-5) can do at Lambeau.

The Giants beat the Packers 23-20 in overtime in the NFC title game on Jan. 20, 2008. They won 37-20 on Jan. 15, 2012 in the divisional round, defeating a heavily favored Packers team that finished 15-1 in the regular season.

That year was the last time the Giants were in the postseason. Their four-year playoff drought is over after relying on the stingiest defense in the NFC (17.8 points per game) and the playmaking ability of receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

“Feels good to win games during the regular season, and to be in this position,” said Manning, who turned 36 on Tuesday. “You definitely want to take advantage of it. You don’t know if you get more shots. You know how hard it is after these last years, how hard it is to get here.”

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