GREEN BAY, Wis. -- This is not going to be just another regular-season game. No, the Packers' upcoming matchup with the New York Giants means far more to coach Mike McCarthy's group than the win or loss that will come from it.
It was the Giants who ended what was nearly a perfect season from Green Bay in 2011. A dominant Packers offense that led the NFL in scoring could muster only 20 points, while Eli Manning lit up the scoreboard for 37 points. It was a beatdown at Lambeau Field, one that finished Green Bay's season in devastating and unexpected fashion.
Even if the Packers win the rematch that will take place Sunday night in New York, it won't make up for that loss 10 months ago. No Week 12 game can ever trump a win-or-your magical-season-is-over playoff matchup. But beating the Giants would be a significant hurdle for Green Bay to clear in order to reach the Super Bowl this season, one year after the team seemed destined to make a deep run at winning a second consecutive title.