GREEN BAY – Aaron Rodgers really hopes that the revenge storyline of his Green Bay Packers facing the defending Super Bowl-champion New York Giants – the team that knocked the top-seeded, 15-1 Packers out of the NFC playoffs last year at Lambeau Field – doesn’t dominate the headlines in the days leading up to Sunday’s rematch at MetLife Stadium.
The Packers (7-3) are riding a five-game winning streak while the Giants (6-4) lost two in a row before their bye week. The teams actually met twice last year, with the Packers getting a 38-35 last-second win at MetLife Stadium on Dec. 4 before the Giants won the NFC Divisional Playoff game at Lambeau, 37-20 on Jan. 15.
“This one, for me it’s not about the revenge (angle),” the Packers quarterback said on his weekly radio show on 540 ESPN and ESPNWisconsin.com Tuesday. “When you’re 10 months removed from that, it just doesn’t really come into (play). You want to beat them, but you want to beat everyone you play, so revenge is not an extra motivator.
“I think we are both different (teams). There is a lot of the same personal on both sides, but I think we are playing a little different. They have struggled the last couple games, but the thing about them is they got a lot of pride, they have a lot of veterans, a lot of really good players on both sides of the ball. This game means a lot to them like it means to us.
“They knocked us out of the playoff’s that was a difficult loss for us, frustrating obviously. We’d like to go up there and take care of business.”
A couple of Rodgers’ teammates, including outside linebacker Clay Matthews, ruffled some Giants’ feathers this offseason by suggesting that the better team didn’t win that day at chilly Lambeau. Rodgers said he hopes those comments don’t get dredged up again this week.
“The one thing that I will say is that I won’t – and I hope our team doesn’t either – take anything away from that victory against us at home, because they beat us on our turf,” Rodgers said. “We didn’t play our best game, but that day they were the better team. I hope saying that we can just put the rest of that to bed, because that is really all that needs to be said. They were the better team that day. They were playing better, then won the Super Bowl.
“We give them a lot of credit. This is a new season. Obviously we would love to beat them, but we know the kind of challenge it’s going to be. There is no revenge factor from my point of view; other guys might feel some sort of slight or frustration that they want to incorporate. But we have a lot of respect for them.”
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