Tomorrow's games

January 05, 2008|By KEN MURRAY

NFC

Giants (10-6) @ Buccaneers (9-7) 1 p.m., chs. 45, 5

Line -- Buccaneers by 3 Story line -- While the Giants went all-out in Week 17 to try to beat the Patriots, the Bucs closed up shop the last two weeks of the regular season and rested players (losing both games). Which approach was right?

Quarterback matchup -- Eli Manning is 0-2 in the postseason for the Giants, and Jeff Garcia is 2-0 in the wild-card round - against the Giants. He beat them with the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles.

Game within the game -- The Giants need running back Brandon Jacobs to have a big game. And he could. Even though the Bucs are No. 2 in total defense, they're No. 17 in run defense.

Moving on -- Giants - Manning needs this game in the worst way.

AFC

Titans (10-6) @ Chargers (11-5) 4:30 p.m., chs. 13, 9

Line -- Chargers by 10

Story line -- The Titans couldn't protect a 14-point lead at home Dec. 9 against the Chargers. Now they're missing two of their top three wide receivers and their tight end.

Quarterback matchup -- Vince Young is gimpy with a lingering quadriceps injury but should start. He hasn't played very well this season. Philip Rivers also has been up-and-down, throwing 15 interceptions.

Game within the game -- Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman (Maryland) accused Titans coach Jeff Fisher of ordering a retaliatory hit on him in December after he nailed Young. Merriman's head will be on a swivel this time.

Moving on -- Chargers - this shouldn't be close.

ken.murray@baltsun.com

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