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Giants seek to put flop behind them for good

Mario Manningham

Mario Manningham Credit: Getty Images

Giants coach Tom Coughlin found his players a bit sluggish yesterday as he opened his introductory meeting on the Packers and their “win-and-in” game Sunday in Green Bay. It was a carryover from their epic loss to Philadelphia last Sunday.

But Coughlin said the 9-5 Giants perked up as he delved into the Packers’ roster, which this week will include quarterback Aaron Rodgers among its strengths. Rodgers, who has carved up a defense or two this year, has been cleared to return after a concussion two weeks ago ended a 46-game starting streak last week against New England.

“They were a little quiet, but I think they’ll be all right,” Coughlin said. “They’ll come around. They responded well in my meeting. They got a bunch of new stuff, and they really have to focus in on the learning. So that’s the stage we’re in right now.”

Rodgers’ presence will only complicate matters for a team that would dearly love to clinch a post-season spot this week. If they can’t, they’ll have to beat Washington in the season finale Jan. 2, and hope for outside help.

Rodgers’ quarterback rating of 98.5 ranks fourth in the league, and he’s thrown for 3,289 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Given that obstacle, Coughlin said the team needed to get right down to business.

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