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TODAY'S MATCHUPS

N.y. Giants (10-6) At Tampa Bay (9-7)

January 06, 2008|PETER YOON

* Time, TV: 10 a.m. PST, Channel 11.

* Story line: The Buccaneers won the NFC South on the strength of a defense that led the NFC by giving up only 16.9 points and 278 yards a game. They were particularly strong against the pass, giving up an NFL-low 170.5 yards a game. That could cause problems for Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who has had an up-and-down season with 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. If Manning gets in trouble, the Giants will have to rely on a defense that led the league in sacks with 53. Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck will try to contain Tampa Bay quarterback Jeff Garcia, who had only four passes intercepted this season and who has twice defeated the Giants in the playoffs, in 2003 with the San Francisco 49ers and in 2007 with the Philadelphia Eagles.

* Injury report: GIANTS -- Doubtful: CB Sam Madison (stomach), C Shaun O'Hara (knee); Questionable: CB Kevin Dockery (hip), LB Kawika Mitchell (knee), DE Dave Tollefson (concussion); Probable: RB Ahmad Bradshaw (calf), WR Plaxico Burress (ankle), TE Michael Matthews (illness), WR Sinorice Moss (back). BUCCANEERS -- Doubtful: LB Cato June (foot); Questionable: G Arron Sears (ankle).

* Peter Yoon's pick: Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers clinched two weeks ago, so the starters will be rested and close to full strength.

-- Peter Yoon

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