Giants (2-2) vs Packers (2-1)
Packers were on a bye last week, and maybe it was good that they had time to reflect.
The week prior, they let a 31-3 lead slip to a one touchdown 34-27 score. Aaron
Rodgers, scrambling for 11 yards and a first down, is all that kept the Lions
off the field for one last shot to tie the score.
The Giants had hoped to get back on track after losing their first game of the
season to Washington. It didn't happen last Monday night in Minnesota. Their same
bad habits; giving up big plays, turnovers, and penalties, continued as they took
a 24-10 loss.
- Vikings Wrap-Up
Green Bay Packers
If you were on Family
Feud and the topic was 'Green Bay Packers', a few thoughts would fly into your
mind. 'Brett Favre', 'Aaron Rodgers', Freezing cold', 'Cheesehead', 'Playoffs'.
We'll go with playoffs here, as it is the reason you may know more about this
team than many others. The Packers have been a playoff team every single year
since 2009. That's seven straight years, and in four of them they earned the NFC
North Division title to get there. The other three times, including last year,
they were a wildcard team.
They had been
on the way to winning the division once again last season up until the last two
games. The Minnesota Vikings had a shot if they could first beat the Giants, and
then go on to Green Bay and win in the final season game matchup with them. That
happened and the Vikings stole the title for the first time after seven long years.
Yes, the Giants played a dutiful role in all that, losing in poor fashion to Minnesota
last year, just as they did last week.
of this talk about the Giants losing. Let's be reminded about that other role
the Giants were involved in when they last faced Green Bay. In 2011 the Giants
and Cowboys, both at 8-7, were playing in the last game of the season, and the
Giants won the game and the NFC East Division title. The next week, while the
Packers rested on a bye week, (yes just like what we have now) the Giants went
on to beat the Atlanta Falcons. Then they had to travel to Lambeau Field (yes,
just like now!) and beat the 15-1 Packers in order to move on and they did, so
But wait, there's more! After
the Giants defeated the Packers, they traveled to San Francisco, and by winning
that game with the 49ers, they were off to the Super Bowl. They faced off with
the New England Patriots and guess what, same old story. The Giants beat Tom Brady
and the Patriots just as they did four years earlier when they ruined New England's
perfect season. Now you're up on the the relationship between the Giants and Packers
except for the McAdoo thing, which we'll soon get to.
Let's start with the play calling
for the Green Bay Packers. Head coach Mike McCarthy is the one who does that.
McCarthy did try to pass on those duties so he could focus more on the entire
team, but after being disappointed last year with how things went, says he'll
never give up play-calling again. The Packers had been the highest scoring team
in 2014 and dropped to about average last year. Third down percentage went from
near the top, to near the bottom. Some of that was due to the absence of top receiver
Jordy Nelson (ACL tear), as quarterback Aaron Rodgers missed his favorite go-to
The next man up was Randall Cobb, who worked through the season with
shoulder injuries. It also didn't help that their top running back, Eddie Lacy,
had started the season out of shape, and was even benched for James Starks at
one point. McCarthy ended up firing his running backs coach as well as his tight
ends coach. They were hurting in that area as well, and their biggest free agent
signing was tight end Jared Cook. Both top
receivers are healthy now, with Nelson leading the team with 17 catches and 4
touchdowns. Lacy is off to a good start, averaging 5.0 yards per carry for 214
yards. Cook was injured in the last game and he will be out for a few weeks.
They are the top team in run defense
and have allowed just 42.7 yards per game, and 1.8 yards per attempt. They have
been very consistent at it with no team having run for more than 50 yards against
them in the first three games. The Giants so far have leaned toward passing the
ball even when running the ball worked out for them, so that might not be the
issue Sunday night.
They have come up with 10 sacks in the first three games.
Linebacker Nick Perry leads with 3,5, and Clay Matthews, who missed the last game
has two. Julius Peppers can still bring it and he has 1.5. The Packers problem
this week is their 29th ranked pass defense up against the Giants' receivers.
The Giants keep hoping that Odell Beckham Jr.
won't be his own worst enemy by succumbing to outside influences, and defensive
tackle Mike Daniels has already said that he will try to agitate him. Daniels
says that's how it goes for anyone he faces.
Top cornerback Sam Shields is still recovering and he will miss this game. First-round
pick, Damarious Randall, playing now in his second year, will see his share of
action. The last two games have not gone well for him. We'll have to see what
Let's start with the play calling
for the Giants. Cut from the same mold as his old boss, Ben McAdoo can't give
up the reins of running the offense as he has done for the past two years. Last
week he had the offensive line keep Eli Manning
sack free, but some of that might be attributed to Manning getting rid of the
ball fast. Maybe sometimes too fast, as his completion ratio was the lowest of
the season (55.6). Manning threw one interception and the offense was able to
score only 10 points.
Even that was thanks in part to a short pass that rookie
running back Paul Perkins took downfield for 67 yards. Perkins, involved in just
2 runs and 2 pass plays, was the Giants' leading receiver with 72 yards. How is
that possible with Cruz, Shepard and Beckham being targeted with over half of
Manning's 45 passes? On 25 throws the group totaled 12 catches for 103 yards,
as Manning seemed afraid to hang onto the ball for any length of time.
we judge, the Giants knew going in that the Vikings, leading the NFL with 15 sacks,
had done a real number on two top quarterbacks, Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton.
Rodgers had 1 touchdown, 1 interception, and was sacked 5 times. Newton had no
touchdowns, 3 interceptions and took 8 sacks. With McAdoo's play calling, Manning
had 1 interception, no touchdowns, and wasn't sacked at all. So his report card
would be an 'A'.
That's of course grading on keeping a quarterback alive in
the midst of the vicious Vikings, instead of trying to win a football game. McAdoo's
play calling balance should be noted. The Giants ran the ball 18 times, while
averaging 4.3 yards per carry. They averaged 10.4 yards passing the ball, but
that's measured only on balls that were caught. There were 45 passing plays and
20 were incomplete. The Giants currently rank sixth in yards per game, but are
27th in scoring, as they struggle in the red zone. Turnovers and penalties haven't
Head coach McAdoo certainly can
contribute to the cause this week with his first hand knowledge of Aaron Rodgers
and the Green Bay's offense. Even with that, you're still up against Rodgers who
is one of the smartest physical quarterbacks playing the game. He can beat you
with his arm or by running the ball. No matter what you know, you still have to
execute against him. The Packers are well rested and the Giants have been through
four long hard games. They are tied for last
in the NFL with four sacks, only two of which have come from the front seven.
Their strength so far is in playing the run. Hopefully they can contain an elusive
Rodgers and running back Eddie Lacy, and get them off the field quickly.
Spagnuolo has commented on the fact that Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon
are on the field an inordinate amount of time. Turnovers by the offense is a factor,
and they haven't helped themselves by causing any that would get them off the
field sooner. The defense is about tied with the offense in the high penalty count,
and that leads to opposing teams extending their drives.
Rodgers likes to strike on big plays with receiver Jordy Nelson. The Giants are
hurting in the secondary with safeties Darian
Thompson and Nat Berhe out for this game. Right now cornerbacks
Eli Apple and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are listed as questionable, and Trevin
Wade did not cover all that well last week.
The Giants have made a mess of the last two
games, and truth be told, they did not look all that good while winning the first
two. Turnovers and penalties are still a problem
as they continue to beat themselves. It was no surprise that the Giants came out
on the losing end against the Vikings the way both teams had been playing going
Now Ben McAdoo returns to Green Bay on Sunday for the first time since
his eight-year stint there as an assistant under Mike McCarthy. That could give
the Giants an edge. Green Bay was on a bye week and had enough time to focus on
how the Vikings shut down Eli Manning's three main targets. That could give Green
Bay an edge. The Giants' self inflected mistakes will stop sooner or later, so
I'm going with the Giants in an upset here, because that's what they like to do
against Green Bay.
Sunday at 1:00pm Eagles (3-0) at
Sunday at 1:00pm Redskins (2-2) at Ravens (3-1)
Sunday at 4:25pm
Bengals (2-1) at Cowboys (1-2)
Sunday at 8:30pm Giants (2-2) at Packers (2-1)
The Eagles are the only NFC East team favored to win in these games.
Eli Manning is 2-1 at Lambeau Field, with both wins in postseason play for 2007
Giants Ben McAdoo worked for
Mike McCarthy for 8 seasons, including Green Bay's Super Bowl XLV win.
have committed eight turnovers in the past three games.
play at Lambeau Field for the first time since their 2011 divisional playoff win.
Packers Aaron Rodgers has not thrown
for 300 yards in 12 consecutive games, including two playoffs.
Packers Aaron Rodgers has both of Green Bay’s rushing touchdowns this season,
and 23 over his career.Packers have not
allowed a first-possession touchdown in 21 consecutive games.
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