Let’s be honest here. We’re not going to learn much about the Packers over the next two weeks, unless disaster strikes. The Giants and Redskins are in a race to the top of the draft and there is no reason we should be worried about the outcome in the fourth quarter.
This week’s game in East Rutherford will be impacted by the weather, with rain and snow in the forecast all afternoon. The question is, will it impact the passing game, because that’s where the Giants’ defense is at its worst. They’ve struggled to rush the passer and their secondary is below average, so there should be plenty of opportunity for Aaron Rodgers to rebound from one of his worst performances last week.
Much has been made this week on how the passing offense has been too reliant on trying to target Davante Adams and not utilizing Aaron Jones enough. Expect Rodgers to spread the love on Sunday and expect the offense to get Jones involved early and often through the air and on the ground. Jones has had massive games in games following the Pack’s first two losses. That trend should continue.
Amazingly, it sounds like Bryan Bulaga has a chance to play, but I’d let him heal for another week or two. If he doesn’t go, it sounds like the Pack has seen enough of Alex Light and would move Billy Turner out to right tackle and put Lucas Patrick in at right guard. They added some tackle insurance over the holiday by claiming former Patriot and Bronco Jared Velheer, who retired before the season started. He’s not on the active roster, but could be a better option if needed down the road, if he passes his physical.
The Giants, of course, are led by rookie QB Daniel Jones, who’s shown flashes of competence, with a whole lot of ball security issues thrown in. He has turned the ball over 17 times in eight plus games, including thirteen fumbles–he’s lost nine–and eight interceptions. On a wet, slushy afternoon, Mike Pettine’s defense appears to be in line to take the ball away multiple times.
The Giants will do their best to make running back Saquon Barkley the centerpiece of their offensive game plan, when you factor in the field conditions and the Pack’s struggles against the run. Just like when they faced Christian McCaffrey, the defense needs to avoid giving up the big play and ideally, take the lead early and force Jones to throw.
He will be without his two best receiving options, as tight end Even Engram remains out with a foot injury. His backup, former Viking Rhett Ellison is also out. And long-time Packer nemesis Golden Tate is out with a concussion after slamming his head in the turf last week in Chicago. His top target, WR Sterling Shepard will likely draw Jaire Alexander in coverage, leaving Kevin King to handle rookie Darius Slayton, who’s had a few big games.
The Packers have bounced back nicely from their first two losses and they should follow suit against the Giants. The team was competitive against the Bears last week, but that’s the Bears. The Pack should have a lot more fun on this coast, than the two miserable visits to the other coast.
Packers 24 Giants 13