Packers XLV

Eli's Comin' But Pack Won't Hide

Posted January 6th, 2017 @ 03:01pm

Quick quiz: who has more playoff wins at Lambeau, Aaron Rodgers or Eli Manning?

OK, it was a trick question. It's a tie. They both have two. Of course, it's taken Rodgers a few more games to get there, but you get the point. No matter how cold it is, no matter how hot the Packers are, Eli and the Giants will be ready. They won't fear the conditions and the won't fear their opponent (And if you got the Three Dog Night reference in the headline, you're probably as old as I am).

We all know the Giants are a completely different team than the one that last visited Lambeau in Week 5, when they were coming off a short week (a Monday night game in Minnesota) and the Pack was well rested coming off the bye.

The matchup the country will be anticipating is the Pack's red hot passing game against the Giants' stingy pass defense.

The $100 million the Giants organization spent to upgrade the defense was still a work in progress in the first meeting. But that unit has been surging ever since they silenced the high flying Cowboys the first time. Only Houston, among the 12 playoff teams, has given up fewer points over the season and they are led by their back end, which they are affectionately calling NYPD, for New York pass defense.

Their secondary is good enough and deep enough to match up with the Pack's fine corps of receivers. Getting Randall Cobb back would be a shot in the arm for the Pack, since the Giants will likely match Janoris Jenkins against Jordy Nelson and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on Davante Adams. That would leave rookie Eli Apple to handle Cobb. Geronimo Allison will also get plenty of reps, allowing Nelson to move into the slot and forcing the G-men to decide how they want to match up. Their best player has been safety Landon Collins, with five picks and four sacks. He's a playmaker and the Packers need to be aware of him at all times.

The player to watch in the Packers passing game is tight end Jared Cook. It's no secret why  Rodgers and the offense has surged since he returned from the ankle injury. Only three teams have surrendered more yards to tight ends than the Giants, so the Pack will likely test them early and often. If Cook is doing damage, it will open things up for everybody.

The Giants have not been very adept at rushing the passer all season. Olivier Vernon is the one guy to keep an eye on, but the way David Bakhtiari has played all season, it's hard to believe he'll be too disruptive. Jason Pierre-Paul is expected to miss the game, so Bryan Bulaga, who's a little nicked up, catches a break.

Their defense is just middle of the road against the run, and on a cold day it will be mandatory to get the ground game going. It would be great to see the version of Ty Montgomery that we saw on a cold day at Soldier Field chewing up yardage and making things easier for the passing game.

On the other side of the ball, things are far different. We all know that the Pack's defense is hurting, with a banged up secondary that was forced to activate wide receiver-turned-cornerback Herb Waters to the active roster. With Rollins likely out, Dorleant on IR and Randall banged up, but likely to try to play, Green Bay will line up LaDarius Gunter against OBJ, Randall on Sterling Shepard and Micah Hyde in the slot against Victor Cruz.

The Giants offense has been the definition of pedestrian all season--they have yet to crack 30 points. They rank 26th in the league at around 19 points per game. Yes, OBJ is a game breaker and can take one to the house at any time. But other than him, there's not much to scare you, except for the fact that Manning usually seems to take his game to the next level in the playoffs. Plus, they seem to have found a running game, with rookie Paul Perkins taking over by default in recent weeks and being very productive.

The Pack will need to stop Perkins and force Manning into bad down and distance situations. He's as mobile as Gilbert Brown after a visit to Burger King and will throw the ball away if he even gets a sniff of Clay Matthews' cologne. Manning's iron man streak is very impressive--a main reason is he eschews sacks at every opportunity by throwing the ball into the ground.

I'm a bit surprised that the line is higher than three for this one. I guess the six-game winning streak has most believing that the Pack has found a groove and will move on to the divisional round. I'm a bit concerned: the Lambeau mystique is really just a rumor based on recent post-season history and the Giants defense does match up well with Green Bay.

That said, Rodgers appears to be on a mission and Mike McCarthy seems to sense there is something special brewing. I'll buy into it for one more week.

Packers 23  Giants 21

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Comments (5):

First off. Gilbert Brown is a Wendy's guy. They even had a sandwich named after him for awhile. I think it had 5 or 6 patties plus some bacon. I'm not kidding. Second, yep, this game is toss up. I'm really hoping the defense scores actually. I'm also depending on the run game to be there for all 4 quarters. What I think we are all wondering is if Adams is going to be able to catch the ball. Maybe we'll see Allison out there with Cobb and Jordy while Adams gets some hot coco on the side line. My fear is seeing Victor Cruz running alone up the right side. I shutter. Well, we in. Time to show up. Go Pack.

on January 6th, 2017 at 02:13pm

As of this writing I am two days out of surgery from a total right shoulder replacement. I now have more synthetic parts in my shoulder than the Tin Man from the Wizzard of Oz. So..being on Oxycotin and tapping with one finger on this keyboard here is my med induced take on the game. The key is limiting the Giants to their average offensive production of 19 pts. or less. That puts the ball in Aaron's hands to produce. Dont let the Giant's get off on an offensive show. From the IR list I say...GO PACK GO !!

on January 6th, 2017 at 02:35pm

I'm on board with thinking that "the third time will be the charm" as regards the Packers' recent playoff history at home with the Giants. The winner of this game will become the NFC "darkhorse" for a deep playoff run or a trip all the way to the Super Bowl. The NFL seems to think so, too, in scheduling the weekend's games this way. The Packer offense has moved the ball and scored on defenses as good as the Giants most of the year; especially during the 6 game win streak. But in their losses at Lambeau to New York in the 2007 NFC Championship Game and 2011 Divisional Playoff the Packers turned the ball over an uncharacteristic 6 times. Four times in the playoff 5 years ago alone. As long as they don't have another postseason lapse with ball security and the receivers don't develop a case of "dropsy" Aaron Rodgers & Co. should have a productive day again. The defense, certainly presents worries. But they have manged to make enough plays or get the benefit of opponent's "flubs" to slip by. The Giants certainly bear some similarities to their teams that came into Lambeau and added to the recent home field disadvantage for Green Bay in the playoffs but aren't quite on par with the two that won here and then took the Super Bowls over New England. I expect this game to folow the pattern of Packers' wins over the last 6 weeks: the Pack plays well and gets a sizeable lead and then holds on for a fourth quarter of anxiety 30-23.

on January 7th, 2017 at 09:14am

great post Packerlifer, stole some of my thunder. maybe I have THC leaning for 12 for MVP it sounds like now, with no rb's for 8 weeks, like Ryan has, and there is not another qb that makes that play 12 made with Geronimo for td. The biggest hope I have hung my hat on the last 8 weeks is the O line, I still think there the best behind the boys line. if we keep the d ends off 12 and he can get some time, because they will need it to get open, they have great cb's, we have good chance. I do hate this match up. Just re watched the game last nite they played in oct. O line played great, Lacey ran great, then got hurt.they run the ball a lot better now with Perkins, don't forget about Rainey, he had some big chunk runs in that game. BUT, the guy that no ones talking about is Will Tye, he scares the hell out of me in this game, The Packers have not stopped the TE all year. he dropped a 70 yd td in that game also.wide open. then Eli fumbled and we scored, the difference in that game. Hyde will be on outside now if Randall can't go, and probably shouldn't, he has not been healthy all year. you don't go from top 3 cb's in the nfl per pro football focus, to what he has done.that means Martinez or Ryan goes after Tye. they cannot run with him, I think Capers plays a lot of Zone again, and hopes Eli is not hot. I think we need to blitz every 3rd down, or he will eat us up. whoever gets to 17 1st wins. I see it, Packers 17-14, GO Packers.

on January 7th, 2017 at 11:31am

got the Pack in this one arguably they have the best Oline in football don't hurt yourself with penalties Pack 24 Giants 21.

on January 8th, 2017 at 04:40pm

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