Packers XLV

An Early Read on Packers vs. Giants

Posted January 9th, 2012 @ 03:01am

I can hear it now. You'll be hearing it all week. The Giants are this year's "it" team. They're being looked at by many as the team that's heating up at just the right time; the team that has what it takes to make a deep run: a talented quarterback, a solid running game and a fearsome pass rush.

But how hot are they, really? Yes, their 24-2 win over the Falcons was impressive. After a slow start, they rolled over Atlanta, dominating the game on both sides of the ball. Leading up to this game, they finished the season 3-3, including a home loss to the Redskins in week 15. Their last three wins came over the Jets and Cowboys twice, not exactly fearsome opponents.

And now they get the Packers in a rematch of the week 13 classic--that loss to Green Bay was their fourth straight. They seem to have righted the ship since that game, despite the loss to the Redskins to weeks later. With a healthy Ahmad Bradshaw, they now have a two-headed running attack. With Mario Manningham back, they have three receivers who can stretch the field. And with Osi Umenyiora back on the field, their pass rush is at full strength. One injury of note was the concussion to cornerback Aaron Ross. If he can't go on Sunday it severely weakens their most suspect unit.

This just in: Aaron Rodgers is no Matt Ryan. Ryan is a pocket passer and a pocket passer only. He showed on Sunday he can't move out of the pocket and his accuracy and decision making is very suspect when he's on the move. Rodgers excels when on the run and let's be honest, he'll likely be forced from the pocket a bit next Sunday. With tackles Chad Clifton and Bryan Bulaga back in their customary positions and a healthy Josh Sitton at right guard (he missed the first meeting), the offensive line will have all opening day starters for the first time since week 3.

Rodgers will have a full complement of weapons at his disposal and the early forecast looks like a fairly mild day for mid-January, with temperatures in the mid-20s and no snow. That should make for a fast track. The only real question about the offense is this: how will the week off affect them? Will they pick up where they left off, or will it take them a little while to find a rhythm?

As for the defense, they will have an opportunity to show that they aren't as bad as the stats show. Yes they ranked 32nd in yards allowed, but they gave up 22 points per game (19th), less than the Giants, who surrendered 25 per game (25th). Their ability to create turnovers and lock down in the red zone makes them a better unit than advertised. They need to get off the field on third down on Sunday, something the Falcons defense was unable to do.

Much more to come on the big game as the week goes on. But just get ready to hear that the Giants have steam. You'll hear about the '08 NFC title game, when the Giants came in as big underdogs and upset the Pack in overtime when Brett threw a pick on the first possession. Are they talented? Yes. Do they have a QB who's proven to be a great clutch, fourth quarter performer? Yes.

But the Packers do too. And they'll be healthy and ready to defend Lambeau Field in Aaron Rodgers' first home playoff game.

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Comments (57):

The phrase "loose cannon" doesn't even come close. If his mayoral bid fails he should certainly try for the after dinner speech circuit - he'd clean up.

on April 11th, 2012 at 03:52am

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on August 17th, 2012 at 08:30pm

49ers for the next hard knocks is an iintigunrg idea...and i think behind the scenes with Singletary would make good TV.The Titans have a lot of question marks. I don't see them beating out the Colts at all, and could get a win over the Texans, but I agree with Sports Illustrated taking them 3rd in the division and without a real shot at the playoffs...

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on August 23rd, 2012 at 09:57pm

That's what I think it is. Start at :46. Sproles' body it completely uprgiht, perpendicular to the endzone line. By :48, it seems like Sproles' body is bending bc Hawks' knee is at his shoulder blade. That's certainly how it would look from the ref who called it. I think there's enough contact there to warrant a penalty flag unless we can get another angle that would show space between Hawk's knee and Sproles' back and that Sproles is actually bending to adjust to the ball.

on August 3rd, 2012 at 02:53am

I note this in my upcoming aritcle, but I don't think it's quite a fair statement to say the team had to depend on the defense again at the end of the game.If the offense putting together 5 TD's plus a kick return TD isn't enough, then I don't know what else the defense needs. Quite frankly, they made their own bed in that game, not the offense.(Though yes, the offense certainly could have taken some more time off the clock at the end. No argument there.)

on August 3rd, 2012 at 06:22am

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on February 27th, 2012 at 02:03pm

Here's a question: What's going on with Howard Green? He is currently listed as a starting DE, but has hardly played. I know he's a run stopper and not really a pass rusher. I'm just trying to figure out if they couldn't use him to eat blocks to free up BJ. Have I missed something? What is up with Howard Green?

on January 10th, 2012 at 02:51pm

on January 10th, 2012 at 04:00pm

on January 10th, 2012 at 04:00pm

Hey LDF, I'm guessing we'll see Green on early downs on Sunday. The Lions didn't try to run in Week 17, so he wasn't in the game plan.

on January 10th, 2012 at 04:01pm

I agree with Larry. :-) No hard feelings - Go Pack!

on January 10th, 2012 at 05:49pm

Just to bring up again what I have said on several previous blogs.....the playoff mantra is "40 for 40". The offense needs to get 40 points or more in 40 minutes and hope that that is enough for the defense to hold. Capers cannot fine tune the defense now....but do it next season. Rodgers....et al need to pour it on....no conservative approach....go and do what we are good at...SCORING !! "40 for 40" GO PACK GO !!

on January 10th, 2012 at 07:00pm

on January 10th, 2012 at 10:54pm

hey guys, good to see everyone getting exited and writing again, good call davey on green, we need to stop the run on 1st down, good point ldf., i am glad to see brad jones is starting to help 52 this week.we need more pressure. one thing i may be out of mind for predicting this, i think brandon saine is going to have a big day sunday. starks is still banged up they say. grant will be fine, but, i just think saine will get some draws and swing passes to slow down there rush. 12 said he has the best hands on the team, hard to believe he said that. not sure if he will score but may take in a screen pass. where is schenny schennguy and badgerbob? we need u guys comments. buy the way, bill and ldf, if my comments came out wrong i'm sorry, we are all in this together and i just figured everyone read all the comments like i do. as much as i like davey's words, i like your comments more. it's fun to follow the packers this way. hey, it worked last year., i did look it up though ldf, it's under dec. mm has made his decision article, that is when i said i was worried about the giants. just wanted u to know i wasn't blowing smoke. keep writing bill, we need your thoughts also. ossg, you were right about 40 for 40, u have been saying that for a month, but i think 38 will be enough this time. 38-34, i wish u all would make more score predictions it's fun to see how close u can get. go world champs

on January 10th, 2012 at 11:11pm

Let's not over-analyze this thing like all the "experts" are doing. The bottom line is: The Packers will probably put up over 40 points on the Giants. Unless the Giants do the same, they won't be leaving Lambeau with a win. It really is that simple.

on January 10th, 2012 at 12:37pm

Larry, I'm sooo bad at predicting scores and when ever I get cocky about the Pack it blows up in my face. I would feel better about predicting a defeat then a victory because I'm so bad at scores. I do not like some of the things I have heard about the defense or the mind set of the team in the news lately. It's been a hard couple of days in Green Bay. I am really hoping the defense is more creative now that we are in do or die mode. Blitzing might shorten the time the corners have to cover. Even with that, OSSG still needs to be right for us to win.

on January 11th, 2012 at 08:46am

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on January 19th, 2012 at 02:31pm

No comlpaints on this end, simply a good piece.

on January 19th, 2012 at 04:07am

Check that off the list of things I was cnofuesd about.

on January 19th, 2012 at 08:49am

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on January 19th, 2012 at 08:49pm

This isnight's just the way to kick life into this debate.

on January 19th, 2012 at 11:32pm

Your asnwer was just what I needed. It's made my day!

on January 21st, 2012 at 01:05am

That's a smart way of thnkniig about it.

on January 21st, 2012 at 01:10am

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on January 21st, 2012 at 10:25am

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on January 21st, 2012 at 11:18am

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on January 22nd, 2012 at 04:19pm

The only game I didn't watch this year was the Kansas City game and I'm kinda glad I didn't but besides that game there was not one time this year that my blood pressure was way high nor did I have the Oh crap feeling in the pit of my stomach. I really believe that they will get on a early roll and just play smart ball like they have all year. I trul;y believe that our defense is going to step up and play a lot more mistake free as they can and have sometimes. Question for you are you going to be on PA's show this week, keep us posted.

on January 8th, 2012 at 10:08pm

The Giants looked good, home teams going 4-0 this weekend looked even better.

on January 8th, 2012 at 11:38pm

I love that the media still looks at the Packers as "the team with no running game." True, our RBs have been dinged up for much of the year. Frankly we have gotten by pretty well w/o them. But Ryan Grant has recently gotten healthy, and has had a few confidence building long TD runs, which nobody really notices because of our insanely talented group of recievers. Grant may be working up a good head of steam at the best possible time! Could be a sneaky play-off factor that nobody will account for. GO PACK!

on January 9th, 2012 at 03:50pm

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on January 9th, 2012 at 04:26pm

hey guys, there here. they do look scary to me. and no one loves the packers more then i do. i think your right though davey, rodgers has got to be the diff. like i said earlier. eli may throw for 400 and 4 td's we just need 12 to throw for for 450 and 5. jacobs was the star yesterday, but i still think bradshaw will hurt us more then he does running and catching swing passes. cruz though, is the one that scares me the most. i think our offensive line will be fine, mm has to come up with a plan. the d will be what it has been all year, give up alot, but we need to picks to win this game. go sf. pack 38-34, go world champs. p.s lynndickey guy, i hear ya, no biggy bill.

on January 9th, 2012 at 11:32am

Yeah, a lot of people think the Giants can pull the upset due to their performances, the last three games. But you're right that they're stepping up in weight class, when facing the Packers. Beating Sanchez, Romo and Ryan, isn't that big of a feather in their cap. If the Pack's O-line can protect well, or if Rodgers can buy time, with his feet, then I really like the Pack's chances. Rodgers will also be able to utilize his handy hard count against their D-line. Let's hope the bad Eli comes out of hiding and starts throwing picks again.

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