The Past: Last time these two teams met was punctuated by All Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson, namely because he was absent from the game; the Lions did a fantastic job covering, deflecting and obfuscating Johnson’s knee injury up to the point that it was pretty evident that the Packers defense thew out their defensive plan right before kick off because many defensive players looked little confused as to what their new roles would be.
But the Lions offense was also left scrambling with quarterback Matthew Stafford doing his best impersonation of Aaron Rodgers, spreading out the ball to 8 different receivers for 262 yards and 1 touchdown, going 25 out of 40 but lacked the big play potential, something that’s almost unheard of since the Stafford-Johnson connection came into being. Also without Johnson spreading out the defense, Reggie Bush found little room to run, only getting 44 yards on 13 attempts.
The Packers on the other hand were consistent but not flashy; Rodgers passed for 274 yards and one beautiful 83 yard bomb to James Jones while Eddie Lacy just missed out on his first 100 yard game of his career with 99 yards on 23 attempts. On defense, the Packers managed to record 5 sacks, including 2 from Nick Perry, however Clay Matthews’ 1 sack also resulted in a Bennett fracture to his hand, which he still has to wear a cast for. Read more... (957 words + 1 image, estimated 3:50 mins reading time)
The Past: The Packers played their last game at the Mall of America Field at the Metrodome in week 8 and showed exactly how dangerous a balanced Packers offense could be. In short, the offense was brutally efficient; even without Randall Cobb, James Jones and Jermichael Finley, quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed 24 passes out of 29 for 285 yards and two touchdowns to Jordy Nelson while adding 31 yards on 6 scrambles. However the running attack needed no help from Rodgers this time as Eddie Lacy ground the Vikings defense for 94 yards on 29 carries and a touchdown while James Starks provided the change of pace with 57 yards on only 7 carries (8.1 ypc) and a touchdown.
On defense, the loss of Clay Matthews and Nick Perry certainly didn’t help with the pass rush, but with Adrian Peterson’s body obviously starting to break down plus a “give up” call to put Christian Ponder back after perhaps the worst quarterback play in the history of the NFL by Josh Freeman the week against the Giants before left the Vikings offense in shambles; Peterson only managed 60 yards on a paltry 13 attempts while Ponder completed 50% of his passes for only 145 yards.
Perhaps the most interesting story of the night happened after the game where Greg Jennings purposefully pulled Aaron Rodgers aside and proceeded to awkwardly hug/presumable apologize for about 5 minutes to which Rodgers just nodded dutifully. Neither Rodgers nor Jennings has fully disclosed what was said on the field, but as both players might be watching from the sidelines this game probably means that this will be a non-issue for either team (not that that will stop the media from covering it like it was). Read more... (1010 words + 1 image, estimated 4:02 mins reading time)
Game Notes: What sort of team will the Packers be under Scott Tolzein? Fans got flashes of potential against the Eagles but also a lot of mental mistakes. With a week to prepare as a starter, backup quarterbacks typically do about 9% better as the starter, will this be enough to overcome a lost Giants squad that’s finally righted the ship?
Inactives (via Packers.com):
Green Bay Packers
12 QB Aaron Rodgers
13 WR Chris Harper
29 CB Casey Hayward
37 CB Sam Shields
53 LB Nick Perry
55 LB Andy Mulumba
67 T/G Don Barclay
16 QB Scott Tolzien will start for Rodgers; 31 CB Davon House will start for Shields; 96 LB Mike Neal will start for Perry; 74 T Marshall Newhouse will start for Barclay.
New York Giants
9 QB Ryan Nassib
23 CB Corey Webster
44 RB Peyton Hillis
59 LB Allen Bradford
61 C Dallas Reynolds
78 DT Markus Kuhn
81 TE Adrien Robinson
38 CB Trumaine McBride will start for Webster.
1st Quarter Read more... (798 words + 3 images, estimated 3:12 mins reading time)
- Packers kick off, defense gets the first shot.
- Packers defense looks pretty much the same, a couple good stops followed by a huge gain.
- The Packers look lost or depressed, two 12-man on the field penalties basically shows they’re not into it right now.
- Rueben Randle runs a nice mini pick route where the cornerback have to swap responsibilities and scores the touchdown. You’d like to see tighter coverage by Micah Hyde but overall better offensive play and poor defensive play.
This is a preview of
Packers 13 vs. Giants 27: Game Day First Impressions Unfiltered
. Read the full post (798 words + 3 images, estimated 3:12 mins reading time)
Posted in 2011 - 2012 Season
,2011 Regular Season
,2012 - 2013 Season
,2012 Regular Season
,2013 - 2014 Season
,2013 NFL Draft
,2013 Regular Season
The Past: The two teams that always seem to cause the Packers trouble in the past couple years are the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants. Packers fans obviously remember Brett Favre’s last pass as a Packer going to a Corey Webster in the NFC Championship game in 2008; Packers fans will also remember the Giants manhandling the Packers in the 2011 playoffs when quarterback Aaron Rodgers was surprising only average while the defense finally collapsed and lost the game for the team.
However the last meeting between these two teams was perhaps the most lopsided; the Giants won 38-10 in 2012 season again embarrassing the Packers. Outside of one spectacular 61 yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson, Rodgers was largely ineffective, going 13 for 24 for 158 yards and an interception. The running game didn’t do the offense many favors either, totaling 82 yards with a 3.7 ypc split between Alex Green, James Starks and John Kuhn. The defense stuck to their “bend but don’t break” philosophy, but missing both Charles Woodson and Clay Matthews, allowed 3 Eli Manning touchdowns while the Giants running game ground the Packers down with 31 carries for 147 yards from Ahmad Bradshaw and Andre Brown.
With the loss, the Packers fell to 2nd place in the NFC North while the Giants snapped a two game losing streak and got back into the NFC East playoff race. However a loss to the resurgent Redskins (headed by rookie sensation Robert Griffin III) the next week followed by a loss against Baltimore in week 16 eliminated them the NFC East crown and a loss by the Lions to the Bears at the end of the regular season eliminated them from the playoffs all together. Read more... (912 words + 1 image, estimated 3:39 mins reading time)
Posted in 2010 Postseason
,2013 - 2014 Season
,2013 Regular Season
Last time these two teams met was in the NFC wildcard game in 2010. However, the Packers got to experience the beast that they themselves had created; during the season opener Clay Matthews III knocked out starting quarterback Kevin Kolb with a concussion, which paved the way for the resurgence of Michael Vick, who had been just released from jail after pleading guilty to operating a dog fighting ring. With the more dynamic Vick leading the way with vertical receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, the Eagles boasted one of the most dangerous offenses that head coach Andy Reid had ever fielded.
However, during the playoffs the Eagles failed to get much going on offense while the Packers watched as rookie James Starks, who had been hobbled by injuries all season, burst onto the scene with 123 yards rushing, a Packers record for a rookie running back in the playoffs and saw a little glimpse of what was to come in their stunning 2011 season when an unknown undrafted rookie blocking tight end named Tom Crabtree made his first touchdown reception by sneaking past a linebacker.
On special teams, the Packers didn’t make many mistakes, which couldn’t be said for the Eagles as kicker David Akers left 6 points off the board with two missed field goals. The Packers also enjoyed several big plays on defense, notably Clay Matthews completely destroying tackle Winston Justice and a last minute end zone interception by Tramon Williams that pushed the Packers into the divisional round against the Atlanta Falcons. Read more... (725 words + 1 image, estimated 2:54 mins reading time)
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall started it off by bringing in a Charlie Brown Christmas tree to his press conference:
“Right now, metaphorically, our season looks like this tree right now where we’re standing. Barren. Ugly. But there’s still hope. As a kid, it doesn’t matter how your Christmas tree looks. You’re still waiting for Christmas Day. You have hopes and dreams that Santa’s going to bring you those things you ask for. It’s always a possibility. Where we stand today, our goal is to win the NFC championship, beat the Green Bay Packers, win the Super Bowl. All of that still can be under this Christmas tree. Whenever you’re down, you’ve got to try to create some type of balance, so this is a perfect little thing for me to keep me going.”
While all of that still could have been under the Christmas tree, the Packers entered the game at 10-4 only needing a win against the Bears to clinch the NFC North and an obvious ticket to the playoffs. On the other hand, the Bears were reeling after losing 4 games out of their last 5 after starting red hot by winning by 7 of their first 8 games. Read more... (885 words + 1 image, estimated 3:32 mins reading time)
Posted in 2013 - 2014 Season
,2013 Regular Season
Much has been made rightly so about Jermichael Finley’s injury; I won’t go too much in depth because it’s been covered by several of my fellow writers but I will add that it’s great to hear that indications point to Finley avoiding a life-changing injury; ultimately the injury may cost him his career as a professional football player but at least he will be able to live a relatively normal life afterwards. Going back to football, the question becomes “what do the Packer do now without Cobb, Jones AND now Finley?” Obviously Finley was more a wide receiver than a traditional inline tight end and therefore could compensate somewhat for losing both Jones and Cobb but now that Finley is also out for the foreseeable future, what does the Packers wide receiver and tight end cores look like and how will they operate? Keep in mind tight end is the joker of the Packers offense as tight ends often play inline, in the slot, as a fullback, as a move tight end and sometimes even on the outside; a lot of the Packers’ creativity, versatility and matchup problems come from moving tight ends around so seeing what they do with their tight ends is often a good indication of what their offense will operate. Read more... (1444 words + 1 image, estimated 5:47 mins reading time)