15

November

Packers Periscope: Week 11 vs. New York Giants

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.

During the offseason, multiple changes were made including the release of starting running back Ahmad Bradshaw and the notable drafting of right tackle Justin Pugh, defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins and quarterback Ryan Nassib.  Overall, the 2013 draft class has been disappointing of late, Pugh ranks 56th out of 76 eligible tackles, Hankins has played 74 snaps the entire season while Nassib still hasn’t supplanted Curtis Painter (yes, that Curtis Painter) as the backup quarterback.

13

November

Packers vs. Giants Week 11 Game Predictions from AllGreenBayPackers.com

GAME PREDICTIONS
Week 11: Green Bay Packers vs. New York Giants
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 5-4 New York Giants 27-23
The play of Scott Tolzien last week gave fans some hope but another soiling of the bed by the defense shows how much trouble the Packers are still in until Aaron Rodgers returns. The Giants are hot and the Packers are in a tailspin. The defense lets everyone down again as Green Bay loses its third straight.
“Jersey” Al Bracco 5-4 Green Bay Packers 24-14
When Mike McCarthy gets that look in his eye in a post-loss press conference, things usually improve the following week. While the Giants have won three in a row, they have not impressed me at all. Here’s hoping the Packers’ defense shows up this week.
Adam Czech 7-2 New York Giants 22-17
Eli Manning isn’t that great of a quarterback, but like the rest of the team, he’s really lucky. After starting 0-6, the Giants have feasted on a lame-duck Josh Freeman, Matt Barkley and an injured Terrelle Pryor to win three straight. On Sunday, they get the Packers’ third-string QB and will get just enough lucky bounces to win their fourth in a row and send the Packers to their third-straight defeat.
Marques Eversoll 6-3 New York Giants 20-16
While I think the Packers’ defense will step up and force a couple turnovers, the Giants’ defense has been phenomenal the past few weeks. They’ve allowed a total of 13 points in three games, and now they get Scott Tolzien at home. Consider me skeptical.
Thomas Hobbes 5-4 Green Bay Packers 20-17
I said it last week and I guess I have to say it again, the Packers offense will be a lot better when their quarterback has had a week to prepare as the starter.  Considering Tolzein was given an open playbook against the Eagles, I’d expect to see an even more balanced and less predictable offense this week.  As for defense, everyone has to be feeling the heat to perform and hopefully that helps, but what definitely will help is Clay Matthews not having a bowling ball for a hand.
26

November

Giants 38, Packers 10: Game Balls and Lame Calls

Davon House

A typical scene for the Packers against the Giants Sunday Night.

Pathetic, flat, uninspired and unemotional.

These are a just few words that could be used to describe the dud that the Green Bay Packers put up against the New York Giants on national television Sunday night.  It was a game many fans had circled on the calendar since the schedule was released in spring.  The Giants ended the Packers’ season in the playoffs last season and many a player and fan were eager to get some revenge on the Giants in their own house.

Instead, by a score of Giants 38, Packers 10, salt got added to the wound and boy does it burn.

Here’s who stood out and (more likely) stunk it up during the Packers’ fourth loss of the 2012 season.

Game Balls

WR Jordy Nelson

At times, it seemed Nelson was the only wide receiver that showed up to play.  Yes, Randall Cobb made a couple plays out of the backfield but Nelson was really the only one that got anything going downfield.

By “anything going,” I really refer to only one play.

Nelson’s beautiful 61 yard touchdown that tied the game at 7 was really the Packers’ lone highlight of the night so in a sense, Nelson gets a game ball by default.

The good news is that the play Nelson made on the sideline was similar to the plays he made last season during his breakout season.  Hopefully the Packers can get more plays like that from Nelson now that he is healthy again.

FB John Kuhn

Kuhn’s name has not been called much this season as he’s scored only one touchdown, but the Packers fullback made some plays against the Giants that helped provide the Packers an answer to Ahmad Bradshaw.

Kuhn caught three balls for 49 yards to go along with four carries for 17 yards.  It was refreshing to see Kuhn get some work in the screen game.  If the Packers continue to struggle running the ball, perhaps some screen passes to Kuhn will help alleviate the pain.

LB Dezman Moses

The pass rush was abysmal against the Giants, but Moses once again provided some hope in the absence of Clay Matthews.

25

November

Packers vs. Giants – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: NYG 38 GB 10

Green Bay Packers vs. New York Giants:

My unfiltered game day running blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.

Inactive for Packers today: WR Ramses Barden, RB Da’Rel Scott, LB Mark Herzlich, OL Jim Cordle, DE Justin Trattou, DT Jimmy Kennedy, OL James Brewer

Inactive for Giants today: QB Graham Harrell, CB Davon House, LB Rob Francois, OL Herb Taylor, TE D.J. Williams, DE Howard Green, LB Vic So’oto

Game Notes:

The two most recent Super Bowl Champions meet this evening in a highly-anticipated showdown. Many people thought this would be the 2012 season opener, but the Giants ended up hosting the Dallas Cowboys.

While the Packers edged out a victory against the Giants during last season’s Week 13 game, they lost in an embarrassing fashion during the Divisonal Round playoff game. Aaron Rodgers said on his weekly show that he’s not playing for revenge, but some players might be, and most fans are relishing the idea.

The Giants are coming off of their bye week, and a fresh defensive line could be a problem for a recently reshuffled Packers offensive line. This will be the marquee match-up of the night.

———————————————

Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

 

Giants as Common Opponent: It’s definitely usually a big game when we get together. It’s an important game. I like the way our team has been playing and growing.

Dealing with Injuries: You have to give credit to the players. They’re doing everything we’re asking them to do and taking advantage of their opportunities. The coaching staff is doing well getting them prepared.

On Randall Cobb: Another excellent example of a secon- year player being exceptional. Have been planning concepts and wrinkles for him. A top-notch slot receiver who makes plays and positive yards when we put the ball in his hands.

On Casey Hayward: We really made a conscious effort to make sure we got younger players in and started. We didn’t want to go through what we went through last year. Casey is a hell of a football player and is doing a great job in the slot.

Greg Jennings and Clay Matthews: Greg is very close. He felt great and looked good on Thursday. If this was a playoff game, Greg would be out there. Clay is getting close, but we’ll have to see where he is this week.

25

November

Green Bay Packers vs. New York Giants Key Matchups

New York Giants defensive linemen Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora

The Packers are hoping they don’t see their #12 in this predicament on Sunday night

Packers Offensive Line vs. Giants Defensive Line

This is probably THE key to this game for the Packers.  Their offensive line has struggled when all of their regular starters were healthy and in position.  Now add to that a shuffled line to account for the loss of right tackle Bryan Bulaga against one of the best front four in the game.

While the Giants defensive front hasn’t had the mind-blowing season like they had a year ago, they are still very formidable.  After the success they had in getting to Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in last season’s divisional playoff game, they will be looking to duplicate that output.   Jason Pierre-Paul, Chris Canty, Linval Joseph and Justin Tuck have accounted for 14.5 of the team’s 25 sacks this season.  Throw in four more by veteran end Osi Umenyiora and the Giants have a very deep and talented pass rush.

Dubbed the “NASCAR” package, New York’s front line will be looking to simply overpower and out-maneuver the Packers.  They want to collapse the pocket back into Rodgers and try to force a bad throw or get the sack.  They were able to wreak havoc on the Packers offense in that playoff game and it led to some turnovers.  Rodgers typically fares well against the blitz but the Giants may not have to bring extra bodies if their front four can get a push on their own.

The Packers are clearly aware of what is headed their way and have to be diligent in game-planning for it.  Any extra protection will go a long way to keep Green Bay’s chances of driving and moving the ball alive.  Of course, so would a productive running game, but there is no reason to think the Packers will suddenly get it going on the ground.  A better alternative would be the short pass (quick slant to Jordy Nelson or James Jones) and putting the backs in place to be a safety valve if all else fails.  The screen just hasn’t been there all season long so the check down could become a good friend of Rodgers’ before the day is up.

24

November

Packers Young Secondary Can Erase Bad Memories of Playoff Hail Mary

Casey Hayward

Packers rookie CB is leading a younger and more aggressive secondary.

I know your belly is still full of Thanksgiving turkey and you’re probably all excited that you managed to outlast the middled-aged lady next to you for that discounted Xbox at Wal-Mart on Black Friday.

If you can overcome your full stomach and pause your Xbox euphoria, take a minute and watch the video of the Packers allowing a Hail Mary touchdown to the Giants’ Hakeem Nicks before halftime in last season’s playoff loss.

Makes your full tummy feel more like the stomach flu, right?

Now, take another look at the play. Notice the four players around the ball when Nicks comes down with it? Not one of them will be on the field for this Sunday night’s rematch.

Charlie Peprah is off the team. Charles Woodson is injured. Sam Shields is injured. And Jarrett Bush mainly plays special teams (I suppose it’s conceiveable that Bush could end up out there, but hopefully not).

If Eli Manning launches another Hail Mary on Sunday, the players around the ball will likely be a combination of Tramon Williams, Casey Hayward, Davon House, Morgan Burnett, Jerron McMillian and M.D. Jennings.

That group is a lot more aggressive than the group that stood there with their thumbs up their butts while Nix caught the ball in the playoffs.

Hell, Jennings has already intercepted a Hail Mary pass this season, even though it counted as a touchdown for the other team.

Sunday night is a big test for the new faces in this secondary. They’ve held their own agaisnt the likes of Sam Bradford, Blaine Gabbert, John Skelton and Matthew Stafford. But Manning, Nicks and Victor Cruz are on a completely different level that what this secondary has seen over the last six weeks.

If Hayward continues getting his hands on passes, House keeps using his size to his advantage, Burnett, McMillian and Jennings keep developing their nose for the ball and Tramon just does what Tramon does, I think this group will hold its own.

If all of that happens (and it’s a big if), and the Packers claw out another road win in November, the sky is the limit for this team.

At the very least, it’d be another step in erasing the image of Peprah, Woodson, Shields and Bush looking helpless on the playoff Hail Mary.

24

November

2012 NFL Regular Season Week 12: Packers vs Giants Preview

Eli Manning

Will Eli Manning shred the Packers again or can Green Bay avenge their playoff loss from last season?

It’s a game Green Bay Packers fans likely have had circled on their calendar since the schedule was released in spring.

At the end of last season, the New York Giants brought the Packers’ magical 15-1 season to dead stop as they beat Green Bay 37-20 at Lambeau Field on their way to the Super Bowl XLVI title.  It was one of the most stunning defeats in franchise history and the players and fans have been waiting patiently for a chance at revenge.

This Sunday, they get their chance.  The Packers get to face the Giants in New York Sunday night. The Packers are coming off an ugly 24-20 win over the Detroit Lions and lead the NFC North with a 7-3 record.  The Giants are coming off their bye and lead the NFC East with a record of 6-4.

The Packers face a Giants team that has been struggling as of late.  Quarterback Eli Manning has thrown zero touchdown passes and four interceptions in the last three games in which the Giants have a 1-2 record.   The team rested Manning who thought he may have been suffering from a “tired arm” and he says the time off has helped his arm recharge.

How will he fare against the Packers this week?

Scouting the Giants

Struggles aside, this is not a Giants team that should be taken lightly.  It’s not like the Packers need to be informed of that.

Manning has had his way with the Packers and could continue to given how banged up the Packers defense is.  If the game is close in the fourth quarter, that’s when Manning is at his best.  With Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Domenik Hixon leading the receiving corps, Manning has his fair share of targets to choose from.

Nicks has been banged up all season but is finally getting healthy.  He is the key to the Giants offense.  With him on the field, things open up more for Cruz and defenses usually cannot cover both.

The Giants rushing attack is led by Ahmad Bradshaw.  Bradshaw has 675 yards this season and is averaging 4.5 yards per carry with four touchdowns.  He hasn’t gained more than 57 yards on the ground since Week 6.  The Packers have a fairly solid run defense so it will be tough for Bradshaw to get going again versus Green Bay.