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

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.

3

December

Packers vs. Giants Preview: 5 Things to Watch

The Green Bay Packers (11-0) will take their undefeated record into New York on Sunday, as the Giants (6-5) welcome the Packers in a Week 13 showdown at MetLife Stadium.

The basics 

When: 3:15 CDT; Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011

Where: MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, NJ

TV: FOX; Joe Buck and Troy Aikman with the call, Pam Oliver on the sidelines.

Radio: 620 AM WTMJ (Milwaukee), Packers Radio Network, Westwood One, NFL Sunday Drive (Sirius Radio).

Series: Packers lead, 30-23-2 (Packers won the last regular season game, 45-17, in Green Bay on Dec. 26, 2010).

5 things to watch

1. Protecting against pressure

Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said this week that the Giants were “going to get after Rodgers’ ass.” Take that for what you will, but a deciding factor in this game will be how the Packers offensive line—without Josh Sitton and Chad Clifton–control the Giants pass rush up front. Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Mathias Kiwanuka can all get home in one-on-one situations. The Packers may have to give left tackle Marshall Newhouse some help to keep the Giants’ struggling but talented ends off Rodgers. If he has time, Rodgers will pick apart the Giants secondary like he did last season.

2. Strike early

Losers of three straight games, the 6-5 Giants are a team in desperate need of a win. Last week’s defensive meltdown in New Orleans did very little to raise the confidence of this team, and the best way to put these guys on edge might be a quick lead, much like the Packers accomplished last December at Lambeau when Green Bay raced out to a 14-0 advantage in the first quarter. If the Packers march up and down the field on their first two possessions, the Giants defense might fold.

3. Contain the run

The Giants currently rank dead last in the NFL in yards per game and yards per carry, but when they’ve won big games over the likes of New England, Buffalo and Philadelphia, New York found success on the ground. The Giants are likely to get back Ahmad Bradshaw in some capacity, and bigger backs like Brandon Jacobs have given the Packers trouble at times this season. Add in the fact that the Packers are without their top two tacklers—Desmond Bishop and A.J. Hawk—and you get the feeling that the Giants will attempt to control the game with their two running backs. The Packers need to keep a lid on the Giants running game and force Eli Manning to beat them singlehandedly.