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.

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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.

16

January

Packers vs. Giants: 5 Observations from Green Bay’s 37-20 Loss to New York

The Giants pointed their ship to the NFC Championship Game with a 37-20 win over the Packers. (Photo: Darron Cummings, GBPG)

The Green Bay Packers (15-2) picked an awful time to play their worst game of the 2011 season, and the New York Giants more than capitalized on it Sunday in knocking the defending champions out of the playoffs with a 37-20 win at Lambeau Field in the NFC Divisional Round.

Here are five observations from the game:

1. Capping a tough week

There was some this week, including Packers coach Mike McCarthy, who opined that the Packers could be more focused on Sunday in light of the terrible tragedy that struck that the Packers family early this week. But maybe those people underestimated how difficult the transition could be from a Friday funeral to a Sunday football game.

The Packers made their fair share of mental mistakes on the offensive side of the football—dropped passes, missed throws, back-breaking fumbles—that were very uncharacteristic of the Packers in 2011. Could that have partly been due to a week of grieving for the Philbin family and missing their offensive coordinator? Professional football players get paid a lot of money to separate the two, but these guys are human beings, not football robots.

2. Rusting the machine

Hindsight is 20/20, but you’d have to think Mike McCarthy will do some self-reflection on his decision to sit starters during the final week of the season. His team Sunday looked like one who hadn’t played a full game together in three weeks. The Packers offense, in particular, was never able to find the kind of rhythm that seemed so easy to achieve during the regular season.

Depending on who you ask, the Packers dropped five to eight passes on Sunday. Every single one of them was a momentum-killer. They also lost three fumbles—as many as they had all season—on their way to a season-high four turnovers. Finally, and maybe most importantly, the quarterback was far from his best on a night when the Packers needed him to be.

Would playing the starters in Week 17 have made a difference in any of those? Maybe, maybe not. But the Packers certainly looked like a rusty football team on Sunday. Execution all-around was in short supply.

3. More of the same

15

January

Packers vs. Giants – Playoffs Game Day: Unfiltered First Impressions. NYG 37 GB 20

Jermichael Finley - Packers vs. Giants playoffs.The NY Giants roll into Green Bay today, brimming with confidence they have what it takes to beat the Packers. If you listen to the NY media, Giants fans and even some players, it’s practically a done deal. The Packers, however, have other plans for New York.

Still reeling a bit from the tragic death of Offensive Coordinator Joe Philbin’s son, Green Bay will be an emotional bunch today. Philbin will be back in the coaches’ box, assuming his usual game day responsibilities. On the other side of the ball, Dom Capers had some no-holds-barred film sessions with the Packers defense this week, and reportedly, nobody escaped unscathed. Let’s hope they rise to the occasion today.

Packers’ inactives:

QB Harrell, CB House, OLB Francois, T Taylor, TE Williams, NT Green, LB So’oto

Francois is the only one scratched due to injury. Some surprises at the bottom of that list. most people on Twitter are shocked at Green being inactive, with the vaunted Giants running game coming to town. Green, however, has done very little of impact over the last half of the season. He is a huge body, but hasn’t been productive. He was handled faitly easily by the Giants OL in their last meeting. This must also mean Capers is planning on running plenty of nickel today or possibly even psycho.

So’ oto is the big disappointment to me. If the Giants are in an obvious passing situation and you’re planning to bring pressure from ROLB, So ‘oto would be the guy I want in that situation (over Walden, Jones or Zombo).

The Packers have 8 offensive lineman dressed today. They normally only have seven. Rob Demovsky wondered if that means the packers were worried about Chad Clifton. I think if that were the case, they would have kept Herb Taylor active.

 

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Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

 

Philbin situation: I don’t have the words to express how the week went. The Philbin familyghas shown a great amount of strength and is a fantastic example to all of us.

Philbin coaching:  He’ll have exactly the same duties. We met and discussed it yesterday – I told him to sleep on it. I wanted it to be his decision…  Great to have him back.

NY attitude: Giants think they are going to be more physical than us. That remains to be seen

5

December

Packers vs. Giants: 5 Observations from Green Bay’s 38-35 Win over New York

The Green Bay Packers ran their unbeaten streak to 12 games this season and 18 overall as quarterback Aaron Rodgers led the Packers on a game-winning drive during the final minute to help Green Bay secure a 38-35 win over the New York Giants Sunday from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Here are five observations from the game:

1. Cross it off

What hasn’t Aaron Rodgers done in 2011? He can officially cross a game-winning drive off the list. After Eli Manning’s short touchdown pass to Hakeem Nicks (and ensuing two-point conversion) tied the game at 35, Rodgers took over at his own 20-yard-line with 58 seconds left and one timeouts. Rodgers hasn’t been in that situation yet this season, but he was calm and razor sharp as he completed all four of his passes—including three of 18 yards or more—to set the Packers up for a 30-yard field goal try. Mason Crosby banged home the kick as the fourth quarter clock expired to push the Packers to 12-0.

In a season full of important drives, Rodgers’ last minute masterpiece was far-and-away the most impressive and important. If they hadn’t already, the engravers for the NFL MVP trophy can begin putting in Rodgers’ name with confidence.

2. Charles…Matthews?

Packers linebacker Clay Matthews did his best Charles Woodson impression in the first half on what turned out to be one of the game’s most important plays. While up just 10-7 to start the second quarter, you got the feeling that the Giants had a pretty good hold of the game’s first 15 minutes. Matthews’ impressive break on Manning’s pass to the flats gave him an easy pick-6, suddenly giving Green Bay a 14-10 lead.

Matthews was a force for most of Sunday’s game, recording a sack, forced fumble and two quarterback hits. By my count, Matthews also had four quarterback hurries. That’s the kind of production in the pass rush that we’ve come to expect from Matthews. His interception return for a touchdown was simply icing on the cake for what was a fantastic performance all-around.

3. Up-and-down up front

The Packers offensive line didn’t play their best game of 2011, but the unit held up as well as you could have asked for against a talented Giants’ front-four. Left tackle Marshall Newhouse had problems at times with Jason Pierre-Paul and Dave Tollefson beat him clean for a sack in the fourth quarter. The Packers gave the left tackle plenty of help throughout.