17

November

Packers vs. Giants: Keys to the Game

Scott Tolzien

Tolzien makes his first NFL start on Sunday and is the Packers’ third starting quarterback in as many games

The Green Bay Packers will hit the road after two straight home games and head to New York to face the Giants.  This marks the fourth straight season that the Packers and Giants have met during the regular season.

The Packers are 2-1 in those last three games, but the Giants also scored a playoff win against the Packers following their 15-1 regular season in 2011.

Since that playoff loss, the Packers pass rush woes have been on display and continue to plague the team.  Without quarterback Aaron Rodgers in these past two games, Green Bay has been unable to overcome a lack of pressure on the quarterback.  It has placed added stress on the secondary as they have given up large chunks of yardage and valuable time of possession enroute to two losses.

What are the chances that the pass rush is a key this week?  Let’s dive in and see.

Scott Tolzien’s Maturity in Packers Offense

This was a key last week, too.  I just swapped out Seneca Wallace’s name for Tolzien’s.  Obviously anytime a new quarterback steps in, there are going to be many eyes on his performance.  Also many questions about how he will perform and handle the spotlight.  For Tolzien, there are few bigger stages than in New York City and against a nemesis to the Packers over the past two years.

After Wallace went out during the first series last week against the Philadelphia Eagles, Tolzien came in and played the rest of the way.  This just days after being promoted from the team’s practice squad.  Tolzien did make a few bad throws and had two interceptions that were costly, but overall, he did not fare too poorly.

One of the reported reasons that the Packers signed Tolzien just prior to their week one game against the San Francisco 49ers is because of his football IQ.  During his weekly radio show with ESPN Milwaukee, Aaron Rodgers described Tolzien as a perfectionist who is always inquiring about the offense.  The Green Bay Press-Gazette’s Pete Dougherty also wrote about Tolzien’s good preparation habits.  The hope is that after playing a full game and with another full week of practice with the starters, Tolzien will take at least a small step forward in his play this week against the Giants.

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.
13

November

Around the NFC North: Week 11

Around the NFC North

The Lions are alone atop the NFC North with just a one-game lead over the Bears and Packers

The NFC North continues to be one of the more intriguing divisions in football with the ever-changing landscape from week to week.  The Detroit Lions are now alone in first place after completing a sweep of the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on Sunday.  The Bears and Green Bay Packers now have matching 5-4 records with the Bears holding the tie-breaker with a head-to-head win.

The Packers fell to the Philadelphia Eagles and had more quarterback issues as they lost their second straight game.  The Minnesota Vikings won their Thursday night matchup against the Washington Redskins and improved to 2-7 on the season.

Each of the four North teams have already had their bye so each will face a busy back half of the schedule.  The Packers and Giants matchup was flexed out of the Sunday night primetime slot a few weeks back and that will now be an afternoon contest that starts at 4pm EDT.

The Lions visit the Pittsburgh Steelers while the Bears host the Baltimore Ravens.  The Vikings head to the great Northwest to take on the Seattle Seahawks and the 12th man.

Let’s take a look at each matchup and the implications it could have on the rest of the season.

Minnesota Vikings (2-7) at Seattle Seahawks (9-1)

Both teams are coming off of victories this past week but that’s about where the similarities between these two teams end.  The Seahawks have found countless ways to win games this year.  Low scoring, high scoring, and defensive battles, they have seen it all and done most of it.  With the San Francisco 49ers struggling with some consistency, the NFC West is all but Seattle’s for the taking.

This week’s matchup has them hosting the Vikings, who have struggled through mediocre quarterback play and dealt the injuries on defense that have all but derailed their season.  Minnesota is 0-4 on the road and couldn’t be coming to a more unfriendly road environment this week.  Seattle’s CenturyLink Field boasts one of the loudest crowds in the NFL.

28

November

McCarthy Admits Mistakes – And There Were Plenty

Mike McCarthy Admits Mistakes

Mike McCarthy Admits Mistakes

As I sat in MetLife Stadium and watched the NY Giants dismantle the Packers before my eyes, my neck started to hurt from shaking my head so much. Beyond the disappointing play and the result, I was especially not pleased by what I saw of the Packers game plan, play calling and decision-making.

Coach McCarthy went away from the running game after the Packers were down 17-7, opting to go to more of a spread offense. What this did, of course, was let the Giants DL know they could just single-mindedly go after Aaron Rodgers.  Add to that the shaky revamped offensive line, and McCarthy almost got his quarterback killed.

Having let the Giants’ pass rush get their mojo back, one might expect that McCarthy would have tried something to slow it down. Perhaps a screen pass or two. Perhaps a draw or two. But those adjustments were just not forthcoming.

As he ignored Alex Green in the Lions game, McCarthy pretty much forgot about James Starks until the end of this game, when it didn’t matter. Starks was fairly effective against the Lions, a team playing a very similar defensive scheme to the Giants. One might have expected to see Starks as the main ball carrier Sunday night, but instead, he mostly sat and watched.

And how about that handoff to Alex Green on 2nd and 20 with seven minutes still left in the third quarter down by 21 points? White flag anyone?

McCarthy also made some questionable decisions with regards to Mason Crosby. With the score at 7-7 and only halfway through the first quarter, McCarthy sent the struggling Mason Crosby out on 4th and five to try a 55 yard field goal.  First thought – iyour going to put your slumping kicker in a position where the odds are greater that he will fail?

But forgetting about Crosby’s struggles for a moment, I have to simply ask; Why? In the first quarter of a tie game? The right play that early in the game is to play field position. Let Masthay punt the ball and try to pin the Giants deep in their own end.

Then, once the whole complexion of the game had changed, with the Giants holding a three-possession 17 point lead late in the second quarter, McCarthy calls for a field goal on 4th and inches from the 11 yard line.  At that point, it was pretty obvious that three points was not going to be much of a help in this game.

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.

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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.

25

November

Packers Prediction Contest: Win a copy of the Official Super Bowl XLV Commemorative Book

One - Official Commemorative Book of the Packers Super Bowl XLV Journey

*** WIN THIS BOOK ***

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WIN THIS BOOK –>

One Mind, One Heart, One Purpose. Charles Woodson spoke those words and it became the official mantra of the Packers’ 2010 Super Bowl Journey.

As the 2012 Packers try to find their own path to the Super Bowl, it never hurts to look back and reminisce on the great ride the 2010 Packers took to the organization’s 13th world championship.

This beautifully produced hardcover book features original and in-depth stories from the Packers editorial staff writers, as well as hundreds of photographs.

You’ll be treated to insider insights and behind-the-scenes images, many never before published, including photos from the team plane on the ride home, the triumphant return to Lambeau Field, the jubilant parade, even inside the invitation-only private ring ceremony.

The book also includes a forward by Charles Woodson, an introduction by Mike McCarthy and an afterword by Mark Murphy.

 

Packers Vs Giants Prediction Contest.

Now you can win a copy of this fantastic book.

Make your picks in the comments below.   The person with the correct winning team and the closest overall in point differential wins the T-shirt.

Don’t forget the tiebreaker question… (you won’t be eligible if you don’t answer it.)

 

Winning Team:

Final Score:

Tiebreaker: (Total net yards of offense for the Packers):

Post your entry in the comments below. Only entries posted here and received by 8:30PM EasternTime on 11/25/12 will be considered. ALLGBP writers are not eligible. The winner will be announced On Monday in the comments section of this post, so check back if you think you did well.

 

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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

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