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Packers vs. Giants: Things You Could Watch and a Prediction

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Packers vs. Giants: Things You Could Watch and a Prediction

The Green Bay Packers (7-3) and New York Giants (6-4) will renew what has become a budding rivalry over the last handful of seasons when the two face off Sunday night at MetLife Stadium.

The two NFC heavyweights are playing for a third straight season, the first time that has happened since the late 1980s. The Giants are also responsible for ending the season of Packers teams in both 2007 and 2011 that combined to win 28 regular season games.

Throw in the fact that the Packers and Giants have won three of the last five Super Bowls, and you get the perfect recipe for a non-divisional rivalry that has some staying power.

Here are some other things you could watch Sunday night:

 

Cruzing the Slot

Mike McCarthy said Thursday that Giants receiver Victor Cruz is Eli Manning's primary target and an exceptional player in the slot. The numbers back up those rather obvious claims. Cruz has a team-high 60 catches for 743 yards and six touchdowns on 104 targets, including 43 for 605 yards and five touchdowns from the slot.

Facing him inside for most of Sunday will be rookie Casey Hayward, who, according to Pro Football Focus, has allowed just a 53.0 passer rating when covering the slot this season (second in the NFL). The rookie has been a revelation this season, but Cruz clearly represents his most difficult slot challenge of his young NFL career.

 

Handling More Pressure

The Packers' reshuffled offensive line had its share of problems (three sacks, 11 total pressures) during the first week without Bryan Bulaga at right tackle. Unfortunately, nothing gets easier in the second week with Evan Dietrich-Smith at left guard and T.J. Lang on the right side.

In each of the two games against the Giants last season, the Packers offensive line allowed 17 total pressures. Left tackle Marshall Newhouse allowed nine of those pressures in the first game, but just about everyone in protection was responsible for the 17 in the divisional round loss.

The Packers will have to get a more even performance from the guys up front Sunday night. If that means more more max protections and chips from running backs and tight ends, then so be it. But Mike McCarthy can't let things get out of hand (see: Seattle) on the road against a top pass rush without making quicker adjustments.

 

Generate Pressure Without the Star 

Facing the NFL's top passing offense without his top passer rusher last Sunday, Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers actually received a surprisingly efficient outing from his pressure package. Dezman Moses gave the left side of the Lions offensive line fits for long stretches, and Erik Walden continued what has been a career year with two sacks. Matthew Stafford rarely looked or acted comfortable in the pocket despite Green Bay not having Clay Matthews available.

The Packers defense will have to replicate that effort without Matthews Sunday night against a quarterback that has shredded Green Bay's secondary over the last two meetings. Facing little in terms of pass rush, Manning threw for nearly 700 yards and six touchdowns against the Packers in 2011.

The Giants offense has sputtered over the last two games in part because Manning hasn't been protected well. The result has been a bevy of turnovers and just 33 total points for New York. Can the Packers continue that recent trend without Matthews Sunday night?

 

Prediction

The Packers haven't lost a regular season game by two touchdowns or more since 2008, when the Saints romped to a 52-29 win in New Orleans on Monday Night Football. The pieces might be in place for a second rendition Sunday night in New York. The Giants have had two weeks to fix their offensive woes and can feel the Cowboys and Redskins breathing down their necks, while the Packers are still beat up and coming off an emotional, hard-fought division win on the road. The Giants also have a pass rush that can replicate the kind of success Seattle had and receiving weapons capable of really hurting an improving but young secondary. These Packers are resilient but the Giants are rested and ready to flick on the switch they do every season around this time.

Giants 31, Packers 17 (Season record: 5-5)

Comments (55)

Denver's picture

Hoping the Pack can keep it low-scoring and maybe eek it out, but can't disagree with your prediction of a Giants' W, Zach. If so, gotta come back to Lambeau and win the next 2. Don't lose any more players to injury in the meantime and maybe get some back soon.
Also really tired of beating the Giants in the regular season and then losing to them when it really counts....

Pack Fan in ATL's picture

Yep.... Part of why I had been cheering for the Cowboys, but after that stinker yesterday, I just can't see the Giants losing the division even if they lose tomorrow. >_<

aussiepacker's picture

I think (hope) the young secondary take confidence into this game from last weeks performance and make Eli keep giving up turnovers and the packer come home with the W 28-17.

woodson4president's picture

Not a chance giants win. Aaron will be tired of getting beat by the gmen and will have one of his best games of the year. Our secondary is ballin and if Eli plays like he has been I see 2 ints comin our way. 24 21 pack!

cow42's picture

Go back and watch last week's game again.
The Pack's secondary was NOT "ballin'" - Stafford just repeatedly missed wide open receivers.

Manning's collection of weapons far exceeds that of any other team the Packers have played against this season (except possibly the saints).

Defense comes back to earth.
Offense remains average.
Crosby drags down a normally solid special teams unit.

The giants have superior talent, are rested, and are home.

It will be over EARLY.

Doesn't matter, though. The rest of the season is irrelevant. 49'ers will win the super bowl. That's the most physically dominant (offensively and defensively) team in the league.

49'ers - 24 Patriots - 17

As for this week's Packer game...
41-17 giants.

Bearmeat's picture

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

I liked CHTV SOOOO much better when you were gone.

Cow - let's make a bet. Packers win this week is my bet.

You name the terms for me.

My terms for you is that you can't post again until after the Super Bowl.

Evan's picture

Seriously. I thought you were in self-imposed exile?? What gives??

cow42's picture

Packers win = i never post here again.
Packers lose = you never post here again.

Lynn Dickey 12's picture

Cow,

Dude, I thought you were exiled already and then mysteriously reappeared.

Stop promising you'll never be here again. I just don't think you'll go through with it. CHTV is something you can't get away from.

That notwithstanding, I can't bet against the Giants on Sunday.

cow42's picture

lynn -
i lost a bet.
got exiled until thanksgiving.

now i'm back.

Bearmeat's picture

Cow - never again huh? You don't mess around.

I'll take you up on your bet - but's let's make the terms until 1 week after the super bowl this year.

Jamie's picture

Two words of advice...

death by cop

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

Oh, you're back... Yay!

cow42's picture

blah blah blah.
you hate me.
yada yada yada.

funny how none of you can actually dispute anything i posted.

truth hurts.

you can't win the super bowl with a 50% kicker and the worst o line in the nil (yes - including the bears)

Bearmeat's picture

+1 Fitz

Tommyboy's picture

Cow - you lost a "forever bet" already. You came back, anyway. This last bet was through Thanksgiving, but there was a "forever bet" during the super bowl run. Just take it down a notch. You claim people here are overly optimistic. Is it possibly you swing the pendulum just as far the other way?

cow42's picture

i never lost a forever bet.
no - it is not possible that i am too pessimistic.
if this looks like a super bowl team to you - you do not get football.

Tommyboy's picture

Hmmmm....maybe I'm wrong, but I do remember a different bet you lost a while back that you didn't honor. In any case, if you think the Packers are 5-6, you don't get math. Keep vomiting your crap.

Dude, of COURSE the Pack could lose tomorrow. If you think it's a foregone conclusion, then I assume you won't even watch it. Just. Chill.

Pack Fan in ATL's picture

I agree with you on Stafford missing people, but I will argue that Houston has just as many weapons: Owen Daniels, Andre Johnson, and Arian Foster are arguably as good and Shaub is a more consistent QB with a better overall defenseand shut them down as well. I can see the Pack Losing, but not 41-17. It will be a lot closer than that if it is going to happen.

Bearmeat's picture

Allright Cow.

If GB wins this weekend Cow42 can never post on CHTV again.

If NYG wins this weekend, Bearmeat will never post on CHTV again.

Done.

Now I have a reason to scream at the TV this Sunday like it's Packers/Bears circa January 2010. My wife will probably leave the house now.

And it's your fault. :D

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

Pack isn't losing.

Bearmeat's picture

I'm counting on it. I'm tired enough of Cow that I'm glad I made this bet.

cow42's picture

holy shit.
didn't think you'd agree to it.

props to you.

i'm actually a pretty nice guy.
i'll probably give you the "ok" to come on back after a week or so.

Bearmeat's picture

You know Cow, one thing I've noticed in my 31 years on this Earth - the guys who say "I'm a pretty nice guy" are usually the biggest chodes in every single room they walk into.

I'm going to enjoy watching you eat crow after this game.

;)

kennypayne's picture

I am having a hard time imagining the OLine holding up protection-wise against any decent DLine (they've already established they can't block for the run) and the Giants DLine is better than decent. AR will keep it respectable, but I see the GMen 28-20. Hope it ain't so.

woodson4president's picture

Casey Hayward is being talked about for d rookie of the yr. If we lose a player like charles mother fn woodson and don't lose a step....actually gain a step by throwin a rookie in his spot would say yeah. Not just picks but several balls defended, and 5 sacks one of which by a DB....that's ballin bubbs. If u have a qb startin and he's out one game and the backup has a decent game while he's gone and their talkin about him takin the starting spot ur regular qb must suck.....if ur qb sucks so does ur team. I HOPE we get a chance to play the 9ers again....we would crush them n their dumbass coach.

cow42's picture

if you think the '9ers suck, you haven't watched them play enough.

that is one scary - ass football team.

Pack Fan in ATL's picture

Agreed, especially if Caepernick gets the start and continues to play like he did against the Bears.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

We keep an extra body in the backfield to block, every play... We win. Their secondary is absolute garbage. If we don't let their front four beat us, we win. Oh, Sheli hasn't thrown a TD pass in some shit like four games, their offense isn't exactly scaring people (at least they shouldn't be).

35-20

GBP 4 LIFE

Rocky70's picture

MM's play-calling will be the key to the game. Short & quick passes with alot of no-huddle. ----Cobb, Cobb & then Cobb again.

The faster GB plays the better their chances are of leaving the Giants in the dust. ---- 31-17 is a good score but the Pack will score the 31.

woodson4president's picture

Not scared of the 9ers anymore sorry. Flynn had a great game last yr with Rodgers out. Did the question even come up about him being first string over AR F no! Why u ask? Cause Aaron is a good qb. Alex is an average qb at best with a few impressive plays and a great d. Unfortunately for u great ds don't always win because teams are all becoming so pass happy and its hard to keep up with no matter how good ur d is. Start chirping when Alex has a ring...

cow42's picture

yeah - like it'd be real tough for the '9ers to keep up with this year's Packer offense.

it ain't 2011 anymore.

have you been watching the Packers?
their offense has been average at best.

the lions held the offense to 14. the niners wouldn't give up even that much.

i'm confident that even alex smith could lead that team to more than 14 points against the Packers' defense.

my point is - the 49'ers are so physically dominant that they can win without a top-notch quarterback. any slightly above quarterback will do.

Mojo's picture

Wir sind niemand's der Verlierer!

Hofschneider's picture

Wir werden niemals verlieren.

Or

Wir sind niemals der Verlierer.

Sorry for the correction. I just want to help. if you want to pass some funny insults around, do it in the right grammatical form...

Greetings from Munich, Germany

packeraaron's picture

Brilliant!

Mojo's picture

Thanks for the help Hofschneider.

Beautiful city - Munich.

Enjoy the game.

woodson4president's picture

U lose one or especially two players on that d n their average. Try dealin w all our injuries n still play at our high level bud. We are gettin healthier every week. We are just gettin started.N by the way lions are a division rival. Stats n strategy goes out the window. Ask the Ravens Steelers n Bengals about the suck Browns this yr. We got the w that's what mattered.

cow42's picture

so...
IF the Packers get healthy (by the way - are they really getting healthier? kinda sounds like Benson's done for the year, Sherrod's on his way to IR, and Shields is worse off than expected. not to mention - i would not be shocked at all to see matthews out until playoffs - if they make they playoffs)...

and

IF the 49ers suffer 2 or more injuries on the defense...

then

the Packers will be able to beat the 49ers.

got it.

CSS's picture

Your last post prior to exile was telling us how much the Packers sucked and they would be 5-6 after this weekend. I see you haven't reflected one bit, or at least tried to learn football. Enjoy your garbage posting, I'll just ignore you moving forward.

cow42's picture

please teach me football.

teach me how having a line that can't run or pass block can lead you to a super bowl.

no, really - explain that to me.

Tommyboy's picture

Dude, just stop. Just enjoy the ride, wherever it takes us.

cow42's picture

"just chill.
enjoy the ride.
enjoy your garbage posting.
take it down a notch.
you're overly pessimistic.
I liked CHTV SOOOO much better when you were gone."

a lot of personal shots yet no disagreement with my assessment that you can't win a SB with this type of crap - ass line.

don't shoot the messenger.

Tommyboy's picture

If you show me where I predicted a super bowl victory, that would be great. To be frank, I don't think they will win the super bowl. I think there are more complete teams out there. I just also think there's a CHANCE. I didn't think the Pack would win the super bowl two years ago (garbage run and pass blocking then as well, by the way), but they did. My point, cow, is that no one knows. Analysts picked the Chiefs to win it all before the season. Others thought the Eagles would go all the way. Still others thought the Colts would be scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Go ahead and quit setting up straw-man arguments and putting words in my mouth.

I also never said never to come on here. Others may have, but I didn't. Quit generalizing. I've had good interactions with you in the past - even funny ones. Go ahead and predict the Packers will lose tomorrow. They could very easily lose to a pretty darn good Giants team. But just. chill. Breathe. Drink a beer. Drop some acid. It is the holiday season, after all. ;)

packeraaron's picture

<em>quit setting up straw-man arguments and putting words in my mouth.</em>

But that's cow's whole playbook...

packeraaron's picture

Um, cow, they can TOTALLY win the Super Bowl with this "crap ass line"

Go back and watch the offensive line the Steelers had the last time they won the Super Bowl. It was 3,000 times worse than what the Packers are putting out there.

Denver's picture

'3,000 times worse' may be a little high; I'd say more like 1,425 times worse.
And anyone who would say the Pack O-line is currently worse than the Bears is out of their football mind in my book.

Mojo's picture

It's easy to say ANY one team won't win the SB. When COW42 says the Pack won't win the SB - big deal. The current odds on them winning is about 7 to 1 or about 14%. The current odds on the 49ers is around 33%. The Packers are around the fifth best betting favorite. Most of the posters here realize the odds are against GB to win it all, but that's not why they get behind the team. Most enjoy following their team and hoping for the best.

COW's enjoyment comes from poking a stick at it all.

cow42's picture

what the hell?

Mojo's picture

Let me restate. I could go onto another teams website(even the better teams) and piss everyone off by insisting they won't win the SB. When it's all said and done, I'm probably going to be right. The odds for any one team against the league is pretty low. It doesn't make my proclimation noteworthy. It's a nothing statement, just like your insistence GB won't win the SB.

woodson4president's picture

What kind of douche bag goes to other teams blogs? I mean what's the point of that? Teach me...teach me how to be a loser.

woodson4president's picture

I had to pull some strings to get off work tomorrow (i know ..workin Sundays is ridiculous) but I tried n got off because of one reason. Win or lose I love the pack and tomorrow is going to be a ck game! To quote a man by the name of Fitz.....GBP for life!

Mike's picture

Brett Favre

Tommyboy's picture

RABBLE RABBLE!!!!!

woodson4president's picture

Sick*

cindy's picture

You were right on the money.

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