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The Packers Need To Win Against the Giants

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The Packers Need To Win Against the Giants

Packer fans can be the best at holding grudges. The numbers 4th and 26 make people cringe, and the phrase, “Jerry Rice fumbled” is still yelled at the TV. Playoff losses are some of the toughest losses to overcome. The season ends, fans and players go home simply to sit and think about all the things that went wrong.

Twice in recent memory the New York Giants have stamped the Packers ticket home. Last season the Packers welcomed the Giants to Lambeau in the second round of the playoffs in what many hoped would be a sweet revenge match, a chance to live down the horror of the 2007 NFC Championship game.

But revenge did not prevail. The Giants walked into Lambeau and flattened the Packers. The Packers turned the ball over four times that day, fell victim to a long touchdown pass to end the half, and Aaron Rodgers completed only 26 of his 46 passes.

The score shows the Packers losing by 17 but it was much more than that. The Packers were not only defeated, they were deflated.

Next Sunday the Packers once will once again face the Giants. A team coming off a bye and a deflating loss of their own against the Cincinnati Bengals; the Giants will be looking to use the game as a vehicle to get their season back on track.

The Giants need this game. The NFC East is a division filled with talented teams that have failed to perform on a consistent basis. With a one game differential between each of the four teams, every game matters to them. The Giants could use a victory over the streaking Packers to establish dominance in a division devoid of anything resembling a leader.

The Packers on the other hand now find themselves in the top spot of the NFC North, climbing from last to first through their five game winning streak. The Packers don’t “need” this game in the same way the Giants do, but they still need it.

The Packers, while winning, have not instilled confidence with their victories. While the Packers are playing through injuries and a slumping kicker, the Packers have failed on many occasions to crush their opponents.

The Lions offense looked weak last Sunday. Tony Scheffler was targeted 10 times on Sunday and caught only two passes. Starting wide out, Titus Young – targeted 6 times with 1 catch – was promptly suspended by the Lions following the game.

When your opponent has those kinds of stats on their offense, the game should be won easily. But it wasn’t. The Packers got the go ahead score with two minutes left in the game and needed a defensive stand to ensure the win.

Since playing the Texans and starting this five game win streak the Packers have played weaker opponents and played weaker themselves. While the Packers don’t need this game to turn their season around, the Packers need this game to finally assert their dominance.

If the Packers go into New York and play the Giants like they played the Texans, the Packers will finally look like one of the top teams in the NFL. The Packers need to not only win on Sunday, they need to do it with style. Creating turnovers, continuing to develop the running game, having receivers catch the ball and accurately run their routes, all keys to a convincing win. And perhaps even, a field goal or two made.

The Packers are starting to get healthier, and the teams in their division appear to be collapsing around them. A strong performance and win and Sunday would go a long way in dealing a knockout blow to the rest of the NFC North and NFL, and the ride to the playoffs could become much easier.

The game isn’t a “must win”, but the Packers need a game to finally become the team many hope they can be, and this Sunday’s game will be the perfect opportunity to do so. It wouldn't be just revenge, it would be a statement game on the Packers season.

Jayme Joers is a writer at CheeseheadTV’s Eat More Cheese and co-host of CheeseheadRadio, part of the Packers Talk Radio Network at PackersTalk.com. She also contributes to Pocketdoppler.com. You can contact her via twitter at @jaymelee1.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (47) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

mark's picture

"continuing to develop the running game"

Haha! "continuing"

lebowski's picture

as in, for 7 years

murphy's picture

Ryan Grant pees on your rug.

Justin's picture

I think the Lions just suspended Titus Young. I don't think he was released. Yet.

Fish/Crane's picture

Senior or Junior?

Chad Toporski's picture

I almost... ALMOST... wouldn't mind seeing the Packers lose. If these two teams happen to meet again in the playoffs this year, I'd rather the Packers be playing with something to prove.

bryce's picture

That's the same reason I hope the Texans don't make the Super Bowl. It's hard to be an NFL team twice in the same season.

nick perry's picture

That may be true but it seems the last few times the Packers have played a Wade Phillips defense, not only do they win, they demolish them. Would that happen again? Maybe not but I like the Packers chances. As far as the Giants I'm hoping for a repeat of the 2010 regular season game. What was that, 45-17 or something like that? I need a break from screaming at my TV! So do my neighbors.

denniseckersly's picture

sorry, I know what you mean.....but the packers needed to win last game. They "need" to win this game like they "need" to win every game.

They just need to win the division games from here on out. I want this one bad but this is the 5th most important game of the remaining 6.

toolkien's picture

That's the way I see it too. If the Packers lose to the Giants and Bears and win the other games,they'll be 11-5 which pretty much guarantees a playoff spot of some kind. If the Packers lost last week and end up losing to the Giants, then 6-5 is a lot more to overcome. Last week was an important win given the hole the Packers were handed by the Refs in Seattle.

And more about that Seattle call, even if the Packers end up winning the division, that Seattle call could be the difference between having the 2nd seed and a bye and having the 3rd seed. It was a complete kick to the teeth no matter how you look at it. It compromises the Packers ability to get in at all, whether being an upper seed by winning the division or a lower seed being edged by the Bears, or seeding even if the Packers end up winning the division.

A-rodges Mustache's picture

I wish the season ended today, that is if I was not so hypnotized by the wonderful sprint that is the NFL season... Because... If the season ended today the Seahawks and Pete Carrols Smuggness would come into Lambeau for round 1!

How freaking sweet would that be to get the Seattle Sea-chickens to feast on in round one at home?

Denver's picture

I thought after the Pack, ahem, 'lost' to them that the best revenge would be to play them again in the playoffs AT Seattle.
Though playing them in Lambeau would certainly work for me as well....

Derek in CO's picture

And in related news, the Bears can feel free to lose the rest of theirs.

T's picture

I don't think the Packers played down to there opponents. I think the Texans played down to the Packers. The only issue the Packers are having, other then FG's, is play calling.

Play calling has been terrible this year, even MM will admit it. With all this running we did, how many play action passes did the Packers run last week? How about the week before?

How many quick slants did the Packer use to keep the LB's honest this week. A big fat zero. You will never bring the safeties up unless you start throwing underneath. Our running game will never bring 8 in the box.

Derek in CO's picture

+infinity to that post. our TEs should be just destroying the middle of the field on short crossing routes, slants, etc, against cover 2. That will open up play action and gets our WRs in one on one for more attacks downfield. MM is not exploiting the mismatches like he should.

Chad Toporski's picture

Conventional X's and O's do not use those types of routes to beat Cover 2. There is a linebacker in the middle of the field, after all...

PackersRS's picture

Cover 2 as in Tampa 2 or Cover 2 as in 2 safeties deep and man coverage like most teams play the Packers? If it's the ladder, the best thing would be quick, horizontal routes that put Finley and Cobb against defenders in space.

I bet Cobb would just destroy DBs with slants. After Sproles he may be the quickest player in the NFL. I wouldn't know though, I don't think I've ever seen him run it.

Crunch time without the crunch's picture

The play calling is such because MM wants to keep his star out of the hospital. He runs half the time so Rogers gets a play off from running for his life.

THEMichaelRose's picture

We definitely need this game. Coming into the year, I pegged this as about the 2nd-most critical game (behind @ Chicago).
We've beaten these guys in the regular season the last couple times. But on the Giants' two Super Bowl runs, they knock us out at Lambeau.
Coughlin's Giants have been such an enigma every year, and even week-to-week. I have no idea what to expect Sunday night. Kinda thinking some form of shootout.

woodson4president's picture

I wish the Seahawks had to come up north for a playoff game! N we murdered them.......Tate targeted 12 times for zero catches.

murphy's picture

MD Jennings would catch 5 TDs for the Seahawks.

jack's picture

not to be nit picky,Jamie, but i think you meant screaming at the tv because TO fumbled! that still pisses me off!!!

Evan's picture

Nope - Jerry Rice. A few plays before the TO catch.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

Absolutely. Rice fumbled. I say it every time I see a faggy 9er fan. Sad thing is, it was clear as day... No replay.

Evan's picture

That was a different game than the one where Rice extended his consecutive game with a catch record on a dropped pass, right??

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

Idk.

sparkyo's picture

Fitzcore1252, Why the gay-bashing man? There are kids reading this board! Gay-bashing is not at all relevant to this discussion; please take the high road in your future posts.

Crunch time without the crunch's picture

a win over the giants seals the deal. Problem, who is going to win it? We have no running game. O line is thee worst in the league agains't one of the best d lines in football. Now the kicking game is in the tank. Giants by 28.

Evan's picture

Rodgers and the D will win it.

Denver's picture

Not saying the Pack will win it, but when's the last time they lost by 28 points? Saints in '08??
Seems more than a little far-fetched IMO.

CSS's picture

The Giants have allowed an average time to throw of 2.9 seconds, which is the highest in the league (per pro football focus). In other words, that defensive line hasn't been dominant. Perception vs. reality I guess.

sparkyo's picture

Crunch, your post looks like prophecy from where I'm standing. I'm not usually one who believes in publicly second-guessing an NFL offensive coordinator but here I go. Even the very best fans know so little about the game in comparison to the professionals. Still, I can't help but comment on the struggles of the Packers' offensive line. I think it was perhaps during the Cardinal game, when backup offensive lineman, Evan Dietrich-Smith, was brought into the backfield to help protect Aaron Rodgers. This worked quite well; suddenly, the heretofore barely adequate O-line, jelled and was effective. It was great to watch! Then, Bulaga was injured and subsequently ruled out for the season. The O-line immediately got worse because of the backup player in addition other linemen having to play out of position. At that point, the jumbo H-back protecting in the backfield, which had worked so well, was immediately abandoned. Why? Our O-line had just gotten worse due to the missing Bulaga. Why not instead recruit young Packers offensive linemen Don Barclay and Greg Van Roten to take over the H-back/protector duties? Is the line coach so falsely confident that the backups on the line are going to be better in protection than were the barely adequate starters? Not trying to be nasty here, but I wonder what the coaches were thinking. Don't they trust their young backups to play H-back? It seems the results of that experiment couldn't be any worse than the O-line play we have witnessed in the Giants game tonight.

sparkyo's picture

This week, I found myself trying to figure out how to get to Campen or McCarthy in order to ask them to put an OL in the backfield as a protector & blocker from the H-back position. Isn't that ridiculous on my part? Who cares what I think? And rightfully so!

Still, how did I know we were going to need big time help for the O-line? More importantly, how did the coaches fail to know? I'm super puzzled. Does a coach need to have a positive belief in their players, regardless of solid evidence pointing against the competence of said players? I'm just confused right now; pay no attention.

robbiejbaby's picture

I dont think its a must win of course itd be great, at this piont the packers should make the playoffs either way. There are however several things this team must do to make a deep run in the playoffs, 1 they gotta get healthy 2 that oline has got to improve somehow it just does. Or the other thing that would get us a deep run is rodgers playing lights out near perfection and the ppl around him doing well just not fucking him up. Drops penelties etc. Lol i guess thats the benifit of having a GREAT qb......

GBPDan's picture

Good article, Amen, let's beat these A-holes.....the Oline will need to man up against a well rested giants pass rush...

Mr.Bigg's picture

Getting better evry week and winning can happen at the same time.

jack in jersey city's picture

i live in NJ and almost all of my friends are NYG fans. they have all told me that the giants usually stink it up coming off of their bye week. they are also worried that the game is at home being that the giants seem to do better on the road. couple that with the fact that the packers usually play their butts off during those high profile, nationally televised games and i really like our chances.

however, i an VERY worried about our O-line going up against that defensive front. i hope we see a lot of quick slants, screens and james starks' runs!

UncleChubb's picture

Awesome piece.

FITZCORE 1252'S EVO's picture

Something tells me... You're the creepy uncle.

marcopo's picture

I'll add to what's been said, There have been many, many must win games in the NFL. This IS NOT one of them. Offensively with the Packers, you are never sure what you're going to get. As always, it's usually a bunch of little things that combine to throw it off sync. Much depends on Rodgers. He has not been the automatic perfection we saw last year. What was nice about the Lion game was he was able to toss it all aside to finish the game in style. I see the offense as being on the verge, but not quite there for some reason. On the other hand, the defense has been a joy to watch it develop. All said and done, if the Packers play a game close to their capabilities, it's a certain win.

Crunch time without the crunch's picture

Grudge? Who said Grudge. The Giants were the better team and put a whopping on the Pack and will do that and more on Sunday. Why?
There defensive line is one of the best if football.
There O line allows Eli all day to pass and with the packers pass run non existant, he will throw and complete a lot of long balls.
The Giants all have more than one back who can run.
The Giants D backs are very good and their kicking game is above average.
Compared to the Packers who have Rogers and a couple of healthy receivers, there's nothing there when you match up against the elite teams.
The Pack is a competitive team to a certain point but they aren't in the same league with the Giants.

Bearmeat's picture

sniff...sniff...

something smells like.. troll!

murphy's picture

Are the Packers in the same league as Cincinnati and Pittsburgh?

Cheddarhead's picture

I think the Packers play best in the underdog role. See the houston game and the superbowl run.

Pack88's picture

I think you make several valid points but having watched most of the giant games this season, it will be incumbent upon Green Bay to use the running game to force NY out of the high 2 (safties game) they fear Jordy Nelson and until they make NY commit 7 or better 8 to the box it will require very precise quick throws to move the ball.
remember the 2010 game if GB can control the LOS (both sides of the ball) they win if not it could be a loong day for #12. So go James Starks and hope Moses finds the pormised land

Pack88

packeraaron's picture

Spot on 88. Mike tried just that last year at MetLife with Ryan Grant (with limited success) and I expect more of the same this time around.

DraftHobbyist's picture

I don't agree with this article. Does a team really need to beat the reigning Super Bowl Champions on the road without their best pass-rusher (Matthews), best WR (Jennings), and good playmaker (Woodson) to prove that they are an elite team? Now if these guys weren't coming back at some point then I think you have a legitimate point, and the reason I didn't include Bulaga or Bishop is because they are not coming back, but in the end these guys are coming back and the Packers can improve even if they lose to the Giants.

IMO, the Packers have been proving they are an elite team by navigating the injuries they've had between losing their top pass-rusher in Matthews, their 2nd leading sacker from last year in Bishop, a very versatile veteran playmaker in Woodson, their RT in Bulaga, their top 2 WR's at the same time in Jennings and Nelson, etc. How many teams can lose all these guys and still lead their division, and not because the division sucks but because the Packers have just played that well?

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