Key Matchups: Week 13 "Getting Back in the New York Groove"

These are my key matchups which will help the Packers get back in their groove. 

After a non-competitive blowout loss to the 49ers, the Packers head into MetLife Stadium looking to get back in the groove that saw them jump out to a 7-1 start.  The next three games should allow the Packers to put a stranglehold on the NFC North division heading into the Monday Night showdown in Minnesota on December 23rd.  In order for this stretch of games to play out as it should, this team needs to get its head out of its ass and get back to making the fundamental plays that allowed them to get off to their 7-1 start.  Sunday Afternoon's contest is the perfect opportunity for the Packers to get back to their winning ways as they will be facing a team in the Giants that is hampered with injuries, poor play, and terrible coaching.  Anything less than a convincing win that gets the Packers back in their groove will be nothing short of a disappointment.  

Key Matchups:

1. The Right Tackle Position versus the Giants Edge Rushers:

The 49ers showed that they have one of the most ferocious pass rushes in the league.   Even without the newly acquired Dee Ford, the Niners were able to get pressure on Aaron Rodgers, and once Brian Bulaga went down Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner had a field day with Alex Light.  With Bulaga listed as questionable and considered week to week, I think it is a likely scenario that we will not see him until the Packers return to Lambeau against the Bears.  With the possibility of being without Bulaga for the next couple of weeks being very real, The Packers desperately need to find a more effective stop gap than Alex Light.  This week, the Packers claimed Jared Veldheer who chose to come out retirement.  If Veldheer is ready to play meaningful snaps, then the simplest solution is to start him at right tackle.  (I doubt that is realistic just yet, next week maybe a more realistic proposition). If Veldheer is not ready, I think the best solution maybe to start Billy Turner for a game at right tackle and move Lucas Patrick to the right guard position.  The Packers should also consider plenty of max protect formations with Marcedes Lewis and Dany Vitale providing help blocking.

2. Unleash Aaron Jones:

Matchups one and two definitely coincide with one another.  With plenty of max protection sets, I expect to see plenty of Aaron Jones in both the running game as well as the screen game.  The Packers can control the clock and get Aaron Rodgers easy and safe opportunities in the passing game by fully utilizing Aaron Jones's skill set.  I expect Aaron Jones to have 25 touches (18-20 rushes and 5-7 receptions) and Jamaal Williams to have another 10 touches as the Packers use a big front to try and bully the Giants front seven.

3. Preston and Za'Darius Smith vs. Nate Solder:

Since coming to the Giants, Nate Solder has been a bitter disappointment.  He was brought in to sure up a shaky offensive line and protect Eli Manning's blind side.  Now, the Giants offensive line has been remodeled and Eli has been replaced by Daniel Jones; I think that gives us an indicator that bringing in Solder was not money well spent by "Big Blue".  Mike Pettine needs to send Preston and Za'Darius Smith at Solder all game long and make him prove that he can pass protect for "Danny Dimes" as they call him in the tri-state area. I think the Smith Brothers have a golden opportunity to blow this game up early by getting past Solder, who has been a turnstile at times, and getting a strip sack on Daniel Jones who has been a prolific fumbler throughout the early stages of his career.  I think the Smith Brothers will be responsible for 4 sacks, 2 fumbles, and multiple hurried passes which lead to turnovers.

4. Davante Adams providing the bulk of the production in the passing game:

With the Giants secondary being a weak spot, and the Packers complimentary receivers being non existent at times, Davante Adams needs to get the ball and be the primary option in the passing game.  Aside from Adams, Jones, Lazard, and J. Williams (Lazard and Williams are role players which shows us just how bad it is), the Packers offense lacks explosion and consistency.  This is simply a case where Davante has to show up and have a 7-10 catch for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns kind of day.  Good players need to step up and make plays which is what Davante must do tomorrow afternoon.  

Prediction:

I think the Packers come in pissed off with a chip on their shoulders and take their frustrations out on the NY doormat that is the NY Giants.  I see the Packers offense getting a couple of easy touchdowns off of turnovers and putting together a signature drive to get them back on track.  I think the Packers coast to a 35-17 victory and get back in their 7-1 groove in the shadows of New York City.     

  

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David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Comments (31)

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Tarynfor12's picture

November 30, 2019 at 12:30 pm

Packers lost the last two times playing in NJ/NY in 2012-13 back when we were good.
Rodgers is now a below .500 QB on the road.
Packer pass rush must hit Daniel Jones as he has 10 fumbles after contact.
Barkley can find his groove against our run defense.
Whatever the Packers do,they better do it well Sunday or playoffs and my over 9 wins ticket can be in peril.
A bad loss here and a 1-4 finish may not be considered impossible.

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HankScorpio's picture

November 30, 2019 at 01:21 pm

"Rodgers is now a below .500 QB on the road."

W/L is not a QB stat, it is a team stat.

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Tarynfor12's picture

November 30, 2019 at 01:42 pm

OK fine, let's go with this....

The Packers while having Rodgers as their QB are a below .500 team.

Does it make it sound or be better for you?

or let's try it this way.....

The " as long as we have Rodgers " mantra does not apply when on the road.

Does that make the ' boo boo ' feel better.

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HankScorpio's picture

November 30, 2019 at 02:33 pm

I obviously agree that having Rodgers alone is not enough to win a game--home, road or neutral---since I was the one that pointed out W/L is not a QB stat.

However, the Packers are 3-2 on the road this year. That is above .500, not below it. They are 5-1 at home. That's 8-3 overall. Simple stuff to look up.

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packerbackerjim's picture

November 30, 2019 at 04:22 pm

If AR was to have played the GB defense, his splits would look much better.

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SterlingSharpe's picture

November 30, 2019 at 08:54 pm

False.
Just cuz that's what Nagler says doesn't make it fact.

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jlc1's picture

December 01, 2019 at 10:22 am

Not sure what you mean in your first line but GB beat the Jets last year in NY/NJ. However that just underlines your point about the Pack on the road - It was game 8 on the road and their only road win. Happily that jets team looks about as solid as this giants team.

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ricky's picture

November 30, 2019 at 01:46 pm

Sounds like a sound game plan. The question being, since this is what the Packers should have been doing the last few weeks, will they finally return to what made them formidable? Yes, Jones being "unleashed" would be great; and getting the other WR's involved would be terrific. The problem is that since Adams has returned, both the RB's and the other WR's have not been involved. When Adams was gone, the ball was thrown all over the field, and Jones and Williams were key components. Rodgers said he didn't care about stats, just wins. Adams returns, and suddenly the offense regresses. Coincidence? Or has Rodgers become more interested in throwing to Adams, and has decided that he needs to be more involved in the offense, rather than handing off the ball either directly or through short passes to the RB's? Time to return to what worked, with some new wrinkles (isn't that what LaFleur is known for?) Hate sounding like a hater, it goes against my nature, but the team needs to become a team again, not just a couple All-Stars trying to show how good they are.

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ALLGASNOBRAKES's picture

December 01, 2019 at 09:27 am

"Rodgers said he didn't care about stats, just wins. Adams returns, and suddenly the offense regresses. Coincidence? Or has Rodgers become more interested in throwing to Adams, and has decided that he needs to be more involved in the offense"

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

THIS by Ricky is EXACTLY what I'll be watching for these next few weeks before playing Minnesota. Football is the ultimate TEAM sport. Most of the time against most of the teams in the NFL it takes A MINIMUM 36 players to win. That's 11 on offense, 11 on defense, the long snapper, punter, & kicker. I'd add in a returner but what the hell for with THIS ST unit?

Point is this team HAS to get back to using everybody on offense and IMO that STARTS with MLF making sure it happens and Rodgers following through. If we continue to see what we've seen the last 3 weeks, if we continue to see the rolling of the eyes and the dirty looks by Rodgers, then for the FIRST time in 14 years I'll be thinking about who the Packers should draft to be their next QB.

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Lare's picture

November 30, 2019 at 05:30 pm

Most of the writers and posters here can easily see what ails the Packers and identify ways to improve. But since they're regressing in every facet of the game I've lost all confidence in this coaching staff's abilities to produce a game plan on offense, defense and ST's that can win any game.

Prediction- Packers once again ignore Jones & concentrate their offense on Adams, lose the LoS and field position battle and lose to the Giants 31-10.

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SterlingSharpe's picture

November 30, 2019 at 08:58 pm

I can definitely see us losing to the crappy Giants.
I can see Saquon matching his last 3 games worth of rushing yards total, by halftime tomorrow.

But I can't see us losing 31-10.
We better get at least into the 20's against them.

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DavidMichalski's picture

December 01, 2019 at 03:01 pm

Yup 31-10 come on! Go Pack Go!

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stockholder's picture

November 30, 2019 at 06:01 pm

Want to get back in a groove. Play the Rookies! This is their game. Forget The Who is. Forget the Screen game. Forget how the defense lacks talent up the middle. Play the Rookies. The case was made for SAVAGE! Gute wanted GARY! Jenkins made his MARK and Proved himself! Lazard (FA) has outplayed Allison! And Sternberger has wetted are appetite for the future. It's NO longer a case of being ready. The Rookie status should come off this game. And Pettine has yet to give Summers a shot. A shot the middle NEEDS! Guys can't prove themselves on the bench. Play the Rookies. The Speed and durability would be a tremendous step in the right direction. Why wait?

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ShooterMcGee's picture

November 30, 2019 at 06:01 pm

So does Veldeer solve the right tackle question for next year? Let Bulaga walk and draft a development tackle in the mid rounds. We also save cap space to spend elsewhere such as ILB and WR.

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stockholder's picture

November 30, 2019 at 06:07 pm

Bulaga is not going to take a pay cut. Too injury prone. The draft is full of good OTs. Bulaga can walk.

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ShooterMcGee's picture

November 30, 2019 at 06:13 pm

So did the return of Davante actually hurt the offense? I recall a quote by a player stating, and I paraphrase " plays are called for every player which keeps them excited and involved. " This does not seem to be the case any longer since Adams seems to be the 1st read on the majority of pass plays, as Nagler has pointed out. Let's return to involving every one of our skill position p!ayers, especially Vitale, Tonyan, Sternberger, and Kumerow.

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edp1959's picture

November 30, 2019 at 09:20 pm

Ohh Nagler said so, that makes it true. What a bunch of crap. Nagler also said they didn’t need WR help, phooey.

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RedRight49's picture

November 30, 2019 at 08:33 pm

The Giants secondary is not the strongest so I anticipate Lazard, MVS and maybe Allison getting a few more passes their way than the past few games.

Rodgers needs to get his passing game back on the right track and this is a good game in which to rebound.

Want to see Aaron Jones running every which way possible including out of the backfield for quick passes.

Get Vitale and one of the TEs involved early on beyond blocking.

This should be a winnable game and winnable by 14 or more points over the Giants if the Pack brings their A-Game.

Would like to see Gary get some meaningful snaps, see what he can bring to the D and get a bit more experience under his belt.

And if Veldheer suits up, give him a few snaps to break the ice on his absence from the game this season.

Never know when Gary, Veldheer, and several others may have to step in as the season winds down and the playoffs begin, as I'm confident the Pack will earn a playoff berth.

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Lphill's picture

November 30, 2019 at 08:44 pm

Weather is gonna be sloppy here in New York, rain , sleet , snow will need Jones and Williams to be on their A game , may be a difficult passing day.

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flackcatcher's picture

December 01, 2019 at 01:52 am

TIME FOR THE SHORT FLACKY...(I'm still stuffed. Too much bird...:-) Offense: Giants are a complete train wreck. Well, their front office is too. Odds high looking for a new head coach by next week. (Or already looking. This is the Giants after all.) This is an ownership problem, good luck with that... Offense has talent, but system and scheme not built for it, complete mismatch. Packers: Do I need to say it. RUN THE DAMN BALL. GET THE DAMN BALL TO JONES AND WILLIAMS ALL RIGHT!!!!!!!! Passing: Spread the ball around, run your play action on time and target. Take the pressure off the O Line by running inside the tackles. Run to pass. Run to win... Defense: Giants have talent on the D line. But are thin everywhere else. Secondary can be beat, if the Packers run their routes. Packers: Free the Smiths. FREE THE SMITHS. Let them feast on the young fat bird(I mean quarterback) back there. Pressure will lead to turnovers for this Giant team. Special teams: Wet field. I pray for their success. I expect this could turn into ugly game, with both teams angry at their play for different reasons. Packers Win. 24-10 (Well.... Shorter than usual...)

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 01, 2019 at 03:16 am

I am surprised by your prescription to run Jones inside the tackles. The Giants have three stud DL. The Giants allow 3.9 yards per carry. The A gap and probably the B gap won't be friendly places. It could have better juice.

Attack two of the linebackers and all of the secondary. Don't get stubborn trying to run inside.

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flackcatcher's picture

December 01, 2019 at 08:43 am

Injuries calls the tune my friend. Both tackles slots have become problematic on run calls for their own reasons. The power of the O line rests with the two guards and center. They are strong enough to do it. Besides, if the Packers want to run play action, they need to draw in the front 7 to void the middle. Like you, I want Rodgers to get the ball out quickly and in good order. Something he has had trouble in the past month. This will also open to quick draws and screen action with FB or TE if MLF plans that way. Right now, the O line can not hold the pocket longer than 5 seconds, without a run game the O line can not buy Rodgers the extra 2-3 seconds he needs on his check downs. And well, you know the rest..

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DavidMichalski's picture

December 01, 2019 at 02:32 am

WOW, you all are unreal today. The coaching staff sucks, yet we’re 8-3 after going 6-9-1 last year. The Packers are going to lose 31-10 to the Giants? Lol yea? On what planet? I live just outside of NYC, I see the Giants every week, last years team would have beat them by 2 scores. Davante Adams returning from injury a bad thing??? I hope I don’t see any of you at Lambeau next week. Look the Packers have played bad on the west coast (2 out of the last 3 games) but they’ve got 3 very winnable games coming up. No reason why this team shouldn’t be 11-3 heading into Minnesota. Just RELAX people

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ShooterMcGee's picture

December 01, 2019 at 03:47 am

Out of neccesity the offense without Davante was much more creative and innovative, in my opinion. It seemed to me the 1st reads were different depending on the play. In the 49er game the 1st read was Davante the majority of the time- this fact according to Nagler. I am not a coach nor an analyst but from my couch I see our other offensive weapons have not been involved as much. If you ask me A multi-dimensional offense is better than a 1 dimensional offense. Ironic as it appears the offense has played worse since Adams returned. The coaches are to blame.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 01, 2019 at 03:43 am

AR's statement that he needs to get hot is exactly the wrong sentiment. He needs to pull the trigger more quickly on outs and crossers to allow his receivers time and space to turn upfield.

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packergal's picture

December 01, 2019 at 07:17 am

Hello TGR,
Completely agree.
Rodgers just needs to do his job.

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flackcatcher's picture

December 01, 2019 at 08:18 am

Yes indeed. I hope the face planting he got last week was a wake up to both him and MLF. Get back to the basics in the offense and run the system. The whole scheme is designed to protect the QB if he releases on time.

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carlos's picture

December 01, 2019 at 07:52 am

I’m wondering how much Rogers is changing the plays called in at the line of scrimmage. Just a thought.

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edp1959's picture

December 01, 2019 at 09:31 am

He's not, that is the problem.

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DavidMichalski's picture

December 01, 2019 at 03:02 pm

To all of our awesome fan base who thought the Packers would lose.....31-13, 9-3, GO PACK GO!!!!!!

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ILPackerBacker's picture

December 02, 2019 at 01:36 pm

iS that insight on the targets from the same Nagler who doesn't see a need for better WR play?

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