Giants (3-6) vs Packers (5-4)
Last Sunday the Packers played the Eagles at Lambeau
field without starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The results were not good as
they took their second loss in a row 27-13 and lost more players in the process.
The Giants won their game against the Raiders last Sunday 24-20. Running back
Andre Brown led the attack and the defense certainly did their job. The Giants
overcame a 17-14 halftime deficit and have now won three in a row.
Green Bay Packers.
the Super Bowl in 2010 the Packers have made the playoffs twice, but been taken
out in the divisional round. Opponents obviously keyed on stopping quarterback
Aaron Rodgers and a better running game was needed to help round out this offense.
General Manager Ted Thompson did a nice job addressing that in the draft when
he selected Eddie Lacy in the second round. The rookie leads the NFL with 618
yards rushing since Oct. 1 and is on pace to set the team's rookie rushing record.
First-round draft choice Datone Jones got off to a slow start, but has registered
three sacks in the last two games.
The Packers were on a roll until losing
quarterback Aaron Rodgers and then his backup, Seneca Wallace, just a week later.
Now they're trying to field the most important
position on short notice. The team is 5-4 and has lost two home games in a row.
That's a big deal considering up until then they were nearly unbeatable at Lambeau,
winning 23 of their last 24 games. Detroit
has won their last two games and they lead the NFC North with a 6-3 record and
Chicago is at 5-4. With seven games left the Packers have their work cut out for
them trying to keep up in this race until Aaron Rodgers returns to play, maybe
sometime in December.
Aaron Rodgers has a broken collarbone and his backup, Seneca
Wallace sustained a groin injury filling in. Undrafted quarterback Scott Tolzien
came in to replace Wallace when he was hurt last week and he will make his first
start playing against the Giants. Tolzien was recently promoted from the practice
squad and his backup, Matt Flynn, was signed up just last Tuesday when Wallace
was placed on season-ending injured reserve. Flynn was a good pickup as he spent
the first four years of his career backing up Aaron Rodgers before heading to
Tolzien came in and completed 24 of his 39 passes for 280 yards
and one touchdown and two interceptions in the team's 27-13 loss to the Philadelphia
Eagles. That really wasn't bad under the circumstances considering two starting
offensive linemen were also hurt last week. To take some of the heat off, they'll
likely be feeding running back Eddie Lacy the ball quite a bit. The rookie power
back has done well in his first year with 669 yards on 158 carries, averaging
4.2 yards per carry and has four touchdowns.
In last Sunday’s game, the Packers allowed the Eagles to rush for 204 yards while
five of their defensive players suffered injuries. Nick Foles threw only 18 passes
and completed on 12 of them for 228 yards and 3 touchdowns. Foles also ran the
ball 8 times. Eli Manning won't be taking that approach, but he might try to duplicate
the success Foles had with his arm. The three touchdowns were all at least 15
yards deep and went for 55, 45 and 32 yards. They like to blitz on about half
their plays and did sack Foles three times. They have just 3 interceptions so
far after picking off more passes over the past four seasons (103) than any other
team in the league.
Linebacker Clay Matthews
is an important piece of this defense and he returned to the field last week and
played with a cast on his hand. He'll be bringing it harder this week. Matthews
had 13 sacks in 12 games last year and 3 sacks in the first four weeks before
injuring his thumb. The unit has been having
trouble getting offenses off the field in the fourth quarter these past two weeks.
They will be expecting the Giants to wear them down with a running game and then
hit big on some passing plays.
Even with a bye week break and
a semblance of the running game, the passing attack remains weak. Eli Manning
has victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle all at his disposal. That should
have been worth more than Manning's 12 receptions on 22 passes for 140 yards with
1 touchdown and 1 interception. It would be nice to still have a tight end of
the caliber of Martellus Bennett for blocking abilities and as an extra target,
supplemented by having a reliable connection with a running back, but that's been
an ever changing front.
Those last two items would help cover the fact that
the offensive line still has a problem with run and pass blocking. Opposing defenses
have seen the kind of pressure others have brought and line up ready to try their
best bag of tricks. Manning will have to be ready to burn them big if they fail.
Manning has been sacked 22 times and that's already more than the 19 he took
last year. He's beginning to look something like a shaky Barney Fife when he steps
back from the snap. If the defense has to respect a power back coming their way,
like some combination of Andre Brown (227 pounds),
Brandon Jacobs (264 pounds) and Peyton Hillis (250 pounds), that will slow them
down. Manning's internal clock as he looks over the field would be '1-2-throw'
instead of 'Hurry, Hurry, Hurry'.
The unit has been playing well
and has allowed just one touchdown in the past 14 quarters. That one miscue came
on a big degree of difficulty thanks to a special teams fumble that had the defense
suddenly on the field to defend from their five yard line. The pass rush has started
to come back for the unit with eight sacks in the last two games. They could have
a good opportunity here with an inexperienced quarterback running the show, but
they know that Scott Tolzien has good arm strength.
Their first big job though
will be to stop Eddie Lacy and the recent acquisition of linebacker Jon Beason
has been a big help in that area. The unit has done well against Adrian Peterson,
Matt Forte and LeSean McCoy, but slipped a bit last week against Rashad Jennings.
Jason Pierre-Paul was hurt in that game and has missed practice and that could
be a factor if he misses this game.
Scott Tolzien is an unknown right now and may turn out to be one of the best out
there, but at this point in his career he's a big step down from Aaron Rodgers
who arguably is one of the best. Right now the Packers are in a fix trying to
field their most important position on the team with a new starting quarterback
on the road. The Giants should be able to take advantage of this opportunity and
notch their fourth win in a row.
The Eagles (5-5) host the Redskins
(3-6) on Sunday at 1pm, and the Cowboys (5-5) are on a bye week. The Giants and
Eagles are favored to win their games.
Giants Store, and see some of the really unique items we put together.
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TeamGiants on Twitter.Notes.
Giants Cullen Jenkins spent the first 7 years
of his NFL career with the Packers and won a Super Bowl with them.
Eli Manning will play against Scott Tolzien, the 68th starting quarterback he
has faced in his 144 consecutive regular-season starts.
are the only NFL team without a run longer than 18 yards this season.
Aaron Rodgers will miss back-to-back games for the first time in his career.
quarterback Scott Tolzien will make the first NFL start of his career.
backup quarterback Matt Flynn is tied for the team's all-time record of 6 touchdowns
in a game.
Nov 24- Cowboys at Giants.
Dec 1- Giants at Washington.