SNYGiants staff prediction for tonight’s Giants-Packers showdown
Kel Dansby: The Giants will return from this bye week refreshed and refocused but it wont be enough to pull out the win over the Packers. Eli will find a way to make the game close late in the 4th quarter but the defense will give up points on the last drive and the Giants will fall short at home. This seems like the statement loss for the Giants this season; the past two Super Bowl seasons the Giants used losses to the Packers and Patriots to motivate them through their late season push. Packers 31, Giants 27
Sam Spiegelman: The Green Bay Packers are riding a five-game winning streak, while New York is trying to a break a two-game losing skid. The question is whether the G-Men recuperated during their bye week, or will Green Bay’s momentum carry into tonight? The Packers are banged up on defense, while the Giants are getting healthier — perhaps the addition of Kenny Phillips in the secondary will provide better support on the back end. Then again, can anything aid the Giants’ defensive backs vs. Aaron Rodgers. New York tends to always win when they’re discounted, and they usually have Green Bay’s number. Giants 31 Packers 28
Jared Kruger: Under Tom Coughlin the Giants are 5-3 after a bye. NYG has played 3 straight weeks of non-”Giants football.” Eli Manning and the Giants have something to prove. Eli has 0 TD passes in the past 3 games and the Giants have been unable to convert third downs and sustain drives. The classroom work over the bye week should rectify that. Coughlin believes the strategy is sound, but the execution has been subpar. The defense has to wake up and pressure Rodgers to throw before he wants to just like in last season’s matchups. When the front four pressures the quarterback and forces turnovers, the Giants usually win. When they don’t, you get an effort like the one we saw in Cincinnati two weeks ago. Giants 34, Packers 31
Jim Mancari: Expect the well-rested Giants’ offense to start out hot Sunday night. But then again, it seems like the Packers’ offense is always hot. Just like when these two teams met last year, the game may come down to whoever has the ball last. Big Blue needs to step up and get back on the winning track, and a statement win against Green Bay can be exactly the remedy for a few bad November games. Giants 34, Packers 31
John Fennelly, Executive Editor
The NFL is full of incomplete teams and the Packers and Giants are two of them. Injuries have stripped both teams of stars as well as valuable depth. They get by because they have quarterbacks who can make big plays in big spots and coaching staffs that don’t panic.
That being said, the Giants’ pass rush might be able to take advantage of the reshuffled Green Bay line and exact just enough pressure upset Aaron Rodgers’ timing. They better. The Packers should be able to counter with their great receiving corp, which got Jermichael Finley back on track last week and could have Greg Jennings back this week. The Giants have no defense for Finley (or any other TE for that matter), and with the extra attention they’ll have to divert to keep Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and James Jones in check, he could have a monster game vs them tonight (providing he holds onto the ball).
The Giants’ offensive line must have a strong game in both pass protection and opening holes for the run game, something they haven’t been able to achieve for most of the year. The absence of Clay Matthews should help towards that effort. Its imperative the Giants’ receivers to get back to creating separation and start hanging onto the football. They’ve been allowing too many opportunities to slip away. Poor production from the TEs has to end, pronto. The running game will be challenged by the suddenly staunch Packer run defense, so the short passing game will have to be at the ready. (Do the Giants even have one…?)
It’s hard to believe the Giants will break out of all of their recent bad habits all in one night. Barring a complete metamorphosis by the Blue, the Packers should win this one. Hope I’m wrong. Packers 37, Giants 24