The New York Giants are looking to avoid their fourth straight loss when the undefeated Green Bay Packers are coming to New York, in what some are considering the Packers most likely chance to lose in the regular season this year. The Giants of course are no strangers to beating an undefeated opponents, most recently defeating the New England Patriots in the Superbowl. That’s where the comparison should end though. In that game the Giants were coming off of four straight impressive performances (the regular season Loss) and the playoff wins against the Buccaneers, Cowboys, and Packers. In this game the Giants are coming off increasingly wore performances. They didn’t show up three weeks ago in a must win game against the Eagles (at home) and then followed that up with a clunker in New Orleans.
There should be plenty of offense from both teams today though which hopefully should keep it interesting for awhile.
Let’s break down the intriguing matchups, especially those involving the young guys.
Giants injury report:
out: Mark Herzlich and Osi Umeinyora. Doubtful: Mario Manningham
Questionable: Michael Boley and Ahmad Bradshaw
Packers injury report: out: Desmond Bishop, A.J. Hawk, Chad Clifon, Josh Sitton
Prince Amukamara against Jorden Nelson/Donald Driver/James Jones
The Prince’s play might not make a completely difference in this game as all of the cornerbacks will have to play well, but Amukamara’s play in this game and the rest of the season will go a Very long way in determining what the Giants do in the draft next year. If Amukamara shows he’s ready to be a #1 or #2 cornerback then the Giants might feel comfortable enough letting either Aaron Ross or Terrel Thomas go in free agency.
He’s also fresh considering he missed almost the entire beginning of the season. The Giants need Amukamara to play discipline, fast, and tackle well in order to slow down the Packers.
Marshall Newhouse vs Jason Pierre Paul
With Osi Umeinyora out Pierre Paul will play RE. Good luck Newhouse. Paul has 10.5 sacks on the season and is relentless. He was one of three New York Giants trying late in the blow out loss to the Saints. His motor is non-stop (Eli Manning and Victor Cruz were the other two, I’m sure there were more, but not many m0re). Paul also has long arms and could deflect some of those quick passes from Aaron Rodgers.
Ramses Barden vs a diminishing roster spot (and Jake Ballard)
When Ramses Barden has been on the field this year he has made some big catches. They dont’ show up on the stat sheet, but he’s caught a few balls with guys draped all over him. Mario Mannigham is a free agent after this year and if Barden can play well as the third option, perhaps the rise of Victor Cruz and impressive play of Barden will ease the Giants worries about their wide receiver talent and they will not over-pay for Manningham.
Ballard has had a couple of bad games in a row. He had some big drops against the Eagles and then against the Saints Eli threw a ball up for grabs and the Saints linebacker came down with it over Ballard. The shine on Ballard has dimmed a bit and he could use a couple more big games down the stretch.
Ballard and Barden are potential fantasy sleepers in deep leagues today.
Greg Jones/Jacuqian Williams vs Packers quick passing game
Greg Jones was handed the starting Middle Linebacker job when Jon Goff was IR during training camp. He lost that starting job recently when Mark Herzlich took over for him. Herzlich looked much more promising Jones in his limited action, but Herzlich is out for this game with an injury which means Jones is back in. With the return of Goff and the impressive play of Herzlich and Williams, Jones opportunities for a spot with the Giants could depend on games like today. Jones needs a big game against a team that really should be able to exploit his lack of sideline to sideline speed.
Jacquian Williams on the other hand is not lacking any speed, but he can get fooled fairly easily. He’s been very close to making some huge plays this year and I think eventually it’ll happen, I’m not sure today will be the day though.
The Packers like to throw a lot of quick passes and let their talented WR rack up the yards after the catch. The Giants linebackers must play one of their best games of the season if the Giants want to slow down the Packers.
Josh Sitton’s backup (Evan Dietrich Smith?) against Linval Joseph
Josh Sitton is out and the Packers don’t have a backup guard listed on their depth chart so I’m assuming it’s Smith. Joseph hasn’t been great this year in terms of pressure, but he has been a load to move off the line and if the Packers have to double him, it will open up things inside for Chris Canty and maybe some blitzes up the middle that he Giants like to do with their middle linebacker (probably Jacquian Williams or Greg Jones).
Morgan Burnett vs Hakeem Nicks/Victor Cruz
The Giants Love to throw the ball down the field. Not 10 yards down the field and rack up the yards after the catch, they throw the ball forty yards down the field often. If Burnett gets sucked into the play action, the Packers are going to give up some really big plays because Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz are legitimate down the field threats. Nicks doesn’t’ move around much so it’s more likely that Burnett will be lined up on the side of the field that Victor Cruz is on.
Randall Cobb against the Giants Special teams coverage
This year the Giants are much better in covering kicks than they were last year-they are pretty average. That’s not great, but compared to last year it’s a god-send. Cobb though has the kind of speed and talent that gives every team trouble and I wouldn’t bet against Cobb having a huge return at some point in the game.
What do you guys think?
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