Shawn: This is another one of those games for the Green Bay Packers that looked like a much bigger matchup prior to the start of the season than it looks now.
The New York Giants have been terrible. Because this is the Giants, the media has started to get a little excited that they’ve won three straight. Yeah, that’s against a Josh Freeman “led” Minnesota team, an Eagles team with Matt Barkely at quarterback for over a half, and the mighty Oakland Raiders, who the Giants needed a blocked punt for a TD to beat.
So, let’s keep it real. The Giants suck. Only the fact that their whole division sucks keeps their season from being over. Not that it really matters since whoever wins the NFC East is going to get bitch-slapped by the 49ers or Seahawks in round 1 of the playoffs.
The reason for the suckage has been pretty simple. The Giants are a whopping 3oth in the league in scoring. They have been one of the league worst at running the football, and when they throw it, it has often led to disaster with Eli Manning leading the league with 16 interceptions already.
The one thing the Giants have been okay at, especially lately, is defense. They don’t have the pass rush that won them titles, but they have been great against the run.
That could be bad news for the Packers, who will once again need their running game to be the engine of their offense. Scott Tolzien should be better after a week of practice, but I don’t think Packers fans can expect a breakout performance from him at New York.
It should help the Packers defense that they will get to play their base against the Giants, who will try to run the ball some with Andre Brown. I expect the Packers to have success stopping the run, and I also expect the Giants to be fairly conservative on offense, knowing full well that their defense can keep them in the game just as long as they don’t do anything stupid.
The Packers win this game if they can turn Eli over, just like every other defense this season, but there is little reason to think that will happen. This may be a down year for Eli, but he still makes more plays than Tolzien. I pick the Giants in a defensive game.
Giants 20, Packers 17
Monty: I think it’s fair to say the Green Bay Packers have been somewhat of an enigma since Aaron Rodgers went down.
Their defensive line was dominant during the early part of the season. Lately, not so much. Their pass rush was making plays. Lately, not so much. Jordy Nelson was dominating. Lately, not so much.
The one constant has been Eddie Lacy, but you saw what happened last week when the Eagles focused solely on stopping the run. Lacy was still effective, but he averaged a season-low 3 yards per carry.
Obviously, the New York Giants will have the same focus defensively, which means Scott Tolzien, to some degree, will have to win this game for the Packers. The defense is also going to have to step up for the Packers to have a chance and that means putting pressure on Eli Manning and forcing him into mistakes.
Thankfully for the Packers, Manning and the Giants have made their fair share of mistakes this season. They have a league-leading 28 turnovers.
In other words, this team is just what the doctor ordered for the Packers shitty secondary. If they can’t turn the Giants over, then they might as well go find new jobs. Home Depot is probably hiring.
The same goes for the Packers as a whole. If they can’t beat the Giants, who are one of the league’s worst teams, they may as well cash in their chips.
I say Tolzien will be prepared, Mike McCarthy will have a solid game plan and Giants offense will actually make the Packers defense look good.
Packers 24, Giants 17