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Week 5 Predictions: New York Giants at Green Bay Packers

Shawn (2-1, 1-2 ATS) — I am not even going to get into the history of these two teams: the fact that the New York Giants have been a thorn for the Green Bay Packers since 2007. Whatever. When the ball is kicked off on Sunday night in Lambeau Field, all of that history will mean almost nothing. I say almost nothing because the past might give Eli Manning some confidence he wouldn’t otherwise have, but other than him, this is an entirely different team than the ones that stomped the Packers in the past.

The obvious concern here is that the Packers have actually come out of the bye perhaps more injured in their woeful secondary than they were before the bye. Sam Shields is nowhere close to coming back as far as anyone knows, and now Damarious Randall has somehow hurt his groin (he doesn’t recollect how). It is possible that Randall sees the field on Sunday night, but I can’t imagine a sore groin is something that you want to play with, especially when you were getting torched with a seemingly healthy groin before you got injured.

If Randall doesn’t see the field, then Quentin Rollins and LaDarius Gunter will suddenly be faced with the biggest games of their young careers. If I were Eli and the Giants, I would be looking to test them early and often.

There has been a lot of senseless hubbub over Odell Beckham Jr. having emotional issues… blah, blah, blah. That is the sort of nonsense you only hear about when you are losing.

I can’t think of a better medicine than facing a struggling secondary missing its top two corners. This is the secondary that made Stefon Diggs and Marvin Jones look like stars, and now a real star receiver walks in the building. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Beckham getting over his issues, real or imaginary, fast.

Of course, then there is Victor Cruz to worry about, and Eli Manning hasn’t had a bad game at Lambeau yet.

The Packers have gotten healthier on their defensive line, and I imagine they’ll continue their No. 1 ranking against the run. I also imagine that Eli and company won’t care.

Of course, Eli could care if the healthier front seven can get to him often. As the Giants know best, the easiest way to halt a passing attack is by getting to the quarterback. And therein lies the Packers’ best chance to win this game.

I guess, perhaps for no great reason, I would still give the Packers a chance to win this game just based off the strength of their offense. That is the old Packers, right? The 2014 to week 6 of 2015 Green Bay Packers that ran opponents out of Lambeau Field with their offense.

Maybe my faith is slightly renewed because we saw a glimpse of that offense in the first half against the Lions two weeks ago. That Lions’ defense was bad. This Giants’ defense is better, but it is banged up in its secondary as well.

I am not convinced the Packers aren’t just slightly better than the Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions. Ironically, it is only the Packers three-point loss to the otherwise dominant Vikings that suggests the Packers might be better than that.

Regardless, I am going to ride a little faith in the pass rush and the Packers offense and take the Packers at home. I won’t take them to cover the spread though, which is 7. Frankly, that is one of the crazier lines I’ve seen in a while.

Once again, Vegas has more faith in the Packers than we do.

Packers 31, Giants 27

Monty (2-1, 1-2 ATS) — Betting the Green Bay Packers right now is pretty much like throwing money away. That’s because this team doesn’t really have an identity and you never know what you’re going to get from one week to the next.

The one thing we do know is the Packers are great against the run. We also know they’ve faced crap running backs through their first three games, when the opponents’ top backs were either out injured or got injured during the game. That trend continues this week both Shane Vereen and Rashad Jennings sidelined. So the Packers’ front seven will get to tee off on some guy named Orleans Darkwa.

Of course, that will play little into the outcome of this game. The Giants know how to beat the Packers and that’s to sling it around. I wouldn’t be surprised if Eli Manning threw the ball 50 times on Sunday night. As we’ve seen, that likely leads to success and points against this secondary. The Packers may actually be in a better place to succeed if Damarious Randall sits out because of his groin injury. He’s been a heap of garbage the past two weeks. Take a week off. Get your head right.

Unfortunately, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix will still be on the field. After playing great in week 1, Clinton-Dix has had his head up his ass in the two games since. His awareness level in those two games has been reminiscent of that Russell Wilson to Luke Wilson touchdown he so poorly defended in the NFC Championship game in Seattle.

So I expect the Giants to throw it early and often. With that in mind, the Packers’ pass rush will be the biggest key to this game. I do have some faith in that, especially because of the emergence of Nick Perry.

But obviously it will also be left to Aaron Rodgers to answer. Well, I’ve got news for you. I am well aware that everyone who doesn’t watch the Packers closely thinks Aaron Rodgers is back after throwing four touchdowns against Detroit. He isn’t.

Those four touchdowns were nice, but they came courtesy of some big or fluky plays. In other words, we haven’t seen this offense put together many sustained, productive drives this season and that’s what you’d expect them to need Sunday night.

The Packers are 29th in passing yards per game in the NFL. So Aaron Rodgers back to old form?

That’s a laughable and idiotic notion.

We will learn a lot about this Packers team on Sunday night. I am going to give them the nod only because they’re playing at home and have had two weeks to prepare for this game. The spread, at seven points, is too much.

Packers 24, Giants 23

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Shawn

Shawn Neuser attended UWGB and lives and works in Green Bay. He enjoys long walks on the beach and being intimate with game film.

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6 Comments

  1. Zwoeger October 9, 2016

    We might get lucky. Usualy the muppet saves his best day in years for a SB against Ne.
    But then again we have those brilliant OCDC so we need that luck.
    Unfortunately because it’s a late game I probably see the game and know the outcome thirstday.
    I’ve no idea where it goes as most of the time for about 15 games lately and sit with bottom cheeks so tied I could crack on acorn with them in the last quarter.

    1. PF4L October 9, 2016

      ^wtf?^

  2. PF4L October 9, 2016

    The Giants vs. Packers. A Nationally televised game. What could go wrong?

    Someone please tell me, how Brian Hoyer can throw for over 300 yards in the last 3 games, including 397 today. but Rodgers can’t throw for over 213 yards. Somebody flipped my football world upside the fuck down.

    So that leads us to tonight’s game. I see a hard fought battle to the bitter bitter end. Giants by 28

  3. Howard October 9, 2016

    Packers off a bye, the Giants travel after an away Monday night game the Packers should cover the 7 points, but can they with the Packer problems in the secondary. The Giants secondary also has problems. This game looks to be a shootout. The funny thing about games that look so obvious they tend to turn out just the opposite.

    The offensive line that protects the quarterback the best should be the team that wins this one. Packers running game over the Giants run game should be an advantage if used. Don’t believe the Giants backs are capable of picking up blitzes. Look for the team to blitz often if the Giants leave their rookie RB in on obvious passing downs.

    If the Pack is ever going to mix in some new offensive wrinkles this is the week. Surprise us MM. Hopefully the entire defensive backfield has made some corrections in their zone coverages. No turnovers. Finish Strong! GO PACK!!!

    1. Kato October 10, 2016

      Nailed it^

  4. PF4L October 9, 2016

    Halftime observations:

    Can we please not see any more little dump off pass attempts to James Starks…EVER.
    Rush defense is continuing it’s league wide dominance.
    If Rodgers scrambles and sits back there looking for a receiver for over 6 seconds, can someone get open?
    Lacy needs to get off the oxygen, and get back in the game, and MM needs to give him the rock. Feed the hot hand.
    Secondary giving thanks during halftime that Manning can’t hit wide open receivers.
    Can someone inform D. Adams that grabbing and pulling on a defenders jersey 25 yards down the field, is a penalty.