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Giants Are A Matchup Green Bay’s Battered Pass Defenders Should Love

How to Argue (and Win) that Packers Will Withstand Giants’ Pass Attack.

1. The Giants have a below-average passing attack – they ranked 17th in passing yardage on the year, lowest of the six remaining NFC teams, other than (run-oriented) Dallas.

2. The Giants have only one receiving threat – yes, Odell Beckham Jr. ranked third in yardage, but WR2 Sterling Shepard was 60th, WR3 Victor Cruz was 80th, and WR4 Roger Lewis, Jr. was 269th.

3. Giants’ tight end Will Tye is terrible, ranking 64 out of 66 tight ends by Pro Football Focus.

4. The Giants’ primary running back isn’t a receiving threat. Rashad Jennings ranks 43rd among RBs as a receiver by PFF.

5. Quarterback Eli Manning was good way back when, but this is now. His passer rating of 86.0 ranks 22nd, and among the 12 playoff team quarterbacks (counting injured Derek Carr) he bested only Houston’s Brock Osweiler.

6. Manning is a turnover nightmare. His 16 interceptions is the fourth most in the league – and let’s throw in his seven fumbles for good measure.

7. Manning doesn’t spread the field. At 6.73 yards per pass attempt, he’s 26th in the league, while it’s been the intermediate and deep balls that have proved most troublesome for Packers’ DBs.

8. Manning is no longer accurate. Even with his short-pass attack, his completion percentage is only 63.0, putting him in 17th place for this metric.

9. Manning is extremely one-dimensional. On the year he has run 21 times, for a loss of nine yards.

10. The Packers’ defense can largely ignore the run. The Giants ranked 29th in rushing yards per game this year.

11. The Giants’ pass protectors are hum-drum. PFF rates none of the front five elite, the left guard “high quality,” the center “above average,” the right guard “average,” and both tackles “poor.”

12. The Giants’ receiving core isn’t focused, disciplined, or gearing up for a playoff run. The team’s top four wide receivers, after beating the Redskins on Sunday, began preparing for the Packers by jetting off to Miami to party with Justin Bieber.

13. The Packers matched up well defensively in its October 9 defeat of the Giants. Manning was held to 199 gross passing yards (and 178 net), he was sacked four times, and he converted only four of 13 third downs.

14. In the earlier game against the Giants receivers, OBJ was thrown to 12 times, but came away with only five catches and 56 yards, Sterling Shepard had two catches for 14 yards, and Victor Cruz was shut out.

15. In the earlier matchup, Manning’s primary target was RB Bobby Rainey, with six catches for 54 yards – but the Giants’ current starting RB is much less adept as a receiver.

16. Though an already-vulnerable defensive backfield lost no less than three cornerbacks during Sunday’s game at Detroit, they still allowed only 17 points until the final 22 seconds of the game – and that was against an opponent with a better-rated (compared to the Giants) passing offense (11th vs. 17th) and a better overall offense (21st vs. 25th).

Like I said, for a defensive secondary in the midst of an epidemic of injuries, the Packers have drawn the best opponent they could hope for.

A lot of times it hasn’t been pretty this year, but he Packers’ DBs — led by veterans Morgan Burnett and Micah Hyde, showed us how to cope with adversity on Sunday. Whoever Green Bay sends out to man the defensive secondary, and in whatever position they might be forced to play, I believe this versatile and dogged (I didn’t say talented) group will do what is needed to win.

Rob Born

Smart drafters don’t select the best available players, they fill a team’s positions of greatest need.



  1. Empacador January 4, 2017

    So, which one of those guys listed above has a career game against the Packer defense? Giants’ tight end Will Tye or Roger Lewis, Jr. anyone? You know how this ends, right? 3LI is the meme out there…

    1. Adam January 4, 2017

      Lol, I was going to say the same thing. Which one of those 3rd and 4th string guys puts up career numbers on Sunday?

  2. Kato January 4, 2017

    You have a lot more confidence than I do Rob. Packers offense will have to put up at least 24, probably 28+

  3. Chad Lundberg January 4, 2017

    You didn’t even mention NY’s DB’s, which are some of the best in the league, and why they’ve been winning so much lately, that’s not fair. NY has the 10th best pass D and the 3rd best run D. There’s a reason they’re 11-5, and while I suspect their offense will struggle, I believe it’s our offense that will struggle almost as much.

    1. PF4L January 4, 2017

      Chad is exactly right. Rodgers didn’t have a 65 passer rating against the Giants because their defense rolled over. Yes, you read that right…65.

      1. Chad Lundberg January 4, 2017

        We do have Davante Adams and Jordy Nelson playing at a higher level now, and Cook didn’t even play in the first matchup. If we’re lucky, we’ll get at least a respectable performance from either Allison or Cobb, so we do have all those things going for us. But there’s three really good DB’s back there, it’s not far off from playing against the legion boom in its heyday, so the key to this game will really come down to short over the middle passes to Cook, screen passes to Ripkowski and Montgomery, among other short gain plays much like in the week 7 game against Chicago. But there will be no 70 yard plays this time around unless there’s some kind of serious breakdown in the Giants secondary.

  4. PF4L January 4, 2017

    1. The Giants have a below-average passing attack —– Ok, lets take a look…..

    So did the Jags, then Bortles passed for 320, with Sam Shields.
    So did Tennessee, before Mariota threw for 295 and 4tds.
    So did the vikings, before Bradford passed for 286 yards.
    So did the Bears , before Matt Barkley torched us for 362 yards.
    So did the vikings, before Bradford torched us again, this time for 382 fucking yards.
    I think you get the picture.

    2. The Giants have only one receiving threat – this should be a tough one Rob. Lets see here……
    How many threats do the Jaquars have?……. 0
    How many threats do the vikings have?…. Stefon Diggs 182 yards receiving..Ranks 34th
    How many threats do the Lions have?…..Marvin Jones 205 yards receiving…Ranks 32nd
    How many threats do the Bears have?… Deonte Thompson 110 yards receiving…Ranks 175th…Same game – Cameron Meredith…104 yards receiving..Ranks 36th
    Vikings…2nd game…Adam Thielen…202 yards..Ranks 27th
    You get the picture.

    Not exactly the Who’s Who of the NFL is it?

    Have the Giants defense let 2nd rate QB’s and receivers do that? Just curious.
    Not defending the Giants, but fuck man, keep it real….know the defense your rolling with.

    Carry on.

    1. Robster January 4, 2017

      Ancient history – the real season started with Game 11. I’ve purged most everything from more than six weeks ago from my mind. It bears little relation to the present group and the way they are now playing.

      1. Chad Lundberg January 4, 2017

        I still think you’re the best writer on here, at least when you have a differing opinion you’re not such a crusading bigot about it. E. Wolf honestly wishes Lance Easley would die for crying out loud, that’s just sooo dark.

        IMO, this game is gonna come down to who rushes the passer more, and with the way GB’s O-line has played the last two weeks, I’m actually a little worried about that. Hopefully MM and DC will gameplan to blitz the hell out of Eli and sack him 7 times.

      2. PF4L January 4, 2017

        That’s cool Rob, especially considering you referenced the 1st game multiple times which was more than 13 weeks ago.

        I’m guessing you are aware what passer rating the Giants defense held Rodgers too. I’m also fairly confident you know that the Giants defense, as we speak today, is ranked 2nd in the league in fewest ppg given up.

        Keep the faith my Packer brethren, but we have a game on our hands. You have far more faith in the Packer defense than i do. I’m rooting Green and Gold, and i’m picking the Packers in a close hard fought battle. But i’ve seen this movie before.

  5. PF4L January 4, 2017

    I don’t know what you’re drinking Rob, but it’s close enough to Happy Hour…start pouring.

  6. Deepsky January 4, 2017

    The Giants defense man handled the Packers in 2007 and 2011.

    Aaron Rodgers had his lowest QB rating of the year in October against the Giants. The Giants defense is now better than then, and better than it was in either 2007 or 2011.

    The past two playoff two games Plaxico Burriss had 151 receiving yards and Hakeem Nicks had 165 receiving yards. This is an abysmal Packers secondary that is now facing Odell Beckham who is better than either of those guys.

    Kick in the 2 or 3 turnovers that the Packers inevitably give up to the Giants, and I see no reason to think the Packers will win this game.

  7. stickman January 4, 2017

    But I think #12 has that look in his eyes. Mental is 90% of sports.

    1. Savage57 January 5, 2017

      The other 50% is physical.

      Where’s Yogi when you need him?

      1. PF4L January 5, 2017

        I’m with stickman. The Giants defense is real. The Packers defense is what it is. The only reason i call this game for the Packers is Rodgers.

  8. MMTTDCSUCK January 5, 2017

    Rodgers is the wild card with this game. The one variable that bothers me with all of the known data is that Manning seems to USUALLY play much better in the playoffs (especially against Green bay). If Rodgers and the Buffoon get the TE’s and the slant routes going early and often, it could spell a win for the Pack. My major concerns with the D are which front 7 will show up, and does Capers play aggressively against the WR’s? or does he play 5 or more yards off of them? I believe that a more physical approach to the Giants WR’s is needed. It would make Manning have to wait longer which could help the front 7.