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It Will Be Packers’ Strength vs. Giants’ Strength in the Red Zone

How good is that New York Giants’ defense? The statistics are all over the map.

The Giants gave up only 17.8 points per game this season, second best in the league. This has been a sudden turnaround, as they were third worst, at 27.6 points, last year.

When you look at the yardage yielded, however, a different picture emerges. The Giants gave up 340 yards per game this season – decent, but only 10th best.

More intriguing, New York yielded 251.1 passing yards per game, ranking 23rd in the league. Since the Green Bay Packers depend so greatly on their passing attack, this suggests the Green and Gold will be able to move the ball well through the air on Sunday.

What the stats boil down to is that the Giants have a classic bend-but-don’t-break defense. The clincher is their league-leading red zone defense. Opponents score a touchdown only 39.5 percent of the time they get inside the Giants’ 20-yard line.

These teams are pretty evenly matched, so success or failure when Green Bay closes in on the Giants’ end zone will be critical to the game’s outcome. Field goals must be viewed as failures.

Packers’ Red Zone Prowess Is Growing

The Packers’ offense has done well this season when within the red zone. They have scored a touchdown 60.6 percent of the time, 10th best in the NFL.

In addition, the Pack has two of the five receivers who have most often been targeted in the red zone: Jordy Nelson (35 targets, first) and Davante Adams (25 targets, fifth). Between them, the duo has a remarkable 26 touchdown catches on the year. For team history buffs, I believe the next closest combo was Jordy Nelson (15) and Greg Jennings (9) in 2011. Behind them, in 1994, Robert Brooks had 18 TD catches, but no other teammate had more than four.

What is extra encouraging for Packers fans, the team’s red zone performance has really picked up during its six-game win streak. This was topped off on January 1, when Aaron Rodgers went four-for-four from the red zone: capped off with touchdown throws to Aaron Ripkowski, Adams, Geronimo Allison, and Adams again.

It will be strength pitted against strength on Sunday when Rodgers and his high-flying offense reach the red zone, and the Giants’ stout defense tries to protect its end zone. Football at its best!

Rob Born

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



  1. gort January 7, 2017

    That strength on strength battle must be won by the Packers. The problem on offense has been getting to the red zone. Must avoid the “3 and out” and must not settle for a red zone field goal attempt. If our offense can’t put up big points, I have concerns that our defense can keep the game close. If our offense does put up some points, then the D Line may have a chance to dominate the line of scrimmage. If Eli gets uncomfortable, he may make some risky throws. GO PACK GO

    1. Howard January 7, 2017

      Good morning Gort. Just wanted to comment on the 3 and outs. I think some of the time we see the Packers and do not understand that others teams go through similar problems. The Packers are ranked the 9th best in the NFL in avoiding 3 and outs. There are only two teams in the playoffs with better 3 and out % the Falcons (1) and Seahawks (7). The Giants are 30th. The big surprise is that offensive juggernaut New England is 27th. GO PACK!

      1. Deepsky January 7, 2017

        What no one is talking about in regards to the Patriots is that they lead the league BY FAR in giving up the fewest points per game on defense.

        1. PF4L January 7, 2017

          Yea, that isn’t talked about much for some reason. they have the 3rd highest scoring offense and the #1 scoring defense. which gives them an incredible 191 point differential.

          How many teams go in the playoffs that strong? Even with that though. If God willing, and he granted a miracle. I’d rather have the Packers play the Patriots in the S B than the Chiefs or the Steelers because i think they match up better.

          But i digress, i lost my head for a second.

    2. icebowl January 7, 2017

      Just hope its not #6 last play loss for this team in MM era…

      If you want to be depressed read this painful summary in NYT… I saw all of them, except last one, turned it off before Hail Mary Version – Janis…


      1. PF4L January 7, 2017

        Thank you for posting that…that was horrible…lol

        McCarthy: “I didn’t like the explanation, but that’s football.” — On the coin toss

        That’s funny, i didn’t like that Fitzgerald was wide fucking open sprinting across the middle of the field, and that it took 75 yards for someone to tackle him……But yea Mike…..It’s the G D Zebras fault.

  2. gort January 7, 2017

    Howard, thanks for the quantitative evaluation. That is interesting. I was going with the feel and impact especially in certain games. I keep thinking of the opening series at Tennessee. Avoid that 3 and out and the whole game is different.

    OBTW – Asked my wife if she wanted to take a road trip for some free hot chocolate. She said no f-ing way.
    No fun – so sad for me.

    1. Howard January 7, 2017

      Gort: I also thought we were having to many 3 and outs a few weeks back. Looked it up and was suprised the team was doing better than I thought they were, at least in comparison with other teams. The bad news is the Giants defense are 8th best at forcing 3 and outs and the Packers are 30th. The good news is most of the best teams on defense for 3 and outs and other defensive stats did not make the playoffs. Maybe this year it is more about offense than defense! I would still feel better if the Packer defense could take it up several notches.