I’m not going to the game, as planned, so check back here for occasional thoughts throughout the afternoon/evening.
I watched the Week Two Giants-Packers game last night, and one thing I’d forgotten was the great number of pass interference/holding calls against the Packers, many of which were highly questionable. Plaxico Burress is probably either the most physical wide receiver in the NFL or the second (to Randy Moss). He pushes off on virtually every play and as often as not, defenders get called for initiating the contact. I’m worried that the refs may really key on the Packer DBs in this high-profile game, calling touch fouls that they have let go for most of the year.
Two very important players for the Packers: Atari Bigby and Bubba Franks. One of the real underappreciated contributors over the past several weeks has been Bubba Franks. His blocking has been outstanding and he’s provided Favre with another big red-zone target. His blocking has been key. He often has the seal block on Ryan Grant runs — the block which can open up the big cut back runs that have been Grant’s biggest gainers this year. Franks has sprung several of these and if he can do so again this afternoon, the Packers will be well on their way to a win.
Atari Bigby, by contrast, has done his business in a loud and widely-praised way. He was the defensive player of the month in the NFL and was perhaps the most talked-about Packer (other than Ryan Grant) in the game last week. He dominated blockers and intimidated receivers — he was probably solely responsible for two alligator-armed catch attempts, would-be catches that could have changed the outcome of the game. If he can do the same thing again — and particularly help out in run support — he will make a major contribution to a Green Bay win.