Here are some of the less-talked-about factors in the Packers loss:
1) Special teams. One interesting stat I found was that out of 12 total possessions, the Giants had only 4 that they started inside their own 30 yard-line. The results: 1 field goal, 2 punts and turnover on downs. As one fan commented to me this morning, the Packers lost the field position game and overall, lost on special teams too. The coverage on special teams was suspect, our return game was bad except for Tramon’s one decent 49-yard effort, and our punting was bad (but so was Feagles – and I know punting in cold weather like that is like kicking a boulder). Crosby was one bright spot.
2) Greg Jennings/James Jones were non-existent. Not sure if Favre just wasn’t looking to them or what, but they both were suspiciously absent. It’s possible the Giants defensive scheme went to great lengths to keep the ball out of Jenning’s hands in particular considering the damage he often does after the catch.
3) Woodson, Harris, Kampman and Barnett all played poorly. I wonder if the weather bothered them more than they’d let on because they seemed to be operating almost in slow motion. But these 4 are our leaders on defense and they did not rise to the occasion. Harris’ shortcomings were obvious, though Burress did push off a few times (and he’s a jackass of a person). Woodson’s gaffes would have been even more noticeable if Toomer/Smith had not dropped a few passes. But Kampman and Barnett really disappointed in this game. Kampman ended up with 3 tackles and 4 assists, but he (and Jenkins) failed to put enough pressure on Eli – no sacks between them. While Eli played very well last night, when pressured, he is a wuss and he would have struggled completing some of those throws if someone had been in his face more. And Barnett, the defensive leader, only had 4 tackles and 4 assists and on a few plays, almost looked lost out there. I think they’ll all be back and playing well again next year, but in big games, I think it’s OK for teams/fans to look to veteran leaders to step it up some and that didn’t happen.