I’ve had the week to reflect a bit on this game and per norm, my thoughts on the game have evolved since my earlier post Monday.
- I still feel confident in a win. I don’t like the Giants’ chances in this game.
- The one chance the Giants may have, after thinking about this match-up a bit more, is to dedicate themselves to the run. Yes Eli has been on fire and despite not wanting to admit it – I have to say he has looked “elite” in recent weeks. But the Giants were already beaten in their own house by this same Packers’ team – in a track meet. They have to know that trying to win again via the track meet method is probably not a a good game plan – especially considering this time they are on the road in the hostile (though at the same time somehow friendly) confines of Lambeau Field, but also because the weather may be a bit more of a factor than it has for them in recent weeks. If the Giants dedicate themselves to the run – especially running at the right side of our defense, the Giants could control the clock to some extent, putting more pressure on our offense to succeed with fewer opportunities. To some extent this is what the Chiefs did (though they used lots of short passes too.) This is the one approach I can see the Giants taking that would keep the game close and possibly lead to their victory.
- I know I know – our pass D (coverage + QB pressure) has been horrendous so why would the Giants gameplan away from a Packer weakness – and away from the Giants’ recent strength? By not controlling the clock some against the Packers (again like the Chiefs did with short passes, runs – 36 minutes to Packers 24), the Giants offense will be under tremendous pressure to play mistake-free ball against a shoddy D yes, but a D that makes a killing off turnovers. With pressure comes turnovers. And again, not sure the Giants have this same hunch, but I remain confident for whatever reason that passing on the Packers Sunday will be harder than it has been all season. I think Eli will struggle Sunday. (Interesting that I came across this article at jsonline.com this morning. Talks about Capers pulling out all the stops to show the defense just how bad they’ve been. I continue to feel like the defense will surprise people in the playoffs by playing with the sense of urgency they seem to have lacked for most of the year. It really matters now.)
- One guy who could do some damage against us this week is former Badger, TE Travis Beckum. Despite openly ripping our defense recently in some article for a New Jersey publication (thus putting a target on his back), I think he is a guy with talent enough to really hurt us – especially if they can get him in matchups against Hawk. We’ll be so focused on watching their WRs that I can see Eli and co game-planning to include both Ballard and Beckum.
- Emotion plays a big part in this game. The Packers are presently dealing with an unimaginable tragedy. I feel badly writing about it in a post about the game as it deserves another, separate post. But the fact is, in a game that will be full of raw emotion, in front of the home crowd, I can see this team focusing well and putting on a show. That means guys like Finley not dropping passes. Guys like Jennings reminding everyone that he has been out recently and that when he’s in, this team cannot be defended. That means guys stoked up on drenaline doing special things – Mathews, Bishop – maybe Burnett (big hits).
- I continue to see this game as a sure win for the Packers and of course, I’ll feel responsible if it’s not.
- Updated Score: Packers 34, Giants 13.