Game Thoughts Packers/Giants

  • A victory is a victory. And in the playoffs just finding a way through is all that matters.
  • The Hail Mary changed the game – and I don’t think there are many teams, if any, that could recover from that mentally. The Giants totally dominated the 1st half and should have been up by probably at least a TD. Yet we went into the half up 14-6. Maybe the Patriots could have found a way to come back from that but few other teams could mentally overcome luck like that. But I honestly don’t know if we win this game so decisively (or even win this game), without completing that Hail Mary.
  • Seriously, what is Rodgers Hail Mary completion percentage – 60% (3-5) over the last few years? It’s amazing. He does throw it so nicely with such loft on the ball – I think it makes it easier to catch.
  • Special teams was huge today. Janis, Hyde, Schum, Michael – all deserve extra credit. They all made plays that seemed to diminish any momentum the Giants had accumulated. Just huge and for a unit that has mostly been kind of non this year, they really contributed to the outcome of this game.
  • Michael hugely influenced the game today. He was was the spark when we needed a spark. He runs so hard and is just so fired up about being out there that it was infectious. It was almost as though he inspired our defense to start making plays too because after he did some damage on offense the defense came out fired up and became disruptive. But guys like Michael are so critical to playoff success. You need to have guys who are so incredibly excited just to be playing in a playoff game – it spreads the excitement and I think even reminds seasoned veterans that have been there before, that the playoffs are special and require playing at a level a couple notches higher than regular season games.
  • Cobb was huge today (despite me expressing worry for how he’d play given his limited contributions recently). He looked healthy to me today. Those few weeks off appear to have really made a difference for his ankle.
  • The Giants drops were a huge problem today. They should have been up 10-0 at least early on and if they had been, this might have been a totally different game.
  • McAdoo needs to own some of this too. On their first few drives Manning was just slicing up the secondary easily, and then they got away from the passing game. I thought they would beat us with a good Perkins/pass mix but really, they might have beaten us by continuing to pass the ball. But for some reason, they just stopped passing the ball. And then, even more mysteriously, they went away from both Perkins AND the pass in the second quarter by trying to get the not-very-effective-and-benched-because-of-it Rashad Jennings going (and Bobby Rainey). Just weird. If they stuck with the pass (even in the face of WR drops), they were moving the ball so easily that if they’d stayed with it, this might have been a loss for the Packers.
  • In the second half, the team seemed to just start making the plays they weren’t making in the first half. The play calling still lacked rhythm and things still seemed to be a off offensively, but somehow Rodgers was able to start completing difficult third and long plays which just put the game out of reach.
  • Rodgers also really came alive after the Hail Mary. He loves that play and I think it just flipped a switch for him. He was 4-game-losing-streak awful in the first quarter. Poor decisions and uncharacteristically taking sacks for absolutely HUGE losses. But he really turned it around after the Hail Mary. His completions in the second half overcame some pretty shoddy play calling and the fact that the offense still had little rhythm.
  • That 4th and 1 decision in the first half was highly questionable – both the decision to go for it and the decision to hand it off again. The Giants knew exactly what was coming. Coming from someone who pretty much thinks EVERY punt is a bad decision…I would have punted that one!
  • At the beginning of the game today – actually in the whole first half – it was as though we were completely unprepared for what the Giants might do offensively and defensively. We were seriously out-prepared and it seemed, we were very much being outcoached. Scary moments in that first half. But I think the strange playcalling by McAdoo and the Hail Mary just changed the entire complexion of the game.
  • As excited as I am to dispatch the Giants finally in the playoffs, I am nervous about facing the Cowboys next week. If we start out unprepared for what they might do (offensively and defensively) like we did today, we could fall behind by 3 TDs before we have a chance to make adjustments to turn the tide. I don’t think the Giants are THAT good – so if we repeat the weird unprepared performance that we had early on today, recovering will be much tougher because the Dallas offense is better.
  • One of the things that I’m hoping plays out next week is for our run D to return to the form we showed earlier this year, when our run D was statistically anyway, an elite run defense. Prescott is very good and they have quality targets in Witten, Bryant and Beasley but shutting down Elliott will be so key.
  • My parting comment is this – I loved the fact that the Packers finished this game. For a long time we’ve struggled to finish games. It was a weird game with a really odd rhythm (or more accurately, no rhythm) and in the past, we’ve let some of these games drift away from us. In the second half we came out and made some huge plays (seemed especially on 3rd downs) and just kept piling on the points. This is the kind of thing the team needs to continue doing if we find ourselves in the lead again. Not getting conservative and playing not to lose, but just piling up the points. That sounds obvious (keep piling up points) but our tendency historically when we get the lead is to go into our “Prevent Offense” as Brother Steve calls it. Tonight we just kept at it. And heck, because this is the playoffs, there really is no such thing as acting more sportsmanlike or anything and showing mercy etc. That’s why I have no problem with Randall trying to run back that pick. NEVER STOP UNTIL THE FINAL WHISTLE!
  • Now on to Dallas. Let’s take it to Jerry Jones and all of his ridiculousness! Love to see his face when they lose big games…would love to see that next week.

4 Responses to “Game Thoughts Packers/Giants”

  1. kaiax33 Says:

    Nice summary. I’m here in Dallas (not going to game, tix are too crazy)…but I can tell you this is NOT the team the Cowboys wanted to play. Dallas is talented, but they are thin-skinned. The Giants beat them twice. Conditions will be good (minus the midday sun). To be honest, not sure the Green Bay cold I’d an advantage for us solely anymore. Level playing field next week….and let’s not forget, we won a Super Bowl here.

  2. Dave In Tucson Says:

    An awesome win, and nothing to be ashamed about.

    * Yeah, I think McAdoo deserves a share of the blame for the GIants loss. All the WR drops, and they way they played (or didn’t) on that fumble. Maybe the biggest difference over the last two times Packers and Giants met in the playoffs — Tom Coughlin wasn’t on the sideline.

    * Absolutely the Hail Mary TD to end the first half was a blow to the Giants. I remember how deflating it felt when they did it to us the last time we met in the playoffs.

    * I actually kinda liked the going for it on 4th down (although I agree the play call of another run up the middle was a mistake after not getting even a slight push on 3rd down). And after all the complaining about how conservative McCarthy can be in play calling, he gets a pass on this one.

    * Kudos to the defense who (thanks in part to help from butter-fingered Giants WRs) kept the game well in reach until the offense got going. And the game was probably over at that point, but Matthews forced fumble and subsequent recovery absolutely slammed the door shut on any possible come back by the Giants.

    * Wow, this offense is really amazing. When they are hitting on all cylinders, the Packers can absolutely beat any team in the league, home or away.

  3. Frank G Says:

    Stop #2 on the Packers vengeance tour coming up. We exorcised the ghost of the NYG’s playoff victories in Lambeau; now we get to cast out the unclean spirits of 4 playoff losses at Dallas.

    Experience will be our greatest asset against the rookie-led Cowboys. Let’s hope their young guys melt in the spotlight.

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