Aaron Rodgers looks to repeat his performance from last year’s game but the Giants hope to put pressure on him.
I always like taking a peek at what the media is saying gameday about the Packers and what the opponent has to do to beat the Packers.
The theme has gotten old, but what they say has a modicum of truth – get to Aaron Rodgers and you can defeat the Green Bay Packers.
Read on … This is from the Daily-Ledger and Jersey.com …
By Jorge Castillo
Giants (6-5) vs. Green Bay Packers(11-0)
Today, 4:15 p.m.
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford
Radio: WFAN 660-AM
THIS WEEK’S GAME REVOLVES AROUND …
The Giants’ pass rush
After Monday night’s blowout loss, the Giants know firsthand how important it is to have an effective pass rush against an elite quarterback. The New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees wasn’t sacked once and rarely saw pressure as the Saints reeled off 49 points; the only time Brees was on the ground may have been when he dove into the end zone on his 8-yard touchdown run. It was another poor showing for a unit that led the league with 28 sacks through eight games, but has since recorded just three. As against Brees, the Giants need to disrupt Aaron Rodgers to have any chance of stopping the efficient machine that is the Packers’ offense. If not, Green Bay could also put 49 points on the scoreboard without a problem — if not more as they almost did in last year’s meeting with the Giants when Rodgers threw for 404 yards and four touchdowns as the Packers routed the Giants, 45-17. The task will be more difficult this week without defensive end Osi Umenyiora, who suffered a severe ankle sprain against the Saints, but the Giants need to mask their deficiencies in coverage without the luxury of an aggressive blitzing scheme.
THE SAVVY FAN IS WATCHING …
If Brandon Jacobs runs north-south and not east-west
At 6-4, 260 pounds, Brandon Jacobs is as big as any running back in the NFL. He has made a career as a physical downhill runner, bowling over players to gain yards after contact. But he is averaging just 3.1 yards per carry this season and has heard boos from the home crowd in large part because he has been running more east-west than north-south. Part of the problem has been the offensive line, but he needs to hit holes quickly and use his physicality.
10. Dec. 20, 1986: Giants 55, Packers 24
9. Dec. 19, 1987: Giants 20, Packers 10
8. Nov. 8, 1992: Giants 27, Packers 7
7. Sept. 17, 1995 at Green Bay: Packers 14, Giants 6
6. Nov. 15, 1998: Packers 37, Giants 3
5. Jan. 6, 2002: Packers 34, Giants 25
4. Oct. 3, 2004 at Green Bay: Giants 14, Packers 7
3. Sept. 16, 2007: Packers 35, Giants 13
2. Jan. 20, 2008 at Green Bay (NFC Championship): Giants 23, Packers 20
1. Dec. 26, 2010 at Green Bay: Packers 45, Giants 17
Remember when …
The Giants shocked the world by winning Super Bowl XLII against the undefeated New England Patriots? To get to there, the Giants needed overtime to beat the Packers, 23-20, in the NFC Championship Game at Lambeau Field in Brett Favre’s final game in a Packer uniform. In the victory, the Giants relied on the run game — Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw each had a touchdown and combined for 130 of the team’s 134 yards on the ground, while the Packers mustered only 28 rushing yards on 14 carries. Eli Manning didn’t throw a touchdown, but also didn’t throw an interception, completing 21 of his 40 passes for 254 yards.
WHAT THE PACKERS DON’T WANT THE GIANTS TO KNOW
1. Teams have been able to throw against the Packers
The Packers defense has allowed the third-most total yards in the NFL, and the passing defense, which ranks 31st in passing yards allowed (3,166), has been the main culprit. At the same time, they face an average of 39.6 pass attempts per game, third most in the league because teams often find themselves playing from behind. But their 7.6 yards per pass attempt average is tied for 22nd in the NFL — a spot ahead of the Giants — and suggests it’s more than that. To sum it up: Eli Manning should be able to find some success today as he did last week against the Saints. It’s just a matter of turning the productivity into points and keeping with the Packers, which the Giants weren’t able to do against the Saints.
2. Teams have been successful in getting to Aaron Rodgers
Give most starting quarterbacks in this league enough time and they’ll make a defense pay. Allow an elite quarterback to stand in the pocket with time consistently — as the Giants did against Drew Brees — and you’re in for a long night. However, Aaron Rodgers has been able to light up defenses despite facing significant pressure. Rodgers has been sacked 27 times this season, which ranks seventh in the league — between Philip Rivers and Colt McCoy. The Giants’ pass rush hasn’t been the same lately, but for the Giants to have any chance to win today they need to get to Rodgers. But even if they do, it very well might not be enough. It can’t hurt, though.
3. The Packers are not as good on the road as they are at home
Sure, that’s the case with most teams, but there are only so many chinks in an 11-0 team’s armor. In their five games at Lambeau Field, the Packers’ average margin of victory is 20.6; in their six road games the margin shrinks to 8.8. On Wednesday, Tom Coughlin highlighted the Packers’ struggles in recent road games — if you can call going 6-0 on the road “struggles” — and said it was something the team was going to “cling” to going into today’s game. He may have been scrapping for any way to put a positive spin on the matchup, but he also may have a point. The Packers beat the Minnesota Vikings (2-9) by just six points in Week 7 and the San Diego Chargers (4-7) by seven in Week 9.
Aaron Rodgers is playing on a whole other level. He leads the NFL in quarterback rating (127.7), completion percentage (71.8), and passing touchdowns (33) against just four interceptions.
At this point, one would have to take any team’s running game over the Giants’, who remain last in the league in yards per carry (3.2).
Wide receiver/Tight end
Hakeem Nicks is an elite receiver and Victor Cruz may now be Manning’s favorite target, but the Packers have an assortment of dangerous weapons at Rodgers’ disposal.
The Giants offensive line shoulders much of the blame for the running game’s ineffectiveness, which continued last week against the Saints.
The Giants pass rush didn’t record a sack last week and will be without Osi Umenyiora today, but there’s still plenty of talent on the defensive front.
The Packers boast what may be the NFL’s best group of linebackers led by Clay Matthews, while the Giants signed Chase Blackburn this week for some help.
The Packers have allowed the second-most passing yards this season, but also have the most interceptions in the league and Charles Woodson looming.
Mason Crosby is 18-for-19 on field-goal attempts this season and rookie Randall Cobb is a big-play threat on both kick and punt returns.
FOUR DOWNS WITH …
Safety Tyler Sash
1. A lot of your tweets include ‘GBNB.’ What does that mean?
It’s something my grandpa passed down to my dad and my dad passed it down to me. When I was younger, like if I was going in to shoot baskets before a game in the morning and I didn’t want to get up at 6, he wouldn’t even say, “Hey, it’s time to get up.” He’d just be like, “It’s get better day, not get bitter day.” He just put it in my mind to look at everything in a positive way.
2. How is you rookie year going so far?
It’s been a learning experience for me in all areas. In college I never really played special teams so the whole special teams game is new to me. I played wing on punt in college one year and that’s it. I just had to contain and that’s the easiest job in the world. I’m just learning that now and playing to the best of my abilities.
3. How have the veteran guys in the secondary been with you?
They’ve been great from day one. Deon Grant’s been great with me; I kind of play a lot of the similar things he plays. And Kenny (Phillips) and Antrel (Rolle) have been helpful as well. They communicate with me what they saw and why they did something when we’re watching film and stuff. During games I’ll tell them some things that I’ll see like route combinations and stuff like that.
4. The Packers and Saints have similar offenses, but are there any differences?
Obviously, we’re playing one of the best, if not the best, quarterback in the NFL right now. And I know from sitting in meetings that guys are — I mean, they’re attentive every week — but this week it’s kind of like, “We need to get this done.” One thing they don’t have — I mean they have good backs don’t get me wrong — but they don’t have a guy like (Darren) Sproles that can hurt you with a run or on the swing pass. A lot of their backs stay in pass protection so that frees up one more defender in the passing game.
ONE MORE THING …
Don’t expect Da’Rel Scott, who has been returning kicks and seeing some time at running back with Ahmad Bradshaw out, to get as many touches after fumbling in each of the last two games. This week, Tom Coughlin said the rookie’s mistakes were “bothersome” to him.
Jorge Castillo: [email protected]
Topics: Aaron Rodgers, Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs, Brett Favre, Charles Woodson, Chase Blackburn, Clay Matthews, Coly McCoy, Da'Rel Scott, Darren Sproles, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, FOX, Green Bay Packers, Hakeem Nicks, Jersey.com, Lambeau Field, Mason Crosby, MetLife Stadium, New York Giants, NFC Championship Game, Philip Rivers, Randall Cobb, Super Bowl XLII, Victor Cruz