Jan 15, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) hands the football off to running back James Starks (44) during the NFC Divisional Playoff game against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE
The staff here at lombardiave.com pulls together once again to take a look at this week’s Green Bay Packers game.
This week, the New York Giants are up. The Packers put their five-game winning streak on the line as they travel to the Big Apple to take on the world champs. The Packers beat them there last season, but we all know what happened when the Giants visited Lambeau Field in January.
The Giants are coming off their bye week and the Packers are coming off a tumultuous, yet satisfying win over NFC North rival Detroit Lions on the road.
The Packers hope to extend that win streak against a rested Giants unit that has been playing poorly as of late.
Here’s what we all think about today’s game:
Ray Rivard: I think we all know this is going to be a fight to the finish. The Packers offensive line will struggle to keep the athletic and overpowering Giants’ defensive linemen off the back of Aaron Rodgers; The Packers run game will be two yards-a-crack once again; and Eli Manning comes out of his two-game slump.
That said, the Packers have that player named Aaron Rodgers. Yes, he’s the league’s MVP and is on track to be considered for that title once again. He will find ways to keep this one close. This one could come down to which team has control of the football last. Yes, once again it might be decided on the foot of a kicker. Can I smell overtime? Maybe.
I don’t often pick against the Packers, but if there’s one game the team can afford to lose, it’s this one. If they’re competitive and lose, fine. I certainly don’t want to see a blowout on either side of the ball.
I have a feeling Mason Crosby will miss at least once in this one and it could be the difference. Playing on the road against a fresh team could also play a part. Maybe the injuries catch up to the Packers in this one.
Giants 27 Packers 26
Dan Turczynski: Arguably the toughest game on the Packers’ schedule all season, going to New York and taking on a hungry New York Giant team just doesn’t seem like a game the Packers will walk away winning. The Giants have lost their last two games and were embarrassed by the Bengals prior to their bye week last week.
The Giants have had an extra week to prepare for the Packers, which also bodes well for them. Though the Packers have won the last four games in New York, this one just seems a little out of their league right now. Don’t get me wrong, the Packers can win this game just as easily as the Giants can win it, that’s why it is a “toss up” game.
I never thought that the Packers would go undefeated in the second half of the season, which would be very tough to do. Originally I circled this matchup as a potential loss for the Packers and I will stick with my initial gut choice. The Packers will also be hungry for obvious reasons, but the Packers spot the Giants this win because these teams will meet in the playoffs, and the Packers will get their revenge then. However, for now, the Pack lose a tough one in New York.
Giants 24 Packers 21
Bill Walton (left) with his wife, Deneen (right), and algebraically-challenged son, John (center).
Bill Walton: When the Packers take on the Giants on Sunday night in NYC I think the two teams are so evenly matched that neither has an obvious statistical advantage. In my preview piece for the game I pointed out the similarities between the two teams. I also pointed out that the Packers have Aaron Rodgers, who I now think will be the single biggest difference-maker in the game. If Rodgers plays well, the Packers will win.
This is also a revenge game for the Packers, who had a really good thing going last season until the Giants went into Lambeau and laid the wood to the Packers in the playoffs on their way to their Super Bowl win. How much revenge will play into the game I don’t know, but it will be served cold.
I see this as another Texans game, at least from the standpoint of the Packers being a road dog, in a big game, against a solid opponent. I don’t think this game is quite as imortant as the Houston game was, but should the Packers win it should set a positive tone for the remainder of the season.
Tryptophan-addled wife Deneen sees the Packers winning 42-35. Algebraically-
Jason Hirschhorn: Predicting Sunday night’s game boils down to a single determination: Whether you think the Giants will continue their cold streak or return to their early season dominance. If the former, Green Bay, who have won five straight, should take it to New York. Otherwise, it should be a tight affair with the Giants ultimately coming out on top.
Each team is facing serious injury concerns. For the Packers, Charles Woodson, Clay Matthews, and Greg Jennings are all unlikely to play or out. While Jennings’ production has been ably-replicated by Randall Cobb and James Jones, this game is when the loss of Woodson’s veteran savvy and ball-hawking ability will truly be missed. No analysis is necessary for the absence of Matthews.
The Giants’ defense has struggled, giving up an average of 25.5 points over their last four games, a full two points less than what the Packers offense has averaged during the same span. However, the Giants are 5-3 in games after the bye week under Tom Coughlin and have won each of their last four.
But what of Eli? He hasn’t thrown for a touchdown in over a month. While the bye week helps, Manning’s struggles can’t be ignored. It’s rare to see an established quarterback go through a stretch like Eli has and even rarer to see him work out of it during the season. I don’t buy the “tired arm” explanation for his poor performance. This smells like one of those undisclosed injuries you only hear about after the season. I don’t think Eli will be back to his old self, and that will make the difference.
Packers 31 – Giants 27
Thomas Marquardt: This game depends on which teams show up, the “good” Packers and Giants or the mediocre Packers and Giants. If the Packers that faced Houston and the Giants that faced SF show up it will be a classic.
I’m hoping for that and that means an offense completely in sync for the Packers.
I think that will be enough to win, even without Clay Mathews.
Packers 34 Giants 27
Patrick Hughes: This is a difficult game to pick. On one hand the Packers offense is bound to have a breakout game and unload on an opponent. On the other hand the Giants are coming off a bye week and this is typically the time of the year that they hit their stride.
The Giants have been in a bit of a funk. In their last game before the bye they got thrashed by the Bengals 31-13. This is hardly what you would expect from the team that knocked the Packers out of the playoffs last January and went on to win the Super Bowl.
Their offense has been just so-so, and Eli Manning is said to have his confidence shaken a bit. On the defensive side of the ball they are led by their menacing defensive line that will make Aaron Rodgers and his offensive line earn every nickel of their lunch money.
Green Bay’s offense has been effective enough for the Packers to win their last five games. But it hasn’t been as explosive as expected since the 42-24 drubbing of the Houston Texans in week 6. One key to this game will be how LG Evan Dietrich-Smith bounces back from a poor performance against the Lions. If Eli Manning continues to be out of sorts, the youth in the Packers secondary could be also be pivotal to the outcome of this contest.
The Giants are favored by 2 ½ and many of the quote-unquote experts are picking them to win. I am going to go against the grain on this one and pick the Packers. I think the offensive line will play well enough to give MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers the time he needs to perfect his chemistry with TE Jermichael Finley. The defense will be anchored by the pass rush of Dezman Moses and coverage of rookie cornerback Casey Hayward. A hard fought game but the Pack comes out on top.
Packers 31 Giants 24
Tim Thomas: The Sunday night game between the Packers and the Giants should be very exciting but the Packers will be hurt a little by the fact that they won’t have Clay Matthews. However, the Packers offense might be boosted if Greg Jennings is able to go Sunday night.
Packers kicker Mason Crosby has been criticized some recently but Crosby is still a very good kicker and I think he will have a big game. A key matchup for the Packers will be if their offensive line can limit the amount of pressure that Jason Pierre-Paul and company get on Aaron Rodgers. If the offensive line can do that, then Aaron Rodgers will have the time to attack a weak New York secondary as Randall Cobb and company will make tons of big plays.
However, I also expect Eli Manning and company to come off their bye week energized and I expect Manning to play well. However, if the Packers can force some turnovers, that could help push this game over the top.
This game will be extremely close but I think the Green Bay winning streak will go to six as they get revenge for last season’s loss in the NFC Divisonal Game.
Packers 34, Giants 28
Jerry Bulone: The last time these two played, things did not go well for the a Packers. The Giants were as hot as any team going in, and they did a good job of pouncing on a Packers team that looked rusty and out of sync. Aaron Rodgers, like the rest of the Packers walked off that field beat up, embarrassed, and looking for answers.
Aaron Rodgers does not take kindly to being embarrassed, especially in his own house.
The Giants come into the game in desperate need of a win, they are healthier, fresh off a bye, and at home. The Packers are missing several Pro Bowl players including Clay Matthews. Their new offensive line is still “cutting it’s teeth” and now Mason Crosby’s reliability is a major concern. So basically everything is pointing to a Giants victory except one thing … Revenge
The Giants say they are prepared. Those unfortunate souls have no idea what Aaron Rodgers is about to unleash on them.
Packers 42, Giants 31
Here’s what others are saying: