Green Bay Defense
Week 3 Statistics: 27 Points Allowed, 3 Sacks, 1 INT; 5.00 fantasy points
Green Bay’s defense is a bit of an enigma this year.
After switching between mediocrity and being absolutely terrible in run defense for years, the team now sits as the #1 run defense yardage and yards-per-carry average in the entire league and #2 in Run Defense DVOA.
Meanwhile, the young secondary which looked great most of 2015 and ended that year #6 in Pass Defense DVOA has struggled mightily, dropping to #22 in that metric so far in 2016.
I expect both ends to continue showing us pretty much what we’ve already been seeing this season.
In terms of the run defense, the Giants really don’t have much of a threat, and even at their best the production there likely is moreso influenced by the passing game playing well and having a lead to work with.
Rainey could be a possible problem on screens and dumpoffs though, and the whole Giants passing game is worth worrying about.
Odell Beckham Jr. may be having issues, but make no doubt that he’s still an explosive danger, and without Sam Shields out there that leaves either Damarious Randall (he who has given up consecutive huge games to talented receivers) or LaDarius Gunter (Green Bay’s highest-performing CB through three games, but still a relatively inexperienced undrafted 2nd-year player) to try defending him.
Beyond Beckham, the team also has rookie Sterling Shepherd and a healthy Victor Cruz to attack a maligned secondary.
Between those three alone we could see 300 yards easily surrendered if this young secondary doesn’t vastly up their game immediately — and from what we’ve seen so far in Green Bay, that would not be a good bet even with a bye week to prepare themselves.
With the secondary set to have a tough day, seeing a bunch of points put up is an eminent probability. The only way this defense might save itself is through another strong effort up front.
While the back end has been a problem, the front seven has actually been good. The defense already has 10 sacks through three games to go with a ton of hits and pressure applied to opposing quarterbacks.
That kind of pressure has helped provide a couple INTs and multiple off-target throws, and to have any chance of keeping the score down we’ll need to see more of this throughout the game this weekend.
While I do see this as a possibility (outside of guard Justin Pugh, the entire line for New York has been a sieve), I’ve seen Eli Manning play enough to know even with pressure in his face he can produce, especially if the opposing secondary gives his receivers any room to work with.
Hope I’m wrong, but a big performance by the Giants’ receivers against a struggling young secondary seems likely to outdo whatever positive efforts the Packers’ pass rush provides in this one.