There’s a chance to prove to many in Packer nation that the curse of Eli coming into Lambeau and defeating the Packers is over. Let’s take a look as to why…
Review – After re-watching the game, it’s very apparent that not only Aaron Rodgers is playing great football, but the entire offense is on the same page and it’s nearly impossible to stop. Whether Mike McCarthy was saving Ty Montgomery’s legs for the playoffs or he wanted to get Aaron Ripkowski more touches to get him used to handling the ball, it worked. Both were fairly effective at producing to the amount asked by their head coach. Preseason standout, Geronimo Allison (#81), had a breakout game. Of course he benefitted from a hot/good quarterback, but he was able to gain separation and make the catches when given the opportunities. He’s a bigger target than Randall Cobb (larger catch radius) and could be an X-factor moving forward.
Aside from the pointless Hail Mary to finish the game, the Packers held the 21st overall offense to 17 points, in their own house. I believe that bodes well for the Packers’ D hosting the Giants 25th overall offense, and benefit from being in the friendly confines of Lambeau Field.
Det’s cornerback, Darius Slay and Def End, Ziggy Ansah were held essentially in check all game. Rodgers made a Houdini-like play to escape a sack from Ansah on a 3rd down and was able to convert. Slay was tasked with covering Jordy Nelson for much of the night, and did fairly well, but still surrendered 6 receptions for 66 yards.
LG Lane Taylor – 84.1
S Micah Hyde – 83.5
QB Aaron Rodgers – 83.1
FS Morgan Burnett – 81.0
OLB Datone Jones – 80.9
CB Ladarius Gunter – 80.7
Preview – Both the Giants and Packers are far different teams than when they met in their week 5 matchup (won by Green Bay 23-16). Ladarius Gunter (a player to watch, #36 of Green Bay) held Odell Beckham Jr. (a player to watch on NY) to 5 catches, 56 yards and 1TD. The key in the game was the Packers’ pass rush, getting to Eli Manning 4 times and holding the Giants to 221 total yards. Possibly the Packers’ defense’s finest performance of the season.
Getting consistent pressure on Eli and moving him off his spot will determine how effective the Giants’ offense is throughout the game. Unlike Aaron Rodgers, Eli is not mobile ‘nor is he effective at throwing on the run. By making him shuffle his feet, the Packers can control the game and force Eli into some turnovers.
Overall—I’ve battled back and forth all week trying to find an advantage the Packers have. The Giants bring the 10th overall defense matching up with the Packers 8th offense. Usually in the playoffs running the ball and playing good defense wins. If that holds true, it doesn’t bode well for the Packers. The Packers have the 8th rush defense which should shut down the newly found run game of New York with rookie Paul Perkins. Again, going back to needing a pass rush, mainly from Nick Perry because Clay Matthews is terrible, but has a chance to takeover these playoffs by showing up and producing like he did from 2009-2012. If Clay and Perry can beat a below-avg Giants offensive line and control the line of scrimmage that should do the trick.
Prediction—all week I’ve been saying that 27 points will be the winning score, and I think that’s true still. I also thought the Giants would be the team to come out on top…but no longer!!!
*21-13 overall record, and almost called the score last week J*