The Giants have made it to the second season. It is always one opponent at a time. So let’s first preview the game this weekend.
We spoke with our analyst Wonder, and he discussed the Green Bay matchup.
“The Giants Over/Under is 10. Not 10 points. 10 possessions. If the Giants can limit the Packers possessions to under 10 possessions in the game, they can win. They need to be plus in turnovers. If they turn over the ball, forget about it.”
Tempo is huge. “You cannot dig a 10 (or God forbid, a 14) point hole.”
The perfect game- no turnovers for either side. “The Giants offense cannot do a lot of 3 & outs- this will lead to too many Rodgers possessions, and he will get too many points.” So you need to see the Giants win a 20-17 game. The Giants offense is not scoring enough points.
The GB Defensive Coordinator needs to keep OBJ in front of them. Literally hit OBJ at the line of scrimmage every play. Have someone behind him. And even a Safety behind both of them. The Giants will need Shepard or Perkins (or Cruz, but that is doubtful) to have a big game. Force the Giants to run the ball.
“The Packer secondary is their greatest weakness. It is horrible. Frankly, most of the Packers team is weak except Rodgers. They play just good enough to allow Aaron to do his thing. Rodgers is by far the MVP of the NFL. He has done more this season than Brady with less around him.” The scrambling out of the pocket is legendary- by now everyone has probably seen the play vs the Lions that broke open the game where he ran around for 8 seconds before connecting on a TD. That is the Rodgers that everyone fears, including Wonder.
Bad weather is a positive for the Giants. Anything that makes it difficult for Rodgers to throw the ball. WIND. Snow. That neutralizes the Rodgers advantage. That actually makes the Giants a favorite. The Packers cannot run the ball. The forecast right now is for no wind or snow, but that can change.
The Giants Defensive game plan? “Resurrect the Super Bowl XXV Belichick game plan and let the Packers run the ball and go bonkers, do not let them pass the ball. Don’t drop a safety in the box. Let Rodgers convert every 3rd down. A win for the Giants is letting the Packers take 7-8 minutes off the clock and kicking a FG. It limits Rodgers possessions and gives the Giants a fighting chance. If the Packers can’t convert a 3rd down early/ier on in their series, it is the way to beat them.
The frozen tundra works against the WR, who cannot cut like he does on turf. The only real advantage that the WR has in Lambeau in winter is making the defender trip/miss a step and fall down.
My assessment is more positive than Wonder’s: I believe in the strength of the Giants D more than Wonder does. I believe they can contain the pocket better, and that their coverage will be better. What I see is a Giants D that was weaker vs the Eagles and in the second half vs the Redskins… BECAUSE JENKINS WAS OUT. When Jenkins is on the field, especially here in the second half of the season, the Defense has gotten stingy. They are misers. Spags gets aggressive with his Defense when he knows he has Jackrabbit back there. So I believe that the Giants D can compete in this game as long as they come out ready in Q1. Not Q2. I am bullish Q2-Q4, so all I need to see is a decent start and then the Giants have a clear opportunity. Think about the 2007 and 2011 runs. The Giants never dug a hole for themselves. The biggest one was when they gave up a TD in Q3 to the Pats in XLVI and they were down one score (17-9, thanks Daniel for the edit). Similarly, do not go down by more than 1 score or else! The Giants D can keep them in games, so that is the script.
It really is interesting when I went back to the 8 games played in those last 2 Super Bowl runs to see any and all deficits within games.
TB down 7-0, then had the lead thereafter.
DAL down 14-7, then had the lead thereafter.
GB down by 4 points at 2 different times.
NE down by 4 points at 2 different times.
ATL down 2-0, the had the lead thereafter.
GB never trailed.
SF down 7-0, and then trailed 14-10.
NE down 17-9 in Q3, took lead thereafter.
The obvious point that jumps out is that success came from avoiding big deficits. The Giants were NEVER behind in any playoff game during those 2 runs by more than 1 score. The 2016 Giants Offense has certainly showed no ability to come back from big deficits this season. So a fast start is necessary vs GB in order to control tempo.
Can the Giants make a run in the playoffs? That will be the discussion in the next post.