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Giants Packers Game Preview

Can the Giants play the spoiler today? Or will their playoff hopes be dashed along the road to perfection? We’ll find out soon enough as the 11-0 Packers come to town to take on the fading Giants.

INJURIES:

Green Bay

Out: LB Desmond Bishop (calf), T Chad Clifton (hamstring, back), LB A.J. Hawk (calf), G Josh Sitton (knee)

Probable: TE Andrew Quarless (groin), RB James Starks (knee, ankle)

NY Giants

Out: LB Mark Herzlich (ankle), DE Osi Umenyiora (ankle, knee)

Doubtful: WR Mario Manningham (knee)

Questionable: LB Michael Boley (hamstring), RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot)

Probable: WR Victor Cruz (hip), S Derrick Martin (hamstring), WR Hakeem Nicks (ribs, concussion), S Antrel Rolle (back), DE Justin Tuck (ankle)

OFFENSE:

The Giants offense is actually doing pretty well, despite the lack of a run game. Eli Manning was brilliant Monday night, and if not for the awful defensive performance, that would have been the dominant storyline. The Packers aren’t a dominant defense, although they’re very good. Having Charles Woodson back there is always an issue for the offense. The Giants really have to find a way to stop Clay Matthews. David Diehl will have his hands full. Getting the run game going would be terrific. The longer drives we can have, the less that Aaron Rodgers and friends are out on the field. But, even if Bradshaw plays, I have my doubts. The run game has been bad all year, and having Boothe in there at left guard doesn’t make things better. I think that Eli will be able to make some noise, particularly in the short to intermediate passing game, but I really think the lack of a run game hurts them this week.

DEFENSE:

Aaron Rodgers is playing the best QB of anyone in the past decade. He’s just on another level. The common wisdom would be to blitz the hell out of him, but he actually plays well against the blitz. An effort like the one Monday night will result in another embarrassment. No one on this team can cover JerMichael Finley. They’re going to have trouble with Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings. It’s going to be a long day.

THE PACKERS:

The Packers are 11-0, and look far and away like the best team in football. Rodgers is the clear cut MVP, and is pretty much unstoppable. The Packers are the favorites for the Super Bowl. They could definitely repeat. That said, I don’t think they are unbeatable. I think their defense isn’t spectacular. And while it’s very good, it can be beat. Dom Capers is going to come after you, and things like draws, counters, quick screens can neutralize that. But, it’s not so much the defense, but the offense. You can’t stop them. You can only hope to slow them down. Keep them off the field. Hope they can make some mistakes. Crowd noise could be a factor, try to draw them offsides. And as always, a great pass rush ,not just pressuring Rodgers, but hitting Rodgers. That’s one way to stop him. But he’s on another level.

PREDICTION:

Are the Packers going to go undefeated? I don’t know. 19-0 is incredibly difficult. But with the way they’re playing, it is possible. I don’t see the Giants getting in their way. It’s a bad matchup, and the Giants are not playing well of late. Could be a long one. FINAL SCORE: Packers 35, Giants 14


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