In what should be an entertaining SNF matchup, the Green Bay Packers travel to New York for a night game with the Giants. It’s the battle of former Super Bowl champions as these two will butt heads with a lot on the line. The Packers are currently 7-3, and the Giants are 6-4, so there are definitely playoff implications on the line in this one. The Packers have looked good, but not excellent. The Giants have also looked good, but not excellent. For the Giants, however, isn’t this exactly where they want to be? The last two times they captured the Super Bowl, they stayed under the radar like this and sneaked up in the playoffs. If the Giants make the playoffs, like it appears they will, they are a team that no one will want to face. Just ask the Patriots. The Packers have a solid record (7-3), but it hasn’t been easy. Look no further than last week against the pesky Lions. The Packers needed a late drive with minutes remaining to capture a 24-20 victory. It has been that way for many of their games this season, finding ways to win close games.
The offense hasn’t been Packers like, no doubt about it. I think Aaron Rodgers would be the first to admit that the offense just isn’t clicking like it used to. That’s not to say that the Packers aren’t capable of putting up monster points. They made the Texans defense look like the Bills in week 6, and put 31 up against a good Cardinals defense. However, there was a time when they were doing that week in and week out. The offense is currently 18th in the NFL, totalling 435.5 yards a game, but they do still score 26.3 points a game. The running game has severely held this offense back, the injury to Cedric Benson was a significant one. The ground game ranks 24th, running for only 99 yards a game. The passing game has faltered due to injuries to standout receiver Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson has been banged up. Nelson will be fine to go in this one, but Jennings is listed as questionable. The passing game is currently 12th, averaging 246.3 yards per game.
The Packers will have the beneficiary of going against a miserable pass defense. It’s a little shocking, but the Giants’ defense has completely fallen apart. It has been Eli Manning’s arm that has saved the day for the Giants. The defense is 26th in the NFL, giving up 257.8 yards a game. 25th against the pass, and 15th against the run. The Packers have tried desperately to get a running game going, but it just hasn’t happened. Even against the Lions last week they tried to get something going on the ground, but the packers got stuffed time after time. I can’t see the Packers fooling around with their anaemic rushing attack; I think they are going to put the ball in Rodger’s hands and let him dictate the game. The Giants’ pass defense is too bad for him not to do damage against it.
The Packers defense is need of some help with the way injuries have panned out on the defensive side of the ball, too. The newcomers haven’t really been tested yet in a pressure spot yet. We will find out of they can handle it in the spotlight on SNF. Last week against the Lions they had six rookies starting on defense including both safeties, two defensive lineman, and cornerback Casey Hayward. The Packers’ defense ranks 20th in 2012, so they have made major improvements from a season ago; nevertheless, they have been exploited, and Manning is a quarterback that has certainly done that in his career.
Packers vs. Giants Spread and Betting Odds:
Green Bay Packers +3 (-125)
@New York Giants -3 (+100)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Packers vs. Giants Pick:
A couple things jump out on me when I look at this game. First, it’s the amount of injuries on both sides of the ball for the Packers. While the defense has held up for the most part the last couple weeks, I think this may be a week where they get exploited against Eli Manning and the Giants. The Giants recently got blown out against the Bengals and Cincinnati, I am sure they are more than excited to welcome the Green Bay Packers in their own backyard. I like the Giants to bounce back big here. If the Giants defense was in its usual form I would be inclined to take them in this spot here. Manning had a rough start in that one, throwing for only 215 yards and 2 interceptions. Look for him to have a big game against a banged up Packers’ defense at home off a bye week.
The Packers’ 24th best rushing game has been putrid, perhaps the only reason they are high as they are is because of Rodger’s rushing yards. There have been a few occasions this year where he has actually led the team in rushing. I don’t see the Packers fooling around with their running game. As I alluded to earlier, I feel like they’ll let Rodgers air it out here in primetime with the nation watching. A couple things I like is the fact that the Giants average 30 points at home to the Packers 26 on the road. The over is also 5-0 in their last five meetings. I expect both offenses to bust out in a big way tonight.
PICK = OVER 51