Giants look to stay hot against Rodgers-less Packers
Everything is, on paper, coming up Big Blue at the moment. Life, of course, is rarely so easy. The Giants notching this one as a win before they take the field would be a massive mistake, one that could mean the end of the team's postseason hopes. New York won't be taking on a sub-par side this time around, and anything short of a performance worthy of a playoff team will likely doom the Giants.
Green Bay Packers at New York Giants preview: Tolzien
The fact of the matter is that we don't know a ton about Scott Tolzien, who will be filling in for the injured Rodgers. His NFL stats, 24 completions on 39 pass attempts with a touchdown and two interceptions, are from a week ago. That's a sample size that doesn't do anybody much good.
There's a school of thought that the Giants should focus on standout running back Eddie Lacy and force Tolzien to have to win the game for the Packers. That could be a wrong move. The wide receivers of Green Bay, on paper, make for an unhappy match-up for New York. Letting Tolzien get comfortable and into a rhythm could be just what the 26-year old needs.
The way I see it, the Giants need to take an opposite approach. Try to confuse Tolzien, who has had limited meaningful game time over the past several years of his life, with a myriad of blitz schemes in the first quarter. Getting him off of his game early would then give New York the opportunity to zero in on the Green Bay rushing attack.
Green Bay Packers at New York Giants preview: Decoy?
The Giants have, minus some surprising one-off performances from Brandon Jacobs and Peyton Hillis, not had much of a run game throughout 2013. Then came Andre Brown, who, in his return from a broken leg, rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown last Sunday. It's being suggested that Brown could be the shot of life the New York offense has been searching for since August.
That could be exactly the type of advertising the Giants need.
Green Bay is giving up over 246 passing yards per game. The Packers have the fewest team interceptions in the league. Sunday could be Eli Manning time, especially if the Giants are able to establish the run in the first quarter.
Green Bay Packers at New York Giants: Prediction
There have been plenty of discussions on sports talk radio about the Giants having far too much talent on the roster to be at 3-6. That's a debatable issue. One thing that can't be questioned is that the Giants have a squad full of players who have, in the past, faced plenty of must-win scenarios.
Eli Manning. Victor Cruz. Hakeem Nicks. Jason Pierre-Paul. Justin Tuck. Antrel Rolle. They are all champions. They've been to the dance before. To suggest that they are incapable of leading this team to a historic run is, looking at the rest of New York's schedule, absurd.
Fortune has smiled on the Giants in that they get to play the Packers now and not a month ago when Rodgers was 100 percent. It's on Big Blue to take advantage. The Giants are hot. They're at home. They know what's on the line.
Giants win 27-23