Three Dont’s for a Comfortable Packers Win over the Giants

ALLGBP.com All Green Bay Packers All the Time

Tramon WilliamsThe Green Bay Packers could have had an easy game against the New York Giants when they played in week 13. But their own mishaps turned what should have been a comfy win in enemy territory into a nail-biter requiring Aaron Rodgers to come to their rescue.

I happened to be at that game in person. There were three things that struck me about the Packers’ play that day. Ater watching the replay on NFL Network last night for the first time, It just reinforced what I had seen in the stadium.

The Packers hurt themselves in three main ways in that game. I’m confident that if they can “clean it up”, the Packers will be hosting the Saints or the 49ers in the NFC Championship game at Lambeau. Here are my THREE DONT’S:

 

1) Don’t give up the big play.

Officially, “big plays” are defined as plays of 25 yards or more.  The Packers secondary went the extra mile against the Giants, giving up 3 pass plays of over 40 yards in their first meeting. All three led to scores, a total of 17 points handed to the Giants.  This falls very nicely into something I read today in the Wall Street Journal’s sports pages (yes they cover sports – from a purely analytical view).

The Journal reports (according to Stats, LLC), since 2008, teams with at least three more big plays than their opponents have won 80.2% of those games. Teams with just one more big play than their opponent won 60.5% of those games. The Packers had 2 big plays (one less than the Giants) in that game, both passes down the sideline to Jordy Nelson.  So the Packers actually bucked the big play odds by winning that game.

My point here is make the Giants earn it. Force them to drive the field in smaller chunks, make them run more plays where something can go wrong. Which leads me into #2:

 

2) Don’t drop interceptions.

I watched the replay of the game last night. Without particularly looking for it, I saw at least 4 plays where the Packers dropped sure interceptions.  In three cases, the ball bounced off a player’s hands.

Eli Manning will make some questionable throws and give you opportunities like that. Especially under pressure, something the Packers actually did a god job of that day. There was only one official sack, but the Packers were in Manning’s face a lot (BJ Raji and CMIII were particularly effective). Make it hard for Manning to see, and he will make mistakes like the throw that Clay Matthews turned into a pick six.

There were other similar opportunities. If the Packers would have converted only half of them, they could have had a comfortable win and avoided the nail-biting.

 

3) Don’t drop passes.

Seriously. Six drops total in that game. Many in the second half, when the Packers could have pulled away. Instead, they twice had to punt the ball back to the Giants, despite moving the ball well. Not much else to say here. Unless he’s under serious siege, Rodgers will dissect the Giants’ secondary – assuming the Packers CATCH THE BALL!

 

Summary:

The Giants played their best game of the season that Sunday, and despite that effort, they lost at home, even with the Packers helping them out as described above. I started out the week concerned about the Giant’s pass rush, especially with Osi Umenyora, who missed the last game, now back and playing. But the more I think about what I saw in person and then watching the replay, the more confident I grow that the Packers will be “just fine.” As long as they don’t…

 

——————

Follow Jersey Al:


                    Add to Circleson Google+

Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.

——————

  • Chazman

    I’ll settle for two out of three. The way they’ve played this year I don’t see how they’ll stop the big plays but here’s hoping.

  • Tarynfor 12

    Please tell me you had a copy sent “Special Delivery” to one Jermichael Finley in regards to #3.
    Marked URGENT,OPEN IMMEDIATELY,HANDLE WITH CARE stamped all over it.

    The over/under on drive ending drops by Finley is being set at 2.5.

    • Steve Cheez

      Al did send Finley the note above. Unfortunately, it fell to the ground, unopened.

      • Bearmeat

        bwahahaha. Well done sir. Well done.

      • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

        you beat me to it!

  • Bearmeat

    Agreed on all 3 counts.

    I’ll add 2 more.

    4. Keep AR clean
    5. Keep their RB’s in check.

  • Bearmeat

    IMO GB plays their best game this weekend and coasts to a comfortable win.

    • Wagszilla

      I want to believe this but have the worst feeling GB’s going to lose.

      • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

        nooooooooooo…

        • Bearmeat

          I just don’t agree with this. That’s your fear talking. GB is the better team, and the team with the more level head. This is not BF’s Packers. This is AR’s and CWood’s Packers. Those guys come up big when it’s most needed.

          I will be shocked if GB loses. I think they’ll play the best they have since Oakland, and it’s a comfortable win.

  • arodg’s mustache

    I was at the week 13 game in person and also watched the replay last night. Two things that struck me were A) the percieved dominace of JPP against Newhouse. Grated Newhouse gave up his share of pressures but with AR’s mobility and and or quick dink and run offense (see bears game 1 circa 2010 or vikings game 1 circa 2010) I think we have a good chance to neutralize this pass rush and make an easy game out of it if we do not turn the ball over, AR takes his check downs when necissary, and MM does not fall in love with the 5-7 step drop slow developing play in longer down and diastance situations. B) (back to the week 13 game) How the giants secondary was mugging the pack recievers all game long. This was a quite physical game in the secondatry and trippletts crew really “let them play”. I am all for the “let them play” montra in the playoffs but there needs to be a line drawn some where. I dont have specific examples, but there was A LOT of grabbing past 5 yards in the last game.

    … I do agree with your points though sir. Keep the recievers in front of us and sacrifice some catches that move the chains but dont score. Stop the run with our front 7 and use our speedy recievers (actually catch the ball!!) and AR’s mobility to slow the rush. 38-24 pack.

    Question to all… How do we really think the loss of Michael Philbin and the absence of Joe philbin will affect this game?

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      you hit on a key point with A – Rodgers mobility was on display extensively in that game. There was a good amount of pressure, but Rodgers was able to avoid it, get into space an make his throws.

      I’ve been wondering about the Philbin situation as well. My guess it doesn’t affect them…

      • arodg’s mustache

        I could easily see this game being the repeat of last years divisonal round. Bit of a slow start by the pack, then AR gets in a zone and the Hudini comes out of him. Avoiding pretture and throwing darts to open recievers.

        I really hope your right Al and they dont let it affect them. Worse case you see a slow uninterested team. Best case we see a passonate emotionally charged team willing to run though a wall. Obviously Im hoping for the latter.

        Is it sunday yet? Cause I am getting zero work done this week and the press is really slow with any news about this game unless its about how confident the giants are. I just keep thinking of a little pay action out of the gun and Jordy streaking to the end zone!

  • Wagszilla

    4. Don’t let them run the ball

  • packbuck

    Don’t let Pierre-Paul go One-on-one vs Clifton. Mix it up with an extra TE/RB/FB help.

  • Chad Toporski

    Exactly the three things I would have said.

    And I am in the same boat. I worry about the Giants and how they match up with the Packers; however, knowing that the last game was close only because of fundamental mistakes by the Packers gives me a lot of confidence in their ability to win “comfortably.”

  • Chad Lundberg

    Uh… don’t you mean Saints or “Niners”? Maybe you’re just kidding but I can’t tell.

    • Chad Lundberg

      Oh, well I see you have correct that mistake.

  • So Cal Schen

    The last 3 weeks the G Men have played a Jets team that was self destructing, a Cowboys team that missed opportunities all game and a pathetic Falcons team. All 3 games were in their stadium. They have not played phenomenal by any means. They looked good against a bad team last week, but still only had 7 points at the half. Packers are still a better team and will prove it this weekend. AR is too poised and prepared from the get go – the Giants secondary is still not good. The Pack will establish themselves as the clear team to beat again in 4 days. God bless the Philbin family.

  • David

    With the ref’s having their Playoff yellow flags literally sewn in their pockets for all the Wild Card games I’ve seen (I saw one flag when there were 20 to be thrown)… Cliffy will be fine (ie. He can hold his guy all day).

  • Art Rosen

    Putting the cart before the horse if I may, who would we rather have the Packers play next week for the NFC title game?

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      Personally, I can’t make my mind up on that one. Brees and the Saints offense is scary, but the 49ers are the better overall team.

      • arodg’s mustache

        9ers all day. Alex smith is a steaming pile away from the bay.

      • Art Rosen

        You have to do better than that Al. Gotta be yelling at the tv cheering and booing some team, otherwise I may as well be watching Baltimore against Houston!

        • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

          Gun to my head… I choose… the niners. As arodg’s mustache noted, the QB is the thing. It’s a QB driven league. The teams to really fear are the ones with the top QBs.

          • Lucas

            A-Rod really thrives on the thought of proving people wrong. A chance at the team that passed on him will be on his mind. And my does he perform when he has a chip on his shoulder.

      • Steve Cheez

        Just for the rivalry factor, I say bring on the ‘Niners. Living out here in “whine” country, I can’t think of a better way to spend the week before (and more than a few after) than some smashmouth trash talkin’.

  • Ron LC

    Al, I’d be satisfied with not giving up the big play. They will crank up the turnover machine early (I’m hoping) and as a result will minimize the Giant run game.

    Go Pack!

  • Jeff

    Last year the Packers killed this very same Giant team at home and it was clear they could not handle the Packer speed on offense even without Finley and it is clear the Giant defense has no answer for how fast Rodgers gets rid of the ball as they have scored83 points in the last 2 games the 2 teams matched up , Rodgers is 2-0 against Manning and the Giants , the game in 2007 has nothing to do with now , we did not have Finley or Nelson but we had a quarterback who wanted no part of the cold anymore. Packers are 22-3 in their last 25 nhome games with only one loss to an NFC team and that was Favre’s return. Packers are 7-1 coming off a bye under McCarthy and undefeated at home.
    Only chance the Giants have to win is to win the turnover battle byy 3 or more and that is almost impossible because the packers do not turn the ball over and Manning does turn it over.
    Packers have averaged 40 points per game at home and they handled good pass rushing teams like the Vikings , Bears , and Raiders perfectly , on a slow day the Packers get 30 and you know we are going to torch that bad Giant secondary , Capers opens the playbook Sunday

  • Shavager

    Packers MUST contain Bradshaw and Jacobs in the run game, Manning will throw at least 2 INT’s, likely more if any pressure on him. D-line needs to get their arms up in his face. If Packers come out in offensive roll, Giants will panic in response if GB gets up in points and defense tends to let down if they can’t stop opponents. Rodgers and McCarthy needs Saine, Grant ready for screens if pressure gets too much or roll the pocket. Packers could come out in no huddle offense and push Giants defense. Even if close game, Packers defense can win or lose this game–they need containment on the line of scrimmage, shut down big pass plays.

  • Big O

    this game is at lambo, with our fans in their ears, our team on the feild, the giants are SCREWED pack 35, giants 10 just watch, you’ll see

  • Shavager

    Those are 3 good points-I’d add one more–Coughlin is an old school coach who uses his run game to open up the pass game for Manning. GB needs to dominate the run game of Bradshaw and Jacobs as they have the last two games they’ve played against them, stop them, you force Manning to make mistakes if he’s got any pressure on him. If Rodgers plays up to Packers AVERAGE game against the Giants based on last two games, GB should score 35 points while NY will score 26–if Packers limit Giants to average game production against them.