The Green Bay Packers defensive warts have been well documented. They’re last in yards, last in passing yards, last in sack percentage and 19th in points allowed.
Can you possibly imagine the Green Bay Packers season coming to an end today, following the best regular season (15-1) in team history? It’s pretty hard, but it is possible.
The New York Giants will march into Lambeau Field with 6-more regular season losses than the Packers, but just like the Packers, they’re as healthy as they’ve been all season.
Aaron Rodgers has posted 45 touchdown passes and just 6 interceptions. Eye popping numbers that can’t be overlooked. The Packers preferred offensive line, one that includes Chad Clifton, is now in tact for the first time since week 3. Can they hold up against the Giants front 4 pass rush?
When the two teams met in New York in early December, the Packers held on for a 38-35 win. The Giants put heat on Rodgers, but not enough to pull out a win. New York does get pass rusher Osi Umenyiora back in the lineup after he missed that December 4th game due to injury.
But it’s hard to imagine the Packers not being able to put up points at home against the Giants. In my opinion, the key to this game comes down to the Packers stopping New York’s ground attack.
The Packers ranked 14th in the league against the rush during the regular season. That number is probably that high because teams had to throw to keep up with the Packers. The Giants finished the regular season last in the league in rushing yardage. But when they regained their health, put up 172 yards against Atlanta in last week’s wildcard playoff game. If the Giants can rush it, they’re better in play action with Eli Manning, but they also stand a better chance of controlling the clock and keeping the ball out of Aaron Rodgers hands.
The Giants won’t be intimidated by Lambeau Field and they won’t be affected by the cold weather, which is expected to feel like 14-degrees with the windchill at game time. The Packers will have to find other ways to get an edge up on the Giants and playing respectable on defense would be a good starting point.
The Packers have sacked the quarterback just 29 times this season and only 6 of those came from the defensive line. Those numbers read 47 and 13 1/2 last year.
We all expect Aaron Rodgers and his talented receivers to hold their own. However, if the Giants front four does enough to slow the Packers offense down, then Green Bay will need the defense to show up and pitch in. That possibility in my opinion will be the difference between a win and a loss for the Packers at Lambeau Field today!