By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
Introduction: The New York Giants (2-9) current losing streak is now at seven games and with the Green Bay Packers coming into the town; the Giants chances of snapping that losing streak doesn’t look good. The Packers sit on top of the NFC North with an 8-3 record along with the Minnesota Vikings. The Packers defeated the Vikings earlier in the year to have an edge in the standings. The Giants have been inconsistent throughout their losing streak offensively, defensively and in special teams play. The Packers have played steady throughout the season with a few games that got away from them that prevented them; especially against the Chargers. Here are my top 5 ways for the Giants to pull off an upset over the Packers:
- Turnover Ratio: Giants are currently at -12 in turnover ratio to the Packers +9. It seems like every week the Giants have a costly turnover that impacts the game; which is usually at the hands of quarterback Daniel Jones who now has 14 fumbles in only 9 career starts. The good news for Jones is that he will have a front seat to watch arguably the quarterback in football who can prolong the play once the pocket collapses to find a receiver.
- Giants Offense-vs-Packers Defense: The Packers defense has stumbled over the last several weeks and they have shown the inability to keep teams out of the end zone. The Giants must find a way to create mismatches with their offensive players such as Saquon Barkley and Darius Slayton and come up with some big plays.
- Pass Rush/Pass Protection: The Giants have a -9 ratio in sacks/sacks surrendered (26/35) as opposed to the Packers ratio of +1 (28 sacks/27 surrendered). The big difference here is the inability of rookie Daniel Jones knowing when to move out of the pocket when it’s collapsing. Aaron Rodgers is one of the best at this and he will probably avoid a few sacks by extending the play with his feet to find an open receiver. The Giants must contain the Smith boys (Preston and Za’Darius) who collectively have 20.5 sacks.
- Giants secondary-vs-Packers receivers: This has been arguably the Giants biggest achillies heel thus far as rookies De’Andre Baker and Corey Ballantine have been victimized the most with veterans Janoris Jenkins and Antoine Bethea not far behind. Giants secondary must avoid surrendering too many big plays.
- Red Zone: The Giants are 20th in the league in red zone efficiency with a 55.17% compared to the Packers who are sitting in 2nd place in the league with a 67.57%. Over the last three games the Packers have been better with a percentage of 71.43 to the Giants 55.56%. Simply put, the Giants can’t settle for field goals when they find themselves in the red zone.
Final Thoughts: Currently the weather forecast is calling for 80% chance of rain with the temperatures in the mid 40’s. The swirling winds shouldn’t be factor; which it often is at Metlife Stadium with projected wind at around 6mph. The Giants will have a few starters out for this game; especially on the defensive side with safety Jabrill Peppers not expecting to play. So expect rookie Julian Love to see more playing time at the safety position along with Antoine Bethea and Michael Thomas. The Giants will move the ball against the Packers and some points on the board. However; the odds makers have the Packers at 75% of winning this game and that sounds about right; especially when you factor in that the Packers are coming off an embarrassing lose to the hands of the 49ers 37-8, so expect the Packers on Sunday to be ready to play. Packers should get their offense in gear against a Giants team that has a hard time keeping opposing offenses out of the end zone. Look for the Rodgers to have a 300+ game and send the Giants to their eight straight lost of the season.
Final Score: Packers-31/Giants-17