Why does it seem like every time these two teams square off the Packers are playing their worst ball of the year and the Giants are playing their best. With all due respect to the Giants and what they did on defense in this game, there is no way the Packers were playing Packer football on offense Sunday night. Their offensive line has been reshuffled and had problems all night against the front four of New York. T.J. Lang was beat more than a handful of times to the outside by Osi Umenyiora and the rest of the line was hardly able to contain the pass rush, forcing Rodgers to roll out of the pocket and scramble around to make plays. Osi had his breakout performance of the year with a sack and a forced fumble plus a ton of quarterback hurries. The bottom line is that the Giants’ pass rush played its best game of the year while the Packers’ o-line played one of its worst.
Give a lot of credit to Perry Fewell; every time the Packers seemed to come up with a solution to block the Giants’ front-four he sent guys from the secondary on a blitz, and they came charging through the hole and hurried Aaron Rodgers. Antrel Rolle was sniffing the line of scrimmage the entire game and was able to do so with the return of Kenny Phillips, who played well. On offense the Giants dominated because they could run the ball. Yes, Eli Manning had a nice game but part of New York’s problem on offense was the fact that they could not run the ball. The key for Kevin Gilbride is to run the ball enough to make the defense respect that option, and when they do creep forward a little bit they will have their shots in behind the front-seven. The Packers were not loading the box at all in this game. Eli Manning audibled to run plays since the Packers had a light box. There were times when they had only five guys up by the line of scrimmage. This would make for an easy run since they had five offensive linemen and a fullback to block for the running back. As stated before, this game was a combination of the Giants having a great game-plan after their BYE week and the Packers playing poorly upfront.
Will the Giants be able to keep things rolling next Monday night against the Redskins? If they are able to win in the nation’s capitol then they can basically pencil themselves in as NFC East divisional champions. The Packers relinquished first place in the NFC North back to the Bears who picked apart Minnesota. Green Bay will head home to take on those same Vikings in a must-win game for them as a franchise. If they drop that game, the Vikings would actually tie them in the standings and take second place on account of a tie. Things should get very interesting in the NFC next week. There is good football to be played!