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Green Bay Packers

vs.

New York Giants

By

John J. Raspanti

 

12/4/11

The undefeated Packers (11-0) travel to MetLife Stadium to face the slumping Giants (6-5) in a key NFC matchup. The Giants have lost three in a row and now trail the first place Cowboys by one game. The Packers can clinch the NFC North title with a victory and a Detroit loss.

Just three weeks ago, the Giants were sitting pretty at 6-2. They hit the road and played the surprising San Francisco 49ers losing 27-20. Next up was a struggling Eagle team who looked ripe for the picking. The Eagles held on for a 17-10 victory that left the Giants shaking their heads. The New Orleans Saints continued the agony by clobbering the Giants 49-24 on Monday night.

The Giant pass defense ranks 28th in the league giving up over 250 yards through the air. Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers must be licking his chops. New York’s signal caller Eli Manning has completed 63 percent of his passes and thrown for 20 touchdowns. The Giants running game has been spotty at best. Ahmad Bradshaw has rushed for only 440 yards through 11 games. Brandon Jacobs is gaining a little over three yards a carry. The strength of the Giant offense is in their receiving corps.

Victor Cruz has caught 55 passes and scored seven touchdowns. Hakeem Nicks has 50 catches while tight end Jake Ballard has 30. The Giant defense looked embarrassed as the Saints ran up the score. Osi Umenyiora, who's second on the team with seven sacks, could miss the Packer game because of an ankle sprain. Free safety Antrel Rolle has collected 68 tackles this season. Strong safety Kenny Phillips and outside linebacker Mathias Kinanuky have been consistent. The key for the Giant defense could be defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and his ten sacks.

The Packers are thinking they can win all 16 of their games. Unstoppable quarterback Aaron Rodgers continues to put up astounding numbers. Rodgers is completing passes at a 72 percent clip with 33 touchdowns. The Packer running game resembles the Giants. James Starks leads the way with 560 yards. Greg Jennings is Rodgers number one guy with 58 catches. Jordy Nelson averages over 18 yards per pass caught. Jermichael Finley is the safety valve. If the Packers have a weakness, it appears to be in their defense. Opposing quarterbacks have racked up close to 290 yards against them. Inside linebacker Desmond Baily is doing his part with 97 tackles. Future Hall of Famer Charles Woodson has six interceptions. Linebackers A.J. Hawk and Clay Matthews have battled injuries.

The question is how to stop Aaron Rodgers. It will be interesting to see if the Giants can dial up the right answer.

Bettorsworld Bottom Line - We're getting close to sticking a fork in the Giants. They certainly didn't look like a playoff team last week and you have to figure Aaron Rodgers has the potential to duplicate what Brees did. But you also shouldn't forget that the Giants were a final drive away from tying up their games against the very good 49ers and the talented Eagles. Manning can move the ball and the Packers certainly don't scare anyone defensively. If the Giants can get that pass rush working and can hurry Rodgers and get to him the way we all know they can, who knows.

The clock is ticking for the Giants. They are still alive, but obviously the room for error shrinks as each week goes by. We're going to against the public here and look for one of the best efforts of the year from the Giants. Hey it, was the Giants who ended the Patriots hopes of an undefeated season. Let's go out on a limb and predict that not only will the Giants cover, but they'll also win this one straight up. Giants +7

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