Game of the year on Sunday Night: Packers vs. Giants in Primetime on NBC. Packers riding a five game winning streak in full control of first place while the first place Giants fight to keep control of their division during their annual free fall.
Here are the five keys to a Giants victory:
5. Get the ball to Hakeem Nicks: All we’ve talked about this month is the reoccurring theme of a second half collapse. Hell, even I’m tired of it even though it makes my job easier. The reoccurring theme here is that Hakeem Nicks cannot get through a season without being hurt but always gets better late in the year.
Perfect time for Hakeem to get healthy this weekend; coming off of a bye and a decent performance against the Bengals, Nicks is ready to step up. Who better to do it against then the Packers? In two games against them last season, #88 totaled 14rec, 253yds and 4tds. Charles Woodson played in both of those games but will not be playing Sunday. Get the ball to him early and often. After that, you open up the game for the other receivers and our next key…
4. Establish a running back by committee: Ahmad Bradshaw said Friday that the bye week helped him get healthy. Last season when Bradshaw came back for the first time after an injury it was against Green Bay in that 38-35 loss at the Meadowlands. Bradshaw was that sparkplug they needed last year; this year they need more than him.
The Giants need to take advantage of the three talented backs that they have. Any other team would love to have three starting caliber running backs on their team. Instead of forcing Bradshaw, mix it up with Andre Brown and for all the love that is Holy get David Wilson involved. It’s time for Kevin Gilbride to do something new; this may be it.
3. Contain Randall Cobb…in multiple ways: Cobb has become a great weapon in multiple ways for the Packers in 2012. He catches the ball, runs the ball and returns. He has seven touchdowns this season with six of them coming in the past four weeks. On top of that he has a punt return TD as well.
One thing Cobb hasn’t done this season is return a kickoff for a score and we all know how bad the Giants special team is. Cobb could be a key reason why the Giants lose tomorrow night if they don’t keep an eye on him.
2. Score in the redzone: Why this issue isn’t touched on more in the mainstream New York media boggles my little mind. For years this team has been terrible in the redzone and this year is by far the worst. They rank 27th in touchdown redzone percentage which makes you think “wow, we had a good thing with Brandon Jacobs.”
They are overthinking at this point forcing terrible plays in this area. Pound it with Andre Brown at the goal line or expose their poor passing attack. Clay Matthews is out this week so the linebacking corpse and blitz will be weakened. Let’s get Martellus Bennett and Bear Pascoe going.
1. Get to Aaron Rodgers early: Any proof you want of this theory just watch every game the Packers lose. That blown call wasn’t the only disastrous display of football that night in Seattle. Rodgers was sacked eight times and the Packers offense couldn’t do anything from the get go.
Now technically the argument can be made that the Pack will be fine because even though Rodgers has been sacked more than any other QB in football (32 times) they still have seven wins. The key here is that Rodgers isn’t use to playing from behind and gets frustrated easily. We saw it in Seattle, Indy, home against San Fran and of course in last year’s playoff game. Hit this guy with everything you got early on and the game is yours.