We fans do all the screaming, cheering, all the couch-coaching, the criticizing, the complaining, when in the end, it’s just a game.
I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss the passing of Mason Crosby’s Sister-in-Law, 27 yr. old Brittany (Wife of Rees, Mason’s older brother). She lost her battle with Ovarian Cancer yesterday, a gallant fight, a fight against an opponent much tougher than football. If Mason plays, he will play with a heavy heart. If he doesn’t, we should all understand. The Packers have faced this type of adversity before, Brett Favre’s Father passing before the MNF game against the Raiders. The passing of Joe Philbin’s 21 year old Son before the Packer’s playoff game versus the New York Giants. The players we follow and admire for their performance on the field, also have lives off the field. We will all face more intimidating opponents at some point in our lives. Let’s just keep this game of football in perspective and not get so carried away.
Onto the New York Giants, with their rookie QB Daniel Jones, powerful and talented RB Saquon Barkley, WR Sterling Shepard, and a host of talent along the defensive front. QB Jones is streaky, but can run and make all the throws, he may offer up a few potential INTs. The Packers defense led by Coach Mike Pettine has certainly fallen off in turnovers, versus the run and preventing explosive plays. They still remain decent with respect to Red Zone defense. Head Coach Matt LaFleur’s offense however has sputtered as of late, surprisingly coinciding with Davante Adams much anticipated return. In fact, the Packers were 4-0 without Adams and are 1-2 since he returned. LaFleur’s offense which at one point saw QB Aaron Rodgers completing passes to 8 or more receivers per game, has now diminished to 139 yards, 225, and 104. You won’t win many games with that kind of performance. Their 3rd Down production has been horrible as well.
Many observers have commented that in recent games the Packers offense appears McCarthy-like. I’m not sure if we should take that as a reflection on Rodgers (who expressed displeasure with MM offense) or LaFleur not remaining committed to his game plan. During the San Francisco game, shots of LaFleur along the sideline showed him with a puzzled look. Later he stated the 49ers were a step ahead of him all night. It sounds like, even with two weeks to prepare, LaFleur did not show the 49ers defense any new wrinkles. I realize Adam’s Personal Foul after gaining a 1st & 10 at the 40 was relegated to a 2nd and 20 at the 10, the outset of the game changed and the Packers never recovered. No way were the 49ers going to bring the house with the Packer’s having a 1st down on the 40, as they did on the 10. It’s just disappointing the Packers never had a response and were overwhelmed in the trenches all night.
I expect the Packers offense to start strong and make their presence known up front. They have to come out and exert their will on the Giants defensive front. It goes without saying, the more long drives sustained by the Packer offense, the better Pettine will be able to direct the defense to success. The Packers must produce points on most drives Sunday, to allow the Packer defense to be aggressive versus Jones and the Giants. LaFleur should finally be able to execute more of his offense in the next few weeks as the Packers will face several lesser opponents. One can never overlook any opponent, but you must win the games in which you are favored.
My prediction Packers 35, Giants 17.
As Always, Go Pack Go!
PackerGregPackerGreg Veteran/Go Army @DrGTP on Twitter