The Green Bay Packers (3-1) square off against the New York Giants (3-1) at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England at 8:30am CST tomorrow. The Packers come into the game as 8 point favorites, per Draft Kings. In order for the Packers to secure a victory in their futbol match tomorrow, they’ll need to execute these 3 keys.
1) Limit Saquon Barkley
The Packers did a horrific job against the Patriots last weekend versus the run. The only time I can truly give them kudos is when they stopped New England for no gain on 2nd and 5 in Overtime from the Green Bay 46 yard line. On the day, the Patriots toted the rock 33 times for 167 yards (5.1 yards per carry). Oh, and the Patriots played the entire game with two backup quarterbacks. Running the ball effectively was their only realistic chance of staying in the game. The Patriots knew it, the Packers knew it, you knew it, I knew it and yet, the run defense was sliced and diced, play after play after play.
Hopefully the Packers can bounce back in similar fashion to how they played in Tampa Bay, after getting demolished by the Bears on the ground Week 2. After surrendering 180 yards on 27 carries to Chicago’s rushing attack, the Packers limited the Buccaneers to just 34 yards on 14 attempts a week later.
On the flip side, Giants RB Saquon Barkley is off to a blinding start. He leads the NFL in rushing with 463 yards. It’s been Donkey’s years since Barkley has looked this explosive but he’s clearly regained his 2018 rookie campaign form. While it’s unrealistic to expect the Packers to completely shut down Barkley, one of the best RB’s of 2022 thus far, they need to limit the damage. In other words, another Bears or Patriots performance ain’t gonna cut it.
2) Continue to Build on Offense
This is a great opportunity for progress, not regression. What we saw from the offense in the second half versus the Patriots was fun, specifically throwing the ball. Rodgers hit Tonyan, Doubs, Lazard and Cobb for big plays. Christian Watson found the endzone in a blur on a 15 yard end-around in the first half. The ground game churned 199 yards on 35 carries, a 5.7 yards per carry average. This was a step in the right direction.
After Ryan Tannehill threw 266 yards in the Titans loss to the Giants Week 1, New York’s defense has played Baker Mayfield, Cooper Rush and Justin Fields. Now, they’ll get their toughest test of the season against Aaron Rodgers. Expect the Giants 9th ranked pass defense, currently allowing 191 yards per game through the air, to take a dip after tomorrow.
In order for the Packers to build, the offensive line needs to play well. Running the ball looks favorable for the Pack, going up against the Giants 28th ranked run defense, currently allowing 141 yards per game. Yet, I think we’re all curious to see the Packers build through the air. While “Just win baby” rings true, no matter how it gets done, it would be awesome to see Rodgers get a clean pocket throughout the game and allow the offense to continue it’s growth through the air. I expect a cleaner game from Elgton Jenkins and the rest of the guys up front.
3) Win the Turnover Battle
Our own Jared Prugar detailed the Packers struggles with turnovers a couple days ago. Green Bay is -3 in turnover differential on the season, tying them for 4th worst in the league. They’re the only team with a minus turnover differential and a winning record. As Jared mentioned, the team that wins the turnover battle wins a game 70% of the time.
The Packers have been plagued with fumbles, turning the ball over via fumble one time in each of their first four games. Additionally, Aaron Rodgers has thrown 3 picks, which puts him on pace for 13 interceptions on the season. While most of us don’t expect that to come to fruition, a 13 interception season would be the most Rodgers has thrown since his debut starting season in 2008.
Tomorrow, the Packers will likely get Jaire Alexander back, which will give the Packers defense a boost against the Giants injured and lackluster receiving core. Additionally, they go up against Daniel Jones, a player who led the NFL in fumbles in both 2019 and 2020. The Packers have a great opportunity to “get right” and win the turnover battle.
Over the last 15 years, teams favored by 7 points in London Games are 6-0 ATS. The Packers, currently 8 point favorites, look to continue the trend. I think the momentum on offense combined with the talent advantage on defense gives Green Bay a substantial edge. As long as the Packers don’t kill themselves with turnovers and don’t let Saquon go for 200, the Packers win and cover.
Packers 27 Giants 16——————
Alex grew up in a family of Chicago Bears fans in the suburbs of Chicago but was always a Packers guy. Alex\'s AIM name when he was in elementary/middle school was PackerAlex. He now lives in Nashville, Tennessee and you can follow him on twitter at @Alex_Mayer93.