Entering week 12’s rematch of last season’s NFC divisional playoff match up between the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers, one team is struggling mightily after losing two consecutive games while the other is one of the league’s hottest teams having won their last five straight contests. That hot team would be the Packers who now are in a first place tie for the NFC North lead and have a 7-3 record after starting the season 2-3 while the cold team would be the Giants who have slipped to 6-4 after starting 6-2 and maintain just a one and a half game lead in the NFC East.
Currently the Giants offense ranks 12th in the NFL in total yards gained per game (367.4 yards), ninth in passing yards gained per game (256 yards), 13th in rushing yards gained per game (111.4 yards) and tied for eighth in points scored per game (26.7 points) while their defense is ranked 22nd in total offensive yards allowed per game (371.6 yards), 25th in passing yards allowed per game (257.8 yards), 15th in rushing yards allowed per game (113.8 yards) and 12th in points allowed per game (21.6 points).
Giants quarterback Eli Manning has been struggling as of late passing for just 532 yards, zero touchdowns and four interceptions in his last three games. If the Giants wants to get back to their winning ways it all starts with Manning and whether or not he can successfully get the ball into the hands of his top playmakers which include Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Martellus Bennett. The G-Men will also need a big game out of Ahmad Bradshaw and their running attack in order to keep the Green Bay defense honest and not just in pass rush formations all of the time attempting to load up against Manning and the air attack. The Giants defense also must play better having allowed 102 points in the team’s past four games since allowing just three points to the San Francisco 49ers in week six, since that game this defense has seemed as if they couldn’t stop a high school offense.
The Packers offense is currently ranked 18th in total yards gained per game (345.5 yards), 12th in passing yards gained per game (246.3 yards), 24th in rushing yards gained per game (99.2 yards) and 10th in points scored per game (26.3 points) while their defense is ranked 15th in total offensive yards allowed per game (343.9 yards), 21st in passing yards allowed per game (244.4 yards) and 10th in both rushing yards allowed per game (99.5 yards) as well as points allowed per game (20.7 points).
The Packers are firing on all cylinders as quarterback Aaron Rodgers is in the midst of yet another MVP-type of season passing for 2,619 yards, 27 touchdowns and six interceptions while completing 67.2% of his pass attempts. The Packers entire offensive identity is Rodgers and the air game and with four receivers (Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Randall Cobb and JerMichael Finley) who have over 330 yards receiving and two touchdowns on the season it makes perfect sense why the Pack air the ball out as much as they do. Green Bay could also get a boost in their receiving corp as well with Greg Jennings finally being upgraded to questionable for the game after missing all but three games this season due to a groin injury. The Packers are going to need their defense to pick up the slack for the absence of their top pass rusher Clay Matthews who will be missing his second consecutive game with a hamstring injury.
If both teams play their best football then this should without question be the best game of the week; however with the way the Giants have looked of late all bets are off as far as both teams playing at the top of their games. Either way I like the Packers to earn the victory in this one; Green Bay 31 – New York (Jersey) 21.