GMen HQ: Giants - Packers, A View From Lombardi Avenue
The New York Giants (11-5) take on the Green Bay Packers (10-6) at Lambeau Field on Sunday. This contest pits the NFC North division champions versus the top Wild Card team. Both teams are playing well, so this should be the best game of Wild Card Weekend. GMen HQ caught up with Josh McPeak of Lombardi Avenue to get his thoughts on the game.
Jan 15, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) rushes with the football during the NFC Divisional Playoff game against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE
GMen HQ: When Aaron Rodgers made his “we’re going to run the table” comment after the Nov. 20 loss to the Washington Redskins, did people take him seriously? Or was it more a motivator to get the team to play better and hope for a Wild Card spot?
Josh McPeak: It’s hard not to take the guy serious after the R-E-L-A-X statement. However, to be honest, I wasn’t sold. The team showed very little motivation at the time and started games off terribly. Aaron Rodgers has been under the gun several times for his leadership approach. I believe those critics can give it a rest now.
Jan 1, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) drops back to pass during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
GMen HQ: How big of an impact has losing Eddie Lacy been for the Packers’ offense?
Sep 15, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy tries to get past Washington Redskins safety Bacarri Rambo for extra yards at Lambeau Field. Lacy was hurt on the play in the first quarter. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
JM: That’s really hard to say what impact the void of Eddie Lacy has left. Lacy had a fairly good game against the Giants back in Week 5. Obviously, having no run game for a stretch didn’t help matters. Ty Montgomery, Aaron Ripkowski and Christine Michael, as a trio, are probably an upgrade to Lacy. Lacy would break out a few big runs, but never did figure out he was a north-to-south back. Instead of getting a guaranteed four-yards, he would dance for a loss of two. Right now I would have to say he has played his last game in Green Bay.
GMen HQ: Describe the state of the Packers’ secondary prior to this game. Who will play? what players will be out?
Jan 1, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Green Bay Packers cornerback Quinten Rollins (24) gets carted off the field with an injury during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Packers won 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
JM: What secondary!? It’s in pretty bleak condition entering the playoffs. Quinten Rollins will probably miss Sunday’s game, as he is in the concussion protocol after a scary injury against the Lions. Damarious Randall has been practicing, but the way he has been playing of late doesn’t appear that he is anywhere near 100 percent. Ladarius Gunter has actually been one of the more solid corners in the secondary of late. Micah Hyde was asked to move up from safety to the corner spot and did a rather solid job down the stretch versus Detroit.
The Packers also brought Herb Waters to the 53-man roster. What is interesting about that, is the fact Waters has never played corner. He was a wide receiver at the University of Miami and played receiver in the preseason. Since then, the Packers have converted him to a corner on the practice squad. Most of the season the Packers have been reeling to fill the void of Sam Shields, who was lost to injury.
GMen HQ: Is the Green Bay fan base skeptical of the Giants’ defense? Or is it more extreme confidence in the Packers’ offense?
January 18, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb (18) is congratulated by wide receiver Jordy Nelson (87) after scoring a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half in the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
JM: I think the answer there is both. It amazes me New York has not allowed a team to break 30 points all season. I watched every play of the game against Washington, and they are for real. You also have to have extreme confidence in Aaron Rodgers and this offense. A healthy Jared Cook and the emergence of some young talent, have really given the team a jump start. We are getting a heavyweight bout on Sunday in Lambeau.
GMen HQ: Give us the name of a player who you think will be a difference-maker in this game.
Sep 25, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers linebacker Nick Perry (53) during the game against the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
JM: Nick Perry is a guy who is capable of changing the outcome of this game. Perry has eleven sacks on the season and is playing out the final season of his contract. He could stand to make a lot of money, whether that be in Green Bay, or on the market. Clay Matthews and even Julius Peppers still demand a lot of attention. Don’t sleep on Perry making a play that could greatly swing the momentum of this huge game.
GMen HQ: Give us a game prediction.
Jan 1, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Green Bay Packers free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (21) holds up a sign after the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Packers won 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
JM: Green Bay’s secondary really concerns me. Although, the Giants haven’t given up 30 points all year, they have also failed to score that on offense this season. My fear is the fact they are very capable of having a breakout game. I’m going to ride with the red hot Packers and the MVP Aaron Rodgers. Packers crack thirty.
Packers 30 Giants 23
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