Misery tags along when Giants visit Packers
Fourth in a 13-part series on the teams the Green Bay Packers will face in the 2016 regular season.
When the New York Giants march into Lambeau Field on Oct. 9, they will bring plenty of miserable memories with them for Packers fans.
It will be the Giants' first trip here since the Packers' shocking 37-20 loss in the NFC divisional playoffs that ended an otherwise remarkable 2011 season. The Packers entered with a 15-1 record and had their sights on winning a second straight Super Bowl.
Instead, a season after one of their greatest wins, the Packers received one of the worst losses in franchise history.
Before that, there was the 2007 NFC Championship game, played in sub-zero temperatures. In what would be Brett Favre's final game with the Packers, the Giants stunned the frozen Green Bay faithful by winning 23-20 in overtime before going on to topple the previously unbeaten New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
So, yes, misery would be the overriding emotion when the Giants travel to Green Bay. They have played twice since that cold January day. Both were in New York. Both were Packers losses. Neither resonated as much as the playoff exit.
Here are three things to know about the Giants.
» A familiar face: There are some big shoes to fill in New York. Even if Tom Coughlin’s expiration date with the Giants was a couple of years ago, he left a legendary legacy this offseason as a two-time Super Bowl champion. It’s the standard new coach Ben McAdoo will be held to as he embarks on his first head-coaching opportunity. McAdoo cut his teeth with the Packers, serving as tight ends coach from 2006 to 2011 before becoming quarterbacks coach in 2012 and 2013. He moved to New York to be an offensive coordinator in 2014. Apparently, he impressed the right people.
» ELIte? When it comes time for Giants quarterback Eli Manning’s career to be judged, perhaps no player in NFL history will offer a more confounding résumé. He is a four-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl MVP, accomplishments that are amplified under the bright lights of the Big Apple. He also has a career record of 97-86 in the regular season with as many losing seasons — including three straight — as years he has reached double-digits wins. For context, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ career record is 80-39. So is Eli Manning elite? It seems to depend on the season … if not the game … if not the play. Let’s call him consistently inconsistent, with some incredible high points and some unfathomable lows.
» A perfect surname: Speaking of the Big Apple, the Giants picked the perfect name to add to their secondary this fall. They spent the 10th overall pick in the first round to draft Eli Apple, a cornerback out of Ohio State. The Giants need all the talent they can get on the back end of their defense after finishing last in the NFL with 298.9 passing yards allowed in 2015. The hope is that Apple will join Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and free-agent acquisition Janoris Jenkins to provide three solid cornerbacks, something every NFL team needs.
Packers schedule glimpse
Oct. 9 vs. Giants, 7:30 p.m., NBC
Week before: Bye.
Week after: vs. Cowboys, Oct. 16.
On the horizon: vs. Bears, Oct. 20.
New York Giants
Coach: Ben McAdoo (first season).
2015 record: 6-10, third NFC East.
Scoring offense: 26.3 points per game (6th in NFL).
Total offense: 372.3 yards per game (8th).
Scoring defense: 27.6 points allowed per game (30th).
Total defense: 420.3 yards allowed per game (32nd).
Series: Packers lead 27-23-2 (4-3 postseason).
Last meeting: With Aaron Rodgers missing his second of what would become seven games with a broken collarbone, the Packers didn’t have much of a chance when they entered New York on Nov. 20, 2013. Backup Scott Tolzien completed 24 of 34 passes for 339 yards, but his three interceptions with no touchdowns led to a 27-13 loss. Tolzien’s second interception was returned by Jason Pierre-Paul for a 24-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, making a one-touchdown game two. The Giants never looked back.
firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @ByRyanWood