Opposite Sideline: Giants shutting out the drama

Aaron Nagler
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The lowdown on the Green Bay Packers' next opponent from a beat writer who covers the team.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning drops back to pass in the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings on October 3, 2016 at US Bank Stadium.

The Green Bay Packers return to Lambeau Field after their Week 4 bye week to take on a New York Giants team that is desperate for a victory after dropping two straight.

We caught up with Art Stapleton who covers the Giants for The Record and got his thoughts on Sunday night’s matchup. You can find his answers to our questions in the video above and the text below.

1: What's the most important thing Eli Manning has to do to get the offense back on track and pull out yet another win as the underdog coming into Lambeau?

Manning needs to trust his playmakers and his offensive line, which played better than expected against the Vikings. Far too many times Manning has rushed through his progressions, opting instead for risky throws to options like Will Tye and Shane Vereen rather than Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard and Victor Cruz. This has to be the week where Manning pushes the issue with Beckham, getting his best player out of the gates fast. The presence of Shepard and Cruz proved nearly impossible to cover in the Giants’ two wins, especially with so much attention paid to Beckham.

It’s on Manning and, in essence, Ben McAdoo, as the primary play caller, to find ways to be creative and exploit the Packers’ secondary with the strength of their football team.

2: Will we see more of Paul Perkins in the Giants backfield after his big play in Minnesota?

The Giants love Perkins’ skill set, and he showed explosiveness and the kind of “lump in your throat” ability that keeps defensive coordinators on their heels. Not sure this is the week we see the Giants unleash Perkins, especially with how good the Packers have been against the run, and how effective Bobby Rainey can be in the screen game. Rashad Jennings (thumb) is still iffy for Sunday, so I would expect Orleans Darkwa to start.

But yeah, Giants had to love what they saw from Perkins. Would think there is a chance he will get some more touches, maybe 20 instead of the 15 he got against the Vikings.

3: Teams have been blitzing Aaron Rodgers much more than in the past. Will Spagnuolo bring the heat with a secondary that should be healthier this week?

With Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (groin) and Eli Apple (hamstring) likely back on the field, as you mentioned, expect Spagnuolo to dial up more blitzes than he has done the last two weeks. They were very effective blitzing from the slot with defensive backs against the Saints, frustrating Drew Brees with sacks from safety Landon Collins and corner Leon Hall. Rodgers-Cromartie has also done well on blitzes, so my guess is that the Giants go back to doing what worked against Brees in their last victory.

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