GREEN BAY – In a casual chat with reporters around his locker, Aaron Rodgers set the tone for the Green Bay Packers this week.
Rodgers never has shied from sharing how he feels about things. So when asked whether the New York Giants' defense’s ability to keep some of the league’s tops offenses in check forces him to pay special attention, Rodgers was diplomatic but firm.
“We respect all of our opponents,” Rodgers said. “We fear none of them.”
The Giants have one of the league’s top defensive backfields. They rank second in the NFL with a 75.8 opponent passer rating, and have allowed the second-fewest passing touchdowns with 15.
Opposing quarterbacks have been able to move the football — the Giants rank 23rd with 251 passing yards allowed per game — but they’ve been stingy on the scoreboard.
“They’ve got three corners,” coach Mike McCarthy said, “I’d think you’d classify them as starting corners. So that’s a big part of it.”
They’ve also got a lot of swagger.
After apparently kicking around ideas in their meeting room, Pro Bowl safety Landon Collins dubbed the Giants' secondary with a familiar acronym: NYPD. No, it’s not the New York Police Department.
This is the New York Pass Defense.
In the locker room Thursday, receiver Davante Adams was asked about the nickname. He thought about the geography of Sunday’s game.
“Well, we’re in Wisconsin,” Adams said. “So we don’t have to worry about that.”
The group includes Collins along with cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and first-round rookie Eli Apple. They will be matched against the Packers' skill players, including receivers Adams, Jordy Nelson, Geronimo Allison and tight end Jared Cook. Slot receiver Randall Cobb also could return this week.
When asked about the NYPD moniker Thursday, the Packers' receivers followed their quarterback. Respect, but not fear.
“If that’s what they call themselves,” Allison said, “that’s what they call themselves. It probably won’t be too many handcuffs passed out this Sunday. We’re going to be prepared for them. Whatever they throw at us, we’ll be prepared for. We’re going to attack them at their weak points, and we’re going to execute our game plan. We’re not really concerned about what they’re going to do to stop us. We just want to execute our job and do it to the best of our ability.”
Allison said the Packers don’t have a nickname for their passing game.
“We just go out there and execute and work,” he said.