Packers at Giants preview: Predictions, 5 things to watch

Tom Silverstein
Packers News
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TEAMS: Green Bay Packers (8-3) at New York Giants (2-9).

WHEN: Noon CST Sunday.

WHERE: MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

TV: Fox with Thom Brennaman (play-by-play), Chris Spielman (analyst).

RADIO: AM-620 in Milwaukee, FM-101.1 in Green Bay; Packers Radio Network.

SERIES: Packers lead, 33-26-2.

LINE: Packers by 6.

WEATHER: Rain/wintry mix, high of 40.

SURFACE: Act Global synthetic turf.

COACHES: Green Bay’s Matt LaFleur (8-3) vs. the New York Giants' Pat Shurmur (7-20 with Giants; 17-43 overall).

LIVE GAME BLOG: Join Tom Silverstein for analysis and lively conversation.

NFLLive scoreboard, box scores

ROSTERS, STATSPackers | Giants 


1. ON THE RECEIVING END: Since returning from a four-game absence due to a turf-toe injury, receiver Davante Adams has caught seven passes in each of the last three games. The variable has been the yards. Against the Los Angeles Chargers, he had 41 yards, against Carolina he had 118 and against San Francisco he had 43. It’s probably no coincidence the Packers lost when his production was in the 40s. The talk this week was about not forcing the ball to Adams and making sure his targets are in the flow of the offense. It’s not doing them much good if he’s averaging 6 yards a catch. “You make plays best in this league when you don’t force it,” Adams said. “You just kind of go with what works. Something that’s been working for this team well is moving it around, spreading it around to different guys, sharing the wealth.”

Davante Adams has caught seven passes in each of the three games since his return from an injury, for 41 yards against the  Chargers, 188 against the Panthers and 43 against the 49ers.

2. OPTION 1, 2 and 3: Running back Aaron Jones is a marked man. Teams are realizing if they stop Jones, they have a much better chance of stopping the Packers' offense. In the Packers’ three losses, Jones has a combined 34 carries for 89 yards (2.62 yards per carry) and a touchdown and seven catches for 36 yards. In their eight victories, he has 114 carries for 538 yards (4.72) and 10 TDs and 29 catches for 318 yards and three TDs. He has scored a touchdown in every victory except the Chicago and Detroit games. “We’ve got to just keep finding ways to get him the ball,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. "He’s been a big part of the plan but when you have so many third-and-extra-longs, some of the planned stuff, as any play caller will tell you, kind of goes out the window.” Rodgers said it has been harder to get the ball to Jones as a receiver because teams are starting to cover him with defensive backs as opposed to linebackers.

3. RIGHT IS MIGHT: It will be a big boost for the team if veteran Bryan Bulaga can play against the Giants. The Packers don’t really have a backup right tackle, and they’ve been trying to get away with Alex Light as Bulaga’s backup. But Light is only around 305 pounds and he doesn’t handle the ruggedness of the right tackle position as well as he does the speed that left tackles usually face. The reason coach Matt LaFleur has toyed with moving right guard Billy Turner to right tackle and general manager Brian Gutekunst claimed Jared Veldheer off waivers is that Turner is 6-5 and 310 and Veldheer is 6-8 and 321 pounds. “Our goal is just to put our best five out there and we’ll go from there,” LaFleur said.

4. SWAT TEAM: One thing the Packers' defense will be doing Sunday is going after the ball anytime quarterback Daniel Jones has it in his hands. The rookie has fumbled 14 times and lost 10 of them. Jones has lost a fumble in five consecutive games. The Packers have been good at causing fumbles (14), but not so good at recovering them (seven). The pass rush has been active every game, so Jones will have to be especially careful. “Well, some of those where he’s trying to throw the ball in rhythm and a guy’s not blocked properly, those don’t necessarily fall on him,” coach Pat Shurmur said. “But there’s a handful of them — maybe more than a handful — that he’s aware that the ball’s got to come out quicker.”

5. PACKERS REDUX: The first time the Packers got blown out — three weeks ago against the Chargers — they bounced back with a victory over the Panthers. It wasn’t the prettiest victory, and it came down to the final seconds. But LaFleur managed to keep the team from experiencing a hangover. After the San Francisco loss, the team has had plenty of time to consider all it did wrong and there has been far more outside scrutiny about whether the team is as good as its record. LaFleur has tried to stay positive and he thinks the locker room is not crumbling. “I think these guys have been businesslike," he said. "I think these guys genuinely care about each other so they’re going to put their best foot forward for each other and for this team. I’ve said it a million times, but the character in that locker room is as good as any I’ve been around, and I know they’re going to give their best shot each and every day. So, ultimately, it does no good to talk about it, you’ve got to go out there and do it.”



This is a get-well game for the Packers. Yes, the Giants have been playing much better, but  if the Packers don’t walk away from MetLife Stadium with a convincing victory then they definitely have a problem. They need to take care of business. Packers 34, Giants 21


Facing a rookie quarterback and the league’s No. 27-ranked scoring defense should be enough to help the Packers right the ship for a week. Packers 28, Giants 17


Nothing cures a blowout hangover quite like facing a 2-9 team. The Giants are bad. The Packers are not. Green Bay wins this going away. Packers 34, Giants 17


The Packers' offensive and defensive units find a “get right” game against a bad Giants team that can’t cover and can’t score. Packers 31, Giants 13


The Packers have lost two of their last three, both in California, in ugly ways. They are not going to walk into MetLife, crumble against a team that has lost seven straight and get embarrassed on the road for a third time. Packers 28, Giants 16


Rain and possible snow could mean a big day for Aaron Jones in a ground-oriented Packers offense. The Giants are missing key players to injury and have a rookie quarterback, making them ill equipped to spring an upset. Packers 31, Giants 21

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