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Giants Face Key Matchup On Road Against Green Bay Packers

(Photo by Rob Samuels - Double G Media)

(Photo by Rob Samuels – Double G Media)


McAdoo Returns to Green Bay on a Mission

Ben McAdoo wants to get the Giants back on track after losing two games in a row. However, there is one roadblock in his way, his former team. McAdoo spent 8 seasons with the Green Bay Packers as a tight ends coach from 2006-2011 and as the quarterbacks coach from 2012-2013. McAdoo helped contribute to one of the most high power offenses in the entire NFL during his tenure in Green Bay and is looking to spread his wisdom to the New York Giants. With all of the history McAdoo has with the Packers, McAdoo is being treating this game as any other game.

“It’s one of 16 [games],” said McAdoo. “It’s another opportunity to get on the field in a short week. We’ll be excited to get back.”

McAdoo has been very coy, treating this as another game on the schedule. McAdoo will be standing on opposite sides of the field with his former mentor, Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy.

“Well, the first thing that you always expect with Ben, especially as was clearly evident with our time together, is that his football team will be prepared,” said Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy. “He is definitely a stickler for details, tremendous work ethic, so we know that we are going to see a very well-prepared football team come Sunday night.”

One player in particular that McAdoo worked with extensively during his time in Green Bay was Aaron Rodgers.

“He’s great X’s and O’s, he’s great with the ball,” said Rodgers. “He cares about it, and when you see somebody who cares about it as much as Ben does, you can’t help but have respect for the guy.”

The Giants go into Green Bay with sixth most total yards per game (382.2) and fourth most pass yards per game (288.5). However, the yards are not leading to points, owning the 27th overall points per game. This was a problem going into last Monday’s matchup against the Vikings, but they couldn’t get anything going against one of the league’s best defenses.

Beckham’s Emotions need to be Held in Check

Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr has been the talk of national sports media this week, but not because of his play. They are talking about his emotional outbursts during the past two games against the Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings. Beckham has been flagged with unsportsmanlike conduct once in each game, which have negated positive gains on the offense.

Beckham has been outspoken about how officials are keeping an eye on him, even saying that “football isn’t fun,” for him anymore. From former Giants coach Tom Coughlin saying Beckham is, “a distraction,” to Jon Gruden saying, “he should be benched,” it has been a roller coaster week for Beckham. During the past couple of days, however, Beckham has changed his stance on wearing his heart on his sleeve.

“The thing that kills me is that I remember when I was a kid,” said Beckham. “I remember when I looked up to someone and watched them, emulated them. What I’m doing is not something I would want a six-year old boy to be out there and learn from.”

With being called a distraction, suggestions that he should be benched, it seems that Beckham has opened his eyes in this whole situation. Not only does he have to be smart on the field and avoid penalties, but he also realizes that being a role model to younger fans is important as well. Beckham has moved on from the national media attention and onto the game against the Packers, and that is what we’re going to do as well.

Don’t Underestimate Packers’ Offense

The Packers have always been one of the league’s best teams, especially with Aaron Rodgers under center. Although they have the 29th overall total yards and pass yards per game, this is still Aaron Rodgers we’re talking about. Rodgers has proven for over the past half a decade that he is one of the best quarterbacks in football. Rodgers has completed 55 of 94 pass attempts for 617 yards, seven touchdowns and only one interception in his first three games of the season. The Giants know that Rodgers will test them throughout the four quarters of game in Green Bay.

“He is a great football player,” said Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. “…he is a Hall of Famer. We need to affect the other 10. That is what we are talking about. If we can do that, then we have some success…”

One of Green Bay’s primary weapons is the deep threat wide receiver, Jordy Nelson. Nelson is coming off a full season of rehabbing a torn ACL he suffered in the 2015 preseason. Nelson has shown no signs of depleted abilities, as he has caught 17 receptions for 206 yards and four touchdowns in three games this season. If the Giants can hold off Nelson on Sunday night, the defense has to keep an eye on Randall Cobb, Davante Adams, and Richard Rodgers, as Rodgers can find ways to get the ball down the field, regardless of the recipient.

“It’s going to be a big opportunity for everybody that’s playing out there,” said Giants cornerback Eli Apple. “We have a lot of guys that are hungry for this…It’ll be about us winning our individual matchups and take it from there.”

The Giants defense has yet to force a turnover this season, even with all of the acquisitions they have made on the defensive side of the ball. You have to imagine the Giants are due, and it would certainly help the Giants win this critical game.

Giants’ Offense Needs to Take the Next Step

When we look at the Giants stats in a few paragraphs above, the Giants are getting the necessary yardage to win games. However, the Giants are not capitalizing on scoring opportunities. It’s a matter of waiting for the offense to finally click together, and we can see one of the scariest offenses in the NFL.

“It takes time, regardless if the system has been here for three years,” said Beckham. “It’s a new team. It’s got new players. We’re all still getting acquainted. There’s a lot of time left.”

The trio of Beckham, Cruz, and Shepard are making claims as one of the most dangerous receiver corps in the league. Beckham has 22 receptions for 303 yards, but no touchdowns. Shepard has 20 receptions for 263 yards, for two touchdowns. Cruz has 16 receptions for 245 yards and one touchdown. The stats are showing that if the top defensive backs cover Beckham, they are leaving Shepard and Cruz open for yards and scores. The Packers have one of the worst pass defenses in the league (29th), and the Giants need to take advantage of that.

“We always want to be balanced with the run and the pass, but we also have to understand that we have to take what the defense gives us,” said Cruz. “We have to be able to understand how they’re playing us and be able to combat that however we want to…”

The Giants are aware that the Packers pass defense is suspect, but they know one thing that is not suspect. That is the Packers run defense. Their run defense is currently ranked as the best in the league, allowing only 42.7 rush yards per game against opposing teams. The Giants know the challenge they are facing against the Packers front seven.

“They have been shutting down runs,” said Giants running back Rashad Jennings. “They have a lot of depth up front…I think we have a good offensive scheme going into it this week of how we are going to approach how to pick up their blitzes, how to take on their 3-4 and 4-3 and the mixes that they are going to give us…”

Jennings looks to be ruled out for Sunday night’s game, so the Giants are going to rely on Orleans Darkwa, Bobby Rainey, and Paul Perkins to shoulder the load for another week.

With the rise of the Eagles at the top of the division, the Dallas Cowboys in second place, and the Redskins tying the Giants in the division, it is another must-win game for the Giants. Giants-Packers is one of the premier games this week, with the potential of the game being a shootout. This could be the Giants breakout game that they desperately need. We shall see if this is the case, come Sunday night.

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General Editor and New York Giants Lead Writer.
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