The Green Bay Packers 3-1 surprise the New York Giants 3-1, who, under new head coach Brian Daboll, revitalized Saquon Barkley and won close games.
Before these two teams meet in London on Sunday, I have my final thoughts on the game.
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– The Giants defense leads the NFL in blitz rate this season. It will be interesting to see if they continue that trend against the Packers. On the one hand, Aaron Rodgers was very good against the blitz. And two, given some time, he might find some success on the court against an average secondary.
– In addition to blitzing a lot, the Giants are among the best situational defenses in the NFL, ranking second in the red zone and third in defense. To counter that, finding success on early downs will be a must for the Packers. They will achieve this through running and fast passing plays.
– Look for Aaron Jones for success outside of the tackle box. The Giants struggled to take the lead and contain the running backs. New York is allowing 5.1 yards per carry this season.
– Tackle is still an important aspect of the game, but if the Packers are out like they were in Weeks 1 and 2, Saquon Barkley will make them pay. He is among the best in terms of yards after contact and missed forced tackles. As Matt LaFleur said, all 11 hats to prom.
– I hope we see heavier boxes on Sunday. We know the Giants are going to rely on the running game, and Daniel Jones has been reluctant to push the ball down. The main purpose of Joe Barry’s Cover-2 scheme is to eliminate the big passing game, but if that’s not much of an issue against New York, we need to see some flexibility from Barry in prioritizing the passing game. race.
– In addition to making adjustments to Barry, the defense must be better at attacking, giving the advantage and warding off blame. All of these have been issues at times this season and have contributed to issues against the run.
– Off the running game, watch the Giants use the action game, where Jones has been very effective this season, completing 78% of his attempts with two touchdowns.
– As good as the Giants have been at heading the ball, they have really struggled to protect passes, allowing the highest pressure rate this season, according to Professional Football Reference. That said, Daniel Jones also didn’t help his offensive line in keeping the football.
– How do Rodgers and the young receivers handle the Giants defense? Wink Martindale can cause a lot of confusion with the late secondary movement and the mix of zone and man coverage.
–The Packers didn’t lift anyone from the practice squad for Sunday’s game, which is a good sign for Adrian Amos, who has undergone concussion protocol. In addition to the defense getting a boost with their return, so are the special teams. Last week with Rudy Ford in place of Amos, he didn’t play as many special teams snaps, and it’s no coincidence that the clearance coverage team wasn’t as effective without him.
– This is the first week of many trips for the Packers. After that game in London, they go home without a bye to face the New York Jets, then play three consecutive games on the road.
–Giants inside defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence has had a fantastic start to the season, ranking second in pressure within his positional group and ninth in PFF pass productivity. He’ll challenge the Packers’ inside linemen, and with the frequency of New York blitzes, doubling him may not be an easy task.
– LaFleur has said a few times this week that whoever handles travel best this week will likely play best on Sunday.
– When Christian Watson is on the move, even if he doesn’t get the ball back, it really helps open up lanes of traffic for Packers running backs. He holds linebackers and can take the defense away from the direction of the ball.
– Ball safety has been an issue for the Packers for four games. They’ve lost a fumble each week and Rodgers has three interceptions.
– Richie James Jr. has been a favorite target for Daniel Jones out of the slot. With Jarie Alexander returning, we might end up seeing Rasul Douglas meet him for a bit. Sterling Shepard, meanwhile, has the most targets on the team with 21. Overall, the Gaints’ receivers have been disappointing this season. Another reason to be aggressive against the run.
– With the Giants’ success on the field coupled with the defense’s ability to mix up coverage and generate pressure, I would see this as another frustrating game for the Packers. However, I expect them to win.