Last week was a miserable reminder that the Packers still have room to grow before a deep playoff run. Before we get too spoiled, Cheeseheads need to remain humble while still celebrating an 8-3 record. Matt LaFleur and the offense struggled in the highly touted matchup of offensive coaches. They were bullied into a one-dimensional offense incapable of breaking down the respected, San Fran defense. Luckily for Green Bay, the team starts their rebound against two dumpy NFC East opponents before facing the division rivals to close out the season.
Early weather reports suggest that Sunday’s game will have some light rain and possible snow with the temperature hovering around freezing. With a light wind, expect Rodgers to have a solid bounce-back day leading the Packers past a banged-up Giants team. Giants lack depth, exposing them with the absences of Golden Tate, Evan Engram, Rhett Ellison, Jabril Peppers and a cast of others. The Giants are a 2-9 team with an inept coach. Pat Shurmur may be coaching for his job and he’ll let Daniel Jones play aggressive.
Green Bay’s defense will have to take advantage of the mismatches provided by the injured Giants. Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, and rookie TE Kaden Smith look to carry the load outside of Saquon’s running game. Hard to see how Green Bay can screw this up against the 3rd most turnover-prone offense and a defense ranked 26th in yards allowed. Unfortunately for Green Bay, their defense is ranked 27th in yards allowed. Mike Pettine gameplan will focus on controlling Saquon and hope Daniel Jones has some errant throws behind a shaky offensive line.
Last week was one of the uglier Aaron Rodgers games we have all witnessed. Memories of 2015 season’s 6-0 matchup versus Denver when Rodgers 77 yards passing dropped Super Bowl aspirations back to reality. The 49er loss wasn’t a dire one and Green Bay can take their licks and move on. They have some time to figure out how to beat the 49ers if they meet in the postseason. Aaron gets an appetizing bounce-back game against the Giants who are ranked 24th against QBs in points per game.
Rodgers isn’t the average QB and with injury mismatches and a bad defense, expect Aaron to find his rhythm to his feature players. Hard to trust anyone outside of the RBs and Davante. Geronimo and MVS are nearly absent from the offense outside of drops while Kumerow and Lazard have both cooled off since their breakout games.
Rodgers will do what he does best and feed 17 the ball early and often. It is in my expectation, Rodgers utilizes his RBs more as he and LaFleur commented on Aaron Jones’ lack of touches in the passing game. New York hasn’t allowed a receiving touchdown to an RB yet this season so look for Aaron Rodgers to change that little streak.
Rodgers rights the ship with 315 yards 3 TDs.
Aaron Jones/Jamaal Williams
Despite New York’s loss to Chicago, their defense held the Bears duo of David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen to lackluster performances. Personally, I would gladly take the Packers duo over those dusty Bears backs. Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams are necessary to jumpstart this Packers offense. Jamaal’s groundwork will be beneficial in wearing down the Giants’ defense so Aaron can splinter his way through it for big chunks. Both backs will have modest days on the ground and make up their stats through the air.
Aaron Jones – 55 yards & a TD, 40 receiving yards on 4 catches
Jamaal Williams – 35 yards, 3 catches for 30 yards and a TD.
Aaron Rodgers will always get Davante the touches to be fantasy relevant. Last week’s performance is humbling and Davante still pulled 7 catches for 43 yards and a TD. New York doesn’t have the playmakers necessary to keep up with someone of Davante’s caliber. Expect Davante to feast on the Giants team who is 31st in the league in points allowed to wide receivers. The same Giants team that just let Mitch Trubisky throw for 275 yards on them.
Expect Davante to get 9 catches for 85 yards and 2 scores
Everyone else. Haha. It’s brutal, I know, although until this Packer offense can get consistent use out of the other Packer wide receivers, they are unreliable resources. MVS’s breakout potential could put him in middling expectations if the defense overplays their coverage towards Davante. Lazard, Kumerow, Jimmy Graham, Marcedes Lewis and Danny Vitale are all looking at big play opportunities to be relevant.
Expect the Packers to figure out what bug they keep catching in California and leave it on the west coast. Green Bay seems to have a smart coaching staff capable of making the adjustments this week. LaFleur has an obligation to stick to the run game and develop the play action. Rodgers and the offense will be sloppy at times but ultimately throw their way to victory Sunday.
My prediction is a 31-20 Packers victory
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Go Pack Go!