A few weeks ago, this two game stretch that the Green Bay Packers are in the middle of (road games at Detroit and New York) looked formidable. Instead, the Packers defeated the Lions by a score of 27-15, and it wasn't even that close. And then on Monday night, the Giants got pasted by the Saints (49-24) in a game in which their defense gave them no chance. They now look like two teams heading in opposite directions.
Here are their rankings, according to Football Outsiders:
All rankings are not created equal. The two pass defenses aren't that far apart statistically, while the Packers pass offense is much higher ranked than the Giants. If the Giants go with an extra defensive back to stop the pass, as they did for most of the game against the Saints, then the Packers could have some success running the ball. But the Giants ground attack (3.2 ypc) doesn't seem capable of taking advantage of the Packers poor run defense.
If the Giants offense can attack down field like the Chargers did against the Packers, then they could have a big game. However, if they're forced into short passes like the Lions and Falcons were, then they'll be hard pressed to score more than 14 points. The Packers have done a lousy job of covering running backs in pass coverage, but unless Ahmad Bradshaw can practice this week, the Giants might not be able to take advantage of it.
The Packers offense should be able to protect Aaron Rodgers (the Giants only have 3 sacks in their last 3 games) and the Giants were unable to take away either the deep ball or the short passes from Drew Brees. The Giants will probably be asking a lot from their safeties, to cover the deep middle and protect against the run, and that didn't go so well last season. The Packers do tend to score slightly worse on the road (39 points per game at home versus 31 on the road), so the Giants got that going for them.
The Giants could turn this game into a shooting match, but no matter what has happened this season, Rodgers has been up to the task and outplayed every opponent. One of these days, some defense is going to figure him, but the Giants don't appear to possess that defense.
Packers 31, Giants 20. For more on this upcoming game, check out Big Blue View.