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Preview: Giants Offense Against The Packers Defense

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After looking first at the Green Bay Packers offense versus the Giants defense, it's time to move to the other side of the ball. Once again, I'm not only looking at the Packers game against the Giants from last month, but also their game back on December 26, 2010. Here are some selected stats for the Giants offense from those two games:

Total Yards Yards/Carry Yards/Att. Touchdowns INT & Fumbles
12/04/11 447 5.0 8.7 4 2
12/26/10 386 4.3 9.0 2 6

The problem area for the Giants offense should jump out at you. Their 2010 game at Lambeau was a turnover filled disaster. They only turned the ball over twice last month, but one of them was a pick-six to Clay Matthews. The Packers have led the league in interceptions in 2011, and they showed off their ball hawking ways back in 2010 too.

On the other hand, the Giants racked up the yardage and scored six touchdowns in two games. Even back in 2010, the Packers pass defense was starting to look like the 2011 version that surrendered the most passing yards in a season. The Packers have allowed on average 300 yards passing per game this season, and they surrendered 301 passing yards to Eli Manning in 2010.

Here are the overall team stats from Football Outsiders:

FO Rank
Giants Pass Offense 4
Packers Pass Defense 23
Giants Run Offense 20
Packers Run Defense 26

Eli Manning and his teammates aren't as good as Aaron Rodgers and friends, but the Giants are still an elite offensive team. Except their running game has been held back by injuries on the offensive line, and by the fact that starting RB Ahmad Bradshaw has missed a few games. With Bradshaw now healthy, their run offense looks better (just ask the Falcons). But the Giants offense is going to have to produce in the air if they want to win. The key for them will be to avoid the turnovers that hurt them in the past.

Again from Football Outsiders, here are the stats for the Giants offensive and the Packers defensive line:

FO Rank
Giants Pass Protection 5
Packers Pass Rush 32
Giants Run Blocking 28
Packers Run Blocking 30

Maybe B.J. Raji received a sympathy Pro Bowl berth because he was forced to play on such a bad defensive line. On the other hand, the Packers line up with only two defensive lineman on so many occasions that these stats are deceiving. It's hard for a defensive line to make an impact when those two lineman are just trying to occupy as many blockers as they can. The Packers will have trouble putting pressure on Manning, they only had 1 sack and 3 pressures in their previous game, and they'll have to get creative with some blitz packages.

The Packers defense is going to have it's hands full. There's nothing they can do that the Giants don't do better. The difference in both games has been the turnovers. If the defense can force two or more turnovers, that will be a win for them.