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The final day of a wild Week 14 is set for a big Monday Night that will feature two matchups. These games will have huge playoff implications and a potential test for the more established teams. Among the games is the NFC matchup between the Green Bay Packers (6-6) and the New York Giants (4-8).
The Green Bay Packers started the Jordan Love era at quarterback by winning two of the first three games of the season. After the first three games, the Packers will only win one of the next six games in a brutal schedule. It didn't help that there was a lack of efficiency with Love at quarterback as there were signs that the team might have been looking to move on after this season. That mentality changed recently as the Packers have won three consecutive games, with the last two being a 29-22 road win at the Detroit Lions and a 27-19 home win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Last year in the first season of Brian Daboll, he brought an undervalued Giants team to the playoffs. This season, the giants came crashing back down to earth and a big way. The Giants started the season in only one of their first six games. It appeared that the Giants weren't going to be the worst team in the NFC East with two wins of washing commanders, but outside of four wins over terrible teams, there isn't much value to the Giants as a playoff retainer or playoff threat this season. The role that the Giants could play for the remainder of this season is to ruin other team's playoff chances, including Green Bay as they are coming off a bye week.
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|Green Bay Packers
|New York Giants
When Aaron Rodgers left the Packers via trade, he took more than the title of starting quarterback. Rogers took the philosophy and much of their star talent within the past few seasons. It has been a tough adjustment for new starting quarterback Jordan Love as he is heading up and down season. Within the past few weeks, love has played some of the best ball and his entire football career. This season, Green Bay is 19th in the league in points per game (21.5), but they have averaged 26.3 points within the last three wins. This is due to Love finding a solid rhythm and leading the Packers' offense at the right time.
Last season, there was a lot of respect and fear of the Giants’ defense. This season that respected fear has withered away as they are one of the least effective units in the league appearing giants are ranked 26th in the league in points allowed per game (24.3) and 27th in total yards allowed per game (364.3). There isn’t a reliable pass rusher outside of Kayvon Thibodeaux and not much reliable veteran talent.
The offense of the New York Giants had problems before the season-ending injury to quarterback Daniel Jones. With Jones being injured they have gone back and forth between Tyrod Taylor and Tommy DeVito. The quarterback play was not exactly the full problem with the passing game as the Giants still lacked an efficient receiver to help carry the offense. The Giants are arranged 31st in the league in points per game (13.2), last in total yards per game (258.7), and last in passing yards per game (151.6). Finally, the offensive line has allowed 69 sacks this season, the most in the league.
Green Bay has one of the most efficient defenses in the NFL. The Packers are ranked 11th in the league in points allowed per game (20.2) and 19th in total yards allowed per game (240.). They are a unit that possesses a lot of young and reliable talent as these players have helped the unit get better as the season progressed. While they are highly efficient in stopping the passing game, they still had issues trying to stop the run. Green Bay is 10th in the league in passing yards allowed per game (203.8), but they are 30th in rush defense (136.2).
Since November started, Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love has been on a tear as he has helped his team when four of the last five games. In those games, love has thrown for two or more touchdowns in four to five games while throwing only two interceptions.
The Giants are among one of the worst teams in the league in defending against the passing game. New York has allowed 14 passing touchdowns this season. The only reason that they have allowed more rushing touchdowns is because they are even more terrible against defending the run.
With the Packers not having a fully established rushing game, they will turn to Love to get the offense going appearing against this terrible Giants defense, Love should have another stellar game.
It is no secret that the New York Giants are a waste in the prime years of dynamic running back Saquon Barkley. In nine games this season, Barkley has rushed for 697 yards and only one touchdown on 165 carries.
He's an explosive back that has been minimalized due to the poor play of the offensive line this season. When he does find the availability to break out through an open hole, he explodes for a big gain. He has had the longest rush run of 16 yards in six of the nine games played this season. He has rushed for a single-play longest run of 19 yards in the last five games.
With the Packers having a defense that is not efficient in stopping the run, Barkley might have availability to explore for at least two big plays.
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The Packers do not have an overly aggressive pass rush this season. Rashawn Gary has accounted for a career-high nine sacks this season and looks to continue his stellar stretch.
This Packers defense should have a huge opportunity to account for a lot of chaos in the backfield as the Giants have an offensive line that has allowed a league-high 69 sacks this season. They should make opportunities for players like Gary and linebacker Preston Smith to have their season-high performances.
Outside of Packers quarterback Jordan Love, the defensive pass rush should be the key indicator of the winner on Monday Night.
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What: Green Bay Packers vs. New York Giants
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
When: Monday, December 11, 8:15 PM E.T.
How to Watch: ABC, ESPN+, YouTube TV, NFL
Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.More info on Michael Hanich
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