Jabrill Peppers, Aaron Rodgers
ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

Things can go from bad to worse for the New York Giants’ 27th-ranked defense when they take on the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

Jason Leach

To say the New York Giants defense has struggled this season would be a huge understatement. They’ve given up at least 28 points or more in eight of their 11 games this season. As a result, the 308 points allowed are the third most in the NFC.

The 117.5 yards they’re giving up on the ground ranks 22nd in the league, and they have the 26th ranked pass defense that’s giving up 260 yards per game.

So far this season, they’ve allowed five different quarterbacks to throw for over 300 yards, and now they face a Green Bay Packers offense led by Aaron Rodgers who is anxious to redeem themselves after their 37-8 drubbing at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football.

If trying to slow down one of the best quarterbacks in the league wasn’t going to be daunting enough, the Giants will have to do this without safety Jabrill Peppers who has a transverse process fracture which will likely end his season.

As bad as the pass defense has looked all season, things could spiral out of control against Green Bay. This is a monumental mismatch and that much is obvious.

Some people are saying that Rodgers is having a down year. Well, the fact is his “down year” would be a career-best for most quarterbacks. He’s thrown for 2,822 yards while completing 64.5% of his passes while throwing for 18 touchdowns against just two interceptions. That’s a down year?

Rodgers likes to spread the ball out to his receivers, running backs, and tight ends, as the Packers have six players with at least 23 receptions or more. His favorite target is wide receiver Davante Adams who, despite missing four games this season, leads the team in receptions (46) and receiving yards (580).

Defensive coordinator James Bettcher could elect to have Janoris Jenkins cover Adams to nullify his effectiveness. But then Rodgers would go after rookies DeAndre Baker and Corey Ballentine as they attempted to cover Geronimo Allison, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and the rest of Green Bay’s pass-catchers.

Whichever matchup favors the Packers the most, Rodgers will take advantage of this just as Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky did last week against the Giants during the second half.

The Giants led 7-3 at the half, but the Bears drove 60 yards on just five plays culminating in a 32-yard touchdown pass to Allen Robinson II, who was being defended by Ballentine. The cornerback also gave up a 23-yard completion on that drive. It became obvious the Bears coaching staff saw something in Ballentine they could exploit.

The Bears came into the game last week with the 30th ranked passing game in the league, but Trubisky had a season-high 278 yards passing. So just imagine what Rodgers, who already has two 400-yard passing games on the season, will do to the depleted and young Giants secondary.

Anything can happen in the NFL, but it’s hard to envision a scenario where the Giants are able to contain Rodgers. If New York is going to have any chance of being competitive on Sunday, they’ll need a huge day from Daniel Jones to see if he can outduel Rodgers in a shootout. If Jones can’t keep up with Rodgers, it will be another long day for the Giants and their fans.

Jason's first love was football while growing up in northern New Jersey. For the past three years, he has covered the New York Giants, as well as several boxing events along the East Coast.