The New York Giants look to end their seven-game losing streak and avoid clinching their third consecutive double-digit loss season when they take on the (8-3) Green Bay Packers on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—Based on the records of the (8-3) Green Bay Packers and the (2-9) New York Giants, their matchup on Sunday is one of the great mismatches this season. To make matters worse for the Giants, they’ll be without several key players on Sunday: Golden Tate, Evan Engram, Jabrill Peppers, and Rhett Ellison.
Despite the odds seemingly stacked against them, Pat Shurmur must find a way to rally his team as they attempt to end their seven-game losing streak and come away with a huge upset.
Shurmur was asked earlier in the week what his team needs to do to end their losing streak.
“We just need to keep fighting through it,” Shurmur explained. “I love the way our guys train. I love the way they work. There are many things that happen in the ball game that is really good football. Then there are things that have been happening to us…
“For a team like ours, we have things happen, big plays, turnovers, that have affected us in a lot of close games. I appreciate the fact that these guys are tough and resilient and keep playing. The games have been close, and so we just need to find a way to get over the top.”
Here’s what the Giants will need to do in order to win on Sunday:
It’s hard to envision the Giants, who are giving up 28 points per game, finding the ability to slow down Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense. In order for the Giants defense to stop the Packers from scoring, they’re going to need to force turnovers.
This will be easier said than done, as Rodgers only has two interceptions on the season, and the offense has lost just two fumbles all season; but the strong possibility that the game will be played in inclement weather may help the Big Blue come away with turnovers.
Just as important as it is for the Giants to come away with turnovers, the offense can ill-afford to turn the ball over themselves on Sunday.
The Giants have turned the ball over in every game this season and Daniel Jones has lost 10 fumbles this season. Jones and the rest of the offense must play a clean game if they’re going to have any chance of winning.
Get Saquon going
In his five games since returning from his high ankle sprain, Saquon Barkley is averaging just 44.8 yards per game on the ground. It’s not a coincidence that the Giants haven’t won since Barkley’s return.
The Packers defense has been vulnerable against the run, giving up an average 125.5 yards a game. The offensive line must open holes for Barkley and he must run hard to exploit this weakness in the Packers defense.
If Rodgers has all day to throw, he will pick apart the Giants secondary. It’s imperative that the Giants pass rush pressure Rodgers often so that he doesn’t feel comfortable in the pocket.
The Packers might be without one of the best tackles in football, as Bryan Bulaga is questionable with a knee injury. Markus Golden, Lorenzo Carter and company should be able to pressure Rodgers off the edge if Bulaga is unable to play or is hampered by his injured knee. But it will take a total effort by the Giants front seven to pressure Rodgers.
Leonard Williams has yet to make an impact since joining the team. Sunday is an ideal time for him to finally make his mark.
Don’t get beat deep
The Giants secondary has given up big plays all season, and on Sunday, they’ll go up against a talented Packers’ receiving core led by Davante Adams. With Peppers out, rookie Julian Love is expected to make his first NFL start at safety.
It’s imperative that everyone in the secondary is on the same page or Rodgers will beat them deep with Adams and the rest of the Packers receivers. If the communication and execution are poor again for the Giants secondary, the game could be a blowout.
These two teams are going in two different directions. The Packers are tied for the division lead in the NFC North while the Giants are on their way to a top-five pick in the draft.
The Packers will outclass the Giants on Sunday.