ILB and Packers-Giants Keys to the Game
Amanda has a great article about the Suh incident up this morning – so make sure you check it out. She explained it a lot better than I ever could.
We are 11-0. ELEVEN AND OH. That is insane. As my favorite Packer fan Bill said, 1962 has been revenged. This time last year, we had just come off a loss to Atlanta where we couldn’t effectively run the ball. It doesn’t seem to be an issue at all. Going into this game, I thought Finley would be the gamechanger. Funny enough, it was EDS who took over right guard for an injured Josh Sitton that made plays and headlines. I also thought Detroit would expose our issues at ILB and on the O-Line.
We all know I’m not a fan of A.J. Hawk in the least. Chalk it up to this Ohio State-ness, chalk it up to his overrated play, I don’t really think he adds a lot. When Bish went down in the 1st quarter, I audibly had a few choice words in two different languages. Bish’s injury is more severe of the two, and he has an MRI scheduled for today.
When Hawk went down, I definitely had an oh crap moment, and I don’t even like the guy. I’ve been clamoring for more depth at ILB since training camp. Leave it to the back-ups to make me eat my words on Thanksgiving. Yes, pun intended Wally.
Can we give it up for D.J. Smith and Francois (Ok, who else had a Who the heck is that?! when he intercepted) for totally stepping it up in a position where we, on the surface, had the least depth? I realize that Hawk and Bishop had defensive speakers, so could help with playcalling, but you still have to make the play. Smith had four tackles and Francois had the interception. You have to give Francois credit for being able to make said leaping interception on an underthrown ball after a deep drop.
Smith finished with five tackles, including one on the first snap against halfback Kevin Smith for no gain.
I’d like to see McCarthy sit out Bishop for the Giants game to give him rest, and rotate Smith and Francois in along Hawk. Not my ideal situation, but I think that we can handle Eli and the Giants O-Line without him.
Things to look for in the Giants-Packers game:
- The Giants lead the league in sacks, but you couldn’t tell that from their last five games (only 3 sacks.) Against the Eagles, they struggled against Vince Young, and only managed to take him down once on an 18-play, 9 minute drive. With our thin O-Line, they are going to have to watch for Tollefson and crew to redeem themselves a bit against QB1.
- The Giants secondary will probably focus on receivers that cross routes in the middle of the field and will try to stop them before they get open. QB1 is good at getting out of the pocket and finding them – so they’ll try to stop the receivers before he can.
- Contain Rodgers in the pocket – seems like a duh, but we shall see if they can pressure the O-Line enough to do it.
- Finely has to step up and make catches. Giants struggle against tight ends that are great at the pass game – Exhibit A can be seen tonight in Saints TE Jimmy Graham.
- Packers play to the level of their opponent more often than not, and the Giants excel in tight games. They have scored 228 points this season and allowed the exact same amount.
- O-Line, even with injures, has to step it up and protect Rodgers. If he can find receivers, we are golden. If he goes down, well. We all know what that looks like.
- McCarthy could put in Sherrod for Sitton, but I think it would be a dumb move. I expect Sherrod and EDS to compete for the start in practice this week.
What would you add?