Jobu reviews the Giants’ Week 11 win against the Green Bay Packers.
If you had told me after Week 6 that the Giants would to play a meaningful divisional matchup in Week 12, I would have told you to call Buggs and Elmer Fudd, cuz you were surely looney tunes. After their Week 6 loss to the Bears, the Giants were 0-6, with little hope for anything good, other than the number one pick in May. What a difference a month makes, right? Let’s review how the Giants were able to get past the Green Bay Packers in Week 11 to pull them to 4-6 and into the thick of the NFC East race.
Defense Wins Championships
I said this last week, but the Giants defense continues to impress me on a week-to-week basis. The one thing they did in this game, that they hadn’t really done since the winning streak began, was allow a legitimate touchdown drive. During the winning streak, the Giants had only allowed one offensive TD, and it was after the fumbled opening kickoff against the Raiders, which the Raiders had recovered on the Giants’ 5 yard line. Guess what though, that’s going to happen to even the best defenses at times. I will admit, however, that holding Scott Tolzien, a rookie making his first NFL start, isn’t as impressive as holding Aaron Rodgers, but it’s still pretty good.
Tolzien actually had a solid game, completing 24-34 passes for 339 yards. The problem for him, and this is yet another thing the Giants’ D did extremely well, was that he threw 3 big interceptions. Jason Pierre-Paul, who didn’t do much pressuring during this game and continues to struggle with shoulder and back injuries, had by far the biggest pick of the game. With the Giants up 20-13 in the fourth quarter, and the Packers looking to tie the game up with a lengthy touch down drive, JPP made a ridiculous leaping interception at the line of scrimmage and walked untouched into the the end zone for a 24-yard TD return. That play essentially put the game away. The sheer athleticism of the play makes it a must see if you haven’t. JPP is a freak. Jon Beason, who might be the trade of the year in the NFL, had one of the other picks, and Antrel Rolle sealed the game with a late pick in the fourth.
By the way, the Giants shut down yet another top running back, as rookie Eddie Lacy was held to just 27 yards on 14 carries. The Giants, mainly because of guys like Beason stepping up, continue to exert their dominance on the inside. You aren’t going to run the ball on the Giants. Ask Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy.
Once again, Eli Manning did enough to manage this game and refrained from making any big time mistakes. He threw one interception, but it was definitely not his fault. Louis Murphy is to blame for that one. On the INT, he basically made Eli Manning throw to the outside and then cut inside, which led to the pick by Tramon Williams. Other than that, Eli was great, completing 25-35 passes for 279 yards and a 26-yard TD pass to emerging threat Rueben Randle on the opening drive. Eli also had two passes of 30+ yards (30 to Cruz and 35 to Nicks), which were the first such passes since Week 8. Eli also showed some real emotion and aggression, which leads me to believe maybe he’s finally getting some confidence back. That’s going to be good for business.
The Giants running game helped Eli manage this win as well. Andre Brown, in his second game since returning from his second broken leg (same leg twice), was able to get a little bit of a break in this one. Considering he ran 30 times in his first game back last week, the fact that he only carried 18 times in this one, which should help keep him fresh for the rest of the season. He had 66 yards on the ground, although Brandon Jacobs did vulture away a touch down from him. It was good to see Jacobs back though. He only carried 5 times for 9 yards, but it’s good to have his giant body back there on the goal line.
The last nod of the day goes to Victor Cruz, who didn’t get to salsa, but had 8 catches for 117 yards. The Giants need him to keep that up if they’re going to make some noise down the stretch.
Big Time Test Coming Up
A win in next week’s game against the Cowboys might not make the season for the Giants, but a loss might just end their improbable playoff run. The Giants lost in Dallas in Week 1, which means the ‘Boys have a game in hand. The Giants can’t catch the Eagles next week, but beating the Cowboys could put them just one game back in the standings. I said it last week, but I think the Giants can afford to lose one more game this season if they want to make the playoffs. Although the Eagles are playing a lot better now that Nick Foles is back healthy, I think 9 wins is going to be enough to win the division. If the Eagles come back to Earth a little bit, the Giants could sneak in with 8 wins, but I think it’s going to be 9 and in.
The Giants did give up some long pass plays against the Packers, which could make Tony Romo salivate just a little bit, so they’re going to have to tighten up their coverage and make sure they knock Romo on his ass more than a few times come next week. Romo is not going to play like Josh Freeman, Matt Barkley, Terrelle Pryor and Tolzien have been the last few weeks. He’s a real NFL QB. The game is in New Jersey, which should help, so I think the Giants will keep it going against the Cowboys to climb to 5-6. Let’s hope I’m right.
Featured image courtesy of: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
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