#474 Green Bay Packersvs.#473 New York Giants
Written by Ricky Dimon
When: Sunday, October 9 at 8:30 p.m.
The Line: Green Bay Packers -1. Total: 45.
The Green Bay Packers are coming off a bye week and looking for their first two-game winning streak of the season as they prepare to host the New York Giants at Lambeau Field on Sunday night. Green Bay headed into its break with a 34-27 victory over Detroit, marking its first home game of the 2016 campaign. The Giants, on the other hand, are in the midst of a short week after losing at Minnesota 24-10 on Monday night.
New York has scored more than 20 points this season only once in four outings, and even that exception was a relatively modest 27-point performance in a home loss to the Redskins. The team scored exactly half of 20 on Monday, when it amassed only 339 total yards–including just 78 on the ground. Odell Beckham Jr. did not make a catch until midway through the second quarter and he finished with a mere three receptions for 23 yards. Hounded by Vikings’ cornerback Xavier Rhodes all night, Beckham became increasingly frustrated and at one point incurred a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
“It’s all within us,” he commented. “I only get upset with us, my team, myself. It has nothing to do with anybody else, period. There’s no ‘getting in your head’ or any of that other stuff. That’s all talk to create distraction, which doesn’t really work.”
The Packers’ break came in Week 4, which marked the first time on the 2016 schedule that any teams were off. While the early bye means Green Bay will now play games in 13 consecutive weeks, it may have come at the right time. Linebacker Clay Matthews (ankle/hamstring), defensive end Datone Jones (knee), safety Morgan Burnett (groin), defensive tackle Letroy Guion (knee), cornerback Sam Shields (concussion), and tight end Jared Cook (ankle) have all been dealing with physical problems. All except Shields and Cook practiced on Monday.
“We’re taking the approach today of self-improvement,” head coach Mike McCarthy said during Monday’s workout. “We want each player to have some substance from the evaluations. Today our emphasis is on the fundamentals and the things we feel we need to hit one more time before we get back into a normal work week preparing for the New York Giants. That in itself will make sure everyone is focused.”
The New York Giants are:
The Green Bay Packers are:
Not only are the Packers rested, but they also have an in-form Aaron Rodgers under center. Through three games, Rodgers has seven touchdowns and just one interception. He tossed four scoring strikes without getting picked off in Green Bay’s Week 3 defeat of Detroit. The Giants, on the other hand, are not rested and not confident. Beckham–and the rest of the offense–struggled on Monday and he sounds like he is too preoccupied with the officiating to focus on improving. “I have to know the scenario,” Beckham said. “The refs are looking to call anything, and they’re not looking to call anything the other way. So, you have to know that. You have to be okay with it.” The Giants’ reeling offense could run into further trouble against a Green Bay defense that is only getting healthier. New York is 1-5 ATS in its last six overall, 1-5 ATS in its last six against the NFC, 1-5 ATS in its last six following a loss, 4-10 ATS in its last 14 against winning opponents, and 0-6-1 ATS in its last seven on the road against opponents with winning home records. The Packers are 4-1 ATS in their last five overall, 10-3 ATS in their last 13 following a bye, and 4-0 ATS in their last four on grass. Look for those trends to continue.
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A 2006 graduate of Davidson College, Ricky is a freelance sports writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. He has previously worked with various websites in the sports handicapping industry and is generally a fan of going with the hot hand while in most cases showing a willingness to take favorites and give the points. Beyond the four major sports, Ricky is an avid tennis fan—and writer—and covers the ATP Tour on a daily basis.