Last night’s Giants game wasn’t exactly a must win, but it was pretty close.
The Giants limped into the bye week off of two ugly losses and then had to play the Packers, one of the hottest teams in the NFL. After a sluggish start for Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers and the Pack were fully hitting their stride and entered the game on a five game winning streak.
And just when everyone thought the Giants were slipping, they played their best game of the year on both sides of the ball. They demolished the Packers 38-10 and looked like the team that won the Super Bowl last year, not a team that was on a two game losing streak.
The Giants defense celebrate Corey Webster’s (center) interception in the first half of Sunday night’s game. Although the secondary got the glory here, the defensive line was the big story racking up five sacks and endless quarterback pressures. PHOTO COURTESY: AL BELLO/GETTY IMAGES
The impressive win showed the NFL world a few significant things. Not only can the Giants claim to be a more superior team than the Packers, but they also showed the entire league a blue print on how to stop Rodgers and the high potent Packers offense: pressure Rodgers so he can never get comfortable in the pocket.
The Giants defensive line was in championship form last night against a struggling Packers offensive line and sacked Rodgers five times. The Green Bay quarterback was sacked or hit on 17 of his 33 drop backs and found himself scrambling much more than he is accustom to.
He has now been sacked 37 times this season, one more than all of last year. It was the perfect matchup for the Giants to get their pass rushers back on the right track after a relatively slow beginning of the season.
Now obviously, if you pressure any quarterback there is a better likelihood that he will not perform well. What is different about the Packers is that they do not have a consistent running game to combat a ferocious pass rush. If their passing game is not on, they will have a hard time beating team’s in this league.
The Packers also do not have a great defense, which was combatted last night by key injuries to stars Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson. It’s hard to say that the Giants would have won this game so easily if the Packers were healthy but it might not have mattered the way Big Blue played yesterday.
So if the rest of the NFL was watching Sunday night’s game (which I’m sure they were) they would have saw two things. First, there is a clear formula to beating the Packers and secondly, the Giants are still one of the best teams in the NFL.
The world definitely needed a reminder of that second thing after the Giants nearly went through November win-less.
The game was just the beginning of a brutal five game stretch that the Giants have to go through to end the season. Luckily for the Giants, in the year’s they won the Super Bowl, they peaked during the last month of the season.
If last night was any indication, the Giants should be right where they want to be, and that is something no one else in the NFL wants.
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Contributor – Dave Ragazzo – @DRagazzo_Sports
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