Well, we are happy to be wrong. We thought that the Pack would win, but we didn’t discount the possibility of a Giants win. Our analysis follows.
First, we said that in order for the Giants to win they would need to win the turnover battle, limit penalties, and control the clock with an effective running game. The Giants won the turnover battle 3-1, and the total would have been higher if not for some suspect officiating. From the standpoint of penalties, the game was clean. The G-Men had 3 for 30, and the Pack had 2 for 20. Once again, the roughing the passer call on Osi was suspect. From the standpoint of time of possession, it was about even. Statistically, the Giants ground game ws effective, but the reality was that if not for a couple of big runs the running attack was ordinary.Defensively, the Giants are playing lights out. Maybe it’s getting players back from injury. Maybe it’s a simplified system. Maybe it’s the return of Chase Blackburn as the QB of the defense. Whatever it is, in the last month things have tightened up, and the G-Men have plugged the leaks.
Offensively, the Giants did well. Manning spread the ball around, and Hakeem Nicks has reclaimed the number 1 receiver spot. With everyone focusing on Cruz, Nicks broke free. The 66 yard catch and run was aided by poor tackling on the part of the Packers. After Nicks made the catch, the d-back had the opportunity to make the tackle, but opted to try and lay a big hit on Nicks. Instead, Nicks bounced off of him and took it to the house. The Hail Mary pass at the end of the first half looked like the Packers gave up on the play, and the catch against the helmet brought back memories of the Super Bowl 4 years ago. The line held up reasonably well, and kept Eli upright for most of the game. It looked as if he was throwing off of his back foot at times, but it didn’t affect his accuracy.
Defensively, Osi played great, as did Michael Boley. Aaron Rodgers ran for a lot of yards, but that was because the Giants had great coverage. If the QB is the leading rusher for a pass happy team such as Green Bay, it shows how well the coverage was. It also looked as if the timing between Rodgers and his receivers was off. Maybe the week off hurt the timing, maybe the fact that Green Bay hadn’t played a meaningful game in a few weeks affected the timing. Sadly, maybe the loss of Coach Philbin’s son affected the performance of the team.
Lastly, special teams play was effective. The Giants were careful with the first onside kick, and also recovered the second kick as well. Weatherford kept the Pack pinned in, so there were no returns. Sadly, the Giants return game is still MIA.
At any rate, a great win. The Giants went into Green Bay and came out with a victory, exorcising the demons of last year’s shellacking. The revenge tour rolls on to San Francisco next week. Go G-MEN!