Money Line NFL Weekend – Sunday Late Edition
New York Giants @ Green Bay -7.5 Sunday 4:30 pm
I really struggled with what to do with this line. When it opened in the 8.5 to 9 range I thought it was a tinge too high and the Giants might be the right pick. I am somewhat surprised it came down from its opening and now sits just a shade over a TD. If you have been following my playoff picks it shouldn’t be shocking to you that I am going to side with the Packers.
I don’t know how much analysis I can add to this game that has already be said, and over-said all week long. We know the Packers are a powerhouse that always get their points at home. They have some injuries but reports are that all key players will be returning this week. We know the Giants can get their points too, and that the road never seems to affect Eli Manning’s play. We have also heard how the Giants have a ferocious pass rush that reminds every one of 2007 all over again.
Here are the two things that I think haven’t been hammered home enough:
The Packers were sleep walking through the regular season – I mean this. Their offense was obviously clicking on all cylinders but I never felt like it was difficult for them. They were ready for the post-season to begin in week 10. They didn’t need anymore reps. Eventually you stop challenging yourself. I don’t think they will have a problem renewing their intensity for a home playoff game against a team that knocked them out of the playoffs only three seasons ago. But the offense is not where I mean they were sleep walking, I am talking about the defense. Look at all the playmakers they have on this defense. From cornerback to linebacker to the defensive line this team has all-stars. This showed up this year in their turnover numbers. And maybe the yardage totals look ugly for this team but in this all-offense NFL the team scoring the most points is naturally going to give up the most yards, there is rarely such a thing as a shut down D anymore. (By the way the Packers scored the second most points all-time behind the 2007 Patriots) I think the defense shows up. They don’t shut down the Giants, but they put pressure on them. They get some sacks, they get some big hits and the cause a few turnovers. They do enough to give their offense a chance to win the game.
You simply cannot trust these Giants – Their big post-season stretch run included a comeback win in Dallas that the Cowboys gagged away, a horrendous 23-10 home loss versus the Redskins, a big victory over a massively over-rated Jets team and finally a beat down of the Cowboys at home in a game that I’m not totally certain the Cowboys knew was for a playoff spot. Last week they took care of the Atlanta Falcons at home pretty easily. This is the game that got all their momentum for this week rolling. I liked the win and how the Giants played but Atlanta is really not a good road team, and this game turned on all those 4th down failures for the Falcons. Without them this game is super tight.
I know the Giants were able to keep this game close back in week 13 when the game was played in New York but in Green Bay will be a different story. The Giants secondary is really poor and Rodgers is too good to let just four players on the Giants Dline control the game on him. The rested Packers offense will be able to spin the scoreboard and put pressure on the Giants to match them. In short, even though the game will be close it will be the Packers kind of game. And it is the Giants that will be the team to make the crucial mistakes. Against the Packers you just can’t make any.
The Packers have been by far the best team in the league since late last season. They have the best player in the league at the most important position in the league. If you feel like the Giants can keep this game close than just stay away because there is no reason to go against the Packers at this point. They are the baddest team in the league and they remind every one of it this weekend in fine fashion.
Packers 42 Giants 27