The Giants (2-9) look to snap the team's seven-game losing streak at home on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers (8-3). The last time these two clubs faced off was in the 2016 playoffs, when the Packers defeated the Giants in Green Bay, 38-13.
Here are three keys to victory for the Giants:
1. Consistency on defense
Throughout the season, the Giants defense has shown flashes of the potential to dominate. Unfortunately, the defense has struggled to perform that way on a consistent basis. Going up against two-time MVP Aaron Rodgers this week, the defense will have to focus on the small details each and every play. Rodgers is one of the best in the NFL at extending plays and has shown time and time again that he can make something out of nothing.
"It always starts with these guys that have those off-schedule plays that end up becoming explosive gains," coach Pat Shurmur said of what makes Rodgers so difficult to defend. "I often refer to them as '60-yard check-downs,' and they have ways of getting them. They get you offsides and they all take off, and he'll throw it deep. He always does a really good job if the rush goes beyond him of sliding up, staying alive and then finding somebody downfield. Those off-schedule plays, guys that can do that, that's hard on a defense because you have to play defense all over the field the full down."
2. Limit the run game
Even with Rodgers under center, make no mistake, the Packers want to run the ball. This holds true even more the week following a loss. Heading into Week 13, Aaron Jones is tied for second in the NFL with 11 rushing touchdowns. Seven of those scores came in the games following Green Bay's first two losses, where Jones ran the ball a total of 32 times for 200 yards and averaged 6.25 yards per carry. With the Packers coming off a 37-8 loss to the 49ers, look for Green Bay to try to establish the run game early and often this Sunday.
3. Communication among the O-Line
The bye week came at an opportune time for the Giants, as the time off allowed Jon Halapio, Mike Remmers and Nate Solder to all rest and return to the starting lineup against the Bears. With the starting offensive line intact, the Giants did a good job of protecting Daniel Jones, as the rookie quarterback was sacked just once by Chicago's talented front seven. Things won't get any easier this week with Green Bay coming to town, as the Packers' edge rushing duo of Preston and Za'Darius Smith have combined for 20.5 sacks this year. The offensive line is going to need to communicate well throughout all four quarters if they want to keep Green Bay's pass rushers off of Jones.
"They have some talent, especially on the edges," Shurmur said. "They added the Smiths, and those guys can wreck a game if we don't block them properly. I think they're a very good defense, and I think they're… they can sneak up on you and make a play."
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