Sunday, December 04, 2011

Packers vs. Giants preview: who's it gonna be?

After a franchise record 17 wins in a row going back to last season, and 11 in a row this season, the Green Bay Packers will face the Giants on the road. The Packers are listed as 6.5-point favorites over the 6-5 Giants. The over-under is set at 54 points.

The odds are one way to look at the game, of course. The other is to note who's in and who's out, especially for the Packers. The Pack will be without their two starting inside linebackers, A.J. Hawk and Desmond Bishop. In their places will be the relatively untested Robert Francois -- who had a big interception against Detroit on Turkey Day when called up during the game -- and undersized rookie, D.J. Smith, who also was impressive during his play against the Lions. Smith will actually be calling the defensive sets, the job that typically is Hawk's. On offense, the Packers will still be without LT Chad Clifton and today will also be without RG Josh Sitton.

So there are potential areas of concern on both sides of the ball for the Packers. But the Giants have their own concerns. A wide open offense in the form of the New Orleans Saints lit up the Giants for 49 points on Monday night. Any other team remind you of the Saints. Hmmmmm...oh, yeah, the Pack! So, there's that.

Yes, the Giants running game -- big back -- could pose a problem, as it seems most big backs do for the Packers. And Eli Manning can air it out if given the chance. But can they outscore the Pack? Not unless the Packers turn it over or otherwise beat themselves. Sure, the Giants' defensive coordinator was talking smack this week promising that if QB Aaron Rodgers scrambles they were going to hit him and hit him again. Well, Rodgers will do what he needs to do. And that will result in a win. Number 12 on the season and in a row, to be exact.

I'm calling it 34-24 Packers.

Go Pack Go!!!

P.S. A big shout out to the Wisconsin Badgers who defeated Michigan State 42-39 last night in the first ever Big 10 Championship Game for a trip to the Rose Bowl. But if you thought that game was chicken salad, you ain't seen nothin' yet! (I have no idea what that means either. One of the announcers during the game last evening used that expression, "chicken salad" and other non sequiturs to describe various part of the action. Yes, entertaining in a bizarro world kind of way.)