Monday, December 11, 2023

2023 NFL Week 14: Packers vs. Giants Preview & Prediction

The Green Bay Packers are on a roll. A sweet roll. And it is most yummy indeed for us Packers fans (sorry for the sweet roll pun). But after taking down the Lions in Detroit and the Super Bowl Champion Chiefs at Lambeau Field, the Pack find themselves in the hunt for a wildcard spot in the playoffs at 6-6 after winning 3 out of their last 4 games and 4 out of their last 5. We really didn't see that coming earlier in the season now did we? (Although, looking back at our pre-season prediction, we had them finishing with a 10-7 record ... still in play!)

Still, Green Bay's playoff odds are now set at roughly 72% after a run of thousands of future game simulations by the New York Times. If the Pack wins their remaining 5 games, beginning tonight against the Giants in the Meadowlands, their chances improve to 100 percent. Nice. Drop one? Still good.

But this playoff run starts in earnest tonight. So let's have a look, shall we?

Packers QB Jordan Love has been the talk of the NFL
for the last month or so.
(Photo via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The Preview

Perhaps we should begin with a look at tonight's weather and field conditions. The rain and winds that impacted the East Coast over the weekend supposedly will be gone by kickoff. Expect a temp in the upper 30s and winds around 10 mph. Artificial turf. Acceptable December conditions.

The Pack will be without the services once again of RB Aaron Jones, CB Jaire Alexander and WR Christian Watson. Also appears as if LB Quay Walker will be on the sidelines. The Packers have been dealing with key injuries all season and finding ways for the back-ups to step in and make plays...which they have been doing. Yay. Tonight's yet another occasion.

The 4-8 Giants have a backup QB, Tommy DeVito, starting, and a so-so offense apart from RB Saquon Barkley, who could single-handedly deal the Packers a loss if the running game defense doesn't find a way to contain him more often than not. And while DeVito's passer rating is actually slightly ahead of Jordan Love's over the same stretch of last 3 games, he hasn't had to face the kind of pass rush the Pack can bring.

The Giants defense isn't great either. It is ranked 26th in the league in points allowed per game. But that's a bit deceiving because they are in the top 10 in opponent passer rating. So Love will have to continue his sharp ways tonight. And get continued high performances from his receivers and support from RB A.J. Dillion and others, not the least of which is the offensive line who have been performing at a high level during this turn-around.

The Prediction

The Packers are 6-point faves tonight, only the second time they have been favored all season.

We see them continuing their winning ways this evening. We're calling it Packers 24 - Giants17.

Go Pack Go!!!