Giants vs. Packers: 3 things to watch

Scott Tolzien
Scott Tolzien had almost 300 yards passing against the Eagles last week.
Credit: Getty Images

The Giants and Packers engage in a pivotal matchup for both squads, as Big Blue is looking to extend their three-game winning streak, while Green Bay looks to stay afloat in the NFC North race, sans their franchise quarterback.

Eli Manning continues to put up pedestrian numbers, but at least he’s playing — which can’t be said about Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, due to an injured collarbone.

How each team deals with their quarterback issues will go a long way into determining the outcome.

Three things to look for …

1. Pick problems

Manning has thrown an NFL-high 16 interceptions, which has led to speculation Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has consciously pulled the reins back on their once-vaunted deep passing game. While Coughlin insists that’s not the case, something isn’t clicking. The Packers have the 24th-ranked secondary, so the chances should be there for the taking, especially since the Green Bay pass defense allowed three touchdown passes of more than 30 yards in their loss to the Eagles last week. If Manning is to break the doldrums, he’ll have weapons at his disposal. Rueben Randle and Hakeem Nicks each have 11 of the Giants’ 33 receptions for 20 or more yards, followed by Victor Cruz’s six. Cruz also has three of the four receptions of 50-plus yards this season, so they have the capabilities to go long. The question remains if Manning — and the coaching staff — will allow it to happen instead of playing it safe.

2. Pwning noobz

Manning’s counterpart this week is third-string quarterback Scott Tolzien. The former 49ers and Packers scout-teamer inherited the job midgame last week following backup quarterback Seneca Wallace’s groin injury.

Wallace was placed on season-ending injured reserve, which means this is Tolzien’s show until Rodgers heals. Tolzien didn’t look as if the moment was too big for him last week, so the Giants shouldn’t take him lightly. The former Wisconsin star went 24-of-29 for 280 yards, with one touchdown and two picks against the Eagles, but will face a Giants defense that’s had a bit of a resurgence lately. Big Blue has allowed just one touchdown in the past 14 quarters and hasn’t allowed a second-half touchdown in four frames. If their ascension continues, it could be a long afternoon for the newbie starter.

3. Pound the rock

The Giants defense will first need to shut down the Packers’ rejuvenated rushing attack in order to make the offense one-dimensional and put the game plan squarely in the hands of an inexperienced quarterback. As poised as Tolzien has looked, he’s also benefited from great play from rookie running back Eddie Lacy. The former Alabama star has tallied 669 yards and four touchdowns, including an average of 103 yards per game during his past six games. Giants defensive end Justin Tuck called the second-round draft pick Lacy “a steal.”

“He’s a pretty good running back,” Jason Pierre-Paul said. “You have to get him going east and west [because] when he runs downhill, he’s a very good running back. He hits the holes pretty good, too. [But] we’re doing a great job at [stopping] the running game, a great job overall, so we’re just going to continue doing what we do best.”

Coughlin noted his defense will need to prepare for the Packers’ “heavy package” of extra offensive linemen and tight ends. And should they stifle that part of the game plan, it’ll help his pass rush key on Tolzien.

“The balance is the key in what they’ve done,” Coughlin said. “Lacy’s an exceptional power runner and they do a nice job with their big offensive line. If you look across the board, you’re going to find [multiple] 320-pounders because they play four tight ends that are all pretty good athletes. … Lacy is a powerful runner and you’re going to have to get a number of people to the ball in order to contain or control what he can do. And then we can focus on stopping their great passing game.”

Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Newest java joint in bastion of hipness is…

Little may represent the change the neighborhood is undergoing right now like the arrival of the first Starbucks. The chain which is ubiquitous in Manhattan, opened a Williamsburg store at…

National

Black and white are the new orange at…

By Brendan O'Brien(Reuters) - Black and white are the new orange in a Michigan county where the sheriff has made a wardrobe change for jail…

National

Traps set after reports of giant snake on…

New Jersey animal control workers have set traps to snare a reported 20-foot-long serpent slithering through the waters of Lake Hopatcong.

Local

NYPD: Stroller carrying 2-year-old rolls onto Queens subway…

A 2-year-old girl in a stroller rolled onto subway tracks in Queens on Monday morning, police said.

Entertainment

‘The Leftovers’ recap: Season 1, Episode 4, ‘B.J.…

Last week’s episode of “The Leftovers” was apparently a fluke, because this week’s episode returns to focusing on the Garveys and it is so boring.…

Movies

Interview: Luc Besson says 'Lucy' is very different…

Filmmaker Luc Besson talks about his new film "Lucy," how it's different than "Limitless" and his crazy first conversation with Egyptian actor Amr Waked.

Music

Weezer releases first new song since 2010

Weezer releases "Back to the Shack," their first new song in almost six years.

Movies

Benedict Cumberbatch plays a different kind of genius…

The man known worldwide for his portrayal of London's eccentric private detective Sherlock Holmes is trading his Belstaff coat for tweed this fall. Benedict Cumberbatch…

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

MLB

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according…

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according to report

NFL

Giants lineman Chris Snee to retire: Reports

The Giants report to training camp on Tuesday, but Chris Snee may not be there when they do.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony talks about his charity work in…

As he is used to doing every year, NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony is going to visit Puerto Rico to do work for his foundation.

Tech

RocketSkates let users roll with a motor

Los Angeles company Acton has raised funds on Kickstarter to roll out a nifty alternative – motor-powered "RocketSkates."

Tech

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony becomes a tech entrepreneur

He's been an All-Star, an Olympian, and a celebrity spokesperson. Now NBA player Carmelo Anthony is adding the position "tech entrepreneur" to his resume. Along…

Tech

Ulises 1 is the world's first singing satellite

A group of artists and engineers in Mexico have unveiled Ulises 1, the world's first opera-singing satellite.

Home

Wallscape on a budget

Skip the wallpaper and ombre an accent wall instead.