Losers of two straight, the New York Giants hope to straighten out their season with a Week 5 game at the Green Bay Packers. At 2-2, this Sunday is a crossroads game for the Giants. A win and things could trend upward for the Giants, especially with a tough couple of games this month.
But a loss? Yikes. It might just start a tailspin effect. Kicking nets everywhere will be running for cover.
Three things to watch from the Giants in Week 5:
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Mr. Rodgers is at it again
On a yearly basis, Aaron Rodgers is among the best quarterbacks in the NFL and this year is no different. Already through three games he has 617 yards with seven touchdowns and just one interception. His consistency remains outstanding.
For Giants head coach Ben McAdoo, who was the Packers' quarterback coach before coming to New York, it will be a battle against the player he once mentored. He said this week that Rodgers has no weaknesses in his game
“Aaron is a little older and a little wiser. Fundamentally, he’s always been one of the best in the league,” McAdoo said. “It’s always fun to see guys you used to work with, guys you used to coach, and how they develop.”
Interestingly though, Rodgers this year has seen his completion percentage drop from last year (it has dropped each of the last five seasons) and his yards per game number is way down. It is a small sample but worth noting.
The Giants come into this game ranked eleventh in total defense, not a bad number for a unit that was terrible and last in the league in 2015. But what is bad is that they simply aren’t getting to the quarterback.
A big part of the $200 million spent in free agency this offseason was along the defensive line. The Giants re-signed Jason-Pierre Paul and brought high caliber linemen such as defensive end Olivier Vernon and defensive tackles Damon Harrison to bolster their pass rush.
The end result is just four sacks this year, tied for worst in the league. If the Giants give Rodgers time in the pocket on Sunday this will be another loss.
After this game, the schedule for the Giants isn’t exactly a bunch of cupcakes. They face the Baltimore Ravens (3-1) at home in Week 6 then follow that with a game in London against the Los Angeles Rams (3-1). Then they play the surprising Philadelphia Eagles (3-0) and the Cincinnati Bengals (2-2), a team picked by many to win the AFC North.
If the Giants don’t right this ship soon things could get ugly and jobs are on the line. It isn’t panic mode, not yet, but it is teetering near that territory for a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2011.