After the loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football, the Green Bay Packers will go into this game needing to bounce back quickly with the Minnesota Vikings 8-3 now tied with the Packers for the lead in the NFC North.
That is a distinct possibility as they face a 2-9 New York Giants team on a seven game losing streak, the longest streak in the NFL apart from the winless Cincinnati Bengals. The Giants last win came in week four when they beat the Washington Redskins 24-3.
The Packers however are on a two game losing run away from home, also losing 26-11 to the Los Angeles Chargers in week nine. Sandwiched in-between those losses is the 24-16 win at home against the Carolina Panthers.
Giants need to protect quarterback Daniel Jones
The Giants have moved on from Eli Manning with the 2019 NFL Draft's sixth pick Daniel Jones. Jones was installed as starter in week three, perhaps a lot earlier than most anticipated.
Jones won his first two starts but since then seven straight losses. Despite the Giants only winning two games this season, Jones numbers have been steady, completing 62.5% of his passes for 2,134 yards, 17 touchdowns and most importantly for a young QB only eight interceptions.
For an indication of where Jones might be going take a look at the 2018 drafts seven pick, the Buffalo Bills, Josh Allen. Allen this season has completed 61.5% of his passes for 2,591 in three more starts than Jones for 16 TD's and eight INT's. Practically identical stats with Allen playing in an 8-3 team.
The Giants have this potential to look forward to in coming seasons. However only if Jones is upright. Jones has been sacked 33 times, tied for fourth in the NFL.
It will be vital to this game if the Giants are to get anything out of it to protect Jones, especially with Packers linebacker Preston Smith with 10.5 sacks (fifth in the league) looking for a big day to climb up the rankings.
The Packers need to make a statement after big loss last week
Rodgers especially will want to get off to a fast start. No interceptions in the last three games is very Rodgers-esque, he has however only thrown two TD's in that stretch. In the 49ers game he threw for only 104 yards and no TD's.
Sacked five times last week Rodgers clearly missed right tackle Bryan Bulaga, who left the game early with a knee injury. Bulaga is listed as questionable for this Sunday's game. However he did practice on Thursday and Friday and has a great shot at playing against the Giants.
With Bulaga looking likely to play, the Packers and Rodgers will see this as an opportunity to get their offense firing again against a 27th ranked Giants defense allowing 377.5 yards per game.
Green Bay will want to put last week behind them as quick as possible with many sharks circling. The Vikings now tie the Packers at the top of the NFC North.
In the NFC, the New Orleans Saints now 10-2 are the first team to clinch a playoff berth after a Thanksgiving Day win over the Atlanta Falcons and the 49ers with their win last week are now two games ahead of the Packers with a 10-1 record.
This game is winnable for the Packers and their remaining schedule is favourable, the Packers need to take their opportunities and hope the Saints and/or 49ers slip up if they want to be in the top two seeds and clinch a bye in the first week of the NFL Playoffs.