If you are looking for a pair of teams that are opposite each other, you might want to consider two squads that hook up on Sunday at MetLife Stadium when the New York Giants host the Green Bay Packers.
The Packers share first place in the NFC North Division with the Minnesota Vikings with an 8-3 won/loss record. The Giants share last place in the NFC East Division with the Washington Redskins with only two wins on the season.
The Packers are led by future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who is considered among the elite signal callers and has a Super Bowl win to his credit. New York is counting on rookie Daniel Jones, who replaced veteran Eli Manning this season and is experiencing what most rookies confront, a steep learning curve without much success on the scoreboard.
With that as a backdrop for this contest, I suspect it is not surprising to you that the Packers are favored by a touchdown on the point spread and more than 80% of the wagers on this game are taking the road favorite.
December is the month when some teams have all the pressure on them in a quest for a playoff spot, and other squads know that all that is left is to play their best and upset postseason plans for their opponents. The Giants are a perfect spoiler and the Packers are not as dominant of a squad as their won/loss record would indicate, which makes Green Bay an ideal target.
Under the leadership of first-year head coach Matt LaFleur, the Packers have built their 8-3 record while outscoring their opponents on the season by only 16 points. The 242 points they have allowed on defense is a huge concern for Green Bay going forward, and they have lost two of their most recent three games.
The biggest concern for fans of the Pack is that they are not getting better, but seem to be fading after a season start that included a number of close wins that fell their way. When that happens to a team early, the second half of their campaign routinely sees a reversal in fortunes. They have lost their two most recent road games in lopsided fashion, to the Los Angeles Chargers, 26-11, and San Francisco 49ers, 37-8.
Now, the one-sided thumping they experienced in San Francisco last Sunday can often be a launching point for a big effort … but only if the team that lost their prior game is challenged by this week’s opponent. In other words, if the Packers were playing the Vikings, Patriots, Saints or other strong team this week, we might see a rebound from last Sunday’s thumping.
But the Giants?
New York is not a team that can rally the Packers emotions to the one element most important in winning … a true respect for an opponent with a clear recognition that playing your best is required to win.
Green Bay comes to the Big Apple expecting an easy win over the home team, and the home team is looking to end an eight game losing streak with clear knowledge they need to play their best.
So, we have something else that is in clear opposition this week between these two teams, motivation. The Packers believe they can win on talent, which is more often than not beaten on the point spread by motivation.
Qoxhi Picks: New York Giants (+6½) over Green Bay Packers