|Perry Fewell was angry with New York giving up seven TDs to New Orleans Monday night. (Getty Images)|
Posted by Ryan Wilson
The Giants were embarrassed on Monday night in New Orleans. That was nothing compared to the no-show performance the Eagles put on in Seattle Thursday, but relative success compared to Philly is nothing to brag about in the NFC East, and that by itself won't get you into the playoffs.
Heading into Week 13, the Giants, 6-5, are one game back of the Cowboys in the division. But they're behind two teams for the final wildcard spot (the Falcons and Lions). They also have an impossibly difficult schedule ahead (GB, @DAL, WAS, @NYJ, DAL).
But as the old coaching bromide goes, it is what it is. And right now, with five weeks left in the regular season, it's a chance fix a leaky defense and try to win out.
Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, who doesn't usually call out his players through the media, was fired up Thursday when he met with reporters. This is what happens when your unit gives up seven touchdowns, even to a Drew Brees-led offense. And it wasn't so much getting outplayed in New Orleans that had Fewell going, it was the lack of effort.
“I was (angry), okay?” Fewell said, according to the Newark Star-Ledger's Mike Garafolo. “I was getting them going Monday night and we’re getting going this week. So player-friendly or not, it’s all about winning. … And I think they got the message and they understand what’s on the line for us.”
Three weeks ago, the Giants were 6-2 and preparing to play the 49ers. They had just defeated the Patriots in Foxboro and did it with a stifling pass rush and final scoring drive engineered by Eli Manning. Opponents have since gone with max-protection schemes to protect the quarterback and it's worked. New York has dropped three in a row and now they have to face the Packers, the only team in the league that can regularly score more points than the Saints.
“We look forward to the opportunity to play these guys. That’s my confidence level,” Fewell said of the Packers. “We’re going to show up and we’re going to play on Sunday.” Fewell also doesn't care about the max-protect his pass rushers now regularly face because he's seen them beat double-teams in the past. And they're going to need that if they're going to slow down Aaron Rodgers, the runaway choice for NFL MVP.
“More so than discipline, we just have to get after his (butt), okay? And if we do that and he scrambles, then that’s the price he’s going to have to pay because we’re going to hit him," Fewell said. "We’re going to hit him.”
Rodgers, unlike Brees, doesn't benefit from great pass protection. According to Football Outsiders' metrics, the Packers rank 20th in adjusted sack rate (defined as "sacks per pass attempt adjusted for down, distance, and opponent"), just ahead of the Chiefs, Bears and Steelers. The Saints rank third.
So, yes, the Giants can get to Rodgers, it's just a matter of whether they can contain him once they arrive. Because in addition to having a strong arm and uncanny accuracy, Rodgers is extremely mobile, not just in the pocket but in the open field.
The undefeated Green Bay Packers will travel to MetLife Stadium this week and take on Eli Manning and the New York Giants. Who has the advantage in this matchup? NFL.com's Pat Kirwan and Jason Horowitz preview this game.
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