The early bye week actually worked well for the Packers, who survived the Lions two weeks ago without five starters on defense due to injury. When they take the field Sunday night against the Giants, everyone (on defense) who missed the Lions game with the exception of cornerback Sam Shields should be available.
Most teams, Packers included, would rather have their bye around midseason, but from what I’ve seen over the years in this league, there is no bad time for a break.
It was great to see Clay Matthews, Letroy Guion and Datone Jones all back on the practice field this week getting ready for the Giants game. The energy was also noticeably high, as a well-rested Packers squad appeared to be happy to be back at work.
Prior to the break, the Packers certainly needed to see (and they saw) their offense finally click in the 31 point first half of the Lions game two weeks ago.
I’m not particularly concerned about the second half (just three points and six first downs). I am anxious to see if the team really found something with the way they moved the ball that day.
The Packers employed more of a quick rhythm passing game that got the offense on track. Look for them to do more of the same with even more personnel groupings, including Jeff Janis being back in the receiver rotation after getting a cast off his broken right hand.
Green Bay’s defense has been the best in the league against the run in this first month of the season, but big plays in the passing game have hurt and this Giants trio coming to Lambeau Field could provide fireworks.
The Packers won’t have their top cover corner again this week, but they get the quarterback of the secondary back on the field in safety Morgan Burnett. That should help the coordination on the back end of the Green Bay defense.
In games following the bye, Mike McCarthy’s Packers have won eight of their last ten, including six of their last seven.