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NFL: New York Giants @ Green Bay Packers preview

The Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers are finally coming to London and are expected to delight the UK-based Cheeseheads by defeating the New York Giants on Sunday.

The Packers are the 32nd and final team from the NFL to cross the pond, bookending a 15-year series of regular season matches in London that started with the Giants taking on the Miami Dolphins.

The Giants won that game at Wembley and are 2-0 on their visits to the UK, having seen off the Los Angeles Rams at Twickenham. However, staying undefeated looks a tall order with the Packers an eight-point favourite to improve to 4-1 on the season.

The Giants currently hold the same record as Green Bay, good enough for third in the NFC East, but make the long trip facing a potential quarterback crisis.

What

New York Giants @ Green Bay Packers

Where

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, England

When

14:30, Sunday 9th October 2022

How to watch

ITV

Odds

NY Giants 29/10, GB Packers 10/37

Giants waiting on Jones

Last Sunday’s 20-12 win over the Chicago Bears came at a cost for the Giants as first-choice quarterback Daniel Jones went down with an ankle injury.

Back-up QB Tyrod Taylor then suffered a concussion shortly after his introduction and New York have been working out free agent quarterbacks this week in case neither Jones nor Taylor are fit to play come Sunday.

Jones was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday, but the Giants are hopeful he’s trending in the right direction and will be ready to lead an offence that could also welcome back wide receivers Wan'Dale Robinson and Kadarius Toney from spells on the sidelines.

How often Jones, or whoever is under centre, throws to his wide receivers remains to be seen given how well the Giants are running the ball currently.

Head coach Brian Daboll, who took charge in the summer, has leaned heavily on a rejuvenated Saquon Barkley and the running-back has obliged, amassing a league-high 463 yards on the ground.

Barkley is 10/11 to have over 75.5 rushing yards and the Giants' ability to create running lanes for him could be their best route to victory with the Packers boasting the worst run defence in the league after four weeks.

Packers yet to hit top gear

The New England Patriots exploited that Green Bay weakness to good effect in their Week Four encounter as the Pats, missing their top two quarterbacks, took the Packers to overtime.

Green Bay would eventually prevail 27-24 to keep pace with the Minnesota Vikings at the top of the NFC North, but it was a far from convincing performance, particularly when throwing the ball.

Reigning MVP Rodgers may have become only the fifth player to hit 500 passing touchdowns in NFL history against the Patriots, but it wasn't a vintage Rodgers showing as he went 4-for-11 on passes and threw a pick-six in the first half.

He improved after the break but this offence remains a work in progress as they figure out how to operate without star receiver Davante Adams, who left in the summer to join the Las Vegas Raiders.

Rodgers doesn't appear to trust his current crop of receivers, which includes two rookies in Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson, and hasn't been throwing it deep often as a result.

Like the Giants, Green Bay could lean heavily on a rushing attack that ranks fifth in the league in Football Outsiders’ DVOA standings, with Aaron Jones and AJ Dillion proving a difficult two-headed monster to tame.

Jones and Dillion could hurt a Giants team boasting a bottom-half ranked defence, although they are set to receive a boost with defensive ace Leonard Williams pushing to play after knee issue.

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History suggests London upset unlikely

The two teams' reliance on their ground games has resulted in this encounter having the second-lowest points total of Week 5 with under 40 points available at 11/10.

The under has hit in three out of four games for both the Giants and Packers this season and touchdowns could be few and far between for those in attendance at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The low points total brings into question whether the Packers can cover the sizeable eight-point handicap, particularly with the Giants 2-0 against the spread as an underdog this season.

The availability of Jones could decide how close the Giants get to the Packers, who have won the last three meetings between the teams and have history on their side when it comes to London games.

The Vikings' victory over the New Orleans Saints in the first UK game of the season last weekend means favourites have won 19 of 23 London games that haven't featured yearly visitors the Jacksonville Jaguars.

That doesn't bode well for the Giants, but Big Blue have continually performed above expectations this season and could make the Packers' first visit to London an uncomfortable one.

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