Larrivee: Packers failure in 'trenches' may preview struggles to come

CREATED Nov 26, 2012

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  • Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

GREEN BAY - In Sunday night's 38-10 loss to the New York Giants, the Green Bay Packers got dominated on the line of scrimmage.

Their failure on both sides of the football could bring a portent of things to come for the Packers in the playoffs, should they reach that point.

"It's hard to beat teams if you don't win the war in the trenches," explained Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Voice of the Packers, Wayne Larrivee,  on "Midday with Charlie Sykes."

The Packers' offensive line allowed Giants defenders to sack Aaron Rodgers five times.

The Packers' defense allowed Giants runners to gain 147 yards on the ground, a 4.7 yard-per-carry average, while also getting to Eli Manning just once for a sack.

Larrivee cited a matchup problem the Packers have had with the Giants over the last two seasons.

"They've struggled with the Giants whenever they played them.  They were beaten in the trenches in two games by the Giants (in 2011)," said Larrivee, citing a 38-35 win in New York in the regular season and a season-ending 37-20 debacle at Lambeau Field.

"Last night, the Giants handled them about the way they handled them in the year before."

That doesn't mean good things for the Packers should they face New York again in the playoffs.  In fact, if the playoff seedings remain as they are now, the first playoff game for Green Bay would come in New York in an NFC wildcard game.

"I struggle to see how the Packers are going to match the Giants or the 49ers in the trenches," admitted Larrivee. 

"Can you win a game?  Yes, you can.  But at this level, 90 percent of the time, when you can't beat an opponent in the trenches, you lose the game."

Larrivee didn't say it was impossible for the Packers to make a Super Bowl run again, as they did in 2010.

"They can win.  I'm not saying all is lost...I think these guys have an edge of confidence that is not going to be shaken like this.  I'll be surprised if they don't come out and play a very sharp game against Minnesota this week."

That game starts a five-game regular season-ending run with three home games and four divisional contests, including a game at current division leader Chicago.

If Green Bay wins out in the regular season, they would finish tied with the Bears at 12-4, but would win the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Bears.