Remember when the Green Bay Packers lost five of their first seven games to start the Jordan Love era and appeared destined for a dismal season at quarterback and overall?
Green Bay does and, despite a revival that includes three consecutive wins and full footing in the NFC playoff picture, prefers not to fully forget.
“As soon as you start feeling yourself and feeling like you’ve arrived, this league has a way of knocking you out,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. “The bottom line is we’re a .500 football team.”
Green Bay (6-6) may be just that entering its Monday night visit to the struggling New York Giants (4-8), but the Packers also occupied the seventh and final NFC postseason spot when Week 14 began.
Love has passed for eight touchdowns during the winning streak while averaging 285.7 yards through the air, but wideout Christian Watson (hamstring) said Thursday he was uncertain if he will be available on Monday.
Still, a jelling defense that collected three sacks and an interception of Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes last week is helping Green Bay prevail in the tight contests that proved frustrating in the early season.
Four of Green Bay’s losses came by 11 combined points.
“I’m not going to sit here and tell you the whole time I thought we were the greatest team in the world, but I thought we should’ve won a lot of football games that we lost during that time period, for sure,” center Josh Myers said. “And I knew we were right there for so many of them.”
New York has won consecutive games for the first time this season and is coming off its bye week.
Though the bye provided the usual chance to get healthy, the Giants, who sport a miserable minus-133 point differential, already were facing a season-ending knee injury to quarterback Daniel Jones.
Several other Giants are contending with lingering issues, including running back Saquon Barkley, who has worked his way back from an early-season ankle ailment and is seeking his first rushing touchdown since Week 2.
“Don’t want to make any excuses,” Giants general manager Joe Schoen said. “We’ve had some injuries. We’ve just got to continue to build the depth and we’ve got to continue to build the team all around so when injuries do occur, we can overcome those and still be competitive when injuries happen.
“It’s going to happen every year. It’s football. It’s a contact sport. There’s going to be injuries, and we’ve got to be able to overcome any type of adversity that presents itself.”
Rookie Tommy DeVito is set to make his fourth start at quarterback for New York. He passed for 191 yards and a touchdown in a 10-7 win against the New England Patriots on Nov. 26 on the heels of a 246-yard, three-TD effort against the Washington Commanders the week before.
Green Bay leads the all-time series with New York 34-27-2, including postseason. The Packers and Giants haven’t met on “Monday Night Football” since 1983.
The Packers are 5-2 in their past seven road games in the series.