With members of the New York Giants guaranteeing a victory, Green Bay Packers defensive lineman B.J. Raji provided a scouting report that's sure to ruffle some feathers in New York.
"Not to say they're soft, but it's not the toughest group I've been against," Raji said of the Giants' offensive line. "Their receivers are great. They have great receivers: (Victor) Cruz, (Hakeem) Nicks, (Mario) Manningham. I don't think any of their tight ends are in any position to say too much. They're not the best players at that position that we've seen. But their receivers, they did a good job against us, they're well within their rights to say what they have to say. But that's why you play the game. That being said, they didn't beat us. We still won the game, so obviously we did enough there. But the receivers are good players and they obviously put a lot of pressure on us."
Raji's dig at the Giants' tight ends no doubt was directed at Travis Beckum, who tore the Packers' last-ranked pass defense to shreds on Wednesday. Beckum, the Giants' third-round pick in 2009, caught five passes all season and has just 26 catches in his career. One of those, however, was a 67-yard catch-and-run touchdown against the Packers on Dec. 4 in which he got behind safety Charlie Peprah and then ran circles around Peprah and Morgan Burnett for the score.
"I don't know if it's necessarily double moves, you just see guys flat-out getting beat,'' Beckum was quoted as saying in the New York Post. "I don't know if it's miscommunication in the secondary or what, but there's been several times you've seen guys just run past them. It's very exciting. We have 67 big-play passes so we look to do that throughout the game and hopefully capitalize on every one we throw up.''
Seven will sit
For most of the season, Packers coach Mike McCarthy has had little trouble filling out his seven-man inactive list on game days. Just pick some guys who aren't healthy, maybe make a hard decision or two elsewhere, and, voila.
Not so for this game, with only six players listed on the injury report.
"There's a number of competitions going on," McCarthy said. "This is the situation you're in when you are healthy. It's been unfortunately easy to pick 46 in the prior weeks because our injuries have answered those questions. It's definitely going to be tough when we have the game management Saturday and have to let the players know Sunday. There's going to be some tough decisions."
Many of the active-inactive decisions will be based on special teams.
"We're a healthy football team and that's a great problem to have," special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum said. "That makes practice competitive and tends to make practice pretty good."
Packers injury report
McCarthy said he had no concerns about Cobb's availability. Nor did Cobb: "Oh, yeah, definitely," Cobb said about being ready for Sunday. "I think I'll be fine, I'll be ready to go. I've been doing everything I can, taking all of the precautionary measures, to make sure I'm ready to go Sunday."
Giants injury report
Did not participate: RB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot/back); LB Mark Herzlich (ankle). Limited: S Deon Grant (quad); CB Aaron Ross (concussion); DE Osi Umenyiora (ankle/knee); RB D.J. Ware (concussion); CB Corey Webster (hamstring).
There's little concern over Bradshaw, who has practiced sparingly since returning from a stress fracture in his foot that kept him out for four games. He's expected to practice on Friday. There are no concerns, either, for Webster, their top corner, and Grant, both of whom were added to the list.
-- The team practiced in the Don Hutson Center, though not because of the snowstorm. Instead, it was because of the wind, which was gusting to more than 20 mph. On Sunday, the forecast is for about 6 mph.
-- Speaking of snow, if you're not busy on Friday, the Packers will pay you $10 per hour to shovel out the seats at Lambeau Field. The team is looking for 450 people to move an expected 8 inches of snow, starting at 10 a.m. Arrive at the Fleet Farm gate; the team will provide shovels.
-- Asked about a defense that ranked last in the NFL, Raji said: "At the end of the day, I thought football was about winning. I know with all technology nowadays, it's easy to make up a stat about everything, but I thought the most important stat is winning, and to my recollection, we are 15-1, so do the math."
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.