The Giants may have caught a break, one that happens to be in the shoulder of Aaron Rodgers.
The Packers quarterback and perennial MVP candidate suffered a small fracture in his left collarbone early in Monday night's game against the Bears, he confirmed on his weekly radio show in Green Bay on Tuesday. Although Rodgers said there would be further tests and a long-term prognosis has not been discussed, the injury is expected to sideline him for about three weeks.
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The Giants play the Packers in two.
No NFL team would ever root for an opposing player to suffer an injury and the Giants would certainly not wish that upon anyone. But if Rodgers has one already, well, why not play a team when it will be without its best player?
After a first half of the season in which nothing seemed to go the Giants' way, luck seems to be lining up with the 2-6 team mired in last place. General manager Jerry Reese spoke about that change last week when he mentioned some fortuitous bounces and calls. He pointed to the fumbles by running backs Peyton Hillis and Michael Cox that they were able to recover themselves, and the recovery of a fumble by Jacquian Williams while he was brushing against the sideline in Philadelphia.
But there does seem to be some kind of karma -- or maybe voodoo? -- that is allowing the Giants to play teams at the right time. They faced the Vikings with a clearly ill-prepared Josh Freeman at quarterback. Win. Less than a week later they faced an Eagles team with Nick Foles unavailable, Michael Vick hobbled and Matt Barkley rookie-ish. Win.
On Sunday they'll face a Raiders team that allowed 49 points to the Eagles last Sunday and whose starting quarterback and running back came out of the game with injuries. Quarterback Terrell Pryor's knee injury left him day-to-day, according to Raiders coach Dennis Allen, but running back Darren McFadden's hamstring could be more of an issue this week. McFadden already has missed one game this year with a hamstring injury.
Then come the likely Rodgers-less Packers to MetLife Stadium. Followed by the first-place Cowboys. At this rate who knows what horrors will befall them by the time that game comes around on Nov. 24?
Even the fact that the next three games are all at home could be seen as a boon to the Giants. They haven't played three straight home games (uninterrupted by a bye) since 2006, and they went 2-1.
That may not cut it this time, as the Giants can't afford any slip-ups in their climb out of the basement. Going 3-0 will be difficult. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, NFL teams have had 145 uninterrupted three-game homestands since 1995. Only 27 of those times did a team win all three. Twelve times a team lost all three. The majority -- 56 -- went 2-1 just as the 2006 Giants did.Statistically, the toughest game to win in a three-game homestand is the middle one. While home teams have gone 86-59 in the first game and 82-63 in the third, they are only 75-70 in the second. Just a little over .500.
But unlike these suddenly lucky Giants, those teams didn't have to not face Aaron Rodgers in that pivotal game.