The Green Bay Packers earned a win that could help them greatly in the big picture in the NFC, defeating the New York Giants 23-16. This win snapped a three game-losing streak the Packers had to Eli Manning and the Giants, who are now in a 2-3 hole. The Packers (3-1) were in full control for the entire game, never trailing at any point and totally shutting down the Giants’ offense.
The Packers’ defense held Eli Manning and the rest of the Giants’ offense in check for most of the game, with the only touchdown coming with 2:54 remaining. Eli had his worst game of the season, recording a season-low in yards, completion percentage, and average yards per completion. Eli finished the game with 199 yards on 51.4% passing, with an average of 5.69 yards per completion, one touchdown, and a QB rating of 21.7, just 1.4 points higher than his season-low against the Minnesota Vikings in his previous game.
The Packers’ defense completely shut down the lousy attempt for the Giants to establish any sort of a run game. These are the stat lines for the three Giants’ running backs: Bobby Rainey’s five attempts for 22 yards, Orleans Darkwa’s seven attempts for 11 yards, and Paul Perkins’ two attempts for nine yards. Without Rainey’s 14-yard run and Darwka’s six-yard run, they recorded an average attempt of two yards and one yard on the night.
A key to the Packers’ victory was their win in both the time of possession battle and third-down conversion, which go hand-in-hand. The Packers had the ball for 36:38 on 12 drives while the Giants just had possession for 23:22 on 11 drives. The Packers converted on nine of 19 third down attempts and held the Giants to only four third down conversions on 13 attempts.
Aaron Rodgers had a decent day at the office, but nothing special. Rodgers completed on 51% of his passes for 249 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions for a QB rating of 69.4. Rodgers’ two interceptions came at key moments, the first on the Giants 21-yard line after a 71-yard drive and the other in their own territory in the second quarter that led to the Giants’ second field goal of the game.
With top corners Sam Shields and Damarious Randall ruled out, two second-year corners Quinten Rollins and LaDarius Gunter stepped in and did a fine job on the outside against Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard, while cornerback Micah Hyde and rookie safety Kentrell Brice also excelled in nickel and dime packages. Head coach Mike McCarthy credited his unit after the game saying, “With the young secondary, those young corners did a heck of a job.” Beckham caught five balls for 56 yard and a late fourth quarter touchdown, Sterling Shepard had two receptions for 14 yards on seven targets, and Victor Cruz did not record a single catch.
After their loss to the Minnesota Vikings on national television, many started to doubt how successful the Packers would be this season. After their wins against the Lions, they would have two weeks to focus in on stopping Eli Manning and Odell Beckham, and that is exactly what they did. The Packers now have the upper hand in the Giants in the playoff race and will now look to do the same against the Dallas Cowboys this weekend in another home game.