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Slow Start Unable To Derail Streaking Packers On Road To Houston

Packers vs Giants Recap - NFL organise biz via


Packers Get By Giants With Some Luck, And A Whole Lot Of Skill

For nearly 27 minutes of first half action in Sunday’s NFC Wild Card match-up between the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants, a game the Packers won 38-13, Aaron Rodgers and his recently unstoppable offense looked to be out of sync.

Rodgers completed just 6 of his first 14 pass attempts for 54 yards in the half, and Green Bay was forced to punt on their first five possessions.

For those that were watching, it felt like the mid-season Packers were making a return at the most inopportune time.

However unlike during the team’s 4-game losing streak, the defense maintained for just long enough.

Despite allowing almost 200 yards of total offense during the stretch, they held Eli Manning and the Giants offense to just two field goals. Utilizing Dom Capers “bend don’t break” defensive philosophy to perfection, while also benefiting from multiple drops from Odell Beckham Jr in big spots.

And it was a Julius Peppers sack of Manning on a crucial 3rd and 6 at the Giants 8-yard line with about four minutes remaining that ultimately shifted momentum toward the Green and Gold.

Peppers came hard off the right edge as Manning dropped back, unable to find his first read he scrambled to his left. Right tackle Ereck Flowers lost his grip on Peppers and the 37-year old future Hall of Famer wrapped up Manning to secure terrific field position for Rodgers and the offense.

Giants’ punter Brad Wing only managed a 37-yard punt on the following play, and Micah Hyde found a brief patch of green for a 7 yard return to set the Packers up at the 38-yard line.

Suddenly Rodgers snapped back to reality. Well, at least his reality, most other quarterbacks fantasy.

Sensing the electricity and energy building in the Lambeau crowd, the Packers dialed up a quick hitting go-route to Davante Adams down the right sideline over rookie corner Eli Apple.

The play went for 31-yards and Green Bay successfully doubled their yardage in the blink of an eye.

After a Ty Montgomery run went for just two yards, Rodgers and Adams hooked up again, this time for a touchdown.

Like the incredible play to Geronimo Allison last week, this score took some incredible footwork and discipline from not only Rodgers, but his offensive line.

For nine seconds the Packers were able to hold the Giants pass rush at bay as the two-time MVP danced in and out of the pocket and surveyed the endzone. He ultimately was flushed out to the left and threw a perfect dart across his body to Adams who fought of a defender as he went to the ground.

New York had dominated in time of possession, yards, and overall play for almost all of the first half, yet with 2:20 remaining Green Bay took a 7-6 lead.

The Packers weren’t done yet either.

In a surprise plot twist, head coach Mike McCarthy successfully managed to use his remaining time-out’s to give Green Bay the ball back before intermission. Thanks in large part to a terrific third down stop from safety Morgan Burnett at the line of scrimmage.

Rodgers took over with under two-minutes on the clock, no timeouts, and 80 yards to go.

In what can only be described as the best drop of the year, tight-end Jared Cook let a 3rd and 2 pass over the middle late in the drive go through his hands, a ball that if caught would’ve drained the clock to zero. Instead, it gave Rodgers another chance at one of his now infamous Hail Mary’s. Or what we in Wisconsin now call, a Hail Rodgers.

As only he can do, he delivered.

Rodgers sprinted out to his right to get in position to heave, once his receivers passed the 10 he left it fly. The ball gracefully flew higher and higher into the cold wind whipping around Lambeau and fell perfectly into the arms of Randall Cobb on the back-line of the endzone.

Remarkably the Packers entered halftime up 14-6 after the incredible turn of events, even though every metric and statistic in the world would seem to hint otherwise.

The start of the second half saw the Giants attempt to grab onto any little shift in momentum they could. And unlike his risky choice to play the time-out game to end the first half, Mike McCarthy’s choice to go for it on a 4th and 1 midway through the 3rd gave them their shot.

In the middle of no-man’s land at their own 42-yard line, McCarthy chose to call Ty Montgomery’s number in the crucial 4th down situation rather than leave it to the arm of Rodgers, or in the hard running legs of fullback Aaron Ripkowski.

His plan back fired, and just two plays later Eli Manning found Tavarres King for a 41-yard touchdown pass. It was the only real sign of life shown from Manning, who completed just 23 of 44 passes for 299 yards and a 72.1 QB rating on the day, but brought New York within one.

From that point on the Packers never looked back. It was as though a switch flipped and suddenly the entire tempo of the offense changed.

For the next fifteen minutes Aaron Rodgers put on a clinic, completing 12 of his 16 passes for 196 yards and two scores, both going to the returning Randall Cobb.

Cobb caught five balls for 116 yards in addition to his three scores, while Davante Adams reeled in eight catches for 125 yards. The duo accounted for 241 of Rodgers 362 yards (67%) through the air, and all four of his touchdowns. Fullback Aaron Ripkowski added the fifth and final score of the night on the ground.

Unfortunately their output was a necessity after Rodgers’ number one target Jordy Nelson was forced to leave in the first quarter due to a rib injury. His status for next week in Dallas is unknown, but it will be an absolute game-changer if he is not able to go.

Also notable in the game was the Green Bay secondary and their job on All-Pro Odell Beckham. Much was made of Beckham’s boat trip to Miami during the early portion of the week, and his play certainly didn’t help matters.

The Packers held him to just 28 yards on four catches, his second lowest total of the year (week 4 vs Vikings), and benefited from three uncharacteristic drops.

Often dealing with criticism from the media and fans alike, Ladarious Gunter was able to show glimpses of his lock-down ability when in one-on-one situations with Beckham, but will have no time to celebrate as he has to prepare for Dez Bryant this week.

With Green Bay now winners of seven straight games (five in a row scoring more than 30 points) and Aaron Rodgers on the best tear of his career, it seems there’s no better time than now for the baddest man on the planet to remind the Cowboys who “America’s Team” really is.