No Luck Needed: Giants Rout Packers to Halt Swoon; RB Brown Breaks Leg
John Fennelly , Executive Editor
Who can predict this crazy league? The Green Bay Packers came in here riding a five-game winning streak and the Giants were clinging to the ledge, hoping not to slip down into the slop that has become the NFC East. This game was supposed to be a nail-biter.
It wasn’t. The Giants (7-4) pounded, diced and sliced the Packers (7-4) all night long, creating errors and then cashing in on them. They turned a potential shootout between Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning into a non-event.
Almost everything went their way. They needed no luck to beat the Packers this time around. The final was Giants 38, Green Bay 10.
- We knew the Giants’ pass rush had to come out and dictate the tempo tonight. They did.
- We knew Eli had to get back in step with his receivers. He did.
- We knew the running backs needed to produce. They did.
- We knew the Giants needed to win this one to nip all this swoon talk in the bud. They did.
Their “six game season” began with a bang tonight, outplaying the Packers in all phases of the game in front of a packed house at MetLife Stadium and millions more on national television.
Their execution, which coach Tom Coughlin intimated was the reason for the team’s poor play the past month, was crisp, deliberate and with an urgency we haven’t seen since last December.
Manning (16/30, 249 yds 0 INT), who had not thrown a TD in a month threw three. He passed Phil Simms on the franchise’s all-time list in the process, hitting three different receivers for scores, including rookie WR Rueben Randle who caught his first NFL TD.
On the ground, Ahmad Bradshaw (10 carries, 58 yards, 1 TD and 61 yards rec) looked more like the Bradshaw of old and Andre “Goal Line” Brown had 64 yards on 13 attempts, one of them a 2-yd TD plunge.
WR Hakeem Nicks had five grabs for 77 yards and a TD. Victor Cruz scored on a nine-yard strike from Eli.
The Giants scored touchdowns in their first five trips into the red zone. First downs weren’t a problem tonight, either. The Giants made 23 of them and converted six of 12 on third down.
The defense recorded five sacks, two by Mathias Kiwanuka. Osi Umenyiora had a strip sack of Rodgers which produced a fumble that was recovered by Jason Pierre-Paul.
CB Corey Webster redeemed himself after getting burned for a long TD in the first quarter by picking off Rodgers on the next possession.
The Giants began the game with a three-safety set, which allowed S Antrel Rolle to lock down explosive Packer WR Randall Cobb. He played the best I’ve seen him play all year.
David Diehl left the game with a burner in the first half and did not return. S Kenny Phillips left the game with what appeared to be a right knee issue. He also did not return. RB Andre Brown limped off the field in the 4th quarter and was sent to the locker room for x-rays.
Tom Coughlin said after the game that Brown broke his fibula. He’s likely gone for the season.