The New York Giants came into their Sunday night with the Green Bay Packers with the same objective as last week’s game against the Minnesota Vikings: make a statement that they are capable of standing on the field with the best the NFL has to offer.
For the second week in a row, an NFC North opponent exposed the Giants’ blaring flaws and, in doing so, extended the Giants’ losing streak.
The Packers bullied and manhandled the Giants on both sides of the ball and ended a three-game losing streak against Big Blue, 23-16.
Green Bay, coming off their bye week, had two weeks to prepare for the Giants. The Giants, now losers of three in a row and current basement dwellers in the NFC East, had a short week to prepare for the Packers after losing to the Vikings in the final game of Week 4.
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It wasn’t the Packers’ world renowned offense that did the Giants in, though it certainly had in a hand in continuing the Giants’ bleeding. Aaron Rodgers went 23-of-45 for 259 yards and two touchdowns. Rodgers was also picked off twice by Janoris Jenkins, the first two interceptions by the Giants this season.
Instead, it was the Packers’ defense that made the boldest statement Sunday night.
They got to Eli Manning early and often, forcing three sacks. Manning went 18-of-35 for 199 yards and a touchdown. For much of the game, Manning either underthrew or overthrew his receivers.
He got rid of the ball rather quickly, rather than allow the receivers’ routes to develop naturally. On some plays, Manning danced around in the pocket too long: a clear sign that he doesn’t trust his offensive line because of the beating he has taken in the three-game losing streak.
The Giants should have been able to move the ball through the air with relative ease as the Packers were without their top two cornerbacks. Manning’s play, however, never allowed that to materialize.
Odell Beckham Jr., the subject of much scrutiny over the past week, caught his first touchdown of the season late in the fourth quarter. He finished with 56 yards on five receptions.
The Giants’ leading receiver Sunday night was running back Bobby Rainey, who had six receptions for 52 yards. Rookie Sterling Shepard finished with 14 yards on two receptions. Victor Cruz did not have a reception at all.
The Giants were also done in by their inability to convert on third down, going 4-of-13 in the game, and the absence of anything resembling a red zone offense in the few instances where they actually got into the red zone.
The Giants’ defense, besides Jenkins, also struggled mightily.
The Packers ran through the Giants at will, racking up 147 yards on the ground. Eddie Lacy was responsible for 81 of those yards (including a 31-yard scamper) on 11 carries.
In addition, the Giants’ pass rush was nonexistent.
Rodgers dropped back 45 times in the game but was only touched three times. The inability to get any kind of pressure on Rodgers set a tone for the game as the Giants were unable to lay a hand on him and Rodgers simply picked them apart.
The Giants are now 2-3. Their next game will against the Baltimore Ravens at MetLife Stadium Sunday afternoon at 1:00. The Ravens are coming off a loss to the Washington Redskins.