- Kieran Darcy, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A quick take on the first half:
Return to form: The Giants looked like the team that started the season 6-2, not the team that lost to the Steelers and Bengals in back-to-back weeks before their bye. Big Blue took the opening kickoff and found the end zone less than three minutes later, on a two-yard touchdown run by Andre Brown. The critical play, however, was a 59-yard screen pass and run by Ahmad Bradshaw, after a nifty end-around fake.
Early answer: The Packers tied the score in less than two minutes, on a 61-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to Jordy Nelson. Giants cornerback Corey Webster, who has been burned several times this season, got toasted again on a play-action fake. Webster had an eventful first half (see below).
Eli strikes back: Eli Manning hadn't thrown a touchdown pass in three consecutive games for the first time since his rookie year. That streak is over. Manning had a pair of first-half TD tosses, to rookie Rueben Randle (16 yards) in the first quarter and Victor Cruz (nine yards) in the second, which gave the Giants a 24-7 lead. The connection with Cruz also gave Manning 199 career touchdown passes, which tied him with Phil Simms for the Giants' franchise record.
More Corey: Webster redeemed himself with an interception of Rodgers later in the first quarter, stepping in front of Randall Cobb, which led to a Giants field goal. Either the Giants had prepared for that play or Webster made a brilliant individual read, because Cobb was not the man Webster was originally covering on the play.
In the second quarter, though, Webster was flagged for defensive holding on a third-and-11 play, keeping a Packers drive alive. That drive resulted in a Green Bay field goal, making the score 24-10.
Finishing touch: Bradshaw capped off a brilliant first half for the Giants with a 13-yard touchdown run, making the score 31-10. That was set up by a trademark Osi Umenyiora strip-sack of Rodgers, with Jason Pierre-Paul recovering the fumble.
2dMorty Ain and Stevland Wilson