Sunday, November 17, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Green Bay Packers
By Mike Mazzeo
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A few thoughts on the Green Bay Packers' 27-13 loss to the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.
What it means: The Packers' once promising season is quickly crumbling -- and all injured superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers can do is watch. Green Bay (5-5) lost its third straight game and fell a game behind Detroit (6-4) and Chicago (6-4) in the NFC North standings. The Packers had not lost three in a row since 2008.
Tolzien time: With Rodgers and Seneca Wallace hurt, third-string quarterback Scott Tolzien made his first career start. The undrafted free-agent signee out of Wisconsin finished 24-of-34 passing for 339 yards, but threw three interceptions -- two of them extremely ill-advised attempts.
On the team’s opening drive of the second half, Tolzien was trying to hit wideout James Jones with a slant route, but he never saw Giants linebacker Jon Beason, who picked off the pass.
Then, with 10:55 remaining in the fourth quarter, Tolzien was trying to hit wideout Andrew Quarless, but he never saw Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who snagged the pass at the line and waltzed in for a 24-yard touchdown.
The final pick was overthrown and snagged by Giants safety Antrel Rolle in center field. Overall, Tolzien was quite effective when he had time. He just made two really bad rookie mistakes.
Locking down Lacy: Eddie Lacy, the NFL’s leading rusher the past five weeks of the season, was held to just 27 yards on 14 carries. New York’s defensive line was stout, and limited Lacy from getting into the second level. Lacy did score on a 4-yard touchdown run with 12:52 left in the fourth quarter.
Gashed: Other than a diving interception by cornerback Tramon Williams at the end of the second quarter -- the team’s first interception since Week 7 in Cleveland -- and back-to-back sacks by Brad Jones and Clay Matthews early in the fourth quarter, the Giants pretty much manhandled the Packers' defense. New York rolled up 334 yards of total offense, while Victor Cruz had a field day from the slot, finishing with eight receptions for 110 yards.
Almost doesn’t count: Facing a fourth-and-7 from the Giants’ 43 with 6:32 remaining in the third quarter, the Packers went with a fake punt. The ball was snapped to the up-back, M.D. Jennings, but he was tackled a yard shy of the first-down marker. And on its ensuing possession, New York capped off a 10-play, 63-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run by Brandon Jacobs, making it 20-6.
Injury report: The Packers were without cornerbacks Sam Shields and Casey Hayward due to hamstring injuries. They were also missing starting right tackle Don Barclay and left outside linebacker Nick Perry. The team announced at halftime that defensive tackle Johnny Jolly would not return due to a groin injury. Later, cornerback James Nixon left the game due to a knee injury and did not return.
What’s next: The Packers will host the Minnesota Vikings next Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.