Sunday, December 26, 2010
Rapid reaction: Packers 45, Giants 17
By Ohm Youngmisuk
GREEN BAY, Wis. –- A look at the New York Giants' loss against the Green Bay Packers.
What it means: The Giants wasted an opportunity to clinch a playoff spot and now have to rely on help from others to get into the postseason. They didn’t get much help from their defense, which could not stop the Packers and Aaron Rodgers. The Giants said they were fully recovered from their collapse last week against Philadelphia, but they quickly spotted Green Bay a 14-0 lead. The Giants tied it at 14 with 5:13 left in the second quarter but were outscored 24-3 from that point until 6:58 remained in the fourth. The Giants now are on a two-game losing streak and are in serious jeopardy of missing the postseason for the second straight season. Adding insult to injury, the Giants likely will be stuck in Green Bay for another night because of the snowstorm blanketing New York and New Jersey.
Mr. Rodgers' neighborhood: Last week, Michael Vick destroyed them. This week, Rodgers took apart the Giants' defense. Returning from a one-game absence due to his second concussion, Rodgers looked completely healthy and recovered. He sliced the Giants defense up, completing 25 of 37 passes for 404 yards and four touchdowns. It is Rodgers' first 400-yard passing game. The Giants’ secondary had trouble all day sticking with Green Bay’s Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and James Jones. Jennings burned the Giants for 7 receptions for 142 yards.
Recovery time: It took the Giants a quarter to snap out of their funk from the Philadelphia loss. They fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter. Jordy Nelson caught a quick pass and took it 80 yards after he got by Antrel Rolle at the line and sprinted past Deon Grant, who was out of position. Then Rodgers hit James Jones for a three-yard touchdown with 1:53 remaining in the first quarter. So if you were keeping count, the Giants were outscored 42-0 from the last eight minutes of the Philadelphia game to the end of the first quarter of the Packers game. The Giants tied the game at 14-14, but the slow start didn't help and it got Rodgers and the Packers' offense cooking.
Killer turnovers: As has been the case pretty much all season, the Giants couldn’t get out of their own way as turnovers absolutely killed them. Eli Manning threw an interception that led Green Bay’s second touchdown in the first quarter. And then both Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs fumbled in the third quarter. The Bradshaw fumble early in the third led to a Green Bay field goal. And the Jacobs fumble came in Green Bay territory when they were driving, and trailing 31-17. Manning finished with four interceptions. On an interception in the fourth quarter, cornerback Sam Shields appeared to have a foot out of bounds on the interception, but the Giants were out of challenges.
What's next: The Giants finish the season against the Washington Redskins. The Giants must win and hope for help to get into the playoffs. The simplest way is if Green Bay loses on Sunday and the Giants win, they are in. Unofficially, they might still be able to get in with a win and two losses by New Orleans starting on Monday night against Atlanta. The NFL will release official playoff scenarios later in the week. The Giants won’t have to deal with old friend Donovan McNabb with Rex Grossman now starting. But the Redskins haven’t quit on the season and could make life difficult for the Giants, who have beaten the Redskins in eight of their past nine meetings.