It is now a freefall for the New York Giants, losers of three straight with a 23-16 loss at the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night.
Despite two first half interceptions by cornerback Janoris Jenkins, the Giants failed to capitalize on any momentum presented to them in the game. The offense sputtered to find any offensive rhythm until late in the fourth quarter.
For the Packers Aaron Rodgers didn’t have a sparkling night but with the Giants again unable to generate any semblance of a pass rush the future Hall of Fame quarterback had plenty of time to make throws. Rodgers finished the night 23-of-45 for 259 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. It wasn’t pretty but was strangely effective.
Three field goals from Josh Brown, two of which came in the first half, kept the score close for the Giants even as they struggled to move the ball. Punter Brad Wing again was stellar with three of his six punts inside the 20-yard line.
Perhaps the only silver lining for the Giants outside of their kicking game was that Odell Beckham kept his cool and didn’t have a tantrum this week. After a career low 23 receiving yards last week Beckham rebounded a bit with five receptions for 56 yards with an acrobatic late-game touchdown to make it 23-16.
Jenkins big night – It was a huge night for Janoris Jenkins, one of the Giants big offseason signings. The cornerback had two first half interceptions, part of a night where he also added a tackle as the Packers simply stopped throwing towards him. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Jenkins had a diving breakup on a Aaron Rodgers pass into the endzone to Jordy Nelson. There was a lot of wondering when the Giants made a big splash in free agency this offseason by signing Jenkins but the cornerback has so far put in several Pro Bowl caliber performances.
Eli is kinda, sorta average – It may be true that elite can’t be spelled without Eli but it is also true that Eli Manning is nowhere near elite right now. In a game where he had multiple shots down the field, including four big chances in the first half, Manning consistently failed to deliver balls with touch. He compounded that issue with mistakes such as a fumble-sack late in the first half that set-up a Packers field goal for a 17-6 halftime lead. It is true that the Giants offensive line is terrible but so too is Manning’s decision-making ability right now.
Running in reverse -The Packers came into the game with the league’s best run defense, allowing their opponents a scant 1.8 yards per attempt. They lived up to this reputation, keeping the Giants to just 43 rushing yards (their three running backs had a combined 42 yards). That kind of production makes it difficult to win games although ironically it was over a yard more per attempt than Green Bay’s average coming into the game. But the Giants inability to run the ball was a major reason in the Packers holding possession for 35:59.