Giants bounce back from bye with rout of Packers

Ahmad Bradshaw.

The Giants need to have mini-vacations more often, if Sunday night’s 38-10 demolition of the Packers was any indication.   

Heading into the bye week, all the Giants (7-4) heard about was their usual November swoon, Eli Manning’s “dead arm” and a team that was on the decline as the Cowboys nipped at their heels. But fast forward to the aftermath of the Packers’ game, and now the Giants are in the NFC East driver’s seat with a two-game lead over next week’s opponent, the Redskins, and control of their own destiny.   

The Giants’ prospects are looking up thanks to what they did to the Packers (7-4) in the first 21 minutes, as they jumped out to an impressive 24-7 lead.

Manning, who had a record-setting night, let his game do the talking as he finished 16-of-30 for 249 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. His second touchdown tied legendary Giants’ quarterback Phil Simms for the most all-time in franchise history. But it was his third scoring strike that set him apart from everyone else in Big Blue lore when he connected with Hakeem Nicks for his 200th career touchdown toss.   

While Manning refused to take the bait about Simms rescinding Manning’s elite status last week, the franchise’s most prolific passer was more than happy to talk up the team as a whole. 

“All I cared about was getting a win. That was the most important thing. But anytime you can pass [franchise] greats like Phil Simms and Charlie Conerly is an honor,” said Manning. “We played as a full team — offense, defense and special teams — and that was something that was missing for a while.
   
“I think it was good to get some rest. It was good to get away from the facility, get away from football, [because] we had a couple of long weeks [with Hurricane Sandy and the two-game losing streak],” Manning said. “I think we needed our bodies and minds to get a little rest. … Obviously, it helped us out [Sunday night].”      

What also helped Manning was a running game and defense that backed him up. Both were able to stymie his counterpart, Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Giants’ rushing attack has been maligned all season, but it managed to keep the prolific Packers’ offense on the sidelines. Ahmad Bradshaw and Andre Brown combined for 122 of the team’s 148 rushing yards and averaged almost five yards per carry, collectively.  

The defense also played a part in stifling Rodgers, sacking him five times and causing two turnovers (a fumble and an interception) of the reigning league MVP. The veteran looked as rattled on Sunday night as he’s been all season. For the fourth time this year he was sacked at least five times. Rogers finished a meager 14-of-25 for 219 yards, a touchdown and the pick, and got next to nothing from a rushing attack that only mustered 116 yards — 22 coming by his own survival scrambling.     

Such a one-dimensional offense made corralling Rodgers all the easier, said defensive end Osi Umenyiora. The pass rush specialist had a strip-sack and added that the key to success was getting to Rodgers early and often.
  
“We knew it’d be all about pressure and getting to [Rodgers], because he’s an outstanding football player,” Umenyiora said. “With any quarterback, if you can get to him enough early you have a better chance at winning.”
   
Umenyiora then stopped himself short of saying that the Giants were desperate to stop their two-game slide, but admitted they had a renewed sense of purpose coming off the bye.
  
“We just knew it’d be more important to us than it would be for them and we needed to step up,” said Umenyiora. “We all showed great heart. We needed to step up and regroup [after the bye week], so we came in here strong. It was just so important to us.”         

Umenyiora’s bookend at defensive end, Justin Tuck, was more defiant in assessing the Giants’ performance — and the road ahead.   
 
“It reminds us what we’re capable of and that’s all that matters. We know what we’re capable of when we play our style of football,” Tuck said. “I feel very confident where this team is right now. We slipped a little bit, but we’re refocused now, and hopefully we’re done with the roller coaster and we’ll continue to excel.”
 
Big Blue notes

» The Giants were the Packers’ first opponent to score on the opening drive this season when Andre Brown scored on a 2-yard plunge four minutes into the game. 
 
» Safety Kenny Phillips (knee) and offensive lineman David Diehl (neck) were injured in the second half and didn’t return. They’ll likely undergo a battery of tests and MRIs on Monday to determine the extent of their injuries. 

» The statistical comparisons between the teams were actually pretty even. But what set the Giants apart was their efficiency in the red zone (5-of-6, compared to 0-of-2) and their goal-to-go percentage (2-of-3 to no chances for the Packers).  

Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Woman dies when run over by bus at…

A woman at the Burning Man arts and culture festival in the Nevada desert died on Thursday when she was run over by a bus carrying participants.

National

Texas parents sue day care center for duct…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas couple has filed a lawsuit against the owners of a Fort Worth-area day care center seeking $1 million…

National

Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalize marijuana

By Joseph KolbALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the…

International

Egypt queries Mursi over documents "leaked" to Al…

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is investigating jailed ex-president Mohamed Mursi in connection with documents that judicial investigators say were leaked to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

The Word

The Word: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie finally…

Well, everybody, it finally happened. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie went and got themselves hitched — according to noted scandal sheet the Associated Press —…

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

NFL

Giants vs. Patriots: 3 things to watch

The Giants wrap up their extended preseason campaign Thursday night by playing host to the Patriots.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…