Giants Drop Eighth Straight in 31-13 Loss to the Packers
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes to lead the Green Bay Packers to a 31-13 win over the hapless New York Giants.
Despite the wintery mix that fell for most of the first half and which made navigating the field an adventure, the Giants actually kept it close, battling to a 17-10 halftime deficit.
The Giants outgained the Packers on the ground, 71 to 56 yards and the Giants dominated the time of possession battle int he game's first half, 19:38 to 10:22.
But the Giants' season-long issues such big pass plays allowed, third-down efficiency and a first-half turnover, an interception by Daniel Jones, all contributed to the Packers' first-half lead.
Still, the Giants managed to keep it close, at one point battling to a 17-13 lead midway through the third quarter.
Things began to slip away when Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, on their final drive of the third quarter.
On 4th-and-10, quarterback Aaron Rodgers found receiver Geronimo Allison for a 15-yard pass completion against Grant Haley.
Not even a holding penalty called against the Packers could stop them. After a touchdown run by Aaron Jones was wiped off the board following a holding penalty against tight end Robert Tonyan, the Packers would not be denied two plays later.
Two plays after that penalty Rodgers, on 3rd-and-17, found receiver Davante Adams for a 17-yard score while the Giants were caught with 12 men on the field.
Instead of trying to pile up points, all the Giants piled up were mistakes.
On their first possession of the fourth quarter, a jet sweep to receiver Da'Mari Scott, playing in his first game since being added to the 53-man roster, lost the handle on the ball but recovered it, losing eight yards in the process.
Then on the ensuing 3rd-and-18, Giants quarterback Daniel Jones threw his second interception of the day on a badly overthrown ball intended for Sterling Shepard but which was picked off by safety Darnell Savage.
The Packers converted that turnover into a 1-yard touchdown pass play from Rodgers to tight end Marcedes Lewis to increase their lead 31-13.
Packers Get Off to a Fast Start
Add the Packers to the growing list of teams that have put up at least 14 points against the Giants in the first half.
The Packers jumped out to a 14-7 lead over the Giants h=thanks to continued breakdowns by the Giants' defensive secondary.
On the first Packers drive, quarterback Aaron Rodgers connected with receiver Allen Lazard on 2nd-and-3 for a 43-yard gain, with Lazard beating rookie cornerback DeAndre Baker.
Five plays later, Rodgers found Devante Adams for an 8-yard touchdown that gave the Packers the 7-0 lead.
The Giants answered on their ensuing drive with an 11-play, 71-yard drive that saw the Giants convert on 4th-and-5 to keep the drive alive, Jones found Sterling Shepard for an 18-yard touchdown.
No matter as the Packers answered with their second touchdown drive of the half, this one coming on a 37-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers to a wide-open Lazard, who had turned Giants safety Antoine Bethea around on the play.
Rosas Settles Down
Aldrick Rosas, who came into this week's game having missed either a PAT or a field goal attempt in six straight games, created some concern during pregame warmups when he struggled to convert several field goal attempts of various distances, but come game time, he was better.
In addition to his PAT, he converted field goals of 27 and 45 yards to chip away at the Packers lead. Rosas' second field goal, coming with 6:37 left int he third quarter, cut the Packers lead down to 17-13.
This was the first game Rosas was operating with new long snapper Colin Holba, who was promoted off the practice squad Saturday after long-time long snapper Zak DeOssie was placed on season-ending injured reserve.
Daniel Jones' Interception-less Streak Ends
Coming into this weekend's game, Daniel Jones had not thrown an interception in 100 attempts.
Unfortunately, that streak only made it to 110 as Jones had a pass intended for Darius Slaton picked off by cornerback Kevin King on a 3rd-and-10 in the second quarter.
The Packers converted Jones' ninth interception of the year into a 47-yard field goal by kicker Mason Crosby to give the Packers a 17-7 lead with 12:02 left in the second quarter.
Jones finished with three interceptions this week, increasing his season total to 11.
As predicted by the weather forecasters, a steady wintery mix fell down upon MetLife Stadium, which at one point had a thick enough coating of snow befitting of a Green Bay afternoon.
The snow eventually stopped and turned to freezing rain, which fell through the end of the first half.
The precipitation stopped for most of the second half, but not before the MetLife Field was a frozen mess. A steady rain began to fall late int he fourth quarter.
As Expected, It Was Mostly a Packers Crowd
The snowy weather wasn't the only touch of home for the visiting Packers. The sparsely attended crowd, which the Giants announced as 75,950, mostly consisted of Packers fans, proudly donning their cheeseheads and Packers gears, to cheer their team on.
In fact, several times during pregame, the Giants, when they came out on the field, were greeted with a chorus of boos and jeers from the mostly Packer crowd. And when the Giants were on offense, chants of "Go Pack, go!" rang out.
Here is what the stadium looked like 40 minutes before kickoff.
The sights and sounds of a mostly Packers crowd certainly couldn't have made Giants president John Mara's 65th birthday a happy one.
By the Numbers
With the loss, the Giants are 10-34 (.227) since the start of 2017, just a sliver above their three-year stretch from 1973-75 when they went 9-32-1 (.226).
Giants head coach Pat Shurmur’s career record fell to 17-44, including a 7-21 mark with the Giants. His career winning percentage (.278) is the seventh-worst in NFL history among qualified coaches.
His Giants winning percentage (.250) ties Steve Spagnuolo’s mark for the worst in team history, though Spagnuolo, the interim head coach at the end of the 2017 season, only got four games in which he went 1-3.
Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams recorded his first tackle for a loss in 11 games this season on the Packers' opening drive of the third quarter.
Corey Ballentine was ruled out with a concussion, his second of the season. Ballentine was dinged early in the third quarter on the opening kickoff.
The Giants will meet the Philadelphia Eagles in a Monday night contest at Lincoln Financial Field. It will be the first meeting this season between the two NFC East rivals.