The Green Bay Packers had two weeks to prepare for their week 5 matchup against the New York Giants and used that time effectively, earning a 23-16 victory on Sunday Night. Shredding the Detroit Lions defense in week 3, Rodgers continued his proficient passing in the Packers’ first offensive possession, operating a 16-play, 75-yard drive which ended in a Rodgers-to-Nelson connection in the end zone.
On the subsequent drive, however, Rodgers fired a pass to Nelson that bounced off the receiver’s hands and was picked off by Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins. The quarterback struggled with accuracy throughout the game, finishing 23-of-45 through the air for 259 yards, two TDs and two interceptions. Against a porous Giants secondary, who came into the game with zero picks, Rodgers’ wild attempts kept the opposition within two possessions for the majority of the game.
Give a gold star to the O-line, who kept Rodgers snug in the pocket throughout the contest. Tackles David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga were stout against the Giants’ pass rush and made Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul non-factors.
With New York’s strength coming from its defensive line, the Packers dominated the battle up front. Winning the clash in the trenches, Green Bay was on pace to push Eddie Lacy over the 100-yard mark for the second game in a row. However, the four-year running back suffered an injury in the third quarter that required medical attention.
Eddie Lacy (ankle) is questionable to return #NYGvsGB— Green Bay Packers (@packers) October 10, 2016
Instead, Lacy finished with 11 carries for 81 yards. James Starks didn’t have the same type of impact as the bruising downhill force of Lacy, rushing for just 33 yards on 12 carries. The Giants had relatively little success moving the ball on the ground, an issue that was evident last Monday in their loss against Minnesota.
Green Bay held New York to just 43 yards on the ground on 15 carries, as the Bobby Rainey and Orleans Darkwa tandem didn’t instill serious fear into the Packers’ defense. Linebacker Jake Ryan was electric for the Packers defense, totaling a team-high seven tackles.
In the pass rush, Nick Perry and Kyler Fackrell flashed ability, finishing with one sack apiece. Fackrell could be a staple in the Packers defense, with his versatility as a pass rusher and length in the second level. Playing from behind most of the game, the Giants relied heavily on Eli Manning, who was sacked three times, and struggled throughout.
Manning finished an inept 18-of-35 through the air for just 199 yards Sunday night and misfired consistently. Give credit to the secondary, who dealt with the absence of Sam Shields and an injury to safety Chris Banjo during the game.
Odell Beckham Jr. provided the Giants’ lone touchdown on the night, receiving a pass from Manning in the back of the end zone in the fourth quarter and getting both feet down for the score. He proceeded to hug a kicking net.
It was a semi-breakout performance for the disgruntled star, who finished with five catches and 56 receiving yards. He did get tackled in the backfield by Micah Hyde on one play which was counted as a sack. The Packers held rookie Sterling Shepard to just 14 yards on two catches.
Randall Cobb and Davante Adams had more space to operate with, torching a weak Giants secondary. Cobb eclipsed the 100-yard mark, hauling in nine passes for a game-high 108 yards. His game-securing first-down reception in the fourth quarter came with a price, as he got crunched on the play. Adams had a season-high 85 yards and his 29-yard reception proved to be essential, with the Giants mounting a comeback late.
For special teams, Mason Crosby was perfect, going 3 for 3 on his field goal attempts. In a seven-point victory, he was a major factor in the win. Punter Jacob Schum had a sporadic night, averaging 36.5 yards on four punts.
The Packers dominated the Giants in yardage, 406 to 219, and time of possession, 36:38 to 23:22, in an important victory at home. Green Bay (3-1) will host the Dallas Cowboys next Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET and 3:25 CT.