The New York Giants (2-10) suffered their eighth loss in a row on Sunday, falling to the Green Bay Packers, 31-13, on a miserable day at MetLife Stadium.
When Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed a deep 43-yard pass to Allen Lazard on their opening drive that ended with an eight-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams, it felt as if the tone of Sunday’s game had been set.
And it had.
The Packers led 7-0 right away on a snowy Sunday in East Rutherford. And after an embarrassing loss to the San Francisco 49ers last week, the Green Bay Packers would rebound with an overwhelming victory.
But the Giants responded aggressively on the following drive when they went for it on fourth down and five. Quarterback Daniel Jones completed an eight-yard pass to wide receiver Darius Slayton to set up an 18-yard touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard.
The Packers got right back on top when Rodgers completed his second deep pass of the game, but this time for a 37-yard touchdown to Lazard. Green Bay held a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Jones, who once had more interceptions than touchdowns, entered the game having thrown 100-straight pass attempts without an interception. That streak extended to 111 until Jones threw an interception at the beginning of the second quarter to give the Packers back the ball, allowing a field goal on what tuned out to be another scoring drive.
The Giants responded with three points of their own when they made it 17-10 thanks to a 27-yard field goal by Aldrick Rosas that thankfully made it through the uprights this time. On the 18-play scoring drive, the Giants went for it on fourth down twice - and converted twice. Jones rushed for one yard and two yards on each attempts. Also, on this scoring drive, we saw running back Saquon Barkley do something we haven’t seen him do as much of lately when he bulldozed over the Packers offensive line to pick up 10 yards by himself.
The Giants defense picked up only its first stop of the day at the end of the second quarter. The Packers started with the ball in the second half though, and the Giants were able to stop them again to re-gain possession of the football quickly.
The Packers took one out of the Giants playbook and went for it on fourth-down-and-10 on their following possession. Under pressure, Rodgers completed a 15-yard pass up the middle to Geronimo Allison. As the third quarter wound down, it appeared as though the Giants wold hold the Packers scoreless. New York did not let them score in the third, but the touchdown came just a couple of plays into the fourth quarter anyway. Despite a holding penalty that pushed the Packers back from the end zone, Green Bay was still able to score on the drive when Rodgers completed a 17-yard touchdown to Adams to extend their lead to 24-13.
The second Jones interception of the game gave the Packers right back the ball. And Rodgers took advantage of the opportunity by putting together another scoring drive. Another interception on the Giants following possession put the game completely out of reach. The Packers scored 14 unanswered points to finish with the 31-13 win.
Green Bay is now 9-3 on the season, while the Giants drop to 2-10 in their eighth straight loss. The loss officially knocked the Giants out of playoff contention.
Moments that mattered
GOING FOR IT
The Giants entered today’s game leading the league in fourth-down conversions attempted with 23. And they were second in the NFL in fourth downs converted with nine.
After successfully converting some fourth down plays in Chicago last week, Pat Shurmur elected to go for it on fourth-and-5 with just over five minutes to play in the first quarter. Jones completed an eight-yard pass to Slayton on the play that would set up a game-tying touchdown for the Giants.
On another drive in the second quarter, the Giants went for it on fourth down on the same drive. In total in the game, the Giants were three for three on fourth down attempts.
The Packers were able to unleash some explosive plays in Sunday’s game, exploiting a weakness of the Giants this season. New York is tied for 13th in the league in passes of 40-plus yards allowed with 11. But that statistic jumps significantly when you limit it to passes of 20-plus yards allowed. And for that, the Giants are third-worst in the NFL with 62. The Packers certainly took advantage with a number of 20-plus yardage passes Sunday to keep moving down the field.
WELCOME BACK, SAQUON?
In the snowy first half alone, we saw Barkley leap over players, and push through defenders to pick up 10 yards by himself like Giants fans are used to him doing.
Barkley finished the game with 19 rushing attempts for 83 yards.
After putting up Pro Bowl numbers last season, Rosas is just 8-for-12 in field goals this season and he has also missed three extra points. Last year, Rosas made 32-of-33 field goals and only one extra point.
Today however, Rosas converted a 27-yard kick in the first half and a 45-yard attempt in the second half, looking more and more like his 2018 self with each kick.
TURNOVER BUG IS BACK
Jones added three more interceptions to his season total of 11 today, one in the first half and one in the second in which he overthrew Sterling Shepard. He is now second in the league in giveaways with 21 on the season behind only Jameis Winston. Sunday marked the second game of the season in which Jones threw three interceptions in a single game.
Tight end Kaden Smith had another good game Sunday. In the absence of players like Evan Engram and Golden Tate, Smith stepped up and led the team with 6 receptions for 70 yards on the day.
Cornerback Corey Ballentine left the game at the start of the second half with a concussion and did not return. He has already suffered one other concussion this season.
The Giants travel to Philadelphia for a Monday Night Football matchup against the Eagles on Dec. 9 at 8:15 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.