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Why the Giants’ defense was successful in the second-half vs. Green Bay

What exactly did Wink Martindale do to Aaron Rodgers?

New York Giants v Green Bay Packers Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The New York Giants held Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers to zero offensive points in their second-half 27-22 win on Sunday. An impactful Dexter Lawrence third-and-8 sack removed Green Bay from field goal range on the Packers’ first second-half possession after the Packers recorded four first downs in five plays.

Daniel Jones and the Giants offense proceeded to lead a 15-play, 91-yard drive without star running back Saquon Barkley; the drive took eight minutes and seven seconds off the clock, and it was concluded by a Gary Brightwell rushing touchdown. This touchdown tied the score at 20.

Wink Martindale and the Giants' defense then forced the Packers to go three-and-out on their next drive. Martindale called three variations of Cover-1, daring Green Bay to throw the football. Rodgers and wide receiver Allen Lazard could not connect deep on first and third down, while Nick McCloud made a critical play on second down to force an incompletion against Randall Cobb.

Martindale was judicious when calling pressure and also mixed in a lot of quarters and Cover-6. On the Packers' final 14-play, 69-yard drive that ended with a turnover on downs, the Giants ran quarters coverage 35 percent of the time, with Cover-6 14 percent of the time. However, at the end of the drive in the red zone, Martindale brought pressure and relied on his cornerbacks to single cover receivers with no safety help - the Giants ran Cover-0 28.6 percent of the time on the final Packers’ drive.

New York’s second-half defensive performance is a credit to the Giants’ defensive personnel, Wink Martindale, and New York’s offense. The Giants scored 17 unanswered points on drives that took 21:44 off the clock. The offense’s ability to move the football kept Aaron Rodgers on the sideline.

The win was a collective effort of excellence edified through elite team leadership and preparation. Here is a breakdown of the Giants’ second-half defense.