There won’t be any ‘Three-Peat’ by the New York Giants. The last two times the Giants reached the playoffs their path to Super Bowl titles included victories at Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers. Sunday, though, the Giants saw their season end with a 38-13 loss to Green in the Wild-Card round of the NFC playoffs.
“Tough way to end the season,” said Giants coach Ben McAdoo.
Why are the Giants one-and-done?
First of all, their defense, so good all season, didn’t have enough answers for Aaron Rodgers. The Giants sacked him five times but Rodgers passed for 362 yards and four touchdowns.
Rodgers’ big day included the third Hail Mary touchdown he has thrown since last season. Green Bay’s 38 points marked the only time this season a team has scored 30 or more points against the Giants.
The Giants also lost because, as has been the case all season, they couldn’t generate enough offense.
“There were opportunities to score points, we just didn’t get it done,” McAdoo said.
Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard each dropped touchdown passes in the first quarter. The Giants led, 6-0, two first-quarter drops by Beckham and Shepard kept the lead from being much larger.
McAdoo said Beckham’s “ball skills weren’t great today” and added that as an offense the Giants “didn’t handle the ball well enough to win against a good team.”
The Giants got a 41-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Tavarres King in the third quarter, but couldn’t keep pace.
The Giants trailed, 14-6, at the half despite dominating the play. Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard both dropped two passes, each failing to catch throws that would have gone for touchdowns. A Beckham drop on third down on their first possession also prevented them from reaching field goal range.
“It sucks. It’s a horrible feeling,” Beckham said after the game. “It’s a game of inches. We were just inches short on some of these plays.”
Manning finished 23-of-44 for 299 yards with a touchdown and an interception. King had 73 receiving yards and a touchdown on three catches. Will Tye, Shepard and Beckham had four receptions. Beckham, though, accounted for only 28 receiving yards.
Moments that mattered
DRC injured: The Giants lost cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to a thigh bruise in the first quarter. Trevin Wade and Coty Sensabaugh filled in for DRC in the slot.
Early drops: The Giants dropped four passes in the first quarter, two by Odell Beckham Jr. and two by Sterling Shepard. Each player dropped passes that would have gone for touchdowns. Beckham ended the game with a career-high three drops.
Turnabout is fair play: In the Giants’ 37-20 victory over the Packers in the 2012 playoffs, Eli Manning hit Hakeem Nicks with a back-breaking end of the first half Hail Mary. This time, Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers found Randall Cobb with a 42-yard Hail Mary to give Green Bay a 14-6 lead as the first half closed. Green Bay scored two touchdowns in the final 2:32 of the first half, grabbing the momentum after the Giants had dominated the first half.
Fourth-down stop: The Giants stopped the Packers on a fourth-and-inches from the Green Bay 42 with 6:08 left in the third quarter. Two plays later, Eli Manning hit Tavarres King for a 41-yard touchdown that brought the Giants back within 14-13. This gave the Giants a chance, but Green Bay outscored them from there, 24-0.
Bobby Rainey’s mistake: After the Packers scored to take a 21-13 lead, Rainey stepped out of bounds while fielding a kickoff at the Giants’ 3-yard line. The Giants went three-and-out, Green Bay took possession at the Giants’ 37 after a 23-yard return. Mason Crosby kicked a 33-yard field goal to give the Packers a two-score lead, 24-13, with 21 seconds left in the third quarter. From there, the game became a rout.