Rapid Reaction: Giants 38, Packers 10
November, 25, 2012
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The bye did wonders for the New York Giants as the refreshed defending champs steamrolled the Packers 38-10 at MetLife Stadium.
What it means: The Giants made a statement coming out of the bye that they are not going to be fully entrenched in another midseason swoon. They put an end to a two-game slide in big-time fashion by routing Green Bay. Eli Manning and the offense are clicking again, and the defense and pass rush has come to life.
The Giants (7-4) also created much-needed breathing room in the NFC East over Washington (5-6) and Dallas (5-6).
Quick start: The Giants got creative with their personnel and play calling. On their first drive, Ahmad Bradshaw had a 59-yard catch-and-run on a screen after a fake end around to Victor Cruz that set up an Andre Brown touchdown on the opening drive.
Manning also put an end to his three-game touchdown drought with two scoring passes in the first half. He did miss an opportunity to potentially connect on a touchdown bomb with Hakeem Nicks, underthrowing him in the first half. But Manning sent a message early when he lowered his right shoulder into Tramon Williams on a 13-yard scramble in the first quarter.
Manning threw a touchdown pass to Nicks in the third quarter to pass Phil Simms for the franchise lead.
Kenny back -- and then injured: Kenny Phillips played for the first time since injuring his right MCL against Philadelphia on Sept. 30.
Phillips, though, had to leave at the end of the third quarter with an injury to his right knee. He remained on the sideline after the injury and did not go into the locker room.
Prior to the injury, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell went back to his three-safety look with Phillips, Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown, who emerged in Phillips' six-game absence.
With three safeties on the field, the Giants were able to use Rolle closer to the line of scrimmage. He moved around, covering Jermichael Finley and Randall Cobb at times when he wasn't helping against the run.
Fewell definitely tinkered with his personnel, even using backup safety Will Hill with his three other safeties on the field at times.
Aaron Rodgers rarely looked comfortable, often scrambling. He was sacked three times in the first half, including a strip sack by Osi Umenyiora that set up a Bradshaw touchdown that put the Giants up 31-10 just before halftime.
Giant injuries: Besides losing Phillips, the Giants also lost right tackle David Diehl to a burner and running back Brown to a lower-leg injury.
Diehl suffered the burner in the first half and returned to watch the game on the sideline in the second half. Brown went to the locker room in the fourth quarter to be examined after his injury. Tight end Martellus Bennett also took a shot in the end zone and slowly walked off the field near the end of the game.
What's next: Perhaps the biggest divisional game of the season for the Giants as they travel to Maryland to face Robert Griffin III. They needed a 77-yard touchdown to beat him in the first meeting and now get him on his turf in his Monday night debut.