Green Bay Packers 38 New York Giants 35
Yesterday it looked as if the NFC playoff picture was about to shift dramatically as the Lions, Bears and Cowboys all lost and the Giants gave the Packers a run for their money. However, when the final scores were tallied everybody lost, so nobody gained any ground despite the best efforts of the Giants in a game nobody thought they could win. If only games were 59 minutes instead of a full hour, the G-Men would have forced overtime instead of giving Aaron Rodgers the ball with nearly a minute on the clock, which was plenty of time to drive for a game winning field goal and escape the Meadowlands with perfection in tact.
Big Blue played a nice bounce back game after the embarrassing performance last week in the Superdome. The non-existent running attack made an appearance as Ahmad Bradshaw returned and combined with Brandon Jacobs to give the Giants 100 yards on 20 carries. Eli Manning spread the ball around hitting seven different receivers for 347 yards and three touchdowns while completing 58% of his passes. In the fourth Manning and the rest of the Cardiac Crew that is the Giants offense this season orchestrated a game tying drive ending with Hakeem Nicks second touchdown catch of the day. The defense had a difficult time stopping the Packers, but then again so have all defenses. While Rodgers is having a season for the ages, his receiving core is outstanding. There were very few dropped balls and every time he went for the sideline somehow the receiver got his feet in bounds.
While Nicks made some huge grabs for Manning, there were also several drops and plays where he failed to keep his feet within the field of play, which has plagued the receiver in his young career. As the cliche goes the quarterback gets too much of the credit and too much of the blame. Fans are in love with the potential of Nicks, but he needs to bring in those difficult balls to become a premiere wide out. His first touchdown was an outstanding one handed catch over pro-bowler Charles Woodson, who could do nothing, but hold Nicks and he still came down with the score.
The primary campaign for this blog has been against the Giants coaching staff, but this week I put the loss on the players. Defensively it appeared that they were in the right positions and they did prevent big plays, but as Troy Aikman said, “A good throw beats good coverage.” Rodgers looked like a mere mortal for most of the game even throwing a pick to Chase Blackburn in his return in Big Blue. In the final drive it showed why this packers offense is so difficult to stop. The receivers are tough to cover, the throws are right on the money and the running game is respectable.
Thrice before in my lifetime the Giants have taken on an unbeaten opponent and they were 2-3 going into this game having toppled the Broncos and Patriots
in the Super Bowl. It did take the Giants two tries to beat the Pats in 2007 after losing their week 17 match up by the identical score of 38-35. Many are pointing to this as a possible rallying cry and turning point to this season. With the season already three quarters finished it is tough to believe the Giants will go through that championship transformation once again, especially given their second half woes under Tom Coughlin and company. With two head to head match ups against the Cowboys, including next week, It’s possible for the G-Men to win the division outright or possibly squeak into the wildcard race with the Lions stumbling and the Bears losing Matt Forte as well as Jay Cutler. They have to continue to play solid football down the stretch and gain some momentum going into the postseason if they can make it.
While this game may become a rallying cry, right now it is just a loss and puts the Giants in a bad spot. Close, but no cigar as they say. Before the San Francisco loss, I believed in a “good loss,” now I’m not so sure. “Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing,” said legendary Packers coach Vince Lombardi and right now the giants have dropped four straight. That’s a hard habit to break.
Did we learn something new about the Giants yesterday? Can they make the playoffs? Let us know what you think via our twitter (@seeuinoctober) or leave us a message.