Packers vs. Giants: Eli Manning Shines in New York's 38-10 Thumping of Green Bay
Victory was even sweeter because winning in November hasn't been the Giants' strong suit under Tom Coughlin, as pointed out by ESPN Stats & Info:
#NYG enter Sunday 13-21 in November under Tom Coughlin, have lost 5 straight November games (67-37 in other months under Coughlin)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 26, 2012
The game was never really close either. Andre Brown started things off with his eighth touchdown of the year to give the Giants a 7-0 lead less than three minutes into the contest. Aaron Rodgers followed that with a 61-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson to tie the score, but that's where the positives stopped for Rodgers and Co..
Eli Manning hooked up with Reuben Randle with 2:44 remaining in the first quarter, giving Randle his first career touchdown. According to ESPN Stats & Info, the touchdown toss also meant something to Manning:
Eli Manning: 1st TD pass since his game-winning TD throw to Victor Cruz in Week 7.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 26, 2012
Manning's cold play entering Sunday night was certainly a major part of the Giants' two-game losing streak, and it was huge for him to clear the air early on.
Lawrence Tynes was able to add to the Giants' first-quarter margin with 29 ticks left on the clock, handing New York a 17-7 lead after the first 15 minutes of play. And it didn't stop there.
Manning hooked up with Victor Cruz just over five minutes into the second quarter to put the Giants ahead by 17. Mason Crosby was able to give the Packers three points of support later in the quarter, but Ahmad Bradshaw followed that with a 13-yard scamper to put Green Bay's halftime deficit at 31-10.
Liu (@RLiuNFL) November 26, 2012
ESPN Stats & Info shows us the other side of that as well:
Last time the Packers allowed 31+ points in 1st half-- 2006. Their opponent was the other NY team-- the Jets.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 26, 2012
Rodgers wasn't comfortable at all in the first half. He did have one touchdown, but his offensive line didn't lend him much time, allowing five sacks in the game and several hurries. That led to two first-half turnovers and set the tone for the rest of the game.
New York's offense slowed down in the second half, but the mood of the game didn't change. That led Skip Bayless to question Rodgers:
All I hear is Aaron Rodgers is the best QB. So I pick his team against the struggling Giants and THIS happens. Wouldn't happen to Brady.— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) November 26, 2012
Manning's play didn't help Rodgers look any better either. He hooked up with Hakeem Nicks for the third quarter's only touchdown to extend the score to 38-10 in favor of the Giants.
According to the NFL's director of football communications Michael Signora, that score made Manning the first Giants player to throw for 200 career touchdowns.
Even though New York stopped scoring for the most part in the second half, it was no less dominant. The offense carved up Green Bay's defense at every level, and the defense kept after Rodgers on a consistent basis.
The Packers couldn't get to Manning, and that was the ultimate difference. Rather than play with any caution, the Giants signal-caller went 16-of-30 for 249 yards and three touchdowns. Compare that with Rodgers' 14-of-25, 219 yards and one interception, and it's easy to see where this one went wrong for Green Bay.
This one was equal parts Packers disappointment and Giants statement. Either way, the final result was stunning.
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