The Green Bay Packers — largely on the strength of their defense — got themselves a nice win over the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football. The game never really seemed in doubt, with the Packers jumping out to a 17-6 halftime lead. Although the Packers scored just six points in the second half, the final of 23-16 wasn’t really as close as it appeared.
The Packers were up 23-9 before the Giants scored a touchdown with 3:45 left to account for the final margin.
It was a decent win, but alas, not really the type of all-around dominant performance we would have liked to have seen from the Packers. What’s new, though?
Here are five more thoughts on the game.
A Dominant Defense
At least on this night, the Green Bay Packers defense was pretty much totally dominant. We all know about the run defense. That remained great, as the Packers allowed just 43 yards rushing. Of course, that was completely expected. The Giants were trying to run with their third and fourth-string running backs because their top two guys were injured. Where the Packers really stepped up was in pass defense. With Damarious Randall not out their to get burned, the secondary actually played well. They held Eli Manning and ODB in check. Part of that was surely due to the pass rush, which produced four sacks. The defense won the Packers this game, but holding the Giants to 219 total yards and only one touchdown is just that — a dominant defensive effort. There’s no other way to look at it.
Aaron Rodgers… On Second Thought
Last night I was praising Aaron Rodgers, primarily because he actually stood in the pocket and went through his reads for a change. You could say the offensive line played so well that Rodgers really had no choice. Whatever. On paper, the Packers offense looked good, finishing with 409 total yards. In reality, Rodgers didn’t really get it done though, did he? The two interceptions were obviously costly. Take those away, put up some points and this game was over sooner. Plus, just like the last game, the Packers couldn’t get in the end zone in the second half. Really, what allowed the Packers to put up those 409 yards of offense was the line. They didn’t allow a sack and led a rushing attack that gained 147 yards and averaged 4.6 per. That allowed the Packers to dominate the time of possession (36:38 to 23:22). As I said last week, this notion of Rodgers being back because he threw four touchdowns against Detroit is nonsensical. This is not your MVP quarterback of past seasons.
Has Shawn Slocum Returned?
Other than Mason Crosby, the Packers specials teams pretty much suck this year. Punter Jake Schum — rhymes with Bum — is exactly what we expected. He’s a guy who got cut by Tampa Bay on the reduction to 75. Clearly, they had no idea what a treasure they were giving up, so leave it to Big Ted to jump on acquiring this hidden gem. Except, yeah, Tampa knew exactly what they were doing. Bum averaged 36.5 per kick on Sunday and got his ass booed off the field. Really superb stuff. The return game isn’t really much better. The best we can say about kickoffs is that Ty Montgomery once upon a time went out of bounds to touch a kick and that gave the Packers the ball at the 40. On punts, it’s as if everyone is told to fair catch regardless of what’s unfolding on the field in front of them. Trevor Davis actually did return one of the Giants’ six punts last night and got just three yards. But hey, three yards is better than no yards. And let’s not forget kick coverage, where the Giants averaged 35 yards per return. Did someone let Shawn Slocum sneak back into the building?
Well, Well, Dropvante
The Giants had Janoris Jenkins doing a hell of a job on Jordy Nelson on Sunday. Nelson had just four catches for 38 yards and also had a couple drops. So obviously someone else needed to step up. Randall Cobb led the way, as I pointed out after the game. I have to mention Davante Adams too though because I beat the shit out of him constantly when he sucks, which is almost always. Dropvante had five for 85 and a touchdown. That’s a very un-Dropvante-like 17 yards per catch. It wasn’t all pretty for Dropvante, but Sunday was probably his best game since his rookie season. So, way to go, dick.
Back To Basics At Receiver
We were real excited when Fat Mike looked like he was willing to give some receivers other than Nelson, Cobb and Dropvante some snaps. That continued to a degree against New York. The newly clubless Jeff Janis played 13 offensive snaps, Trevor Davis had seven and Ty Montgomery got two. For the second week in a row, Jared Abbrederis got no offensive snaps. Unfortunately, none of these guys were even targeted. The only guy to touch the ball on offense was Montgomery, who rushed once for one yard. That receiver in the backfield crap isn’t working, but that’s beside the point here. Apparently, it doesn’t matter if McCarthy puts any other receivers in the game because Rodgers isn’t going to throw them the ball anyway. Must be trust issues, right?