The Green Bay Packers gave us a glimpse of the offensive juggernaut they used to be early in their contest with the New York Giants. Then, much like their win over Detroit, they couldn’t sustain it. Nonetheless, the Packers were able to hold off the Giants and pull out a 23-16 win.
Unlike the win over Detroit, which was largely the result of big plays, the Packers started this game with long, sustained drives. Aaron Rodgers stood in the pocket and his receivers got open. Combined with the running of Eddie Lacy (11 for 81 yards), the Packers seemed like they’d roll over the Giants.
That plan was thwarted by Rodgers’ two interceptions and Lacy’s injury, of course.
In the end, it was once again left to the defense for the Packers. After putting up 17 in the first half, the Packers managed just two Mason Crosby field goals in the second.
Fortunately, the defense — minus supposed No. 1 or 2 cornerback Damarious Randall — was able to keep Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. in check. Manning, who most of us expected to go off, threw for just 199 yards and Beckham had just five for 56.
That was really the difference in the game. The Packers’ secondary — specifically Randall — had been getting torched lately. Without Randall, they didn’t get torched.
Coincidence? Who knows?
Quentin Rollins and LaDarius Gunter stepped up and played well in Randall’s absence. The Packers’ pass rush made it easier by getting consistent pressure on Manning. That resulted in four sacks.
Early on, Lacy appeared to be the difference for the Packers offense. After he went out, Randall Cobb stepped up, turning in his best game of the season. Cobb caught nine for 108 and gave the Packers some key first down plays along the way.
It was reminiscent of the Randall Cobb of 2014. When Rodgers needed a play, that’s where he went. Unfortunately, Cobb also got injured late with what we assume was a concussion.
Certainly, there were some encouraging signs for the Packers. Without the two picks, Rodgers would have likely had a great game.
Frankly, it was nice to see him not try to escape the pocket immediately and make stuff up. He made throws he wouldn’t normally make and that did cost him, but the offensive line played an outstanding game. That should help Rodgers’ confidence as the season goes on.
It certainly would have been nice if the offense could have put together something in the second half. That’s a troubling trend. This one was never really in question though.
Should have been a Packers’ blowout, but we’ll take a comfortable win for now.