The Green Bay Packers have no answer for the New York Giants, as evidenced by their 38-10 loss on Sunday night.
Much like the Giants dismantled the Packers in the playoffs last season, they did the same in the rematch in much the same fashion. The game was essentially over by halftime, as the Giants built a 31-10 lead behind a dominant defensive line, two turnovers and an offense that looked like a well-oiled machine for the first time in weeks.
One play was symbolic of the debacle. Looking to close the gap before the half, Aaron Rodgers (14-of-25, 219 yards, one touchdown, one pick) was sacked by Osi Umenyiora, who blew by Marshall Newhouse like he wasn’t even there. Rodgers fumbled and Jason Pierre-Paul recovered. The Giants would score on a 13-yard Ahmad Bradshaw run two plays later.
Instead of potentially cutting in to a 14-point deficit, the Packers were suddenly down three touchdowns. Game over. The Packers wouldn’t mount a challenge (or show any pride for that matter) the rest of the game.
The Packers problems started with the offensive line, which was abused by the Giants’ front four. Neither Newhouse or T.J. Lang could block anyone effectively one-on-one in the first half. When the Packers helped one guy with an additional blocker the other guy got beat and they refused to help both.
Rodgers was sacked five times, although at least one was a coverage sack.
While the line was getting pushed around, the Giants corners were jamming the Packers receivers and their safeties were playing two deep — something the Packers haven’t been able to or have refused to adapt to all season.
That made James Jones (zero catches) and Jordy Nelson (two catches), outside of his first quarter touchdown, total non-factors. The Packers answer to New York’s two-deep look was to run the football… ineffectively.
Although James Starks had the hot hand coming in, Mike McCarthy relied on Alex Green in the effort to get the Giants to bring their safeties up and open up the passing game. Green managed only 30 yards on 10 carries.
Defensively, the Packers couldn’t stop anything the Giants did.
They generated next to no pressure on Eli Manning (16-of-30, 249 yards, three touchdowns), who was sacked only once, and were gouged by the Giants rushing attack.
Bradshaw averaged 5.8 yards per carry and his backup Andre Brown averaged 4.9, as the Giants piled up 148 yards rushing. Both backs had touchdown runs.
Compounding it all, the Packers were penalized seven times for 49 yards.
In other words, the Packers totally and completely shit the bed and had their asses handed to them just like they deserved.
The only thing that makes this game better than the last time the Giants kicked the Packers all over the field is it didn’t happen in the playoffs. The beating was surely more thorough this time, though.
The class of the NFC? It may not be the Giants, but it sure as hell isn’t the Packers.