Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdowns passes in an otherwise choppy night for the Green Bay offense, and the Packers' defense rattled the New York Giants and limited Odell Beckham Jr. in a 23-16 victory Sunday night.
Rodgers was 23 of 45 for 259 yards and also threw two interceptions. Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams each had highlight-reel touchdown catches to help the Packers build an 11-point halftime lead.
But the offense was mired by uncharacteristic drops, and couple of big plays were called back by penalties. Mason Crosby kicked three field goals, including two in the fourth quarter.
New York's Eli Manning was 18 of 35 for 199 yards, and the Packers pressured him much of the night.
The Giants looked out of sorts until a hurry-up drive that ended with Beckham's 8-yard touchdown catch with 2:54 left. >> Read more
Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press
The No. 1 reason Ben McAdoo was hired to replace Tom Coughlin as the head coach of the Giants -- maybe the only reason that really mattered -- was because of how much Manning and the offense thrived with him as offensive coordinator. He and his system were getting the most out of them. The offense was back in the top 10. Manning was having a late-career revival.
So what the heck happened?
The last two weeks have just been a train wreck for Manning and the offense, and it really bottomed out in the Giants' 23-16 loss in Green Bay. Manning was 18 of 35 for 199 yards. That would be a bad day for him by any stretch, but consider that he faced one of the NFL's worst passing defenses that missed its two starting cornerbacks.
It didn't help that Manning's offensive line was bad (left tackle Ereck Flowers, in particular), but even when Manning had a little time to throw, he was off and awful. There's really no reason for a quarterback as accomplished as he is to be that bad on a team with as many weapons as he has. Never mind an inability to get the ball down the field; he couldn't even get the ball into the hands of his playmakers short. Beckham (4 catches-48 yards), Sterling Shepard (2-14) and Victor Cruz (0-0) combined for just six catches 62 yards.
Even on a bad day, they should do better.
The shame of this is that the Giants got a pretty decent effort out of their defense. Sure, the pass rush still stinks and Rodgers had way too much time to throw, but the Giants' undermanned secondary overachieved and CB Janoris Jenkins recorded the first two defensive turnovers of the McAdoo Era.
But like everything else on Sunday night, they went to waste thanks to Manning's awful effort. That's two straight bad games. Perhaps worse, he's now thrown just two touchdown passes in the four games since his three-touchdown opener in Dallas. The Giants just aren't going to win many games if Manning keeps playing like that.
Another week, another game filled with missed opportunies, errors and what seems to be a lack of direction. The Giants actually had a chance to steal this one, almost recovering a fumble deep in Packer territory late in the game, but it wasn't meant to be. Another close loss that could have had a different outcome.
The defense played admirably; credit the banged-up secondary for keeping the Giants in the game until the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, the offense could not capitalize on much of what it was handed for most of the night.
The offense still has no identity, even with its three talented receivers healthy and in the fold. Manning (18/39 199 yards, TD) was scattershot most of the night, misfiring badly at times and acting tentative as if he were waiting to get hit. But it's not only his fault; the offensive line, especially Flowers, who had a rough night filled with penalties and missed blocks, was under siege. Manning clearly doesn't trusting his protection, and it's affecting his entire game. He can't get into any type of rhythm. New York went 4 for 13 on third down.
The Giants gained just 43 rushing yards on 15 carries, a 2.9-yard average, against the top-ranked Packers defense. And the passing game didn't pick them up. They tried to get Beckham, who was targeted 12 times, the ball as much as possible, but the receivers could not shake the injury-laden Green Bay secondary.
Beckham scored late on nice leaping grab in the back of the end zone. The play was reviewed and upheld, as it wasn't clear whether he got his left heel down. He did. (The only break the Giants got all night.)
At 2-3, the Giants are all alone in the NFC East basement after five weeks. They are playing competitvely at times, but are not clutch and are making too many errors. Manning has to regain his confidence and recapture his rapport with his receivers, and the pass rush, which didn't record a sack again, needs to come alive if this team wants to make any hay in this division this season.