If there was only a way to convince the N.Y. Giants that nobody believed in them each and every week, they might not ever lose a game. Coming in to their matchup with the Green Bay Packers last night, all the talk was about how discombobulated the Gmen were, and how their most recent November swoon was bound to sink them. Then they dropped 31 first half points on the Green Bay Packers, and the Giants were well on their way to victory.
In that amazing for them first half, they did all the things that had made them look like one of the best teams in the NFL through the first 7 weeks of the season. They pressured Rodgers, got turnovers, and their offense was nearly flawless as Eli Manning picked up his first two passing TDs in a month.
Manning playing well following a bye has become a tradition, as Mark Cannizzaro of the N.Y. Post reported. Over the last 4 seasons, Cannizzaro notes that Manning is 4-0 while averaging over 320 games per contest, and a 10-1 TD-INT ratio in the first game following the bye week.
The Giants offense seemed content to simply control the ball in the second half, adding only 7 points on a 13 yard Manning to Nicks strike near the end of the 3rd quarter. When it came time to close the game out, however, they did put together a 17 play drive that took 9:23 off of the play clock. Most impressive was the Giants’ defense pitching a shutout over the last 33:37 of the game. The only real mistake they made was allowing Jordy Nelson to get behind them for a 61 yard TD on Green Bay’s opening drive.
For some, this might put to rest the talk that has gone around since at least this past summer when Clay Matthews said:
We picked the most inopportune time to play our worst ball. The fact is, (the Giants) didn’t beat us; we beat ourselves.
Eli Manning countered that by saying:
Everybody has a way of keeping their confidence, and sometimes you just say. ‘Well, they didn’t beat us, we gave it to ’em.’ I don’t know why you’d do that in a playoff game. Hey, if that’s the way they want to think about it, that’s fine. It doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t make me want to argue their point.
By the game’s end, Manning had once again delivered when it mattered most, while Aaron Rodgers was unable to stand up to the reinvigorated Giants’ pass rush. Maybe the Packers gave the divisional game away last year. Perhaps they gave away last night’s game, too. The one thing that seems certain is that the Giants have got their mojo back, which will be important in the coming weeks with the schedule they have remaining. In this moment, before any of that begins, they look like the team that everyone thought was amongst the NFL’s best once again.
What does the Giants win over the Packers mean? Who is the Super Bowl favorite from the NFC?
Let me know what you think: