During week 13, the Green Bay Packers defeated the New York Giants by a score of 31-13. Here is the full recap of the Packers @ Giants game.
The Packers began by preventing the Giants from producing points on their opening possession. Even a neutral zone infraction by Za’Darius Smith on 3rd-and-6 could not stop Green Bay’s defense from getting off of the field. On the ensuing 3rd-and-1, the Giants’ offensive line made a mistake in pass-protection and allowed Kenny Clark to get into the backfield unblocked. As a result, Saquon Barkley could do nothing as he suffered a tackle for loss.
Green (Bay) Means Go
Unlike the Giants’ first drive, the Packers performed perfect execution. On their second play from scrimmage, both Aaron Jones and Danny Vitale were left in to pass-protect. This allowed Aaron Rodgers the time to find Allen Lazard on a deep crossing route. Lazard did a great job of getting separation and making a diving catch for the 43 yard gain. For his part, Rodgers had excellent placement on the football, putting it in a spot where it could not be intercepted.
Matt LaFleur has made a clear effort to get Davante Adams the football. It was evident early as Adams received an end-around rush attempt as well as 2 targets on 3 of Rodgers’ pass attempts on this drive. That includes the initial TD of the game. It was a great play call designed to get Adams open. Starting in the left slot, Adams ran a crossing route. There were also two other crossing routes, one going in each direction. This cleared out coverage from the middle and allowed Adams to be open at the goal-line. Rodgers hit his target for the 7-0 lead.
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Jones converted a few clutch plays on this drive. On top of that initial 3rd down, the Giants also converted a 4th-and-5 attempt. It was an aggressive call by Pat Shurmur as the Giants were already in FG range. Deciding that 3 points were not enough, Shurmer made the right call as Jones found Darius Slayton for the completion and the drive continued. Three plays later, Jones hit Sterling Shepard in the end zone for the tying score. Kevin King was in tight coverage on the play as Shepard fooled in on an inside fake. King took the bait and Shepard blew past him to get to the end zone and catch the TD to make it a 7-7 game. It was actually Shepard’s first TD on the perimeter, as every other time he scored in his career it was in the slot. That’s another dubious distinction for King.
Sterling Shepard just scored the first touchdown of his career while lined up on the perimeter. Was a phenomenal route while playing in the snow. #Giants
— Mike Tagliere (@MikeTagliereNFL) December 1, 2019
The offensive explosion would not end quite yet as the Packers produced a scoring drive in response. It was not a long possession as it only lasted 5 plays. Once again, a big Lazard reception marked the drive. Only this time, instead of setting up the score, Lazard found the end zone himself.
As was the case with the Adams TD, LaFleur is designing route combinations where the slot receiver is the primary read. On this particular Lazard play, Adams was lined up on the outside. As a result, Lazard was 1-on-1 in the slot and he took advantage on his deep dig route.
This marked the 3rd straight TD drive in this game as Green Bay reclaimed their lead at 14-7 just before the end of the 1st quarter.
2nd Frame, 2nd Chance
For the Giants, the first quarter went about as well as they could have hoped. The offense moved the ball rather well in the snowy New York conditions. Plus they were only down by one score against an explosive Packers offense.
Getting the ball back, the Giants were able to move to about midfield. After letting Sterling Shepard get loose on his TD catch, Kevin King found some redemption. He was covering Darius Slayton with help over the top. King took advantage and undercut the back shoulder route and came up with the INT.
In several instances this season, King demonstrated his short memory by coming up with key plays after allowing a score. Whether that is a key tackle or a turnover King continues to ball even after making mistakes. That mentality is needed to play cornerback in the NFL.
The Packers succeeded in scoring 3 points off of the turnover. A Jimmy Graham reception set up the offense inside the Giants 35-yard line. A 2-yard run by Jamaal Williams followed by 2 incompletions forced Green Bay to settle for 3 points. It was not the easiest situation with the wind blowing and the snow falling. Mason Crosby was unaffected as he knocked the ball through the uprights for the 47-yard FG. As a result, it became a two-score game at 17-7.
However, the Giants were not going away. Coming off of the INT, Daniel Jones looked sharp. A key 3rd-down-and-6 pass connected with Darius Slayton and started the drive. Another 3rd-and-6 came up and similarly to the opening drive, a Packers defender went offside and brought up a 3rd-and-1. This time it was Preston Smith who committed the infraction but yet again Green Bay held them. However, the Giants decided to go for it on 4th-down and Jones scrambled to get the 1st-down.
One aspect that was impressive on the part of the rookie quarterback was his pocket movement. Throughout this game, the Packers pass-rush provided pressure and Jones responded well by avoiding defenders and finding different throwing lanes to complete passes. When leaving the pocket to scramble, the young QB would keep his eyes downfield looking for open receivers. This demonstrates incredible poise as well as physical ability. At times, Jones rolled out and made accurate throws on the run. Other times, Jones stepped up and threw bullets with a defender in his face. That happened on an out route throw to Sterling Shepard for a 1st-down.
The Packers are usually the team with extended possession. However, it was the Giants drive that took up over 9 minutes of the 2nd quarter. They got close to Green Bay’s end zone but were forced to settle for a FG. At halftime, the score was 17-10 for the Packers.
Slow in the Snow
The 3rd quarter was far less explosive for both offenses. The Packers began the frame with the football, but could only gain one 1st-down before punting. The chains moved on another big play from Allen Lazard, this one a 23-yard reception. It would actually be the final reception for Lazard in this game. His 3 catches combined for 103 yards and 1 TD.
For their part, the Giants did put together a FG drive and the only points of the 3rd quarter. This drive included one of the few times that Tramon Williams was beaten bad this year. Cody Latimer was covered by him 1-on-1 and took him deep for a 43 yards reception. This was the Giants’ longest play from scrimmage in the game. Even though Williams was step-for-step with Latimer, the receiver had inside leverage a had great body positioning to make the key 3rd-down grab. The Giants would not get any closer and had to settle for a 45-yard FG to make it a 17-13 game.
The opening play from scrimmage on Green Bay’s ensuing drive ended up being a significant turning point. Davante Adams caught a deep pass to kick start the possession. While running after the catch he fumbled the football. Fortunately for the Packers, it ended up out of bounds before any Giants player could recover it. It was the 2nd time in this contest that a Green Bay fumbled out of bounds. The outlook of this game might be entirely different if either ball was recovered by the defense.
The Packers moved the ball well but were also aided by some penalties. Either way, this drive took up over 7 minutes. Early in the 4th, Aaron Rodgers found Adams in the end zone for his 2nd TD of the day. Part of the reason why Lazard was not a factor in the final frame was the Giants coverage adjustments. After his 3 big plays in this game, Lazard began to see extra attention. That happened on this TD as Lazard drew multiple defenders with him leaving Adams 1-on-1 with the defender in a trailing position. The Packers thus took a 24-13 lead.
Take Over with Turnovers
Down by only 11 with most of a quarter to play, the Giants still had the game within their grasp. Even in the snowy conditions, Daniel Jones was doing an excellent job of leading the offense. This particular possession began perfectly. Saquon Barkley had a himself a decent game on the ground. He especially found success when taking the ball outside, like on his game-high 16-yard run that got the Giants in Packers territory.
However, 3 plays later, Daniel Jones threw arguably his worse pass of the game. On 3rd-down, Sterling Shepard was open on a deep cross route. Unfortunately for the home team, Jones sailed the ball over Shepard’s head and right into the arms of deep safety Darnel Savage.
1sts in the 4th
The Packers would use that takeaway to extend their lead. Getting down the goal-line, Aaron Rodgers found Marcedes Lewis for the 1-yard score. It was Lewis’ first TD of the year and only his 2nd catch in the last 6 games.
Consequently, the Giants got the ball back and were now in desperation mode down 31-13. On the opening play of the drive, Jones rolled out to avoid the Kenny Clark-led pressure and found Da’Mari Scott for the 1st-down reception. It was Scott’s 1st catch of the season and it came at a clutch time.
However, that momentum was immediately wiped away with another turnover. Trying to capitalize on 1-on-1 matchups Jones saw Darius Slayton taking Williams deep. However, unlike on the Latimer catch, Williams found better body positioning and came down his Green Bay’s 3rd INT of the game. Jones slightly overthrew Slayton, and Williams was there to catch it.
This effectively ended the game. The Giants forced the Packers to punt off of the turnover, so no further damage was incurred. However, the Giants could not add any points to the scoreboard. While they got close to the end zone, Jones threw a 4th-down pass to Sterling Shepard incomplete. It was a turnover on downs and the Packers had a 31-13 victory.
With the win, Green Bay moves to 9-3 while the Giants fall to 2-10.
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