Sports

Giants Whack Pack

View Comments
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 25: Outside linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka #94 of the New York Giants sacks quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers in the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium on November 25, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – NOVEMBER 25: Outside linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka #94 of the New York Giants sacks quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers in the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium on November 25, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

By BARRY WILNER
AP Pro Football Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) _ So much for that tired arm for Eli
Manning, and that offensive slump for the New York Giants. They got
it fixed in their bye week, then routed the Green Bay Packers 38-10
Sunday night.

The Packers certainly can attest to New York’s turnaround
following a week off. The showcase game was decided early as the
Giants outscored the Packers 31-10 in the opening half. Manning
reached 200 career TD passes by throwing for three scores as New
York (7-4) snapped a two-game slide, ended Green Bay’s five-game
winning streak, and opened a two-game lead in the NFC East.

“Play like world champions,” coach Tom Coughlin said. “That
was the theme of our meetings this week and Saturday.”

The Packers (7-4) were missing such key starters as linebacker
Clay Matthews, defensive back Charles Woodson and receiver Greg
Jennings, and it showed as they fell one game behind NFC North
leader Chicago. After being manhandled in last season’s playoffs by
the Giants, who went on to win the Super Bowl, the Packers weren’t
much more competitive this time. Aaron Rodgers was sacked five
times, including twice by Mathias Kiwanuka, who spent much of the
game at defensive tackle rather than in his usual linebacker spot.

New York’s balanced attack was guided by Manning, who had his
first strong game in a month with 249 yards passing.

“There was no doubt he was going to come back and play well,”
Coughlin said. “I think the rest really helped him. … Eli said
he felt as if he was coming back for the start of the season. I was
very confident he would come back and be Eli.”

Ahmad Bradshaw gained a combined 119 yards and scored a
touchdown. He had the first big play of the night to begin the
offensive onslaught.

New York struck early with a brilliantly conceived screen pass
to Bradshaw off a fake reverse to Victor Cruz. Bradshaw sped down
the field before being caught at the Green Bay 2, a 59-yard pickup
that led to Andre Brown’s scoring run.

Brown later broke his leg; Coughlin did not say which leg after
the game.

Green Bay didn’t flinch, with Jordy Nelson getting behind Corey
Webster in single coverage down the right sideline for a 61-yard TD
reception from Rodgers.

The scoring flurry went back in the Giants’ favor _ and pretty
much stayed there _ when Manning hit Rueben Randle in the back of
the end zone for a 16-yard TD. It was the first score for the
rookie and Manning’s first touchdown throw in four games, and he
set it up with, of all things, a scramble in which he laid his
shoulder into Packers cornerback Tramon Williams for a 13-yard
gain.

“It sparked our sideline,” Coughlin said. “It would not be
the recommended way. To see him do that kind of sent the message to
the rest of our team: Whatever you have to do to succeed, do it.”

Webster’s interception led to Lawrence Tynes’ 43-yard field goal
late in the first quarter for a 17-7 lead, and the Giants weren’t
nearly done. Manning’s 9-yard connection with Cruz tied him for the
club record with 199 career TD passes, and after Osi Umenyiora’s
strip-sack of Rodgers was recovered by Jason Pierre-Paul at the
Green Bay 23, Bradshaw scored from the 13.

The 31 points were the most New York scored in a half all season
and nearly equaled the 33 it scored in its two losses before the
bye.

And the Giants had more offense in them. Manning threw his 200th
TD pass to move ahead of Phil Simms, a 13-yarder over the middle to
Hakeem Nicks, who stretched the ball over the goal line as he was
tackled.

The Giants lost safety Kenny Phillips with a knee injury in the
third quarter. He was making his first appearance since Week 4,
when he was sidelined with a knee problem. Right tackle David Diehl
sustained a stinger in the first half.
___
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,098 other followers