Nothing was working.
The Packers had 7 yards in the first quarter. They also had notable injuries in Jordy Nelson, Ty Montgomery and Blake Martinez.
The Green Bay struggle this season has been real. The Packers have crested the mountain of poor play with a 4-6 record and have seen a starting cornerback and running back suffer season-ending injuries. That’s in addition to Clay Matthews and Randall Cobb, who have started a combined 19 regular season games this year.
So whom does this team lean to? None other than 15-year veteran Julius Peppers.
The game turned late in the second quarter with the Giants up 6-0. Jake Schum had a nice pitching wedge 37-yard punt that pinned New York inside its own 10. Three plays later, Peppers made the pivotal play of the game with a sack on Eli Manning setting up a fourth-and-14.
The guy that turns 37 next week made folks inside Lambeau Field believers. Up to that point, the Packers weren’t getting Manning off of his spot, forcing him to make the tough throw. Granted, on paper, teams should be eating this defense alive. It doesn’t have a true cover corner, the pass rush has been iffy and the unit’s highest-paid player has been sidelined with shoulder and hamstring injuries.
“It’s a special group,” Peppers said with a smile. “We stand tall in the face of adversity. We trust and believe in one another and this is a great group of guys to be around.”
The Packers got 14 quick points to close out the half — including a memorable Hail Mary — before running over the Giants 38-13. But Peppers wasn’t finished with that sack. He closed his evening with three quarterback hurries, one batted ball, two passes defended and three tackles. That’s a heck of a ballgame. Most Pro Bowlers would take a stat line like that.
Peppers has been irked by seeing his snaps get limited this season. But just like Gregg Popovich that routinely sits his stars, Dom Capers knew he needed a fresh Peppers if this team was going to make a deep postseason run.
And on Sunday, he proved it. Yeah, it may be tough to watch in October and November, but Peppers knew that this was likely his final playoff game at Lambeau. If you cannot get up for that game, you shouldn’t be playing.
The game was won with the right arm of Aaron Rodgers. But it was the heart of Peppers that got the game-winning assist.
- Like Like
- 1 points