Game Recap: Bounceback in the Big Apple, Packers topple Giants 31-13

Our girl Sarah is wrapping up projects and exams this week, which means I’m handling the game recap. The Packers needed a bounceback game against the 2-9 (now 2-10) New York Giants after a blowout loss on the west coast, and the team delivered. Green Bay now sits at 9-3, maintaining sole possession of the NFC North. 

Additionally, first-year head coach Matt LaFleur now ties Mike Holmgren and Mike Sherman for the most wins by a Green Bay head coach in their first season. One more win this season will leave him in sole possession of the record with 10 wins. 

The Packers were plus-three in the turnover battle as well, with Kevin King, rookie Darnell Savage, and Tramon Williams all snagging interceptions at MetLife Stadium. This defense is predicated on forcing turnovers. Last week against the 49ers, the Packers failed to force a turnover which only attributed to the team’s rough outing. Taking that a step further, the Packers have gone without a turnover in four games this season, three of those games coming in the team’s three losses. 

Green Bay heads home to Lambeau Field for the second-to-last home game of the season against the 3-9 Washington Redskins, giving the Packers another strong opportunity to keep momentum on their side and get rolling. 

What we learned: Offense is Inconsistent 

Last week against the 49ers, the Packers were 0-for-13 on third-down conversions with Aaron Rodgers in the game. This week, the Packers looked better on third down, but the team was still playing in too many third-and-long situations. That said, Rodgers had himself a nice game going 21-of-33 for 243 yards and four touchdowns, giving him a passer rating of 125.4 on the day. 

Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams made more appearances in the fourth quarter, but that came after the Packers had a two-score lead and were looking to burn the clock. The fact that they weren’t utilized very effectively in the first half is baffling, as this offense looks significantly better when it operates through Jones and Williams. A snowy MetLife Stadium felt like the perfect opportunity to get both backs in the game plan once again. 

While it’s hard to complain about a three-score victory, the offense is still finding its way under Matt LaFleur. Players like Allen Lazard are stepping up, and Geronimo Allison had a nice game snagging two third-down conversions to keep drives alive, but the offense needs to find ways to become more consistent down the stretch. 

A bright spot on the day: Aaron Rodgers finally got “Big Dog” Marcedes Lewis a touchdown, his first in a Packers uniform. 

What went right: Mason Crosby (Honorable Mention: JK Scott)

Mason Crosby has been as reliable as they come this season after a questionable 2018 that saw him kicking for his job all training camp. In 2019, Crosby is 33-of-33 on extra point attempts and 14-of-15 on field goals.

Punter JK Scott also had a nice game after weeks of special teams struggles. He kept the Giants backed up for most of the game, giving them a long field to overcome. He also had two punts inside the 10-yard line, with a third downed inside the 15. 

What went wrong: Not...Much? 

The Packers won by three scores, despite that win coming against a now 2-10 team. Explosive plays remain the achilles heel of this defense, but Green Bay still won by 18 points, so the explosive plays weren’t a detriment today like they have been in previous weeks. 

“Bend don’t break” has been the mantra of this Packers defense in 2019, and so far they’ve done the job well-enough. Green Bay only gave up one touchdown on the day, coming in the first quarter, forcing the Giants to settle for only six points in the final 45+ minutes of the game. 

With a game coming next week against a three-win team in the Washington Redskins, the Packers defense will have another opportunity to force turnovers and limit explosive plays, once again facing a rookie quarterback. What’s more, this Washington offense ranks last in the league in points per game, yards per game, and passing yards per game. 

Offensive standout: Allen Lazard

I could’ve put Allen Lazard in almost every category here, what we learned, what went right, and offensive standout, but this one makes the most sense. Lazard had a career day in New York, topping 100 receiving yards for the first time in his career. He finished the day with three receptions for 103 yards and one touchdown. 

Aaron Rodgers has been looking for Lazard in favorable situations, then throwing him a touchdown late in the first quarter. It’s not a stretch to say Lazard has climbed up the depth chart and is now WR2 on offense. 

An honorable mention here goes to Davante Adams who had two touchdowns on the day, bringing his 2019 total to three.  

Defensive standout: Za’Darius Smith, Giant Slayer

I’ve been a Za’Darius Smith fan since day one. I wear his jersey every week. There may be some bias here. But for an unbiased observer, Za’Darius is still worthy of this spot today. He came after Daniel Jones all game, from every angle, destroying everyone in his path. While he only managed a half-sack (shared with Kevin King), he was close to at least a handful of others and created consistent pressure against the rookie quarterback. 

Through 12 games, Za’Darius Smith has been perhaps the team’s greatest asset on defense, and his presence will be needed as the team makes a playoff push these final four weeks of the 2019 season. 

Up next in Week 14, the Packers take on the Washington Redskins at Lambeau Field on Sunday, Dec. 8. Kickoff is at 12 PM CST.  

 

Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV and a podcaster for the Pack-A-Day Podcast. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

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Comments (28)

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edp1959's picture

December 01, 2019 at 03:36 pm

Looks like MLF let Rodgers control part of the game in the first half with up tempo. That seemed to work well. Not sure why he went away from it. He needs to let #12 call more of the plays.

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PatrickGB's picture

December 01, 2019 at 04:07 pm

The run game was disappointing. But I think that teams are now keyed to watch for Jones and adjust their scheme to stop him. Williams still is a great pounder. Lizard is better than Gmo. Balaguia played well while hurt but Jenkins took a step back.

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jannes bjornson's picture

December 01, 2019 at 04:09 pm

Still need another run blocking guard and Lindsley has to show up or he will be jettisoned. A.Jones is not a powerback and it shows on a slippery track.

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Lare's picture

December 01, 2019 at 04:11 pm

I think the Packers need 2-3 better offensive lineman before they'll be legitimate contenders.

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Leatherhead's picture

December 01, 2019 at 06:30 pm

Yes, we need above average players at every position.

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splitpea1's picture

December 01, 2019 at 08:00 pm

The goal line offense is brutal--hate to see them go backwards like that. I'd settle for one better interior lineman. We still have bigger needs at WR, ILB, and DL.

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Since'61's picture

December 01, 2019 at 09:02 pm

I don't like going backwards either but they did score a TD on that drive. Thanks, Since '61

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splitpea1's picture

December 01, 2019 at 09:33 pm

Yeah, but that's not the "right" way to do it. They're probably not going to get away with scoring in this manner against a playoff-caliber secondary/defense.

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RedRight49's picture

December 01, 2019 at 04:40 pm

Rodgers looked in rhythm thanks to better O-Line play this week and seemingly went for what the Giant's D would give him be it short, mid or long passes.

Rodgers spread his passes around with throws to all, I believe, of the TEs, all the RBs and at least 4 of the WRs.

While he didn't connect with 'em all, he kept the Giant's D spread out a bit to cover all possible receivers and provided more opportunity for the WRs to get a bit of separation.

Lazard had a career game today and established himself as WR2.

Bulaga lined up and looked pretty good given his brush with a serious injury last week.

And the D created some great turnovers while also keeping Barkley's yardage numbers in check.

Good game overall, a convincing win in poor weather on the road.

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mamasboy's picture

December 01, 2019 at 06:47 pm

I hope it just wasn't worse D-line play that gave Rodgers better O- line play

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Since'61's picture

December 01, 2019 at 09:04 pm

The Giants DL has been solid against the run this season. Their pass rush is not very strong however.
Thanks, Since '61

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ollie418's picture

December 01, 2019 at 05:08 pm

Defense still sucks!

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sam1's picture

December 01, 2019 at 06:30 pm

and so do you, more than them!

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Houndog's picture

December 01, 2019 at 05:15 pm

A predictable offense and poor D-back play in the first half looked as if McCarthy was back!
Rodgers continues to miss seeing open receivers, and sometimes misses hitting them when he does see them. Third and 6 for the defense and the D-Bs are 10 yds deep giving up a near certain 1st down, WTF, always a 10 yd cushion? Getting quite sick of hearing about the 'miscommunication' on defense and their bend-but-don't-break scheme. Aren't they supposed to at least look like a Pro team?
Love the Packers, but with the talent they have, and against 3 rookie DBs for the Giants the Packers should have had this game put away by halftime, and they didn't come close to that.

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Bure9620's picture

December 01, 2019 at 05:17 pm

They gave up 13 points.......

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Cubbygold's picture

December 01, 2019 at 09:07 pm

I think Pettine is doing a good job with the talent he has. That said, when they openly admit they want to prioritize stopping the pass at the expense of the run game...youd think they'd be better than 10 yard cushions every play. The DBs are supposed to be good, let them play close and show their skill

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Lphill's picture

December 01, 2019 at 05:17 pm

Ollie please stick to your Vikings sites, what sucks is having the most post season losses in the NFL so I guess it sucks to be you.

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ALLGASNOBRAKES's picture

December 01, 2019 at 07:01 pm

Hmmm...Now I see...So Ollie is a Vikings fan who has absolutely NOTHING BETTER TO DO than come to a Packers website and post a bunch of BS comments?

LOL...How PATHETIC!!!

Thank you for enlighting me Lphill.

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Lphill's picture

December 01, 2019 at 08:40 pm

Go to Pro Football Focus ,nothing but Viking fans on Packer threads , so why should that be any different here?

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stockholder's picture

December 01, 2019 at 05:44 pm

Pettine needs to be careful. ZaDarious is becoming the Defense. Much like CM3. While the defense looked up and down. I liked Tramon Williams on the TE. Martinez needs play management.

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AgrippaLII's picture

December 01, 2019 at 05:43 pm

Let's not celebrate this win for too long. The Redskins are sky high right now and looking to be spoilers for what's left of their season. It would be great to see LaFleur get number 10 against them at home!

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splitpea1's picture

December 01, 2019 at 08:05 pm

Nobody can possibly be worried about the Redskins. You stop the ground game, and that's it--no need to worry about the QB. We're favored by two touchdowns.

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bjkdad44's picture

December 02, 2019 at 08:31 am

The Cardinals last year??

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SterlingSharpe's picture

December 01, 2019 at 07:04 pm

Go Seahawks tomorrow!

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ALLGASNOBRAKES's picture

December 01, 2019 at 07:22 pm

Just a little FYI for those of you not happy with a 31-13 victory.

I only went back to week 6 of the Giants schedule and the Giants have been within ONE SCORE in EVERY game other than when the Cowboys beat them. In other words, the Giants get paid too AND have been competitive in every game for the most part.

The catch by Shepard WAS a hell of a catch. I know the Packers should never give up a TD...EVER...But hey if it's going to happen and at least it was on a hell of a catch! Nevermind the play shouldn't have ever happened because MLF got screwed on his challenge a few plays earlier when that catch was bobbled.

I loved the call out by Rodgers to Marcedes "Big Dog" Lewis on the last TD pass by AR. Rodgers knew EXACTLY where he wanted to go and to who the moment he lined up for the snap...AND it was successful!

Is that Goffy Ass announcer Kenny Albert employed by the Giants? I mean WTF...Going on and on about how BAD the Packers were in certain areas on offense and defense. We GET IT dude, they aren't perfect...BUT their 9-3 and put the pressure SQUARELY back on Minnesota. IF the Packers happened to lose to Minnesota but win the rest of their games and Seattle beats the Vikings on Monday Night Football like I think they will, the Packers win the North which is a hell of a lot better than last year!

R_E_L_A_X

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Tundraboy's picture

December 01, 2019 at 08:06 pm

"A snowy MetLife Stadium felt like the perfect opportunity to get both backs in the game plan once again. "

I thought so as well. a few big plays by both of them, put the game out of reach, and then bomb in the second half.

Oh well. Good win and fun to watch. Lazard!

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porupack's picture

December 02, 2019 at 06:13 am

[email protected]! Marcedes!!!!! Finally! I have argued for him to be utilized in the pass all season. He can do more for the Offense than JGraham at this point. Not bailing on Tonyan by any means, but let's just say Marcedes has a lot more to offer than the opportunities that have been designed. Apparently from the reaction of Rodgers and team, they also seem to think Marcedes time was overdue.

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porupack's picture

December 02, 2019 at 06:55 am

Nice summary, Maggie; agree on the spotlight on Lazard, Lewis and Zsmith. Davante would have been here as well with a 3 touchdown game if not for a PI call, though the PI went his way, his stats therefore didn't fully show his level of performance minus that 3rd would be TD.

My impression was the significant amount of unproductive plays, and getting behind on down-and-distance; the consecutive pair of 3rd-and-13s seem to be how the game was going. A few PIs got the packers out of some of these near-stalled drives, but dmn, no rhythm, tempo to the offense.

While Daniel Jones made some mistakes, he otherwise zipped his passes in tight coverage, had quick and decisive passes. I envied his play at times, though, the veteran experienced Rodgers sure showed in the end how to win games.

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