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Packers 38 Giants 13: Game Balls & Lame Calls

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Packers 38 Giants 13: Game Balls & Lame Calls

The Green Bay Packers are on to Dallas.  After a 38-13 beat down of the New York Giants in Green Bay, the Packers move on to face another of their historical postseason demons in the form of the Cowboys.  After a closely contested first half, the Packers pulled away for a comfortable win in front of an energized home crowd at Lambeau Field.  Gone are the storylines about Giants quarterback Eli Manning having as many playoff wins at Lambeau Field as Aaron Rodgers.  He doesn't.  Gone is the idea that Lambeau is New York's Disneyland in the playoffs.  It's not.

After losing receiver Jordy Nelson early in the game, the Packers needed every one of their players to step up and elevate their game.  Make up for the loss and rise up to the occasion.  Several did.  Let's take a look at that cast, shall we?

Game Balls

Randall Cobb

Welcome back, 18!  After missing the last two games with an ankle injury, Cobb returned in a huge way, hauling in three touchdowns including a Hail Mary reception just before the half and another halfway through the fourth quarter to put Green Bay up 31-13.  It's been a while since Cobb was really clutch in a game, ironically probably not in this fashion since the first meeting between the Packers and Giants earlier this season.  This performance was reminiscent of 2013 when Cobb missed most of the season and returned just in time to catch the key game winner against the Chicago Bears in week 17 to clinch the division.  If Nelson is going to miss time, Cobb is going to have to be just as much of a key contributor as he was in this game.

Jake Ryan

Ryan was everywhere.  Literally everywhere in this game.  This was probably his best game as a pro.  He had 12 tackles, many of which came in coverage where he limited passing yards and broke up three passes of his own.  Ryan doesn't have great speed but I have lauded him for his football intelligence and it appears that the light bulb was on in full effect in this game.  Ryan's progression and development in the Green Bay defense is what the team was hoping for when they drafted him in the fourth round last year.  Maybe this game will turn out to be an anomaly for Ryan but even if it is, he chose the right time of year to ball out.

Christine Michael

The Packers couldn't run the ball early on.  They were getting nothing from Ty Montgomery and New York seemed to be in the Packers huddle every time they tried to pick up yards on the ground.  Enter Michael, who came in during the third quarter and sparked the run game.  Michael runs hard and as if he's trying to bust through a brick wall to save his life.  It's a breath of fresh air and it certainly was at that point in this game.  The Packers were able to move the Giants defense up to respect the run and kept them on the field.  That allowed Green Bay to drain clock and do what they like to do on offense.  Michael had just 47 yards on 10 carries, but those were probably some of the most quality carries the Packers have had this season since the loss of Eddie Lacy.  

With Montgomery hurting (he returned after leaving with a leg injury), Michael may become a key part of next week's game plan against the Cowboys.

Micah Hyde

Hyde looked like he was headed for a rough day, having to fill in at cornerback for the injured Quinten Rollins.  Hyde was getting beat and were it not for some drops and overthrows by the Giants, this story may have ended differently.  But Hyde, like he does, showed up in big moments.  He had seven tackles and a pass break up.  What landed him on the game ball list, however, was his contribution as a punt returner.  Five returns for 50 yards, including a season-long 23 yarder late that set up Green Bay with optimal field position.  When you step and and realize what Hyde does best and when the Packers can use him in that role versus having to play him on the outside, where he's not as strong, he may be one of the most undervalued players on this team.  The Packers will have a decision to make after the season ends when Hyde's current contract expires.

Julius Peppers

At this point, I've handed out more game balls than I typically would but this is the playoffs and all big performances should be recognized.  Enter Peppers, who had another big day in a big game.  Peppers stat line: three tackles, one sack on third down to force a punt, one pass defended (which was batted in the air and nearly ended up being an interception) and another hit on Manning.  Many have said that Peppers takes it easy earlier in the season to save himself for later in the year.  If that's the case, he's making good on that strategy this season.  The big guy will have his work cut out for him next week against a very good Dallas offensive line.  Rest up, Pep!

Jeff Janis

Why not, right?  Great on kick coverage and a nice kick return of his own.  Janis returned to form of being that special teams ace that he was last season.  Field position is so key in a cold weather game and Janis all but negated New York's punt return.  Dwayne Harris had four yards on three returns.  I'm not going to go over my head here and say that Janis now needs to fill in for Nelson if Jordy is out, but on the special teams side of things, Janis needs to be lights out every week from here on out.

Clay Matthews

Forced fumble and recovery late to stamp the win.  Matthews never gave up on the play when it looked like it might be ruled an incomplete pass.  The officials never blew the whistle and Matthews came up with the recovery to give the ball back to the offense.  Just like his big strip sack fumble against the Minnesota Vikings a few weeks ago, Matthews seems to come up with one highlight reel play in each game.  That trend needs to continue.

Lame Calls 

Jordy Nelson Leaving This Game

Giants cornerback Leon Hall put a stick on Nelson on the sideline that knocked Jordy out of the game with a rib injury.  Upon further review, the hit was deemed "targeting" by former head of NFL officials Mike Periera.  Hall wasn't flagged and Nelson left on a cart to the locker room.  He didn't return and his status is currently unknown.  That he had to take a cart back off the field and didn't return doesn't bode well for the immediate future, which is next week's game against the Cowboys.  If there is any way that Nelson can be out there, he will so we can rest assured knowing that.  All we can do right now is wait and see but this could turn out to be a season-changing loss if Nelson is going to miss any amount of time.


Others to mention:

  • Aaron Rodgers was not left off Game Balls on purpose, there were just so many to hand out.  Another amazing day from #12 as he continues to tear up defenses, this time one of the better units in the league.  The touchdown to Adams, the Hail Mary and the last touchdown to Cobb were throws for the highlight reel.  He's a generational talent and we're fortunate to witness this and benefit from it while some other fans (cough, Vikings, cough) are watching at home, envious.  With Rodgers at the helm, this team can continue to #RunTheTable
  • Davante Adams came up big in the second half and added another touchdown catch.  A really nice touchdown catch for Green Bay's first score of the day.  He's another who will have to step up if Nelson is lost
  • Mike Daniels and the defensive line were unsung in keeping New York's run game in check for the most part.  A Giants run game that had come on of late and had been productive
  • Ha Ha Clinton-Dix nearly had another interception were it not for the other outfielder (Damarious Randall) giving him room to make the play.  After being named to the Pro Bowl, Clinton-Dix has shown each week why he got the nod
  • LaDarius Gunter with another good game on the outside.  Safe to say he garners a lot of confidence among his teammates and fans at this point after being thrust into the line up early this season.  He'll draw some time against Dez Bryant next week so that will be another big test for the undrafted corner
  • Jared Cook with five big catches today and continues to be a nice safety valve to keep drives alive.  Need another big game from him next week


Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Pulse of the Pack podcast.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (52) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Nick Perry's picture

Game Balls....

MM and DC... Great, great game plans.

Cobb...I mentioned Cobb needed to play this game because he was so effective in week 5. Nice Job Randall!!

Adams... I think Adams should get mentioned week in and week out this year...Just for all the crap he took last season..From myself included.

Matthews... I was screaming "No Whistle get the ball" and Matthews KNOCKED the Crap out of Perkins...LOVED IT!

The Defense and ST.... Christ forget it, too many to mention, The WHOLE TEAM!!!

RC and Since '61..... Those 2 among others were the 2 that never gave up on this team. Game Balls for RC and Since '61

Lame Calls... The Shot to Nelsons Ribs...Perea even said the hit should have been a penalty because he lead with the crown. The Ref was 10 feet away. Horrible!!

Al Bundys prediction the Giants would outscore the Packers by 18 points...By Halftime!! Go back to Polk High Al!!!

RCPackerFan's picture

Thanks Nick!

The only thing I wish is that Cobb would have rested 3 games vs 2. Having him back made a huge difference. Cobb still isn't healthy but he has such a good rapport with Rodgers that he is needed.

chugwater's picture

I agree that Capers should get a game ball.

Unlike the CHI and MIN games, the Giants didn't get a couple of cheap TDs to close the gap in the fourth quarter. We just shut them down. Nice job Dom.

RCPackerFan's picture

I loved that!
How many times have we seen the offenses get TD's at end of games to make the games look closer then they were.

Especially in the playoffs you have to be able to shut teams down and close games. They did just that.

Tundraboy's picture

That was the icing on the cake. Randall's interception was a fitting end to the game.

fthisJack's picture

finally MM kept the pedal to the metal, instead of taking his foot off the gas! this is how you put the stake in the heart!

Donster's picture

You said it fthisJack! I totally agree!

RCPackerFan's picture

Randall made a great play there... Normally I would have been upset by him trying to return it all the way. But honestly when he was returning it, I was hoping he would return it all the way.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

I might not love the decision but I love the attitude.

These guys are in the mode of kicking the other teams ass. You need that in the playoffs.

RCPackerFan's picture

Exactly. Thats why I loved it.

I want that mentality in every game!

Since '61's picture

Thanks Nick - We're on to Dallas with Aaron Rodgers on fire and the Cowpuffs with a defense not even close to the Giants D. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

RCPackerFan's picture

Game Balls:
Rodgers - While he struggled early, he had 1 drive that turned it around. The "Adams Drive". First he hits Adams down the right sideline then he has the ball for 9 seconds and hits Adams on the left side of the endzone. After that, the Hail Mary and he was on fire! He tore apart what many have said is the best defense in the league.

Cobb - 5 receptions 116 yards and 3 TD's. Welcome back Cobb! I heard after the game he said his ankle is still very sore. I'm happy he took 2 weeks off to get it as much rest as possible because we needed him badly.

Adams - His emergence can't be understated. One of the real reasons why Aaron has found his way back to Mr Rodgers Neighborhood is the emergence of Adams.

Cook - He has become a huge weapon for us. I hope he is one of the first players resigned. He gives us a true presence at TE.

Bakhtiari - Mostly lined up against Vernon most of the game and he basically shut him out. Thompson got a steal when he resigned Bakhtiari earlier this year.
Rest of the OL - The OL giving Rodgers the time he needed. The sacks earlier in the game were mostly coverage sacks and Rodgers not getting rid of the ball when he did.

Mathews - His strip sack and hustle to be the only player to know the ball was live was an incredible play. I loved when he smoked Perkins to get the ball back.

Peppers - The old man can still make plays. His pass deflections were great to see.

Daniels - Just a beast in the middle of the defense.

CB's - After a slower start and luck by some dropped passes by the Giants WR's. the CB's really stepped up and played good football. Gunter allowed 2 catches for 14 yards on 5 targets. Randall was targeted 8 times allowed 3 catches for 34 yards. Had 1 INT, 2 pbu, 11.5 passer rating allowed, per Nathan Jahnke.

Clinton-Dix - he was a beast. He could have had at least 1 interception. He was everywhere in the game.

Schum - He had some monster punts in the game.
Janis - His special teams play was pro bowl esq.

Amazing Win! Definitely enjoying it!

Edit - Forgot the Lame calls -

Lame Calls:
Injuries - Can't we finish a game without having brutal injuries. The injuries to Nelson, Martinez and Montgomery all were bad. At least we saw Montgomery late in the game, but I am worried about Nelson's injury.

McCarthys 4th down on his own 40 play call - I honestly don't mind going for it with Rodgers as our QB. The thing I didn't like was the play they called. This offense is at its best when its spreading teams out. They are not the overpowering run team in the league. And they were going up against one of the best run defenses in the league. And for the running play I didn't mind that Montgomery was the RB that got the ball because he has the ability to find small holes. Problem was there was no hole. Just a huge wall. I would have much rather seen them spread the Giants out and either Rodgers throw the ball or hand it off with the defense spread out. 2 plays late the Giants score their only TD. But they score to make it a 1 point game at that time. Could have been a costly mistake.

Nick Perry's picture

Excellent point about Bakhtiari RC, I was actually thinking about that during the game. Vernon didn't seem to get near Rodgers even once because David was just whooping his butt on every play. The OL did an outstanding Job as a whole. Rodgers even said himself to forget the "Stats" when talking about sacks. He was quick to point out he hung onto the ball to long on a few plays, not the O-Lines fault.

RCPackerFan's picture

I saw that Vernon averaged 3+ hurries a game this year. He had 2 hurries in this game, and only had 1 tackle. He essentially was a non factor.

dobber's picture

If you go to the play where Monty got hurt, it was because Vernon completely blew up Bakh play side. Ugh.

Nick Perry's picture

Oops... I guess I missed that. I got caught up with the Giants defender trying to tear of Montys head. I thought he hurt his neck before the replays

croatpackfan's picture

Give the Mike McCarthy credit. He say by himself that he made mistake. He said that he was deciding between 2 play calls and called wrong one, obviously... He said that he was mad at himself... I forgive him. His game plan was marvelous!

RCPackerFan's picture

Definitely. I wish he would have chose the other play call too. lol.

I didn't mind the decision to go for it. I love the willingness to go for it. I just didn't like the play call...

pacman's picture

I like that MM took responsibility there and I would generally like the agressiveness with a different play. But we weren't playing that well at the time and we were on our own 42. When was the game when MM tried running 3x like that only to fail then too?

Tundraboy's picture

Ballsy decision to go for it which I applaud, but as you said jamming it up the middle in a tight formation made no sense when everyone knows a QB sneak is out of the question. In playoffs could only try that at home. If on road, failing could have been a catastrophe.

RCPackerFan's picture

Yeah. Just the way this team is, that is not their strength. Pounding it up the middle is not their strength. If your going to make a bold move like that you really need to go with what your strength is.

I agree too that, if this was on the road it could have been devastating. They would have had all the momentum then.

Bearmeat's picture

Game Balls: The last 34 minutes of the game. Complete. Dominance. Everyone on the roster gets a Cookie. :D

Lame Calls: The injuries to Jordy and Blake. We can (should?) beat Dallas, but we're going to need all hands on deck.

Lphill's picture

Funny how COW and Al Bundy can't man up and give credit where credit is due , they go in the lame catagory for life.

Nick Perry's picture

I'm sure they'll be here Thursday or Friday. Personally I think the Packers could win the SB, rattle off 10 in a row in the 2017 season, and then lose a game in week 11 and Cow and Bundy would be here to tell us how awful the Packers are.

RCPackerFan's picture

They are the Skip Bayless and Colin Cowherd of CheeseheadTV.

Tundraboy's picture

Lol RC you beat me to it. Yes they will be here after they have finished their review and preparation with the Dallas and National media and of course consulting with Skip, the Vikings blogs and whoever else they get their nonsense from.

gr7070's picture


He had one play, granted an excellent one. However, he was completely nonexistent the entire game beside that play.

Every honorable mention was way more deserving than Matthews. It's amazing what goofy hair does to y'all.

RCPackerFan's picture

At the time the Giants were down 31-13. With 9 minutes left in the game. While it was unlikely that they would have come back in that game, that play was the Dagger. His ability to sack the QB, and have the recogonition that it was a live play where almost no one else did, and then to take the ball away from Perkins the way he did.

After he recovered the ball the offense took the ball and had a great drive. 9 plays 55 yards and used 5 minutes and 48 seconds of play time.

That play ended any chance of the Giants making a comeback.

That is why he got a game ball from me.

jasonperone's picture

Darn right Matthews. Strip, fumble and the presence of mind to get on the ball. That's a huge play in a huge game. They need that kind of play the rest of the way. Easy game ball.

rajahking's picture

Crazy that they won by 25 after being up 14-13 with 2 mins to go before the 4th quarter. What a way to finish.

Whatever adjustment they made at halftime, Rodgers tore up the middle of the field the whole second half, just awesome.

Grammar nazi thing because I see it on this site more than anywhere: you use "ironically" so incorrectly. It is not a synonym for "coincidentally". There is nothing ironic about Cobb having a good game against the Giants for a second time in the season, maybe he just matches up well...

RCPackerFan's picture

Uhhh. Hearing that Nelson has some serious injuries and will likely end his playoffs is not good.

Sounds like he has broken ribs. Possible internal injuries as well. Lung, spleen... Not good.

fthisJack's picture

these dirty spearing plays have to be dealt with more harshly. Hall should sit out as many games as Jordy misses even if it means next year. asshole!

jyros's picture

Clear attempt to injure. No attempt whatsoever to make a play on the ball.
Yes, they are competitors but they are also part of a players 'association',
essentially a brotherhood. Intentionally going out of the rules of play to
injure one of your own is malicious. Hall should be suspended and heavily

4zone's picture

Sherman nailing Adams in the back in the season, and this hit, neither with even a flag. Yet we get flagged for a block in the back on a return when our guy basically just put his hand on the back of an already falling down player.

RCPackerFan's picture

That was a pathetic call. I know it looked like a penalty, but that was terrible.

That being said, I don't know if any of them compares to the crap the Seahawks got away with against the Lions. The one TD the WR making a tremendous 1 handed catch, but with the other hand his is grabbing and turning the facemask. How was that missed?

fthisJack's picture

game balls....Packer players and coaches

lame calls....grammar

mcduff67's picture

4th & 1: two attempts to get the first down failed. all they had to do was A-rod fake the hand-off, skirt around the right side which was completely open, as the defense had stuffed the middle. what a wasted effort! Good thing the Pack routed the giants.....

RCPackerFan's picture

One key play that doesn't get much talk is the kickoff return right after that TD given up to the Giants.
Michael returned the kick 31 yards up to the 37 yard line. Provided great starting field position and recaptured some of the momentum.

4zone's picture

Naked bootleg would have worked. Everyone was crushing the point of attack in the middle, could have waltzed around the end for a yard easy.

TommyG's picture

Perhaps. However during my second viewing of the game, the Giants had a LB sealing that backside edge. He was not engaged with anyone; as if he were looking for a reversal or AR to take off. I'll put the naked bootleg up as a maybe.

Nick Perry's picture

Had they run a naked bootleg Rodgers would still be running!! LOL..

Bert's picture

I've been skeptical but this team has a good chance if they continue to roll on offense and make adjustments/ improvements on defense. Really liked the way they didn't panic after the slow start on both sides of the ball and just got on a roll and kept rolling. Very nice all around play. Packers will beat Dallas on Sunday.

TommyG's picture

In watching a replay of the previous Dallas game, I would say that we lost due to a misfiring offense. Our offense walked down the field only to stall on the 30 most drives. The multiple turnovers sealed the loss. With how this offense is playing now, Dallas will look a lot like NY from this last week.

idgafkurt's picture

Game Balls - the Lambeau crowd for standing the entire game like fans should! Loud, involved, and standing; best Lambeau crowd in years.

Lame Calls - posing shirtless on a boat in Miami days before your playoff game in Green Bay.

Handsback's picture

The entire defense deserves a game ball. Yes the Giants had some dropped balls, but it was cold for the Packers as well so that's not really an excuse.
The offense played a great 15 minutes and good for another 18 minutes, the rest they seemed to be waiting for something....anything to get them started.
STs were great for the whole game.
Let's hope the offense starts faster than this week. The Cowboys will not be so forgiving with their running game.

jfajas's picture

Rodgers is on another level, but my game ball goes to our third down defense: finally able to shut down the opposition and not give away big chunks of yards like we've seen all season.

Since '61's picture

Game Balls: MM and coaching staff, A. Rodgers, R. Cobb, D. Adams,OL, J. Ryan, Schum, Peppers and Hyde
Lame Calls: 4th and 1 call, Jordy's injury

Great Packer victory. Offense, defense and STs all played well. On to Dallas. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

Couch Cleats's picture

Game Balls: NYPD eating doughnuts in the endzone while Cobb stole a touchdown behind their backs!

Lame Calls: no flag on the Jordy helmet to ribs shot. That was no accident and the replay makes it obvious.

Oppy's picture

Jake Ryan was "balling out" early in the season before he was injured.

He's been playing at a crazy high level since game one, up until his injury.

Pleasant surprise for me, who thought Ryan was "Just a guy" heading into the preseason. Right out the gates this year he's been playing full speed and showing his awareness and feel for the ball. He's been impressive.

GVPacker's picture

Game Balls= Mike McCarthy has a huge pair for trying to convert on 4th and less than a yard inside Packer territory during a playoff game! I didn't agree with his decision but Holy Cow He's Got Some Big Ball's So He Gets Two Game Ball's!!!!

matt4484's picture

Anyone else notice that Fackrell was the 8th man on the field, not the 12th, when McCarthy called the timeout on the Giants opening drive?

All the media guys seem to have missed it, which led to me second guessing myself, so I rewatched the play today.

4thand1's picture

Lame calls, bundy and cowpie. Where are you bums now? you both suck.

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