Not unlike the other losses, the Giants had their chances on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. But once again, they couldn’t make the plays when they needed them the most. The result was a 31-13 defeat that was a one-possession game heading into the fourth quarter.
Here are the turning points from Sunday:
PLAY 1 (2nd and 3 from GB 35, 12:03 1st qtr): Aaron Rodgers pass to the left to Allen Lazard for 43 yards to the NYG 22
Slow starts and giving up big plays have dogged the Giants this season, and the Packers exploited both of those deficiencies on Sunday. After Green Bay forced a quick punt to start the game, Aaron Rodgers and company went right to work. The two-time NFL MVP, who was held to 104 yards last week in San Francisco, completed a 43-yard pass to Allen Lazard on Green Bay’s second play from scrimmage. The drive ended with the first of four Rodgers touchdown passes and, once again, the Giants found themselves in an early hole with the snow starting to mount on the MetLife Stadium turf.
PLAY 2: (3rd and 3 from GB 18, 3:23 1st qtr) Daniel Jones pass to the left to Sterling Shepard for 18 yards for a TOUCHDOWN
Unfazed, rookie Daniel Jones responded with his own touchdown march to settle things down with an 11-play, 71-yard touchdown drive. After converting a third down earlier in the series, coach Pat Shurmur kept the offense on the field for fourth-and-five from the Packers 33. Jones hit wide receiver and fellow rookie Darius Slayton for eight yards and a fresh set of downs. Two plays later on third-and-short, wide receiver Sterling Shepard made a sliding catch in the end zone for an 18-yard touchdown.
“I don’t think [snow and rain] played too much of a factor, to be honest,” Shepard said. “Maybe with running routes, if anything, but I felt like catching the ball was fine. You had some sprinkle in there a little bit, but then it started turning into ice and ice is fine. But yeah, we were getting that on-and-off all game. I don’t think it had much to do with anything but maybe running routes.”
PLAY 3 (1st and 10 from GB 27, 8:14 3rd qtr): Daniel Jones for a loss of 4 yards to the GB31
Down 17-10, the Giants looked to tie the game after Jones hit Cody Latimer, who started in place of the injured Golden Tate, for a 43-yard gain down to the Packers 27. On the next play, Jones was forced to just brace for impact and accept a loss of four yards. It put the Giants behind the sticks and they had to settle for a 45-yard field goal by Aldrick Rosas.
PLAY 4 (4th and 10 from NYG 35, 4:24 3rd qtr): Aaron Rodgers pass to the middle to Geronimo Allison for 15 yards to the NYG20
This was the defining sequence of the game. First-year coach Matt LaFleur kept Rodgers on the field for fourth-and-long, declining a 52-yard field goal attempt in the snow and ice. Rodgers took the snap, bounced around in the pocket while nothing was open and, with Markus Golden lunging at his feet, got off a pass just in time. Geronimo Allison was on the other end for a 15-yard conversion. The Giants had another chance to get off the field on third-and-goal from the 17, but Rodgers found Davante Adams in the middle of the end zone. The Packers took a 24-13 lead early in the fourth quarter.
"I guess it was the play of the game," Rodgers said. "We needed a drive there. I love the aggressiveness from Matt. I kind of held it and held it and saw G-Mo put his hand up. I was fortunate to get it to a good spot for him."
“It was a good, hard-fought, four-quarter battle," LaFleur said. "We knew that coming in. I think the last six Giants games it’s been a one-possession game in the fourth quarter, and it was no different today. I thought our defense did a great job getting the ball out. When you win the turnover battle 3-0 you have a great chance of winning the game.”
PLAY 5: (3rd and 18 from NYG 47, 11:09 4th qtr): Daniel Jones pass intended for Sterling Shepard INTERCEPTED by Darnell Savage and returned for 28 yards
Jones threw three interceptions on the day, the second of which helped Green Bay ice the game. Jones’ pass went over the head of Shepard and into the hands of Darnell Savage, who returned it into Giants territory. Rodgers made the Giants pay for it with a touchdown pass, his fourth and final of the day, to Marcedes Lewis for a 31-13 lead. Jones now has 21 turnovers (11 interceptions, 10 fumbles) in 11 games played.
“Well, the turnovers today were the interceptions, right?” Shurmur said. “The first one was against a two-man, just tried to fit it in. Today they weren’t fumbles, right? Then the one he just overthrew, and then the last one there, he threw a nine-ball to Slayton, and I thought he was in a position to either make the catch. So, no, these were throws, these weren’t fumbles. He’s got to keep playing through it and keep learning from every scenario.
“There is no better training ground than playing. Unfortunately, we are dealing with some mistakes that you hope you never see again. He battles through it, and if you make mistakes you’ve got to overcome it. That’s the reality of it. We’re fortunate he’s tough, he’s smart, he gets it. He did make a heck of a lot of really good plays out there today because of who he is. We’ve got to just clean up the mistakes.”
View photos from Giants vs. Packers from MetLife Stadium