Packers bounce back, crush Giants at the Meadowlands

It was a win the Packers needed. I won’t say “desperately needed,” but a loss on Sunday to the New York Giants would have been a significant blow following the team’s blowout loss to the 49ers the week prior. While Sunday’s game wasn’t a must-win by any means, it was game that should have been won easily, and in the end, it was.

For much of the first half, the Daniel Jones-led Giants hung around and even brought the deficit to just four in the third quarter. But Aldrick Rosas’ field goal with 5:11 left in the third would be the last time the Giants would add any points.

With just 13 points and 335 total yards amassed by New York, it was a very good day on paper for the Packers defense. They didn’t sack Jones, but they did pick him off three times. Still, we saw some familiar problems on the defensive side of the ball like giving up big plays and allowing fourth down conversions (the Giants were three for four on fourth down). However, a road win in the NFL is something that never comes easily, so that’s all for the negativity.

Going into the game, I said that the Packers should win by at least two touchdowns. They did that and more. Aaron Rodgers didn’t have a career day, but he slung four touchdowns and compiled a 125.4 passer rating. That’s certainly more than enough to win any game. The running game never really found its footing as Jamaal Williams led the team with just 41 yards on 10 carries and Aaron Jones could only muster 18 yards on 11 carries. Each back recorded a long run of nine yards.

What was great about the offense, however, is how much Rodgers spread the ball around. Seven different Packers recorded a catch, with three more receiving targets. Davante Adams hauled in six catches for 64 yards and two touchdowns. Allen Lazard had a big day with 103 yards, including a beautiful 37-yard touchdown on a vintage play action pass from Rodgers (see above). We finally saw Jones and Williams get re-involved in the passing attack as they combined for eight catches, albeit for only 39 yards. Then Geronimo Allison (two catches), Jimmy Graham (one catch), and Marcedes Lewis (one catch, one TD) also go involved, though many still wish Allison and Graham could be more consistent offensive weapons.

On special teams, the Packers actually recorded positive net yards in the punt return game with three. Yes, that’s notable for a team that has negative punt return yards on the season.

Despite a small handful of recurring issues, the Packers put together a great win in a game that they were unanimously expected to win, even on the road. At 9-3, they still have a shot at home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs, but they will need to keep winning. Next week, the Washington Redskins, perhaps the worst team in the conference, comes to Lambeau Field in what should be a rout. Anything less than a 20-point Packers victory should be a cause for concern. Not really, but the Redskins suck so much. So much that the Packers will likely open as two-touchdown favorites. If Green Bay loses next week, my corresponding blog post will not be suitable for anyone under the age of 13.

Sunday’s win keeps the Packers in a great spot. If they win out, they will finish 13-3 and have a shot at the one or two seed. There is always something that needs to be improved upon, but beggars can’t be choosers. Four weeks to go.

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