Aaron Rodgers found his stride after sluggish start in Green Bay Packers comeback victory over New York Giants
Aaron Rodgers celebrates with his teammates after a touchdown. | Photo: Dan Powers/The Post-Crescent via USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Rodgers found his stride after sluggish start in Green Bay Packers comeback victory over New York Giants

Aaron Rodgers throws for 362 yards and four touchdowns in the Green Bay Packers win over the New York Giants.

kyle-sennikoff
Kyle Sennikoff

The Green Bay Packers won only four games of their opening 10 to begin the season. But, now, following a 38-13 come from behind victory over the New York Giants, the Packers have pushed their winning streak to seven. This win puts Green Bay into the divisional round of the playoffs where they will face the Dallas Cowboys.

Manning and the Giants cannot capitalize on momentum; Packers make them pay

In the opening 30 minutes of action, it did not feel as if Green Bay was going to account for much on the offensive side of the ball. Each time Aaron Rodgers stepped back from center, the Giants secondary had every Packer receiver covered. This forced Rodgers to either throw the ball away, or take a sack; Rodgers was sacked five times today. In fact, in the Packers were forced to punt in their opening five drives of the game.

Eli Manning and the Giants took advantage of this, although not as much as they would have liked. Twice Manning drove New York inside the 10 yard line, and twice, Manning and the offense came away with only fsix points, instead of a possible 14. 

But during those drives, the 36-year-old quarterback looked good on those drives. He eviscrated the Packers defense with ease, completing plays of 13, 26, and 51 yards. The most impressive of the lot was indeed that 51-yard catch to Will Tye. Tye got thepass on a slant route before heading up the middle of the field, while breaking a couple of Packers' would-be-tacklers.

Oh how Ben McAdoo wish his offense could have converted those touchdowns, because in the last 2:20 of the second quarter, Rodgers and the Packers finally found their rhythm. 

Green Bay got great field position before their first touchdown of the game. Brad Wing hit a weak punt that Micah Hyde brought back to his own 38-yard-line. From there, Rodgers made quick work of his favorable advantage. Rodgers threw a ball over the top to Davante Adams for a big 31-yard gain. Two plays later, that connection found each other once more for a 5-yard touchdown score after Adams came across the endzone to snare a Rodgers pass.

The Packers defense then stepped up to force the Giants to go three and out to get the ball back one more time before the end of the opening half. Then, Green Bay's offense went up tempo. Because of the tempo, Rodgers was able to move the Packers 42-yards as the clocked hit 12 seconds. As time in the half ran out, the forme Cal Golden Bear quarterback threw a hail mary, and Randall Cobb caught it in the back of the endzone. On replay, it looked as if Cobb may have pushed a Giants' defender out of the way, but nonetheless, the play stood and the Packers had a commanding lead at halftime. 

Aaron Rodgers throws Hail Mary to end the first half. | Photo: USA Today Sports
Aaron Rodgers throws Hail Mary to end the first half. | Photo: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay continues to stay hot on offense

The beginning of the second half felt like a mini version of the majority of the first. New York's defense stopped the Packers' run game twice in a short yardage situation, forcing a turnover on downs. Manning found his grove again, throwing for his team's first touchdown of the night in just two games. Paul Perkins could not find a hole with which to run on first down. That did not bother Manning though, as he hit undrafted wide receiver Tavarres King for a 41-yard score.

Aaron Rodgers, however, answered immediately. Each play in this drive went for progressively more yards. Christine Michael started the drive with no gain on the ground. Rodgers then found Jared Cook for 13 yards before hitting Adams for 20. On the touchdown throw, Rodgers found Cobb in the endzone for the second time in the game, essentially putting this game out of reach for the Giants.

That Cobb and Rodgers connection was not done for the night. After another three and out for New York, the Packers chewed off a huge chunk of time on their next drive, which ended with yet another touchdown. Rodgers found little seams in the Giants defense and threw short pass after short pass. On the ninth play of the drive, from 16-yards away, Rodgers hit Cobb one more time to put his team up by 18 points.

To put the icing on the cake, Aaron Ripkoswki fought his way up the middle for the Packer's only rushing score of the game. In the drive, Michael got a good portion of the touches, picking up 20 yards. With the way Michael looked in the second half, he could be getting a lot more attempts on the ground against the Cowboys. 

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