There were many questions going into the Week 12 match up between the New York Giants, & the Green Bay Packers. A lot of those questions aimed at the two time Super Bowl MVP, and his team. The Giants were coming off of a bye week which was surely needed due to the previous two week stretch of losing by the defending Super Bowl champs. Rumors of a tired right arm on Eli Manning, and fatigue throughout the rest of the roster didn't bode well for the G Men who were playing into their usual November slump.
However on Sunday night the champs made a big statement winning in convincing fashion against the visiting Green Bay Packers, 38-10. The Pack were red hot coming into Met Life Stadium going on a 5 game winning streak, and most of the credit goes to none other than quarter back Aaron Rogers who has been putting up MVP numbers this season. Sadly for Green Bay fans things weren't very MVP-like for Rogers as he was under pressure all game. In fact Rogers was hit or sacked during 17 of his 33 drop backs in Sunday nights game, that's 51.5% the highest percentage of pressure on a QB this season.
The defense did it's job, and then some as they were able to bring down the reigning MVP 5 times on the night. Mathias Kiwanuka (2 sacks), Chase Blackburn (1 sack), and Chris Canty (1 sack) were the benificiaries of sacks Sunday night. What also further pushed momentum into Big Blue's corner was a turnover from Rodgers (14/25 comp, 219 yds,1 td & 1 interception), an intercepted pass by Corey Webster that set up an offensive score for the Giants.
Speaking of the offense, not a bad performance from a unit that struggled for almost the entire month of November. The biggest turn around performance was by far Eli Manning's. Manning went 99 pass attempts without scoring a touchdown the previous 3 weeks. Something that had Giant fans a bit worried as the second half of the season went underway. However we saw another one of those prime time performances from New York's franchise QB (16/30 comp, 249 yds, & 3 tds). His last thrown touchdown on the night a 20 yard strike to Hakeem Nicks, would be Manning's 200th career touchdown pass as a New York Giant. That gave him the franchise all time leading number of touchdowns (passed Phil Simms-199). Whether it was his 3 touchdowns, or his big time run in the first half without sliding (lowered his shoulders like a full back) it was great as a Giant fan to see Manning in a groove once again. As Manning said the bye week was a much needed rest, mentally as well as physically.
The rest of the offensive unit followed the leader such as Ahmad Bradshaw who made an impact on the ground (10 carries, 58 yards & 1 td), and the air (2 receptions, 61 yards). Back up running back Andre Brown made an impact on the ground as well with 13 carries, 64 yards, & 1 touchdown of his own. However he suffered a broken fibula which by most accounts has him out for the rest of the season, a big blow to the Giants. Brown has been am impact player for the Giants as their change of pace back to compliment Bradshaw. All three starting receivers (Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, & Rueben Randle) caught a touchdown pass from their MVP quarterback. Hakeem Nicks who had been suffering from the after effects of knee/foot injuries had a bit of a break out game with 5 receptions, & 77 yards to go with his score. Thanks to everything clicking the Giants now sit at an impressive 7-4, with a two game lead in the NFC East.
The Giants look to be on the verge of starting another deep playoff run. A run similar to the one they had last season as they tore through teams to win their 2nd Super Bowl in 5 seasons. The pieces seem to be all in place with the pass rush playing the way they did, the running game clicking, and Eli Manning hooking up with his play makers in the receiving core. A formula that has worked for two Super Bowl runs. What may prove to be a big loss however is the injury suffered by Andre Brown (broken fibula) who was a big part of the offense. There was also an additional injury scare to safety Kenny Phillips (knee) but by all accounts he is in good health.
Still you'd have to think as a Giant fan, things just wouldn't feel right if everything was perfect. We all know how drama tends to follow this team, and how they tend to get through it in the most extreme circumstances. Well things will surely intensify as they will visit their NFC East division foe the Washington Redskins (5-6) led by sensational rookie QB Robert Griffin III. This is a big game for both teams as the Giants look to add on to their two game lead in the East, and as the Redskins look to try and squeak into the playoff picture. This will be a prime time Monday night game, December 3rd at 8:30 pm.