Manning becomes Giants' TD-pass king in rout of Packers

The SportsXchange

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants, fresh off their bye week, avoided their first winless November since 2004 by dominating the Green Bay Packers 38-10 Sunday night in front of 80,365 at MetLife Stadium.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who went a career-long 107 pass attempts without a touchdown pass, threw for three scores and set a franchise record with 200 career touchdown passes.

The New York offense also converted two Green Bay turnovers into 10 first-half points to help snap the team's two-game losing streak.

"We approached this game as if it was the first of a six-game season," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "I thought we had a good week of practice, I thought the guys were very committed and came back rested both mentally and physically. I thought they were really into preparing and supporting each other."

While Coughlin was pleased with the performance by all three units, he was particularly happy an offense that produced 147 net yards rushing, a 50 percent conversion rate on third down, and an 83 percent conversion rate inside the red zone -- all problem areas that the Giants set out to fix over their bye week leading up to the Green Bay game.

"The game was played in a very tight fashion, if you will," Coughlin said. "(It was) a very solid performance -- not putting any specific phase of our team in a bad situation."

One downside for New York was losing running back Andre Brown to a broken fibula. Brown, who was hurt in the fourth quarter, led the team with 13 carries for 64 yards, and he scored a first-quarter touchdown.

The Packers, who were without linebacker Clay Matthews, their team leader in sacks with nine, were unable to get much of a pass rush against Manning. After absorbing seven sacks in his previous three games, Manning was sacked only once Sunday.

New York, meanwhile, kept the Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers fairly quiet.

Rodgers, who was sacked four times and picked off once the last time these two teams met, in January's NFC divisional playoff round, was sacked five times for 29 yards and picked off once Sunday by a rejuvenated New York defense. He completed 14 of 25 passes for 219 yards and one touchdown.

"They did a lot of things everyone else has done against us mostly throughout the game," Rodgers said when asked if the Giants did the same things against him that they did in the playoff game. "We didn't execute very well."

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said, "I would say matchup-wise, they tried to do some of the same things. I'll tell you what I told the team at halftime. I felt like they were a step ahead of us and a step faster than us. They were more physical than us, and that that's something we need to look at."

The NFC East-leading Giants (7-4) will look to create more space between themselves and the Redskins (5-6) a week from Monday, when New York travels to Washington. The Redskins and Dallas Cowboys are tied for second in the division.

Green Bay (7-4) returns home to face the Minnesota Vikings next Sunday.

The Giants led 31-10 at the half thanks to two touchdown passes from Manning.

After exchanging touchdowns on their respective opening drives -- the Giants' coming on a 2-yard run by Brown, the Packers' on a 61-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers to Jordy Nelson -- Green Bay forced New York into a three-and-out.

Following a failed 55-yard field goal attempt by Packers kicker Mason Crosby, who later in the half would make a 28-yard attempt, Manning broke the longest drought of his career without a touchdown pass by connecting with receiver Rueben Randle for 16 yards. The extra point gave New York a 14-7 lead with 2:44 left in the first quarter.

The Giants added a 43-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes, capping a drive that started with cornerback Corey Webster's interception of a pass intended for Randall Cobb at Green Bay's 33.

"We faked the handoff, and it's kind of what you get from Webster," Rodgers said. "He got beat by a double move for a touchdown, and then on the next play, he takes a gamble in Cover 2 doesn't really jam the outside receiver, (and he makes the play)."

After New York forced a three-and-out, Manning and the Giants' offense scored again on a drive that saw them convert two big third-down plays. The first was a 25-yard pass reception by receiver Hakeem Nicks, and the second was a 9-yard touchdown catch by receiver Victor Cruz, his first score since Oct. 21 against Washington.

The Giants made it 31-10 with 44 seconds left in the half. Defensive end Osi Umenyiora sacked Rodgers, stripping the ball in the process. The ball was recovered by defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who returned it 10 yards to the Green Bay 23. Two plays later, Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw ran for a 13-yard touchdown.

NOTES: Giants safety Kenny Phillips, who returned to the lineup following a six-game absence caused by an MCL sprain, re-injured the same knee late in the third quarter and did not return to the game. Coughlin did not have an update on his status. ... The Giants' previous record for touchdown passes, 199, was held by Phil Simms. ... Coughlin won his first challenge of the season on a third-quarter pass play to Nicks that was initially ruled 1 yard shy of a touchdown. The Giants were awarded the score. ... Packers receiver Greg Jennings was inactive due to groin and abdominal injuries. ... Green Bay running back Johnny White left the game in the first quarter with a concussion. ... Matthews sat out a second consecutive game because of a left hamstring injury.
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