New York Giants' Week 5 Takeaways vs Packers

Photo Credit: Giants Wire - USA Today

There's a lot of reasons why this game should have gone the other way. In London against the Green Bay Packers and host of injuries to key players/positions. The Giants scored 17 unanswered points in the second half and made big key defensive plays to stun the Packers 27-22 in jolly ol’ London, England. Brian Daboll was visibly pumped after the game, something felt by all Giants fans today.

Offensive found its groove on the 2nd half

Photo Credit: Giants Wire - USA Today

The Packers defense was keying on Saquon Barkley in the first half, following him everywhere he went and loading the box with eight defenders. The Giants couldn't get the run game going, but when offensive coordinator Mike Kafka decided to use him as a decoy the field opened up. Daniel Jones found receiver Darius Slayton over the middle for a big gain. Jones was huge in this game as it was his first game throwing over 200 passing yards and added 32 yards rushing.

With the Packers keying on Saquon, it was clear that “handoff left”, “handoff right” and “handoff middle” was not going to work. When the offense got creative and used Barkley in the wildcat or split out on the outside, that's when he was able to make plays. He ripped off a 42 yard run that got the Giants in business in the 2nd quarter. The Giants desperately needed a big play after the Packers marched downfield to go up 17-3.

Photo Credit: Giants Wire - USA Today

After opening the game going 0-3 on 3rd down, the Giants on previously mentioned drive got two big 3rd and long conversions to keep the drive alive. One pass to Richie James and another to Darius Slayton that set them up near the goal line. Creative play calling in the red zone also helped them get the touchdown to pull them to 17-10. Kafka dialed up the wildcat on 1st down, but then called double reverse to get Daniel Bellinger into the end zone on a 2 yard TD run. The touchdown run was the Giants first points inside of 2 minutes to close a half since 2020. The Giants had been outscored 85-0 during that stretch.

Injuries started to take a toll on the Giants all game and they got a scare when Saquon Barkley left the game late in the 3rd quarter. Barkley seemed to have just fell on his side but when he rolled over you could tell something wasn't right. He was forced into the medical tent and the locker room by the training staff with a shoulder injury. Barkley would return and electrify the team with the brilliant 41-yard catch out of the backfield. Saquon would not be denied today as he had 107 total yards to add to his league leading total. He capped off the drive with a 3 years TD run to give the Giants a 27-20 lead.

Matt Bredia and Gary Brightwell carried the load for the Giants while Barkley was getting medical attention as Daboll’s next man up mentality is what this team lives on. Daniel Jones stepped up to move the offense down the field against the talented Packers defense in the second half. Ever since Daboll undressed Jones in the Titans game, Jones has stepped his game up. He finished the game passing for over 200 yards (the first time this season) but more importantly he took care of the football. He hit timely passes to keep drives alive and this team in the game. The Giants started their second drive in the 3rd quarter at their 9 yard line and Jones had key throws and runs to keep the drive going. The Giants proceeded on a momentum changing 9 minute, 15 play, 91 yd scoring drive. They capped off the drive with a tough 3 yard Brightwell TD run.

Making the most of their opportunities

Photo Credit: Giants Wire - USA Today

While the Giants didn't generate any turnovers in the game, they took advantage of any opportunity that they possibly had. The Giants were 3 of 4 in the red zone, scoring 3 touchdowns and a field goal. The key to staying in a game with a good team is the score. Sounds simple, but the last few years it's been impossible for the Giants to do. The Giants controlled the line of scrimmage, ran the football and dominated the time of possession. Past Giants teams would have folded with the injuries that started to mount in London, but this team showed the next man up mentality and key players stepped in to take this victory.

Penalties will always kill a drive and kill the momentum. The Giants got the ball to open the second half and we're driving down the field. A 3rd and 3 in plus territory could have got the giants into the end zone. But a false start penalty moved the ball back and the third and three turned into a third and eight. The Giants failed to convert on third down and had to settle for a Graham Gano field goal. But getting points at that point was key to bring the score to one possession at 20-13. A touchdown would've been a huge lift but the Giants kept their pressure on the Packers.

Jones had a chance to hit Slayton for another big crossing route over the middle but threw it behind him. Sequan went out into the past pattern and the linebackers followed. Slayton was able to run across the middle and would have gone untouched, but Jones threw it slightly behind anticipating him sitting in the middle of the field.

Another play that may have gone unnoticed was a punt return where the Giants got a hit on Packers return man and forced the ball out. But the Giants couldn't recover the ball even after a second strip on Robert Tonyan left the ball on the ground. While it wasn't a huge play, when you're playing a team as good as the Packers, winning the turnover battle is a key to the upset.

Defense continues to surprise with a dominant 2nd half

Photo Credit: Giants Wire - USA Today

Despite injuries to Azzez Ojuiari and Leonard Williams, the defense hung tough against a solid Packers offense. Aaron Rodgers was able to get the ball out of his hands quickly and not allow the Giants’ pass rush to be a factor. Quick screens and short out routes to receivers blocking down field was the Packers de facto run game.

But the defense played well against the run, limiting the Packers to 94 yards. CB Adoree Jackson continues to be a force in the secondary, providing solid tackling on run support and solid coverage downfield. But the second half knee injury took him out of the game and backup CB Nick McCloud stepped up to play solid defense.

What turned out to be a key drive in the game was when the Packers got the ball before halftime. After the Giants scored a TD to bring the score to 17-10, Rodgers calmly drove the Packers down the field. But the Giants defense held the Packers to a field goal and the Giants came out after halftime a different team

Photo Credit: Giants Wire - USA Today

The Giants, after tying the game at 20, needed a big defensive stand from their group. The defense responded by forcing Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to a three and out. A huge sack by T Dexter Lawrence ended another drive and got the ball back in the offense's hands. The defense was able to keep the Packers' offense scoreless in the second half by getting off the field on 3rd down. But the Packers got the ball back with 6 minutes left and started to go to work. Rodger converted a key 3rd and 2 to put the ball in field goal range. The Packers were living off the short pass and RPO game to keep Martindale's blitz package as a non-factor. Wise move by the Packers, but it also kept the big play off the table.

The Giants needed to make a play to seal the game and the defense came up huge. On 3rd down at the 7 yard line, DE Kayvon Thibodaux got enough pressure and his hands up to deflect the ball at the line to force a 4th down. On 4th down Martindale gambled with the cover zero and a blitz from the outside. Safety Xavier McKinney got his hands up and deflected Aaron Rodgers' pass at the line to seal the deal. It was the first fourth down stop for the Giants all season and couldn't have come at a better time.

43 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All