It took the Packers’ offense a while to get rolling, but once Aaron Rodgers got an ounce of momentum he found a way to turn it into pounds of points. Green Bay trailed New York, 6-0, late in the second quarter, then rose up with the power of a tidal wave to run its opponent off the field in a 38-13 victory Sunday evening.
A solid Giants pass rush forced a formerly red-hot Packer offense into hibernation early. Green Bay had -7 yards of total offense five minutes through the second quarter.
New York, plagued by dropped passes, struggled to capitalize on its opportunities. The Giants gained 203 total yards in the first half but managed only a pair of field goals, giving the home team the latitude it needed to mount a comeback before heading to the locker room.
The Packers took the lead thanks to a vintage Rodgers performance. The dynamic quarterback eluded a four-man rush for 8.6 seconds before finding Davante Adams in the corner of the end zone. One Giants punt later, he led his offense to the New York 42-yard line with six seconds in the half before doing what he does best.
New York took advantage of Green Bay’s failed fourth-and-1 effort to pull within a point in the third quarter, but would get no closer. The Packers’ offense, even without a reliable running game or an injured Jordy Nelson, proved too much to handle for a deficient defense.
Rodgers, capping off a potential MVP season, was brilliant after an ineffective first quarter. He finished his day with 362 passing yards and four touchdowns, three of which went to Randall Cobb. His mastery in the pocket left him with a 125.2 passer rating and overcame a rushing performance where his team gained just 3.2 yards per carry.
The Giants provided some basic blueprints to stopping the Packers’ offense, but ultimately couldn’t build on the foundation built in the first quarter. Green Bay won the battle of field position too often for a tiring New York defense to plug every hole Rodgers drilled in their dam.
The next challenge will be finding a way to deconstruct the Cowboys next Sunday.
Wild Card Round
Saturday, Jan. 7
GAME 1: Houston Texans 27, Oakland Raiders 14
GAME 2: Seattle Seahawks 26, Detroit Lions 6
Sunday, Jan. 8
GAME 3: Pittsburgh Steelers 30, Miami Dolphins 12
GAME 4: Green Bay Packers 38, New York Giants 13
Saturday, Jan. 14
GAME 5: Atlanta Falcons vs. Seattle Seahawks, 4:35 p.m., FOX
GAME 6: New England Patriots vs. Houston Texans, 8:15 p.m., CBS
Sunday, Jan. 15
GAME 7: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 1:05 p.m., NBC
GAME 8: Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers, 4:40 p.m., FOX
Sunday, Jan. 22
NFC Championship, 3:05 p.m., FOX
AFC Championship, 6:40 p.m., CBS
Super Bowl 51
Sunday, Feb. 5
AFC champion vs. NFC champion, 6:30 p.m., FOX