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Best and Worst Moments: Giants 13 Packers 38

With the New York Giants’ season coming to and end in dismal fashion against the Green Bay Packers, here are three of the worst and best moments form Sunday’s game at Lambeau Field.

Best moments:

1. Green Bay Packers 42-yard Hail Mary at the end of the half
Aaron Rodgers last-second hail mary throw to the back of the end zone at the end of the first half was caught by Randall Cobb and might have signified a shift in momentum in Green Bay’s favor.  The Giants had outplayed the Packers up to that point, but Rodgers, who once again had a hail mary heave to the end zone go his way, was able to put the perfect amount of trajectory on his pass. That combined with the absence of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and inexplicably poor coverage led to arguably the top play from wild card weekend and the boost Green Bay needed to win.

2. Aaron Rodgers’ throw to Adams.
If there has ever been a play to fully exemplify what make Aaron Rodgers such a great quarterback, it was his second half touchdown pass to Devontae Adams.  Rodgers stood in the pocket for an incredible 8.06 seconds, showing tremendous patience while waiting for receivers to get open as well as great footwork and overall pocket presence.  What made this moment so great was the fact that both teams played extremely well on this play.  Rodgers, Adams and Green Bay’s offensive line all did their jobs, while the Giant secondary and linebackers had great coverage.  It was just an all-around great effort from both sides, but exemplified the greatness of Rodgers.

3. New York Giants hold on fourth down
On an inexplicable call by Packers head coach Mike McCarthy to go for it on fourth down from inside Green Bay’s own 50 yards line,  the Giants were able to hold the Packers to no gain and a turnover on downs.  The defensive line did a great job of stuffing the holes and stopping all momentum at the line of scrimmage, while Landon Collins was able to wrap his arms around Aaron Ripowski and keep him from getting a first down. What made that moment even greater was the fact that two plays later, rookie Tavares King caught a 41-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning and brought the Giants to within one of the Packers.

 

Worst moments:

1. Brad Wing's punt at the end of the half
Brad Wing had a terrible game by his standards, failing to get quality yardage and hang time on his punts, but one punt really stands out.  His short punt late in the second half gave the Packers decent field position, and ended up putting them in range for a legitimate hail mary throw.  Now, it may be a bit unfair to blame Wing for the touchdown, but if he had punted that ball 15 to 20 yards deeper, Green Bay may have been less likely to have taken a shot at the end of the half as well as the fact that the chances of completing a pass to the end zone behind the 50 yard line is far less likely than in front of it.  After all, that play arguably gave Green Bay the momentum to go ahead and win the game, making Wing’s punt a huge part of that equation.

2. Injuries to Jordy Nelson and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
It’s never good to see players get hurt, let alone two as important as Jordy Nelson and Rodgers-Cromartie to their respective teams, but that’s just what happened to the two stars. Rodgers-Cromartie injured his knee early in the game, coming out within the first three plays of the game and only returning for a kickoff later on in which he actually made the tackle downfield.  Nelson’s injury seemed more serious, as he was illegally hit in the ribs by Leon Hall and left the game with a rib injury.  Hall led with his head on the tackle and hit Nelson, a defenseless receiver at the time, who which should have been a penalty on the part of Hall.  The seriousness of the injury hasn’t been disclosed to the public as of yet, but it would obviously be a big blow to the Packers if Nelson cannot play in Dallas on Sunday.

3. Mike McCarthy's fourth down call
Mike McCarthy’s decision to go for it on fourth down with the risk of giving the Giants great field position was probably the worst moment of the game, and he’s lucky it didn’t cost his team the game in the long run.  Fullback Aaron Ripowski was stuffed at the line of scrimmage and dragged down by all-pro safety Landon Collins, giving the Giants the ball inside Green Bay’s 50-yard line.  Two plays later, Tavares King caught a 41-yard pass from Manning for a touchdown and brought the Giants to within a point of Green Bay.  Although it ended up not being the end of the world for the Packers, it definitely seemed like a play that could come back to haunt McCarthy and his team at the time. 

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