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What Went Wrong: Giants 13 Packers 38 Final

The Giants Beat takes a look back at the loss that ended the Giants season and how Big Blue's championship dreams slipped away.

Aaron Rodgers looked pensive before the NFC Championship game. But not anxious --the same unsuspecting assassin who walked onto Lambeau Field and ended the New York Giants season. 
Rodgers led the Packers to a 38-13 victory over the Giants in the NFC Wild-Card game. Big Blue walked into the game fully-armed. They had an unstoppable defense, matched with premier receivers and a game-changing secondary. So what went wrong? Let's take a look back at the Giants' defeat. 

The first half seemed promising despite a shaky start from the Giants' receivers. Eli Manning looked sharp and poised for a fourth quarter display. However, he could not connect with OBJ or Shepard after a pair of dropped passes ruined their momentum. 
But the actual destruction came within seconds. Rodgers' Hail Mary TD pass to Randall Cobb almost looked easy, while Big Blue's elite secondary looked out of place. 
After the half, the game dwindled away with chaos on both sides of the ball. The Giants' defensive line was no match for the Packers' premier O-line. Giants' rookie Romeo Okwara did not match up well against Brian Bulaga,, who dominated the offensive line. This gave Rodgers ample time to hit a slew of open targets. 
OBJ still struggled to catch the ball despite nearly perfect looks from Manning. Miami or not, he definitely looked lost throughout the matchup. 
On defense, the Giants struggled to pick up the pace despite notching five sacks. The secondary took a big hit after an injured DRC left the game early. The Giants' cornerbacks were not physical with Randall Cobb. He easily cruised past Trevin Wade, scoring a TD in the third quarter to cap off an amazing run. Wade was inconsistent all season and in the midst of DRC's absence, he was blindsided, while the Packers exposed his coverage deficiencies. 
Toward the end, it was the small things that killed the Giants. RB Bobby Rainey caught a kickoff going out of bounds at the 3-yard line, which only fueled the Packers even more. Paul Perkins also seemed out of sorts late in the game. And cue the cringe worthy play of the game: Clay Matthews forced a fumble because Perkins failed to realize it was a live ball. 
The Giants were not there mentally. Careless turnovers and conservative play-calling only added to the mayhem. First year coach Ben McAdoo had never been in this position and his team was not prepared. The Giants' receiving core had too many dropped passes. And at the same time, they needed to create movement upfront to give space for the Giants' running game to get going. But many of these issues did not plague Big Blue in the regular season. The 11-5 Giants did not show up to the NFC Wild-Card game. With their usual burst from the secondary and a fiery run from OBJ, they could have represented the NFC this past Sunday.

Only seven months, two weeks, and one day until next season. But who's counting.


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