X's and O's: Giants vs Packers

Here is a report on how players did, position by position, in the game against the Packers.

QUARTERBACKS

Eli Manning calmly completed three straight passes for 30 yards on the Giants' final drive of regulation, before spiking the ball to place Lawrence Tynes in perfect position to kick a game-winning, 36-yard field goal. Manning didn't turn the ball over, either, despite the extremely cold conditions. Bottom Line: Manning has thrown only one interception in four straight high-profile games.

RUNNING BACKS

On a third-and-one play from the Packers' 39, RB Ahmad Bradshaw juked WLB A.J. Hawk, ran inside and recorded a critical eight-yard gain to help get the Giants in position for Tynes' 36-yard try at the end of regulation. RB Brandon Jacobs was fortunate TE Kevin Boss reacted quickly enough to recover his fumble at the goal line, a near-turnover LDE Aaron Kampman caused as Jacobs extended the ball to gain first-down yardage on a third-and-one play from Green Bay's 2 with about 8:30 to go in the third quarter. Bottom Line: Bradshaw helped the cause again.

WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS

WR Amani Toomer separated just enough from LCB Charles Woodson, dove to catch Manning's perfectly placed pass and somehow dragged both feet in bounds for a 23-yard catch that moved the Giants to Green Bay's 12, two plays before Bradshaw's four-yard run helped put the Giants ahead 20-17 late in the third quarter. Nine of WR Plaxico Burress' 11 catches accounted for first downs (seven-of-eight in the first half). Bottom Line: Burress abused RCB Al Harris and Woodson.

OFFENSIVE LINE

RG Chris Snee's hold/tackle of LDT Ryan Pickett at the line of scrimmage created the hole Bradshaw used to run for a 48-yard touchdown that was called back with 2:05 remaining in the game. RDE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila was close to being off side, but he blew by LT David Diehl, who didn't even touch him, for a critical sack of Manning on third-and-eight from midfield, and around 3:00 to go in the game. Bottom Line: Manning was sacked just twice, but they had trouble running the ball.

DEFENSIVE LINE

Their four starters were neutralized by the Packers' offensive front, as they managed merely four hurries of QB Brett Favre (three by RDE Osi Umenyiora) and didn't record a single sack. Bottom Line: They better figure out a way to get to Tom Brady more than this.

LINEBACKERS

MLB Antonio Pierce prevented a bigger gain and the continuation of a pivotal drive by shedding the block of RG Jason Spitz and dragging down RB Brandon Jackson with just his right arm. Pierce's play limited Jackson to a one-yard gain at the Giants' 18 and forced the Packers to settle for a 36-yard FG by K Mason Crosby and 10-6 lead, with just 1:30 left before halftime. Bottom Line: Pierce played well.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

RCB Sam Madison's unnecessary roughness penalty, a 12-yarder for throwing down RB Vernand Morency in the Packers' backfield, was inexcusable. It gave the Packers a first down at the Giants' 12, when the Packers would've had to settle for a 48-yard field-goal attempt that might've tied the score at 13-13. They instead went ahead 17-13 on the next play, a 12-yard touchdown catch by TE Donald Lee with 5:00 to go in the third quarter. LCB Corey Webster allowed WR Donald Driver to shed his attempted jam near the line of scrimmage, and Webster fell down, leaving Driver wide open. He caught Favre's pass and out-raced Webster, FS Gibril Wilson and SS James Butler down the Giants' sideline for a 90-yard TD that helped give the Packers a 7-6 lead with 11:18 to go in the second quarter. Bottom Line: Webster redeemed himself in overtime.

SPECIAL TEAMS

LS Jay Alford's snap was high, which disrupted the timing on K Lawrence Tynes' horribly missed attempt at what would've been a game-winning, 36-yard field goal on the last play of regulation. S Michael Johnson knocked the ball away from CB Jarrett Bush, who had all but recovered R.W. McQuarters' fumbled punt return at Green Bay's 42. Then KR Domenik Hixon beat three converging Packers to the ball at the Packers' 48, avoiding a potentially disastrous turnover with 2:15 to go in the game and the score tied 20-20. Bottom Line: Tynes rewarded Coughlin for keeping him around after struggling earlier in the season.

COACHING

The switch from Jacobs to Bradshaw late in the third quarter paid immediate dividends. Bradshaw ran three times for 18 yards, including two first downs and a go-ahead, four-yard score, after not carrying the ball at all on the Giants' previous 13-play drive, which resulted in a Jacobs touchdown. Down 10-6 just before halftime, Tom Coughlin should've allowed Tynes to attempt a 52-yard FG. The Giants instead attempted a pass on a fourth-and-eight play, Manning was sacked and they turned the ball over on downs at Green Bay's 37. Bottom Line: Coughlin can name his number now.


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