Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers quickly return to form vs. New York Giants
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Green Bay Packers bounced back from a blowout loss to the San Francisco 49ers by beating the New York Giants 31-13 on Sunday.
The victory lacked a lot of style points, but the Packers returned to form in improving to 9-3.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers had a big day with four touchdown passes. Without a running game to lean on, Rodgers took things into his own hands. He made a couple of big completions under heavy pressure, alertly caught the Giants with 12 men on the field to throw his third TD pass and wriggled out of a sack for his fourth touchdown.
“There were a number of other plays in that game where you’re just like, ‘Wow,'” coach Matt LaFleur said Monday. “But that’s the standard that he’s set because he’s done it so many times.”
The passing game wasn’t wholly dependent on Davante Adams, though he did lead the team with six receptions and two touchdowns. The first touchdown was set up by a 43-yard completion to Allen Lazard and the second touchdown came on a 37-yard touchdown to Lazard.
The Packers badly need someone to emerge and Lazard, who started the season on the practice squad but finished the day with three catches for a career-high 103 yards, could be that guy.
Ball security has been a hallmark of the Packers throughout Rodgers’ tenure as quarterback. From 2008 through Sunday, the Packers are plus-104 in turnovers. That’s the second-best mark in the league — far behind New England’s plus-151 but far ahead of Seattle’s third-ranked plus-67.
On Sunday, behind interceptions from cornerbacks Kevin King and Tramon Williams and safety Darnell Savage, the Packers won the turnover battle 3-0. Green Bay is plus-11 on the season, tied with Pittsburgh and New Orleans for the second-best mark in the league behind New England’s plus-18. Green Bay is 8-0 when it wins the turnover battle and 1-2 when it doesn’t.
WHAT’S NOT WORKING
The Packers continue to struggle against opposing tight ends. Over the previous five games, Green Bay gave up an average of 100 receiving yards to the opponents’ No. 1 tight ends. New York was without its top two tight ends, leading receiver Evan Engram and Rhett Ellison, but rookie Kaden Smith caught six passes for 70 yards. Smith entered the game with six catches for 18 yards.