LONDON – The Packers' first international regular-season game started well but didn't finish as hoped.
Here are five takeaways from Sunday's 27-22 loss to the Giants at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
1. It's hard to recall a more disheartening October loss for this team.
The Packers led 17-3 in the second quarter and 20-10 at halftime but surrendered 17 straight points to the Giants to see a very winnable game in front of a highly favorable crowd get away and drop them to 3-2 on the season.
"This is as disappointing as it gets for us," Head Coach Matt LaFleur said. "They outcoached us, they outplayed us … they kicked our butts in the second half."
Giants QB Daniel Jones showed no ill effects from his ankle injury, and New York overcame other injuries at both receiver and defensive back to rally from the big deficit.
While the Giants scored three straight times in the second half, the Packers were stopped twice. The next time they got the ball back, they were down by seven points and came seven yards from the tying touchdown, but failed to score.
"They kept playing," LaFleur said of the Giants. "Give New York a ton of credit. I don't think the mindset of our guys was to ever let up, but you look at the results out there … it was too many mistakes. It wasn't just one person, it was a collective effort."
2. The regrets were many, on both sides of the ball.
Defensively, the Packers came in with the league's best third-down percentage but let the Giants convert 6-of-11, including a couple of long-yardage ones to set up a TD in the first half.
Multiple flags in the secondary also wiped out sacks from the defensive front, and once the Giants got Jones (21-of-27, 217 yards, 100.2 rating) moving in and out of the pocket and completing the short throws in rhythm, the Packers seemingly had no answer.
"I can't name one thing for you right now," LaFleur said of what went wrong on defense, other than noting the high third-down conversion rate. "It seemed like some timely penalties gave them life on some drives, and you can't do that in this league."
Offensively, the game came down to third-and-2 from the New York 7-yard line after the two-minute warning with the Packers trailing, 27-20, after a TD run by Saquon Barkley (13 carries, 70 yards; three catches, 36 yards).
There will be plenty of second-guessing about throwing two passes, both of which got batted away at the line of scrimmage, but the Giants played everything aggressively and made the plays.
"Do you want to run into a loaded box or want to try to get it through the air?" LaFleur said. "Unfortunately it didn't work for us."
On the first pass, Rodgers was trying to hit Randall Cobb (seven catches, 99 yards) on the in cut and admitted he was "trying to fit it through the sea of arms there."
On fourth down, he regretted not making a protection adjustment to pick up the Giants' blitz to his right. He felt a throw to Cobb on the left might have been a better option than trying to give Allen Lazard a one-on-one ball to the right, which never got to him anyway.
3. The game shouldn't have come down to that final drive on offense.
After the Giants kicked a field goal to open the second half and get within 20-13, the Packers drove to the New York 36, facing third-and-8 with a chance for at least a field goal to restore the two-score lead.
But Rodgers (25-of-39, 222 yards, two TDs, 96.3 rating) got sacked, forcing a punt, and then after the Giants tied the game at 20, Green Bay went three-and-out with three consecutive passes.
As much as there will be questions as to why the Packers didn't run the ball in that sequence, Rodgers said he felt good about the play calls and believed they had chances to snatch back the momentum.
"It was just, those two drives hurt us," Rodgers said. "We had a decent drive to get down there, … sack on third down … and then three-and-out with two opportunities to make plays on the next drive.
"By the time we knew it, we were down by seven."
See scenes from the Sunday afternoon matchup between the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on Oct. 9, 2022.
4. The Packers are really struggling to find any consistency in their game, week after week.
With a 17-3 lead in the first half, the offense and defense were both dominating play. Then it flipped but there was no moment where either side rose up and turned things back around, as was needed to beat Tampa Bay and New England the past two weeks.
Mason Crosby's run-on field goal on the final play of the first half to provide a 20-10 margin at intermission wasn't nearly enough.
"There have been a lot of struggles, and that is this league," LaFleur said. "We just have to be more consistent.
"There's some moments we look pretty good, but we have yet to put together a complete game as a team. Every game has been one half, and that's not good enough."
5. It was a missed opportunity in front of a big, boisterous crowd of Packers fans.
It's difficult to put a percentage on how tilted the Tottenham Hotspur crowd of 61,000-plus was in Green Bay's favor, but it was significant, and they were heard from warmups all the way along.
"I thought the fans were unbelievable," LaFleur said. "It was a really cool atmosphere. I just wish we would have performed better for our fans who showed up today for us.
"You could feel their energy, you could hear them, and I thought they played a part. Unfortunately we didn't do enough on our part. I appreciate all the support of the packer fans, both ones that traveled here and the ones from London."
Rodgers echoed those sentiments.
"First of all, we're sorry. We wanted to come here and put on a show and win a football game," he said. "The crowd was outstanding. This was a fantastic experience for all of us.
"So much love for Packers World. It's been Packer Nation for the first hundred and couple years, and hopefully the team will get a chance to come back and play here again. It was a special week for all of us, one we'll never forget. It just would've been sweeter if we could have come back with a win."