GREEN BAY – The offensive struggles of the first half disappeared for the Packers in the second half, and they ran away with a 38-13 victory over the Giants in an NFC Wild Card playoff game on Sunday at Lambeau Field.
QB Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes, three of them to WR Randall Cobb, as the Packers put up 38 points for the third consecutive home game and won their seventh straight game overall. Green Bay earned a trip to No. 1 seed Dallas next Sunday at 3:40 p.m. CT in the divisional round.
The only bad news for the Packers was WR Jordy Nelson left the game in the first half with a rib injury and did not return. There was no further update before the end of the game.
Rodgers became the first QB in team history to throw four TD passes in multiple playoff games, and Cobb tied Sterling Sharpe's franchise playoff record with the three TD receptions.
Rodgers finished 25-of-40 for 362 yards with the four TDs and no interceptions for a 125.2 passer rating. Cobb had five receptions for 116 yards with the three scores.
WR Davante Adams had eight catches for 125 yards and a TD, while RB Christine Michael chipped in 10 carries for 47 yards on the ground. RB Ty Montgomery added 68 yards from scrimmage (27 rushing, 41 receiving).
For the Giants, QB Eli Manning finished 23-of-44 for 299 yards with one touchdown and one interception for a 72.1 passer rating.
The Packers held WR Odell Beckham Jr. to just four catches for 28 yards on 11 targeted passes. WR Tavarres King had three catches for 73 yards, including a 41-yard TD.
The Packers held Giants RBs Paul Perkins and Rashad Jennings to just 59 yards on the ground on 15 attempts.
Here's a quarter-by-quarter recap of the action.
Green Bay's defense started the fourth quarter with a stop, catching a break when Beckham couldn't quite haul in a third-and-11 pass when he was open on a corner route. The ball was just barely overthrown. The Packers were called for a block-in-the-back penalty on the punt return, though, wiping out good field position and making the offense start from its own 20.
After a 10-yard pass to Adams, Rodgers hit RB Ty Montgomery for 34 yards over the middle on th-10. On the next play, Montgomery was injured on a running play, getting bent back awkwardly on the tackle and having to be helped off the field.
On third-and-9 from the New York 35, Rodgers found Adams over the middle for 12 yards against a blitz to move the chains. On the ensuing third down, needing 3 yards from the 16, Rodgers found Cobb deep over the middle for the score, Cobb's third TD of the game. K Mason Crosby's PAT put the Packers up, 31-13, with 9:19 to go.
On the second play of the Giants' next drive, LB Clay Matthews hit Manning from behind, knocking the ball out. Nobody on the field was playing it as a live ball except for Matthews, who hit RB Paul Perkins as Perkins tried to casually pick up the ball. That kept the ball loose, and Matthews recovered for Green Bay at the 45-yard line.
The Packers got into scoring range again on an 8-yard pass to WR Geronimo Allison and an 18-yard completion to Adams on third-and-1. Michael then ran three times for 19 yards to the New York 9, and Montgomery returned to the game.
A 6-yard pass to FB Aaron Ripkowski made it first-and-goal on the 3. Montgomery plowed ahead to the 1, and Ripkowski finished the drive with the TD with 2:43 to go.
On the Giants' final drive, CB Damarious Randall intercepted Manning in the end zone and ran it back 78 yards before the Packers kneeled out the win.
A back-and-forth third quarter ended with the Packers taking a 24-13 lead over the Giants into the fourth quarter in Sunday's NFC Wild Card playoff at Lambeau Field.
The Packers started the second half with a three-and-out on offense. QB Aaron Rodgers was sacked again as he scrambled out of bounds and did not make it back to the line of scrimmage, New York's fifth sack of the game.
The Giants got going on a 14-yard run by RB Paul Perkins, and back-to-back passes to WR Odell Beckham Jr. gained a total of 15 more. The Packers stopped it there, though, as LB Julius Peppers got pressure on third down to force an errant throw, and the Giants punted.
Starting from their own 10, the Packers started running the ball with RB Christine Michael, who carried four straight times for 27 yards. A 5-yard pass to FB Aaron Ripkowski set up third-and-1 at the Green Bay 42, but Ripkowski was stuffed at the line of scrimmage. The Packers decided to go for it on fourth down, and RB Ty Montgomery was stuffed as well, giving the Giants the ball in Green Bay territory.
Two plays later, QB Eli Manning went deep to WR Tavarres King for a 41-yard touchdown, and with K Robbie Gould's PAT, the Giants had closed to 14-13 with 5:16 left in the third.
The Packers came back with a 13-yard pass to TE Jared Cook to get to midfield. A 20-yard catch-and-run on a slant to WR Davante Adams moved the ball to the New York 30. On the next snap, Rodgers found WR Randall Cobb open over the middle, and he split the defense for a 30-yard score. K Mason Crosby's PAT re-established Green Bay's eight-point lead at 21-13 with 2:53 left in the quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, RB Bobby Rainey made the mistake of trying to field Crosby's kickoff near the sideline. He couldn't keep his balance and stepped out of bounds on the New York 3.
Green Bay's defense got a three-and-out, as Peppers deflected Manning's third-down pass from the 10, and S Morgan Burnett nearly intercepted off the deflection. DB Micah Hyde returned the 50-yard punt 23 yards to the New York 37, giving the offense great field position.
Rodgers immediately went to work, hitting WR Davante Adams for 23 yards over the middle to the New York 14. The Giants stopped it there, though, as CB Coty Sensabaugh blanketed Cobb in the back of the end zone on third down, and Crosby was good from 32 yards out for a 24-13 lead with 21 seconds left.
A sluggish offensive first half ended with two TD drives – the second on a Hail Mary on the final play – and the Packers took a 14-6 lead over the Giants into halftime on Sunday at Lambeau Field.
The second quarter didn't start any better than the first for Green Bay's offense, as QB Aaron Rodgers was sacked for the third time in the game, forcing another punt.
After a 15-yard pass to WR Sterling Shepard got the Giants to midfield, the Green Bay defense got the stop. CB Damarious Randall broke up a third-down pass for Shepard, and DB Micah Hyde returned the punt to the Green Bay 22.
The Packers got one first down on a 13-yard pass to WR Randall Cobb, but then WR Jordy Nelson took a hit along the sideline on an incomplete pass and stayed down. A third-down pass for WR Davante Adams was broken up by CB Eli Apple, and the Packers had to punt. P Jake Schum's 56-yard punt put the Giants back on their own 8.
Nelson was reported in the press box to have a rib injury, return questionable.
The Giants got moving again on an 11-yard run by RB Rashad Jennings and a 51-yard catch-and-run over the middle by TE Will Tye, who beat LB Blake Martinez in coverage. LB Joe Thomas batted down a pass on third-and-4 from the Green Bay 22, though, and the Giants had to settle for another field goal. K Robbie Gould was good from 40 yards out to make it 6-0 with 7:24 left in the half.
Packers WR Jeff Janis returned the ensuing kickoff 33 yards to the Green Bay 44 to start the next drive. A 16-yard pass to TE Jared Cook got across midfield, but another mistake squelched the opportunity. QB Aaron Rodgers was called for intentional grounding on third down, and the Packers had to punt again. Janis tackled return man Dwayne Harris at the New York 8.
The Packers' defense responded with a big three-and-out, as LB Julius Peppers sacked Eli Manning on third down. LB Blake Martinez left the game with an apparent injury, though. Hyde returned the punt to the New York 38 with 3:45 left in the half.
Rodgers got right to work, hitting Adams for 31 yards down the far sideline to make it first-and-goal on the 7. On second down from the 5, Rodgers shifted around to buy time in the pocket and finally fired to Adams for the TD. K Mason Crosby's PAT put the Packers ahead, 7-6, with 2:20 left in the half.
Green Bay's defense got a three-and-out, as S Morgan Burnett stopped RB Bobby Rainey on third-and-1 from the New York 41, anad the Packers called their last timeout with 1:46 left to get the ball back one more time. Hyde returned the punt to the Green Bay 20.
RB Ty Montgomery ran twice for 15 yards, and Rodgers hit Cobb for 15 yards to midfield. A screen pass to Montgomery gained 8 to the 42, and Rodgers threw a Hail Mary to the back of the end zone that was caught by Cobb for the TD on the final play of the half.
The Giants scored first and took a 3-0 lead into the second quarter on Sunday in an NFC Wild Card playoff game at Lambeau Field.
The Giants got near scoring range on their first drive, thanks to a 17-yard completion to WR Victor Cruz on third down, but the drive stalled at the Green Bay 35 when WR Odell Beckham Jr. dropped a third-down pass. The Giants decided to punt, and Packers DB Micah Hyde called for a fair catch at the 6.
The Packers went three-and-out, as a deep shot to TE Jared Cook on third-and-2 was slightly underthrown and broken up by S Landon Collins. P Jake Schum's punt rolled dead at the New York 38.
The Giants got on the board first with a field goal. Passes of 26 and 13 yards to WR Sterling Shepard moved New York into the red zone, but both Beckham and Shepard dropped potential touchdown passes, and the Giants had to settle for a 26-yard field goal by K Robbie Gould for a 3-0 lead with 5:44 left in the first.
The Packers got going on their second drive with a 13-yard pass to WR Jordy Nelson. Giants CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was announced to have a thigh injury, return questionable. Nelson then drew a pass interference penalty deep downfield on CB Janoris Jenkins on third-and-10, putting the ball on the New York 30.
QB Aaron Rodgers was sacked on second down by CB Cody Sensabaugh on a delayed blitz, though, and a long third-down pass to Nelson was underthrown. The Packers had to punt, and the Giants took over on their own 11.
The Packers responded with a three-and-out that began with a false start. RB Rashad Jennings tried to run up the middle on third-and-11 but came up 1 yard short of the first down, and Giants P Brad Wing's punt went out of bounds on the Green Bay 45.
Rodgers was sacked again on the final play of the quarter.