GREEN BAY – 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.