Instant Reaction: Packers 38, Giants 13

The Green Bay Packers defeated the New York Giants, 38-13, in the NFC Wild Card playoffs Sunday at Lambeau Field. Here are my initial postgame thoughts:

  • Randall Cobb, et al. Yeah, safe to say Cobb’s ankle is feeling better. After hauling in a Hail Mary for a touchdown to end the first half, Cobb iced the cake with two more scoring receptions in the second half. He finished with five catches for 116 yards while proving that he’s every bit the scoring threat he’s always been. Davante Adams led the Packers in receiving on Sunday, raking in eight catches for 125 yards and a touchdown. Jared Cook had five catches himself, as quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed passes to seven different receivers in total.

  • Speaking of Rodgers… After a very slow start in which the Giants secondary completely covered the field and forced Rodgers to take a few sacks, the two-time MVP rallied. Rodgers got the Packers scoring started in a familiar manner, evading the Giants pass rush and extending the play before finding Adams in the left side of the end zone. His next touchdown may have looked familiar, too. With six seconds left in the first half, Rodgers rolled right and heaved a high-arching pass that fell into the waiting arms of Randall Cobb, cementing Rodgers’s legacy as the greatest Hail Mary quarterback of all time. With the two second half touchdown strikes to Cobb in the second half, Rodgers finished 25 of 40 for 362 yards and four scores. He just continues to roll.

  • Defense. So, who predicted Tavares King would be New York’s leading receiver in this game? The biggest talking point all week was about how the Packers could possibly limit the Giants passing game, facing the likes of Odell Beckham, Jr., Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard. In the end, Green Bay held New York quarterback Eli Manning to 299 yards passing, with one touchdown and one interception. Though Manning completed passes to eight different players, no Giant receiver had more than four receptions. Beckham, the big play threat, finished with 28 yards on four catches. Could the Packer defense be peaking at the right time?

  • No fear. It was obvious to anyone who watched the game on Sunday that the 2016 Green Bay Packers fear no one. Down 6-0 in the second quarter and looking completely devoid of energy, Green Bay proceeded to impose their will and outscore the Giants 38-7 throughout the rest of the ballgame. Though the team said throughout the week that past playoff matchups had no bearing on this one, you couldn’t help but feel a sense that some Giants-related demons had been exorcised with a resounding playoff win over the team that had ended two of the best Packers seasons in recent memory. Does the task get tougher next week in Dallas? Perhaps, but the Packers will be ready .