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Instant reaction: Packers 31, Giants 13

The Green Bay Packers (9-3) defeated the New York Giants (2-10) by a score of 31-13 on Sunday at a snowy MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Here are some initial thoughts on the win:

  • It was very encouraging to see the Packers come out of the gate the way they did, albeit against a now 2-10 team. After the debacle on the west coast last week, this game was beginning to feel like the type of game — bad weather, bad opponent, long road trip, flat atmosphere — that can turn into a slog. Green Bay did not allow that to dampen their energy at the start of the game, scoring touchdowns on their first two drives. The middle portion of the game was a different story, but they’ll be happy to be headed back to Wisconsin with a win.
  • Allen Lazard has clearly established himself as the number two receiver behind Davante Adams at this point. His first two catches of the day went for 43 and 37 yards, respectively–the first coming on an outstanding diving effort, the second going for a touchdown. The undrafted, second-year man from Iowa State has made significant strides throughout the season and has quickly become a big, reliable target for Aaron Rodgers as the production from guys like Geronimo Allison and Marquez Valdes-Scantling has disappeared.
  • The case of Kevin King seemingly becomes more and more perplexing every week. On one hand, King leads the team in interceptions with four and has finally been able to stay healthy on a week-to-week basis. On the other, he’s steadily regressed in coverage since having a very good start to the season. It’s a classic case of “when he’s good, he’s good,” but he’s made a habit of being beaten badly at least once a game recently. Despite his interception against the Giants — the result of a horrific decision to thrown the ball by Daniel Jones — King was burned for a touchdown early in the game and then was bailed out by offsetting penalties when he just seemed to stop running on a play in the third quarter. If opponent’s truly are steering clear of Jaire Alexander, King needs to be much better prepared for the amount of targets coming his way.
  • While we’re on the defensive side of the ball, I thought they actually played pretty well considering how inconsistent they’ve been over the past two months. Again, it’s not like the Giants were a high-class opponent, but to hold any team to 325 yards — 77 of which came in garbage time — right now should give this unit some much needed confidence. In the process, Saquon Barkley was held to 83 yards on 19 carries, and New York rushed for just 95 yards as a team–just the fourth time Green Bay has held an opponent under 100 rushing yards this season. The secondary came up with three interceptions on the day, marking the sixth multi-turnover game for the defense in 2019.
  • The Packers ran for 80 yards on 23 attempts. Coming in, the only area the Giants’ defense really excelled in was yards per attempt in the running game, so maybe Green Bay gets a bit of pass here. But to have Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams at your disposal and get 56 yards on 20 attempts between the two of them, well…that’s not ideal.
  • Deafening “Go Pack Go” chants on the road never get old.
  • Green Bay is 9-3 and one game up on the Vikings in the win column going into Minnesota’s Monday night contest at Seattle, with the Packers of course still holding the head-to-head tiebreaker as of now. The next four weeks are going to be a lot of fun.

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