With this win, the Giants kept their playoff hopes alive as they remain within a game and a half of first place in the NFC East. The Eagles beat the Redskins to take sole possession of first place in the NFC East and keep the Giants 1.5 games back.
The Giants have plenty to be happy about after the win against the Green Bay Packers. A lot of the things that were going wrong for the Giants went right in this game: the defense played well, Eli Manning went 25 for 35 with one touchdown and only one interception, and Jason Pierre-Paul showed some signs of life.
The Giants’ defense has had trouble winning the turnover battle this season, and they picked off Scott Tolzien for three interceptions. The three picks were caught by Jon Beason, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Antrel Rolle, and the Pierre-Paul interception was returned for a touchdown.
They also held running back Eddie Lacy to 27 yards on 14 carries for the game, and Lacy is one of the top ten rushers in the league. The defense is still struggling to get sacks on the quarterback, and they did not have any sacks on Tolzien in this game. What helped the Giants defense was that the offense did not give up too many turnovers.
Eli Manning leads the league in interceptions, and he threw one in the game against the Packers. Luckily, that was the only turnover for the Giants in the game. Eli also went 25 of 35 for 279 yards and one touchdown. He was very accurate in this game, despite the interception, and that allowed the Giants’ offense to move up the field effectively, and gave Victor Cruz eight receptions for 110 yards. Eli did not have to carry the offensive load in this game with Andre Brown rushing for 66 yards on 18 carries. This was a good game offensively as well, but one game changing play did help secure this win.
The biggest game changing play that put the nail in the coffin for Green Bay was the interception return for a touchdown by Jason Pierre-Paul. That play is what the Pierre-Paul of old was capable of doing on any snap of the ball. JPP has not had a good season so far, and has been struggling with his surgically repaired back, but his interception was a big play that locked up the win for the Giants. Green Bay had cut the lead to seven and got the ball back in the fourth quarter, and before they could drive to tie the game JPP jumped high in the air, picked off the pass and returned it for a touchdown. This should build confidence for JPP going forward.
Looking ahead at the Giants schedule, the Giants will have a tough time maintaining this winning streak when they go up against teams like Dallas, and Seattle, and Detroit. Next week against Dallas, the Giants have a chance to move to one game out of first behind the Eagles, if they can win the game. The Giants made this game against Dallas a very important one, when it was looking like this game would be totally irrelevant earlier in the season.