Packers kicker Mason Crosby reacts after making a 57-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter Sunday against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Jim Matthews/Press-Gazette Media
Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) runs back an interception for a touchdown during the fourth quarter. / Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports
The Packers lost their third straight game and fell to 5-5 but are just one game out of first place in the NFC North. They trail first-place Detroit and Chicago, both at 6-4. The Packers caught a break when the Lions blew a fourth-quarter lead and lost to Pittsburgh on Sunday. The Packers likely will play two more games without the services of starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers. They likely can afford to lose just one more game the rest of the season to finish 10-6 and qualify for the playoffs.
Mason Crosby boomed a 57-yard field goal to end the first half and pull the Packers within 10-6. It was the second-longest field goal in team history behind Crosby’s 58-yarder at Minnesota on Oct. 23, 2011. “I felt like I hit it as well as I could,” said Crosby of the long kick, which is the longest outdoor field goal in franchise history. “Snap, hold, protection was solid. Felt really good in warm-ups hitting the ball. Put a good smooth stroke on it. I hit it as well as I could have.” Crosby’s kick likely would have been good from 5 to 10 yards longer. He shattered the previous MetLife Stadium field goal record of 55 yards, and it was the longest field goal against the Giants in their history. Crosby also made a 24-yard field goal in the second quarter and his 2-for-2 performance boosted his season total to 23 of 27 (85.2 percent). Of the eight longest field goals in Packers history, Crosby has accounted for five of them, including boots of 56, 56 and 54 yards.
The Packers again came up on the short end of the stick in the turnover department, which is usually a surefire way to dial up a defeat. The Packers gave away the ball three times on Scott Tolzien interceptions, while the Giants had only one turnover on a Tramon Williams interception. Remarkably, the Packers have won the turnover battle in just one game, against Cleveland, and in four other games broke even. In those five games, the Packers have posted a 4-1 record. In the five games in which they have lost the turnover battle, they are 1-4. The Packers entered the game ranked tied for No. 23 in the NFL in turnover differential (minus-4) and will plunge deeper in the hole now that they stand at minus-6.
135 Passes without an interception against the Packers’ defense until Williams picked off Eli Manning in the second quarter. Before that, Davon House had the last Packers interception in the first quarter against Cleveland’s Brandon Weeden on Oct. 20.
1.9 Average rushing yards per carry for Eddie Lacy, who gained just 27 yards on 14 attempts. The Packers’ 55 rushing yards was their lowest output of the season.
5 Years since the Packers lost three straight games. It last happened in December 2008 when the Packers were in the midst of a 6-10 season.
26 Points by the Packers in their last two games, their lowest two-game output since Mike McCarthy’s first season as coach in 2006.
Jason Pierre-Paul put his meat hooks into the air and snagged a Tolzien pass and returned it 24 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to crush a potential Packers rally and all but lock up the victory. The Packers had pulled within 20-13, got the ball back and were looking for a potential tying touchdown. But on the first play of the drive from the Packers’ 30-yard line, Tolzien was looking for Andrew Quarless on the sideline when Pierre-Paul seemingly came out of nowhere. He raced untouched into the end zone to give the Giants a 27-13 lead.
Did you notice?
■ The Giants converted a pair of fourth-and-1 plays in the first half, both with Brandon Jacobs carrying the ball. On each play, the Packers’ defense didn’t come close to stopping Jacobs, who added insult to injury with an easy 1-yard touchdown plunge in the second half.
Chris Banjo continues to be a bright spot on special teams. He made two stellar tackles on Giants’ returns that kept New York buried deep in its territory.