Aaron Rodgers' 4 TD passes help Packers rout Giants 31-13, improve to 9-3

Ryan Wood
Packers News
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - All the Green Bay Packers needed was a trip to the East Coast.

After a pair of West Coast letdowns in the past month, the Packers got an easy win Sunday at the woeful New York Giants. They led throughout, pulling away in the second half for a 31-13 victory.

The test waiting in the New York area was nowhere near as significant as the Bay Area last week or even Los Angeles in early November. The Giants (2-10) are heading nowhere. The Packers (9-3) retain Super Bowl aspirations. Regardless, a good team is supposed to wallop a bad team, and that’s what the Packers did, especially in the second half.

"Our defense did a great job getting the ball out," coach Matt LaFleur said, referring to the three interceptions by defensive coordinator Mike Pettine's unit."Anytime you win the turnover battle 3-0 you've got a great chance of winning the game. Special teams, it might have been our best performance of the season. JK (Scott) punted well. ... Offensively, we did what we needed to do. We were much better on third down." 

Here are five observations on a Packers win in the snow:

Danny throws dimes to Packers

Rookie quarterbacks. They’ll make a head coach age really quick. Giants rookie Daniel Jones has shown some positives this season, but has made some maddening mistakes, too. So it was Sunday. Jones threw two passes directly at Packers defenders. The first was intercepted by cornerback Kevin King, who had given up a touchdown reception against Giants receiver Sterling Shepard earlier in the half. The second came with the Packers leading by 11 in the fourth quarter, when rookie safety Darnell Savage effectively sealed the game by not dropping the football. Tramon Williams also had an interception. Those are the type of opportunities a rookie quarterback can provide. Give the Packers credit for making the most of them.

Running game struggles

Aaron Rodgers had a pristine stat line. He completed 21 of 33 passes for 243 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions (125.4 rating). That was good enough to score 31 points on a terrible team. But after 13 games, it seems safe to assume the Packers' offense will only travel as far as its run game will take it, at least when it goes against the league’s better defenses. That the Packers could only gain 59 yards on 21 carries (2.81 average) between Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams against the NFL’s 22nd-ranked run defense has to be troubling. Late in the fourth quarter, Rodgers remained the Packers’ leading rusher on just three carries for 24 yards. The Packers need to find more in their run game.

Davante Adams delivers

Davante Adams was held scoreless through the season’s first 11 weeks, which was quite unlike him. The Packers' top receiver had double-digit touchdowns three straight seasons entering this year. He is a touchdown machine. In the past two weeks, he has looked like it. Adams followed his first score of the season last week at San Francisco with two touchdown catches Sunday. For an offense that entered Sunday ranked only 12th in the NFL in scoring, nothing is more promising than Adams finding the end zone again.

Big dog, new tricks

Speaking of touchdown connections, Rodgers might have thrown his favorite touchdown pass of the season Sunday. Rodgers avoided the rush long enough to dump a 1-yard pass to tight end Marcedes Lewis, who caught it in the left corner of the end zone. It was the first time Rodgers has thrown a touchdown to Lewis, who has become a trusted veteran inside the Packers’ locker room if not a prolific receiver in the offense. Rodgers leaped in the air after Lewis came down with the score, on his way to celebrate with Lewis.

"I'm always happy throwing a touchdown pass but it's a little something special with Marcedes just because of the kind of guy he is, the kind of player he is and what he's meant to our team this year from a leadership standpoint," Rodgers said. "He's a pro's pro."

JK Scott rebounds

JK Scott wasn’t needed much Sunday, but he showed signs of a punter breaking out of a slump. Scott averaged 46.7 yards on three punt, impressive consistency. He killed his last punt at the Giants’ 6-yard line, showing nice touch. Entering Sunday, Scott had averaged fewer than 40 yards per punt in four straight games. If he rebounds enough to become a weapon again, it would significantly help the Packers' defense.

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