4:25 PM ET, November 17, 2013
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Jason Pierre-Paul's pick helps lead Giants to 4th straight victory
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants are not only back in the playoff hunt with a four-game winning streak, they're calling the plays that get them those wins.
With the Giants clinging to a 20-13 lead early in the fourth quarter and the Packers about to start a series at their 30, Pierre-Paul said in the huddle he was going to pick a pass and score. Pierre-Paul hadn't seen the Packers' formation and he hadn't been listening to coach Mike McCarthy talk to Scott Tolzien on the sideline. He just knew, and he was right.
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Pierre-Paul scored on a spectacular, leaping 24-yard fourth-quarter interception return and the resurgent Giants won 27-13 over the slumping and injured-riddled Packers (5-5).
"I have never seen anything like it before in my life," fellow defensive end Justin Tuck said. "We were literally in a TV timeout and he said, 'I'm going to pick this.' "
Tuck said Pierre-Paul made the call before the Giants had even called a defense.
"If you look at my reaction to him picking it, I was in awe because he had just called it before it happened," Tuck said. "He called it before seeing the formation, so I don't know if it was Voodoo. I don't know."
Pierre-Paul, questionable because of a shoulder injury against Oakland that limited him to one day of practice, said he had a feeling.
"I knew I could deliver that play, that significant play, and I did," Pierre-Paul said. "It changed the game."
Tolzien, starting his first NFL game, took the blame.
"That's on me giving their team a freebie," said Tolzien, who finished 24 of 34 for 339 yards and three interceptions. "We had a chance at that point. That kills ya. It was a game-changer. You see the arms up in the air and you can't throw it."
Eli Manning threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Rueben Randle, and Brandon Jacobs added a 1-yard run as the Giants handed the Packers their third straight loss, their longest skid since a five-game losing streak near the end of 2008.
"It's not good," Packers linebacker Clay Matthews said. "It's definitely new territory. It's tough, because you go 10-5, 10-6, 15-1. You lose three, it doesn't feel good. But right now we're just not playing very good ball. We're 5-5 right now, so we've just got to move forward with the guys we have and play better."
Two of the three losses have come with 2011 NFL MVP Rodgers sidelined with a broken left collarbone.
The Giants are heading the other way. Their winning streak follows a 0-6 start and it improbably has moved them within 1½ games of first-place Philadelphia (6-5) in the weak NFC East. They are a game behind second-place and idle Dallas (5-5), which will play here next Sunday.
"We've kept the dream alive and got to the game next week," center Jim Cordle said. "But there is still a long way to go."
The Giants never trailed, but they never put the Packers away until the interception by Pierre-Paul.
New York had the better of the play in the first half, holding the ball for almost 20 minutes. The Giants jumped to a 10-0 lead on Manning's 26-yard touchdown pass to Randle and Josh Brown's 40-yard field goal.
The touchdown reception was Randle's sixth in the last six games, and he set it up with a 32-yard punt return. Manning finished 25 of 35 for 279 yards and an interception.
A 30-yard pass to Victor Cruz, who had eight catches for 110 yards, and a 5-yard run by Jacobs on a fourth-and-1 at the Packers 36 set up the field goal.
Taking over at the Green Bay 37 with no timeouts, Tolzien hit on two passes, setting up Crosby for a 57-yard field goal on the final play. It was a yard shy of his Packers record and it was the longest against the Giants.
Brett Conway of Washington kicked a 55-yard against New York in 2001. ... Nelson finished with eight catches for 117 yards. ... Packers DT Johnny Jolly (groin) and CB James Nixon (knee) left the game with injuries. ... LB Jon Beason and S Antrel Rolle had the Giants' other interceptions. ... Linebacker Brad Jones led the Packers with 13 tackles and a sack. ... CB Terrell Thomas, Beason and LB Jacquian Williams all had eight tackles for the Giants. ... Green Bay outgained New York 394-334, but the Giants had the ball 35:14.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 17: Scott Tolzien #16 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass in the first...(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||7.3||5.3|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||1-2||1-3|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||1|
|TD||5:43||Rueben Randle 26 Yard Pass From Eli Manning (Josh Brown Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 42 yds, 2:57
|FG||14:12||Josh Brown 40 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 11 plays, 56 yds, 4:56
|FG||10:28||Mason Crosby 24 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 7 plays, 76 yds, 3:42
|FG||0:05||Mason Crosby 57 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 4 plays, 24 yds, 0:43
|FG||10:09||Josh Brown 28 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 5 plays, 40 yds, 2:10
|TD||0:30||Brandon Jacobs 1 Yard Run (Josh Brown Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 63 yds, 6:07
|TD||12:52||Eddie Lacy 4 Yard Run (Mason Crosby Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 83 yds, 2:42
|TD||10:55||Jason Pierre-Paul 24 Yard Interception Return (Josh Brown Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 0 yds, 0:06
Scott Tolzien went 6-for-6 on passes thrown at least 15 years downfield. It's just the fourth time since the start of 2006 that a quarterback went 6-of-6 or better on such throws in a game. On passes thrown shorter than 15 yards downfield, Tolzien threw three interceptions. The Packers had gone 65 straight games without throwing three interceptions entering the day, which was the longest active streak in the NFL.
Eddie Lacy was hit at or behind the line of scrimmage on 10 of his 14 rushes Sunday. Lacy had -1 yards before initial contact on the game, just the fourth time this season a player with 10 rushes finished with negative yardage before contact.
-The Giants defense has added 14.3 expected points per game during their 4-game win streak, the most in the NFL since Week 7. They are allowing the lowest opponent Total QBR during that span, and the second-fewest yards per play. Their offensive EPA during the win streak is -23.1 (-5.8 per game).[+]
Giants Defense Since Week 7
With corners Sam Shields and Casey Hayward out Sunday, Eli Manning went 17-of-21 for 218 yards and a touchdown targeting wide receivers. Manning hadn't completed more than 65.4% of attempts to wide receivers in a game this season prior to Sunday.[+]
Eli Manning Targeting Wide Receivers, 2013
ESPN Stats & Information