Giants 37

(9-7, 5-3 away)

Packers 20

(15-1, 8-0 home)

Coverage: FOX

4:30 PM ET, January 15, 2012

Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI 

1 2 3 4 T
NYG 10 10 0 1737
GB 3 7 3 720

Top Performers

Passing: E. Manning (NYG) - 330 YDS, 3 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: A. Rodgers (GB) - 7 CAR, 66 YDS

Receiving: H. Nicks (NYG) - 7 REC, 165 YDS, 2 TD

Eli Manning brilliant as Giants oust top-seeded Packers to book spot in title game

Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- With their own star quarterback and a dominating defense, the New York Giants exposed the Green Bay Packers for what they now are -- former Super Bowl champions.

The Packers dropped passes, fumbled the ball and simply couldn't stop Eli Manning and his receivers in the Giants' shocking 37-20 divisional playoff victory Sunday. To the Giants' delight, a Green Bay team that had a real shot at an undefeated season less than a month ago is heading home.

And that the win came at Lambeau Field, well, that was just as sweet. The site has become a familiar launching pad for the New Yorkers. After beating the Packers (15-2) at home for the second time in four years, they only hope this trip ends the same way -- in the NFL title game.

The Giants will play the 49ers in San Francisco for the NFC Championship next Sunday.

"I think we're a dangerous team," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "I like where we are and how we're playing."

The Giants (11-7) have been on a roll ever since beating the rival Jets on Dec. 24, beating the Dallas Cowboys to get in the playoffs and then blowing out Atlanta in the wild card round last week.

They took down the Packers on Sunday, as Manning threw for 330 yards and three touchdowns.

The Giants are 3-4 against the 49ers in the playoffs, including their memorable collapse in a wild card game at San Francisco on Jan. 5, 2003. New York led 38-14 in the third quarter but fell apart and lost 39-38.

That probably won't be much of a worry for this year's Giants, who were oozing confidence even before they beat the Packers.

"This team knows how to win on the road," defensive end Justin Tuck said. "It seems like right now it's our time."

The Giants stunned the Packers with a touchdown off a long heave from Manning to Hakeem Nicks just before halftime, then knocked them out with a late touchdown off a turnover.

Lambeau Field fell silent as the Giants swarmed the field in celebration, with a handful of New York fans chanting, "Let's go, Giants!"

"I knew we were going to beat them on Wednesday, to be honest with you," running back Brandon Jacobs said.

The win came four years after the Giants beat a Brett Favre-led Packers team in the NFC title game. It wasn't nearly as frigid this time around, and the Packers' vulnerable defense seemed to be waiting to get sliced up.

Manning found six different receivers against a porous Packers defense. But Manning did the most damage with his throws to Nicks, who caught seven passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns.

Nicks' biggest play was a 66-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter. His score at the end of the half came on a 37-yard pass into the end zone with defenders all around.

"It was a big momentum play for them, but we were not deflated as a football team," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said.

The Giants' defense also was able to defuse the big-play abilities of Aaron Rodgers and the Packers' offense.

Rodgers was 26 of 46 for 264 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception. He also was the Packers' leading rusher with 66 yards on seven carries.

The Packers fully expected to go back to the Super Bowl, but the reality hit Rodgers quickly.

"Oh, it's real," Rodgers said. "We got beat by a team that played better tonight.

"We play to win championships. You win a championship and you're kind of at the top of the mountain, and you forget kind of how bad this feeling is. We had a championship-caliber regular season and didn't play well today."

The Packers' past problems with dropped balls by their talented group of wide receivers returned at the worst time imaginable.

And while the Packers' defense has been vulnerable all season, giving up far too many yards and big plays, they've typically made up for it by forcing turnovers.

This time, the Packers were the ones giving the ball away.

Green Bay lost three fumbles, including one on a rare giveaway by Rodgers. The Giants also sacked Rodgers four times.

With the Packers trailing 20-10 at halftime but finally beginning to look like themselves on offense to start the second half, Osi Umenyiora swatted the ball away from Rodgers, and Deon Grant recovered the fumble.

"With a 10-point lead, we're going to get after you," Umenyiora said. "And that's what we did."

But the mistake didn't cost the Packers points, and Green Bay cut the lead to seven points on a 35-yard field goal by Mason Crosby late in the third quarter.

The Packers put together another drive early in the fourth quarter, but Michael Boley and Umenyiora combined to sack Rodgers on a fourth-down play in Giants territory.

After carving up the Packers in the first half, the Giants' offense hit a lull in the second half. But they broke out of it to drive for a 35-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes to take a 23-13 lead with 7:48 left to play.

Packers running back Ryan Grant then fumbled after catching a pass and the Giants recovered, taking the ball back deep into Green Bay territory.

Manning then threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Mario Manningham and the Giants took a 30-13 lead. Rodgers rallied the Packers for a 16-yard touchdown pass to Donald Driver, cutting the lead to 30-20 with 4:46 left.

The Packers then tried an onside kick, but the Giants' Victor Cruz recovered.

Jacobs scored on a 14-yard run with 2:36 left to put the game away.

It was an emotional day for the Packers, who welcomed back offensive coordinator Joe Philbin two days after the funeral service for his 21-year-old son, Michael.

Philbin had been away from the team all week after Michael Philbin's body was recovered from an icy river in Oshkosh, Wis., on Monday. A preliminary autopsy showed that he drowned.

"I think deep down, a lot of us wanted to kind of get this one for him," Rodgers said.

Game notes

Grant left the game with a head injury in the second half, but returned and intercepted Rodgers late in the fourth quarter. ... Packers running back John Kuhn left the game with a knee injury, and wide receiver Greg Jennings sustained a rib injury. ... Driver caught three passes, giving him a franchise-record 49 postseason receptions in his career. ... Packers LB Brad Jones blocked a 40-yard field goal attempt by Tynes in the second quarter.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs1925
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays6173
Total Yards420388
Yards per play6.95.3
Total Drives1311
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-52-3
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

nygFG8:37Lawrence Tynes 31 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 13 plays, 67 yds, 6:27
gbFG5:38Mason Crosby 47 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 8 plays, 50 yds, 3:00
nygTD4:00Hakeem Nicks 66 Yard Pass From Eli Manning (Lawrence Tynes Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 80 yds, 1:46
gbTD15:00John Kuhn 8 Yard Pass From Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 60 yds, 3:53
nygFG1:56Lawrence Tynes 23 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 5 plays, 29 yds, 1:46
nygTD0:06Hakeem Nicks 37 Yard Pass From Eli Manning (Lawrence Tynes Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 69 yds, 0:41
gbFG3:55Mason Crosby 35 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 10 plays, 58 yds, 4:58
nygFG7:53Lawrence Tynes 35 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 10 plays, 38 yds, 5:06
nygTD6:53Mario Manningham 4 Yard Pass From Eli Manning (Lawrence Tynes Kick is Good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 4 yds, 0:00
gbTD4:52Donald Driver 16 Yard Pass From Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby Kick is Good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 76 yds, 2:02
nygTD2:44Brandon Jacobs 14 Yard Run (Lawrence Tynes Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 50 yds, 2:10

Research Notes

From Elias: The Giants are Giant killers in the postseason. In terms of difference of wins during the regular season, the Giants have authored the 3 biggest wins in NFL postseason history. The Giants have defeated three teams that had won at least 5 more games than they did during the regular season. In fact, they own the two 6-win differential games with Sunday and back in Super Bowl XLII when they knocked off the unbeaten Patriots.

RodgersAaron Rodgers completed under half of his attempts outside the numbers Saturday after going 21 of 25 in Week 13 against the Giants. Rodgers completed 67.8 percent of such throws in the regular season, second-best in the NFL.

NEXT LEVEL: Aaron Rodgers was just 2 of 8 (25.0 percent) when throwing 15 air yards or more downfield Sunday with his late touchdown to Donald Driver and an interception. This was Rodgers' second-worst completion percentage on such throws this season, trailing only his Week 15 performance (2-12, 16.7 percent) against the Chiefs.
NEXT LEVEL: Hakeem Nicks caught 3 of his 4 targets on throws 15 yards or more downfield Sunday, including two touchdowns. Entering the game, Nicks had just three touchdowns on such throws with the last coming in Week 10.
NEXT LEVEL: Eli Manning's ability to stretch the field in the postseason has spurred the Giants' offense, especially Sunday against the Packers. Manning completed 8-of-10 passes that traveled 15 or more yards downfield for 206 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a 66-yard strike to Hakeem Nicks.
NEXT LEVEL: When Eli Manning was under duress or hit while throwing Sunday, he completed only 3 of 10 passes for 45 yards and an interception. When given time to throw, Manning was 18 of 23 for 285 yards and three touchdowns. Duress is defined as any play where the quarterback has to move or alter his throw due to pressure.
NEXT LEVEL: Eli Manning had most of his success Sunday when the Packers sent four or fewer pass rushers, throwing for 216 of his 330 yards. All three of Manning's touchdowns came against standard pressure, the most he has thrown for against such pressure in any game this season.
NEXT LEVEL: Aaron Rodgers faced four or fewer rushers on 45 of his 56 dropbacks Sunday (80.4 percent). It was the most dropbacks against such pressure for Rodgers this season and the third straight game, starting with the loss to the Chiefs, Rodgers has faced a standard rush on at least 80 percent of his dropbacks.
NEXT LEVEL: Packers receivers finished the game with six dropped passes, tied for the most by any team in a game this season, with six different receivers dropping a pass. The Packers' previous high was four drops, done twice, including Week 13 against the Giants.
NEXT LEVEL: Eli Manning was 7 of 9 for 155 yards and two touchdowns when using a play-action fake Sunday. Manning has completed 81.8 percent of his play-action throws this postseason averaging 15.6 yards per attempt after completing 52.5 percent of such throws in the regular season with an average of 8.1 yards.
Donald Driver had 3 catches giving him 49 in his postseason career. That's the most of any Packers player and 2 more than Antonio Freeman.

NicksHakeem Nicks had 165 yards receiving in Saturday night's upset victory. That total is the second-most in a playoff game in Giants history.

Eli Manning threw for 330 yards, the 3rd-most in a single postseason game in Giants history.

ManningEli Manning had 330 passing yards against the Packers on Sunday and now has 1,904 in his postseason career, the most in Giants history.

Hakeem Nicks: 66-yard TD reception. That's the 3rd longest TD catch in Giants postseason history, trailing the 72-yarder he had last week and a 72-yard TD catch by Earnest Gray of the 1981 Giants (at 49ers).
From Elias: Hakeem Nicks: 66-yard TD reception. He has two TD receptions of 66 or more yards this postseason. He's the 2nd player in NFL history with 2 TD receptions that long in a single postseason, joining Isaac Bruce of the 1999 Rams.

ESPN Stats & Information