York Giants' Victor Cruz (80) is tackled by Green Bay
Packers' Micah Hyde (33) during the first half of an NFL
football game Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, in East Rutherford,
N.J. — The Packers don't experience slumps like this too often.
At least they know what's causing the losing.
In the midst of
their longest slide since 2008, the Packers pointed directly to
the errors they made in a 27-13 loss to the New York Giants on
Sunday. Green Bay's third straight loss was built on three
interceptions thrown by third-string quarterback Scott Tolzien,
filling in for injured star Aaron Rodgers, a close miss on a fake
punt, and inconsistency on both sides of the ball.
good. It's definitely new territory," linebacker Clay
Matthews said, noting he'd never been through a three-game losing
streak. "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."
They could easily
blame the loss of Rodgers and several other injuries. But as the
Packers (5-5) plummet, they're still only one game behind Detroit
and Chicago in the NFC North.
But until Rodgers
returns from a broken left collarbone, they need to get something
going with Tolzien. No one knows that better than the third-year
pro who made his first NFL start against the Giants (4-6).
He finished 24 of
34 for 339 yards and no touchdowns. The three interceptions made
York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) is tackled by
Micah Hyde (33), Davon House, and Jarrett Bush, left, during
the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 17,
2013, in East Rutherford, N.J.
Jason Pierre-Paul scored on a spectacular, leaping 24-yard
fourth-quarter interception return as the resurgent Giants won
their fourth game in a row. Green Bay trailed only 20-13 at that
"He made a
nice play, but that's on me giving their team a freebie,"
Tolzien said. "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."
McCarthy still believes these Packers can be a "special
team," but the roster he had on the field Sunday looked very
ordinary. Rodgers can lift a team to an elite level, of course,
and has done that for Green Bay. But his return date is uncertain.
So the Pack needs
to play error-free ball. While Tolzien played well at times, the
three picks set up 10 points.
are the most glaring stat," McCarthy said. "You have one
takeaway and three giveaways, do that and the ability to win on
the road, you're going uphill."
The Packers got a
1-yard TD run by Eddie Lacy and two field goals by Mason Crosby,
including a 57-yarder.
Eli Manning threw
a 26-yard touchdown pass to Rueben Randle, and Brandon Jacobs
added a 1-yard run for the Giants.
York Giants wide receiver Rueben Randle breaks away from
Green Bay Packers cornerback Micah Hyde (33) and Tramon
Williams (38) for a touchdown during the first half of an
NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, in East Rutherford,
winning streak following a 0-6 start improbably has moved the
Giants 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.
The Giants never
trailed, but they never put the Packers away until the
interception by Pierre-Paul, who was questionable all week after
injuring a shoulder against Oakland last week. He didn't practice
didn't do much until the fourth quarter with New York clinging to
a 20-13 lead.
from the Packers 30, Tolzien, a practice squad player until a
couple weeks ago, dropped back, turned to his left and tried to
throw a quick out. Pierre-Paul, who has struggled this season
after back surgery in June, jumped, snagged the pass and dashed
all alone to the end zone.
The Giants had
the better of the play in the first half, holding the ball for
almost 20 minutes. They jumped to a 10-0 lead on Manning's 26-yard
touchdown pass to Randle and Josh Brown's 40-yard field goal.
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
yard 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 fourth-and-1 at the Packers 36 set up the field goal.
passes of 25 yards to Jordy Nelson and 45 yards to James Jones on
consecutive plays to set up a 24-yard field goal by Crosby on the
mismanaged the clock at the end of the first half, with a
three-and-out series that started with an incomplete pass. Taking
over at the Packers 37 with no timeouts, Tolzien hit on passes of
9 yards to Jarrett Boykin and 15 yards to Nelson, setting up
Crosby for the 57-yard field goal on the final play.
It was a yard shy
of his Packers record and the longest against the Giants.