GREEN BAY, Wis. — At least Odell Beckham Jr. finally got to have some fun.
Good news to anyone who watched the second edition of Trump vs. Clinton instead of tuning in to Giants-Packers: All you missed was a second straight embarrassing showing by a team that now sits in the NFC East cellar.
When Sunday night’s miserable 23-16 loss at Lambeau Field was over, the Giants left with just one miserable positive: Their drama queen wide receiver hadn’t ruined head coach Ben McAdoo’s return to Lambeau with another Trumpian tandem, in part because he had been the focus of a the Giants’ entire offense.
This wasn’t a happy homecoming for McAdoo, because just about everything else went wrong for a Giants team that’s now dropped three straight and fallen behind in an NFC East that was supposed to be theirs for the taking. Big Blue (2-3) is the lone NFC East squad with a losing record, staring up at 4-1 Dallas and 3-1 Philly, two teams led by rookie QBs, as well as 3-2 Washington.
But hey, at least McAdoo finally prioritized Beckham’s happiness over all, making sure the petulant star got the football early and often. Unlike the Week 4 loss in Minnesota, when Beckham didn’t see a target through the game’s first 22 minutes, he was an offensive priority on Sunday, catching his first pass on the team’s second offensive play, drawing eight first-half targets and finishing with five catches for 56 yards.
And it was Beckham who nearly made this a game with 2:54 to play, when he caught an eight-yard TD pass from a scrambling Eli Manning in the back of the end zone and just managed to tiptoe inbounds, closing things to 23-16. After the play, Beckham skipped his trademark over-the-top celebration, simply running to the sideline and . . . hugging the kicking net.
Davante Adams connected with Aaron Rodgers for a 29-yard touchdown in the game.
Not that the Giants had much to celebrate about, even in this new Beckham-centric offense.
One week after sputtering to 10 points in Minny, Eli Manning guided a unit that managed just three Josh Brown field goals and 93 first-half total yards. Manning, who forced the ball to Beckham at least twice in the first half, was 6-for-16 for 87 yards in the half, and he completed just one pass to a wideout other than Beckham all night, finding Sterling Shepard for a third-quarter reception.
In the third quarter, McAdoo kept Beckham involved by lining him up in the backfield once, and, with five minutes left in the period, letting him take the ball on a first-down reverse near midfield, a play that ended with Beckham faking a pass to a double-covered Victor Cruz and running out of bounds for what would be ruled a six-yard sack.
Beckham took a hard shot from Micah Hyde as he ran out of bounds, and when Hyde celebrated, Beckham got up, animated. He threw his hands up as he walked back to the field, though, stressing that he wasn’t trying to make a scene, and referee Ed Hochuli stood in the way, seemingly trying to keep the receiver from another penalty. Three plays later, the Giants punted.
And all the offensive inefficiency wasted a gutsy performance by a banged-up defense. The Packers started the game in dominant fashion, using the game’s first 8:42 to mount a methodical 16-play, 75-yard drive that saw them converted four third downs and ended with Aaron Rodgers rolling out and hitting Jordy Nelson for a two-yard score and a 7-0 lead.
Beckham caught his first touchdown pass of the year in the loss to Green Bay.
And after the Giants punted away their own possession, it seemed as if the Packers were going to blow Big Blue out of Lambeau as Rodgers guided Green Bay from its own 8 all the way to the Giants 21.
But on third-and-6, corner Janoris Jenkins, the Giants’ big offseason signing at corner, picked off a pass that caromed off Nelson, ending the Packer possession. And despite so much offensive ineptitude, the defense, even with veteran corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie battling a groin injury, kept things close until 6:07 remained in the second quarter, when Rodgers hit Davante Adams for a 29-yard TD and a 14-3 edge.
That would be the Packers’ final TD, but it was more than enough to secure the victory, despite Jenkins’ best efforts. The Giants offense responded to that score with a three-and-out, but on Green Bay’s next possession, Jenkins tried to give his team perhaps its best shot at a touchdown all night, picking off another Rodgers pass, this one at the Packer 40, with 3:13 left in the period.
Four plays later, the Giants settled for a 41-yard Josh Brown field goal that closed the deficit to 14-6.
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News