If Aaron Rodgers doesn’t win the MVP award this season, we’re pretty excited to see what some other player is going to do over the final four weeks.
Rodgers added another flourish to his already iron-clad case for the award at the Meadowlands on Sunday when he took the Packers 68 yards in 58 seconds to set up Mason Crosby’s game-winning field goal. The kick gave the Packers a 38-35 win, moving them to 12-0 on the season and giving them 18 straight wins overall.
It certainly didn’t come easy. Six days after being embarrassed by the Saints, the Giants pushed the Packers further than any team has pushed them this season before finally succumbing. Eli Manning added to his fourth quarter highlight reel after the Packers took a 35-27 lead on Donald Driver’s second score of the game. Manning took the Giants on a 69-yard drive that ended with a perfect pass to Hakeem Nicks for a touchdown. D.J. Ware ran a well-executed draw for two more points, tying the game and setting the stage for Rodgers’ heroics.
Manning, who finished 23-of-40 for 347 yards and three touchdowns, did make two crucial errors in the first half, but he was at his best in the second half and almost did enough to get his team a win. Moral victories don’t count, though, so the Giants have now lost four in a row after a 6-2 start. This game probably has them feeling pretty good about their chances of turning things around down the stretch, with the Cowboys’ self-inflicted wounds in Arizona helping to foster that feeling.
It can’t hurt that the 38-35 final was the same as their Week 17 loss to the Patriots in 2007. They got another shot at that undefeated opponent and the result was different.
As good as the Giants might feel, they aren’t feeling any better than Rodgers. Every superlative has been spent trying to describe his play this season, so we’ll simply give you the numbers he compiled in this week’s thriller. Rodgers was 28-of-46 (with several drops in that mix) for 369 yards and four touchdowns. If that wasn’t enough also led the team in rushing with 32 yards on scrambles that kept the chains moving when things got hot in the pocket.
The Packers have work to do on defense, especially if Charles Woodson leaving early with a head injury develops into anything, but as long as Rodgers is in the lineup they’re going to be incredibly hard to beat.