The last time the Giants manhandled the Packers, outside linebacker Clay Matthews made it worse by saying the Packers beat themselves in the playoff meeting.
After last night’s demolition, there was no doubt about who did what to whom.
But the Packers took their 38-10 beating and chose to file it away as one of 16, not attaching any global significance to it.
“It’s one game,” Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said, via Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com. “Had a good opportunity to put ourselves in a better position than we’re in right now and didn’t do that. We’re going to be disappointed watching this film. [But] we have to move on. We’ve got to get a couple things shored up. When you win five in a row, everybody’s happy but, like I said last year during the [undefeated] run, there’s things that kind of go under the radar that need to be handled. Sometimes it takes a loss to handle those things.
“Now, that being said, I’ve never been on the side of this kind of loss before. But I know if you play long enough that at a certain point you will. Hopefully, we’ll remember this feeling and not let this kind of embarrassment to happen again. We’re better than this. We’re going to regroup.”
The Packers have shown at different points that they can be better than this, but until they show it against the Giants, the questions with linger.
New York’s strength is its pass-rush, and as presently constructed, the Packers can’t slow that down. And if Rodgers is on his back, he can’t pass.
Rodgers threw for 219 yards, with 61 of them coming on a first-quarter touchdown to Jordy Nelson. After that, Rodgers absorbed five sacks, and was seemingly chased out of the pocket on half his snaps.
“We were thoroughly beaten this evening. Congratulations to the New York Giants,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “We were beaten in every facet, really starting with myself. I feel when your team performs that way, it starts with the head coach. . . .
“I think this is a game that really makes everybody look inside and find out what you’re about. I believe in what we’re about as a football team. I haven’t felt like this probably since the first game I coached as a Green Bay Packer head coach. We were beaten very thoroughly tonight. It doesn’t taste good. It doesn’t feel good.”
It was the biggest margin of defeat since a 35-7 loss to the Bears on Dec. 23, 2007, and the worst loss during the Rodgers era, surpassing a 51-29 loss to the Saints on Nov. 24, 2008.
So no amount of defecting was going to change that stark reality.