Giants-Packers: Efficient Eli Manning Leads Big Blue Offense, Sets Giants Touchdown Record

Jim Mancari , Contributor

Besides the three passing touchdowns, Eli Manning had a rather average game. He threw for 249 yards on 16-of-30 passing.

But his efficiency in the Giants’ 38-10 blowout win over the Packers was what led the Giants to victory.

On third and fourth down plays, Manning was 7-of-9, and all three of his touchdown passes came on third downs. Manning had been 0-3 against the Packers in the regular season before this win.

With these three touchdowns, Manning recorded his 200th career touchdown pass, moving ahead of Phil Simms (199) on the Giants all-time list.

This was a much-needed effort from Manning after not throwing a touchdown pass in three consecutive games. Had he not found the end zone against the Packers, it would have marked the longest stretch of his career without throwing a touchdown, but luckily that drought ended early.

The Giants’ offense certainly played well collectively, including the offensive line, but it’s important to note that the Packers’ defense played shorthanded. Without Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson and Sam Shields, Green Bay’s defense looked lost trying to stop the Giants.

The Giants meanwhile had all their offensive weapons healthy simultaneously for the first time in a while. Hakeem Nicks looked great coming off the bye week, finishing with five catches for 77 yards and a touchdown.

It was also great to see Rueben Randle make a few big plays, including a 16-yard touchdown catch for his first career score. Victor Cruz found the end zone for the seventh time this season as well.

In addition to Manning’s passing attack, Big Blue established the run early, with both Ahmad Bradshaw and Andre Brown getting in on the action. They combined to rush for 122 yards, and each found the end zone. In total, Giants runner averaged 4.9 yards per carry.

Bradshaw also set the tone with his 59-yard catch on a screen on the Giants’ first possession, which set up a touchdown. He finished the game with 119 total yards on 12 touches.

Coming into the game, the Giants had the seventh lowest percentage of scoring touchdowns in the red zone at 43.9 percent. Tom Coughlin didn’t have to worry about the “green zone” though in this one, as the Giants were 5-for-6 when inside the 20-yard line.

If the Giants scored on their final possession, they would have been the only team this season to finish 6-for-6 in the red zone. Ironically, the Jets are the only team to finish 5-for-5 in the red zone this season in their win over the Colts.

With a huge Monday night divisional game against the Redskins looming, the Giants must now build off a strong offensive performance. Robert Griffin III will surely put up points, so Manning and company will have to match him score-for-score.

Follow Jim Mancari on Twitter @JMMancari.