Packers vs. Giants analysis: Studs and Duds

The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE

Coming off the bye week having lost two straight, the last a lifeless effort in Cincinnati, the Giants were renewed, energized and inspired in defeating the Pack, 38-10, Sunday night at MetLife Stadium.

The New York Giants said good-bye to November, their least favorite month, but kicking it out the door by whipping the Green Bay Packers' behinds.

Coming off the bye week having lost two straight, the last a lifeless effort in Cincinnati, the Giants were renewed, energized and inspired in defeating the Pack, 38-10, Sunday night at MetLife Stadium. The performance ranked at the top of the list with the wins over the Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers as among the season's best -- and produced a Studs/Duds list filled with Big Blue excellence.

STUDS
Eli Manning: What tired arm? Manning proved -- again -- why he's Elite, throwing for three touchdowns and setting a new Giants franchise record with 200 career TD passes.

Ahmad Bradshaw: Gained a combined 119 yards with a score. His 59-yard catch-and-run on a screen pass set up the Giants' first touchdown.

Hakeem Nicks: Banged-up and unproductive for much of the season, Nicks led the Giants with 77 receiving yards on five catches and a score.

Rueben Randle: Earned his first career TD reception, a 16-yard strike from Manning, in addition to more trust as the Giants' third wide receiver.

Osi Umenyiora: His strip-sack of Aaron Rodgers was recovered by Jason Pierre-Paul at the Green Bay 23, setting up Bradshaw's run from the 13.

Mathias Kiwanuka: Playing most of the game at defensive tackle instead of linebacker, Kiwanuka totaled six tackles and two sacks.

Adam Merchant:
The 15-year-old Giants fan from Barre, Vt., is battling Burkitt's lymphoma in his stomach. Thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Merchant attended practice, where he ordered the Giants to "play like world champions." The best news? Merchant's cancer is in remission.

DUDS
Aaron Rodgers: Sacked five times and finished 14 of 25 for 219 yards, one TD, one interception and one lost fumble.

Jordy Nelson: Caught two passes for 71 yards -- 61 of them on his first-quarter touchdown reception.

Mike McCarthy: OK, the Packers were missing key starters in linebacker Clay Matthews, defensive back Charles Woodson and receiver Greg Jennings. While the Giants diced the ravaged defense, such injuries weren't to blame for Big Blue's dominant defense and the Packers' head coach took the blame.

"When your quarterback is under pressure like that, it affected me tonight," coach Mike McCarthy said of his play-calling. "I probably didn't call the best game I've called. You have to protect your quarterback. It's your No. 1 responsibility. That's not what we're looking for."

Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNYC

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