Breaking down Packers’ 24-22 loss to Giants in Week 14

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Breaking down Packers’ 24-22 loss to Giants in Week 14

The Green Bay Packers had their three-game winning streak snapped at the hands of Tommy DeVito, Saquon Barkley and the New York Giants on Monday night at MetLife Stadium. Despite leading 7-0 in the first quarter, 10-7 at halftime and 22-21 with 1:33 left, the Packers were unable to seal the deal, giving up a game-winning field goal drive to cap off a disappointing performance overall.

The Packers are now 6-7 — including 0-2 on “Monday Night Football” — through 14 weeks.

Here’s what went right, what went wrong, what it means and what’s next for the Packers after Monday night’s 24-22 loss:

What went right

— Jayden Reed gave the Packers a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a well-designed and perfectly executed end around. The touchdown came two plays after a 35-yard catch-and-run by A.J. Dillon and three plays after Dontayvion Wicks’ sprawling fourth-down conversion.

— Jordan Love and Malik Heath teamed up to give the Packers a late lead with an incredible throw and catch on 3rd-and-goal with 1:33 left. The touchdown was the first of Heath’s NFL career.

— Rookie tight end Tucker Kraft caught four passes for 64 yards, all career-highs. His final three catches, including the 43-yarder to kickstart a scoring drive in the fourth quarter, gained first downs.

— Carrington Valentine produced an impressive 50-yard fumble return after Saquon Barkley’s nightmare moment in the fourth quarter. The return set up the go-ahead touchdown.

— The Packers stuffed a fourth-down attempt from the Giants in the first half.

What went wrong

— The Packers turned the ball over three times. Jordan Love lost a fumble (his first of the season) and threw an interception in Giants territory, negating points, and Keisean Nixon muffed a punt, leading to a Giants touchdown to open the second half. New York scored only seven points off three turnovers but the giveaways were probably the difference in the game.

— Nixon gave up a 32-yard catch after losing leverage on the final drive. The explosive play moved the Giants to the 22-yard line and set up the game-winning field goal. It was the only completion over 15 yards allowed by the Packers defense.

— The Packers had zero sacks, two quarterback hits and zero pass breakups on Tommy DeVito, a rookie quarterback starting his fourth career game. The pass-rush consistently flew past DeVito, who scrambled for positive plays.

— The Giants rushed for over 200 yards. The Packers are now 0-4 when giving up 200 or more this season. Saquon Barkley scored two rushing touchdowns, DeVito rushed for 71 yards, and Wan’Dale Robinson had a 32-yard run setting up a touchdown.

— Jayden Reed’s 10 targets and 14 total touches created only 65 total yards, including just 27 receiving yards. The Packers desperately tried to get him going on misdirection plays but the Giants — after getting tricked early — stuffed the majority of them, including the pivotal two-point conversion late.

— The Packers were out-gained by 1.8 yards per play against a team that came into the game averaging only 4.1 yards per play.

— Anders Carlson made three field goals but also missed one from 45. The Packers lost by two points.

— The Packers finished 5-for-14 on third down and 2-for-5 scoring touchdowns in the red zone.

— Both Dontayvion Wicks (ankle) and Jayden Reed (elevated for concussion) suffered injuries.

What it means

For a team in the thick of the postseason push, this was a terrible, terrible loss. The Packers played extremely poorly and threw away an incredible opportunity to get to 7-6 and solidify themselves as the team to beat in the NFC wild card race. There are still four winnable games down the stretch, but Monday night was a great reminder that this is a young, volatile Packers team who can beat anyone but also get beat by anyone. While the Packers remain the No. 7 seed in the postseason standings entering Week 15, it might be difficult for Matt LaFleur’s team to regain the momentum it carried through the previous five games. And now the Packers are one of six teams with a 6-7 record competing for a wildcard spot. A big rebound is required next week against a division-leading team currently in the NFC playoffs.

What’s next

The Packers will welcome the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Lambeau Field next Sunday. The showdown marks the first time the two teams will play in Green Bay since the 2020 NFC title game. Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady are long gone, but this is still a big one for two teams transitioning away from Hall of Fame quarterbacks. The Bucs started 3-1 and then lost six of seven games, but Todd Bowles’ team has won back-to-back games — including a thrilling win over the Falcons last week to take control in the NFC South. The Packers — who are losing a day due to playing on the road on Monday night — will have to find a way to recover and bounce back quickly against a team starting to heat up.

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