Article written by Pat Leonard, NY Daily News, Picture Courtesy MATT LUDTKE/AP
Janoris Jenkins records first two interceptions of Giants season off Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
GREEN BAY – Janoris Jenkins intercepted Aaron Rodgers twice in the first half, the Giants defense held the Green Bay Packers to six points in the second half, and yet Big Blue still lost Sunday night’s game.
Jenkins’ pair of Week 5 interceptions marked the Giant defense’s first takeaways of the season. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo made key second-half adjustments to take away Rodgers’ deep ball after Green Bay marched a couple times for touchdowns in the first half.
But the signs of victory on the defensive side of the ball didn’t translate into a ‘W,’ and the effort still was far from perfect.
“You get that feeling (that you’re building toward a win with takeaways), but you’ve got to continue to play,” Jenkins said. “Two turnovers don’t determine a game.”
Linebacker Keenan Robinson was also a playmaker, knocking down a first-half touchdown intended for tight end Richard Rodgers, denying another third down pass, and knocking dominant Packers running back Eddie Lacy out for a large portion of the second half with a tackle that injured Lacy’s ankle. But captain Jonathan Casillas was blunt about whether he was pleased with the effort.
“No,” Casillas said. The pass rush, in particular, continues to be a huge concern. Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon have just one sack apiece through five games. They got to Rodgers more later in the game, but the Packers QB often had all day to survey the field.
“Aaron Rodgers is a good QB,” Pierre-Paul said. “He got out a couple of times on us. He extended some plays with his feet. We’ve got to do a better job containing him as ends, myself, too. We’ve got to work on those things … We’re getting there (with the pass rush). This probably was the longest a quarterback ever held the ball on us, but practice makes perfect … I think we’re OK. I think we can be better as a unit.”
The defense then broke at the end, with several missed tackles on a Randall Cobb completion and a run by fullback Aaron Ripkowski when the Packers offensive line pushed the Giants defense several yards.
Jenkins, Big Blue’s shutdown corner signed away from the Rams in free agency this past summer, left Sunday’s game briefly with 2:25 remaining in the first half after the tight end Rodgers “knocked the air out of me” with a blindside hit. Jenkins returned that same drive and picked off Rodgers off a Jordy Nelson drop, then later jumped in front of a Rodgers pass intended for Davonte Adams for his second interception as a Giant.
BACK AT D-BACK
Corners Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Eli Apple were both active Sunday night after sitting out Week 4 in Minnesota and being listed as questionable to play in Green Bay. Rodgers-Cromartie had dressedagainst the Vikings but did not play due to a groin injury. Apple had been nursing a hamstring. Eli Apple was beaten for a touchdown by Jordy Nelson.
Apple was ruled out of the game with a groin injury with 9:45 remaining in the second quarter after playing a limited amount of snaps. He was beaten for a touchdown by Jordy Nelson and knocked a pass out of Nelson’s hands before departing.
Rodgers-Cromartie was initially ruled out along with Apple by the Giants on Twitter during the second quarter, but he returned and played the duration of the game, despite showing a limp.
OVER AND OUT
Running back Rashad Jennings (thumb) missed a third straight game. Also inactive were free safeties Nat Berhe (concussion) and Darian Thompson (foot), tight end Larry Donnell (concussion), right tackle Marshall Newhouse (calf), defensive tackle Robert Thomas and third-string quarterback Josh Johnson. Berhe and Donnell did not travel.
Return man Dwayne Harris went to the locker room to receive X-rays on his jaw in the third quarter, returned to the game,then went back in for X-rays on a toe in the fourth and remained out for the night.
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