Packers second half failures doom them in London debut

Aaron Rodgers waited his entire career to finally play a game in London. By halftime, everything that possibly could have gone right, did for the future Hall of Famer.

And then the second half began. And that’s where it all went downhill. Or so it seemed.

Looking back on it in retrospect, perhaps the Giants final drive of the first half should have been more of a harbinger of things to come.

Trailing 17-3, New York marched down the field on an 11-play, 86-yard drive that took 6:10 off the clock. When Daniel Jones connected with tight end Daniel Bellinger from two yards out, Green Bay’s lead was sliced to 17-10.

The Packers were able to get three back on a last-second Mason Crosby 48-yard field goal, but the Giants clearly had momentum on their side going into halftime.

Getting the ball back to begin the second half, New York picked up right from where they left off, sustaining an 11-play drive that resulted in a Graham Gano 37-yard field goal.

Green Bay’s lone third quarter drive stalled at the New York 42, and a Pat O’Donnell wedge-shot punt was downed at their own 9-yard line.

What happened next was what arguably decided the game.

The Giants drove the ball on a 15-play 91-yard drive that drained more than half of a quarter off the clock, tying the game at 20 on a short Gary Brightwell 2-yard touchdown run.

After three-incomplete passes-and-out, the Giants jumped right back down the exhausted Packers defense’s throats; Saquon Barkley’s two-yard touchdown run out of the wildcat formation capping an efficient 6-play, 60-yard drive, giving New York a 27-20 lead with 6:08 left.

Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers marched his team to the doorstep, but consecutive passes on third-and-two and fourth-and-two on the New York 6-yard line were batted down, all but preserving the win for New York.

The Packers had one last-gasp play to try to win the game, but Rodgers was swarmed under by New York’s defensive line, and the game ended in a 27-22 Giants win.

As a team, Green Bay was penalized seven times for 37 yards, but three penalties were called on cornerback Rasul Douglas, one in each of New York’s touchdown drives.

"I just told everybody, 'My fault,'” Douglas told reporters in the locker room after the game. “I had three uncharacteristic f------ penalties that I don't usually get, but I had 'em and I think that f----- the whole defense up."

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, meanwhile, put the onus on the offense.

“We had chances,” Rodgers said after the game. “A lot of chances. So definitely the offense, this one will weigh heavy on us on the flight back.”

The Packers were offered the chance to take their bye week after their London trip but declined. Instead, they’ll play the New York Jets at Lambeau Field this coming Sunday at noon.

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