New York Giants win 27-22 stunner against Green Bay Packers in London
Saquon Barkley took a direct snap and ran for a 2-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to cap the New York Giants’ 27-22 comeback victory over the Packers on Sunday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, spoiling Green Bay’s international debut.
Aaron Rodgers drove the Packers to the 6-yard line, but his pass on fourth-and-goal was swatted down at the line of scrimmage by safety Xavier McKinney with just over a minute left.
After Giants punter Jamie Gillan ran out of the end zone for a safety, the Packers (3-2) got the ball back and set up a desperation pass, but Rodgers was sacked by Oshane Ximines at the Green Bay 29, fumbling as the clock ran out.
The Giants (4-1) scored 17 unanswered points in the second half as Daniel Jones, playing on a sprained ankle, led three scoring drives to erase a 20-10 deficit. It’s the Giants’ best start since 5-0 in 2009 and matches their win total from last season (4-13).
Gary Brightwell’s 2-yard touchdown tied the score at 20-20 to complete a 15-play, 91-yard drive with just over 10 minutes to play. On the drive, Jones scrambled for two first downs – after carrying just once in the first half for 3 yards.
Rodgers threw for 222 yards and two touchdowns, but couldn’t get any points on the board in the second half. Rodgers connected with Allen Lazard and Marcedes Lewis for first-half scoring strikes.
The Giants entered the game as the NFL’s top rushing offense, but struggled to run the ball early, falling behind 17-3 after Lazard’s 4-yard touchdown reception and Lewis’ 2-yard catch in the end zone when Rodgers found the veteran tight end wide open.
Early on, Jones seemed to be limited by his sprained ankle and wasn’t a threat to run in the first half. Barkley then took a direct snap for a 40-yard gain to the Giants 38, bringing the offense to life, and the Giants used some trickery to get the ball in the end zone.
From the shotgun, Jones ran right, pitched it to Barkley, who then pitched to Daniel Bellinger. The rookie tight end avoided a tackle and ran it in to close the gap to 17-10.
But 1:15 on the clock was enough for Rodgers to lead the Packers into field-goal range. Mason Crosby connected from 48 yards as time expired in the half to give the Packers a 20-10 lead.
Barkley, who briefly left the game with a shoulder issue, finished with 70 yards on 13 carries. Jones carried 10 times for 37 yards.
Jones completed 21 of 27 passes for 217 yards.
Randall Cobb led Green Bay with seven receptions for 99 yards.
Unlike most London games, the crowd Sunday was distinctively green or blue – mostly the former. Typically, fans come dressed in whatever team jersey they have, regardless of who is playing. Not this time. Midwest accents were apparent on public transportation to the stadium, though British fans still comprise the overwhelming majority of the crowd. The reliability of traveling Packers fans is the main reason why Green Bay was the last NFL team to play an international game – other teams never wanted to give up a home game against the Packers.
British and European fans are buzzing about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s comments Saturday. At a fan forum in London, Goodell mentioned the idea of a full European division of teams: “That’s part of what we’re doing. We’re trying to sort of see, could you have multiple locations in Europe where you could have an NFL franchise, because it would be easier as a division.”
He said London could “undoubtedly” support two franchises, not just one.
In 2007, the Giants beat the Miami Dolphins 13-10 in the first regular-season game played in London.
Giants: FB Chris Myarick walked off after Barkley’s 40-yard run in the second quarter with an ankle injury. DL Leonard Williams was inactive with a knee injury.
Packers: WR Christian Watson left with a hamstring injury in the third quarter.
Giants: Host Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday; bye in Week 9.
Packers: The New York Jets visit Lambeau Field on Sunday; bye in Week 14.