It was the continuation of two different streaks at Metlife Stadium Sunday.
The Green Bay Packers are in the midst of a free-fall, losing three in a row for the first time since 2008, (five game losing streak) at the hands of the surprising New York Giants (4-6), winners of four in a row 27-13 late Sunday.
The New York football Giants now find themselves in the thick of the NFC East division race with a huge matchup in Week 12 against the rival Dallas Cowboys. While on the other hand, the Packers are now back at .500 (5-5) and with no imminent return of star QB Aaron Rodgers in sight.
Things could get ugly in the land of the frozen tundra...
Here are five things we learned on Sunday:
1. The Giants defense has been the catalyst for the four game winning streak.
Last season, the Giants defense was one of the worst in the league both defending the run and pass. They allowed opponents to run at will.
It has been an entirely different story in 2013. With the additions of defensive tackles Mike Patterson and Cullen Jenkins in the off-season the interior of the Giants line has vastly improved. They held rookie RB Eddie Lacy to 27 yards on 14 carries yesterday.
Several weeks ago they held Vikings' RB Adrian Peterson to similar numbers on a MNF game.
Granted, the level of competition the Giants have seen over the last four weeks hasn't been Super Bowl worthy but the defense has put them in every position to be successful. QB Eli Manning and Co. are to blame for the horrendous 0-6 start to the season, one in which the Giants are slowly climbing back from. (15 INT in first six games- 2 INT in last four)
2. Packers' QB Aaron Rodgers is perhaps the most valuable player to his team in the league.
Aside from say Peyton Manning, Rodgers is the most important player to his team in the NFL. Since his departure three weeks ago on Monday Night Football against the Chicago Bears with a collarbone injury, the Packers have looked nothing like the 5-2 team leading the NFC North.
QBs Seneca Wallace and Scott Tolzien both have filled in admirably at times but the offense seemed to be in slow motion, particularly Sunday at Metlife.
Tolzien has some nice tools and played well at times on Sunday. However, the rookie out of Wisconsin is clearly not ready for NFL action. The Packers have yet to crack the 20-point barrier since Rodgers' injury and that shouldn't be a surprise to anybody.
Until Rodgers does return (which is in doubt as to exactly when), the Packers will continue to struggle offensively and 2013 looks like it could be lost.
Matt Flynn anyone? Yikes.
3. Giants LB Jon Beason is proving to be a steal for GM Jerry Reese
In Jerry We Trust!! This has been a mantra in NY over several seasons stemming from the Super Bowl runs made by the Giants in both '07 and '11.
Reese has found gold in his mid-season under the radar trade with the Carolina Panthers acquiring Beason for a late round pick.
The move at the time seemed strange, a former all-pro who couldn't beat out Chase Blackburn (former NYG) for playing time as a stater in the beginning of the season.
Since Beason's arrival in NY, he has done nothing but make plays and provide a solid presence in what was known to be one of the worst linebacker cores in the entire NFL. With 35 tackles for Big Blue, Beason has regained some of the form that made him such a standout over his career.
The Miami University product is still young and could fill the void at Middle Linebacker, (once a huge concern for big blue fans) for the foreseeable future.
4. Giants' WR Hakeem Nicks days in Blue are numbered.
As painful as that might sound to Giants' fans out there, Nicks just hasn't produced at the level we have become accustomed to. After 17 touchdowns in his first two seasons in the NFL, Nicks has just three in the past two years, including zero this season.
Injuries have hampered Nicks who hasn't completed one fully healthy season in NY. With just 42 catches for 620 yards in 2013 and heading into free agency come next March, Nicks could and should be on his way out of New York.
The money given to fellow WR Victor Cruz this past off season was the first indicator, and while Nicks and Cruz both said the right things, I think it has had more of an impact than one might think.
The emergence of second-year WR Rueben Randle also has made Nicks semi-expendable for 2014.
If the Giants do plan on making a run at this thing there is no doubt in my mind Nicks will have to be on the field making plays for Manning. He is still just 25, and it would be a shame for the Nicks-Giants relationship to end on sour terms as it appears to be heading. (Nicks would look good in burgundy and gold) Just kidding!
5. Packers' WR Jordy Nelson is an absolute stud.
Now most true football fans would already agree with this statement. I just wanted to take to this platform to show my true appreciation for Mr. Nelson and what he can do on the gridiron every single Sunday.
Call me jealous, envious or whatever you want but I wish he were playing for my team...
Nelson simply makes every play a WR can make. He can run the deep route or go over the middle for the tough chain moving gains needed for every NFL offense. He did this again on Sunday, going for 8 catches for 117 yards with a limited quarterback and the defense eyeing him on nearly every play.
Yes, fellow WR Randall Cobb (injured reserve) is the more explosive weapon for the Packers, but Nelson just flat out plays ball no matter what the conditions or circumstances. I am a big fan of his game (if you couldn't tell).