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(Sunday, December 4th)
Final Score: Green Bay 38, NY Giants 35
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - The NFC North-champion Packers were pushed to the brink and answered emphatically, as Mason Crosby booted the game-winning 30-yard field goal at the buzzer to keep Green Bay's perfect season alive with a 38-35 victory over the New York Giants.
Hakeem Nicks' second touchdown grab brought the Giants within 35-33 with 58 seconds remaining in regulation, and D.J. Ware punched in the two-point conversion on a delayed draw to pull even.
But Aaron Rodgers completed four straight passes to cover 68 yards and get in field goal range, allowing Crosby to come in and split the uprights to seal Green Bay's (12-0) franchise-record 18th straight win.
The stretch started in Week 16 last season against the Giants, who were seeking to end another run at an undefeated season.
New York (6-6) famously ended the Patriots' run at perfection in Super Bowl XLII, but a repeat upset fell short despite a late rally, sending the club to a fourth straight loss.
The Packers, meanwhile, already clinched their division courtesy of Detroit's loss to the Saints on Sunday night.
Rodgers threw for 369 yards with four touchdowns and one interception while adding a team-high 32 yards on the ground.
"To get the ball on the 20 backed up under a minute and take it down there in to chip shot field goal range is pretty special," Rodgers admitted.
Greg Jennings caught seven passes for 94 yards and a touchdown, while Jermichael Finley added six grabs for 87 yards and a score, including a 24- yard gain to start the game's final drive.
"I think the first play was the most important play. That kind of determines the drive," Rodgers said.
Jordy Nelson made an acrobatic 27-yard catch along the left sideline to gain Giants territory, and two plays later, Jennings caught an 18-yarder over the middle to set up the winning kick.
The last drive spoiled a nine-play, 69-yard drive orchestrated by Eli Manning, whose two-yard toss to Nicks in the final minute was his third touchdown pass. Manning wound up with 347 yards and an interception.
Both Nicks and Victor Cruz caught seven passes for 88 and 119 yards, respectively.
"There's no hanging your head," Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said. "We battled back and forth, I thought it would be a very close game."
On the third play from scrimmage, Travis Beckum found a seam up the right side, caught Manning's pass near midfield and zigzagged his way between Charlie Peprah and Morgan Burnett en route to a 67-yard touchdown.
Finley reached over the goal line for a 12-yard touchdown grab later in the opening quarter to tie things, and Cruz's 42-yard grab set up Lawrence Tynes' 38-yard kick for a 10-7 Giants lead.
The first play of the second quarter saw the game's first lead change, as Clay Matthews stepped in front of Manning's outlet pass intended for Ahmad Bradshaw and returned the interception 38 yards the other way.
Midway through the second, Rodgers threw just his fifth interception of the season when Chase Blackburn leaked back into coverage and easily took it nine yards the other way to the Green Bay 12-yard line.
Brandon Jacobs went in from a yard out to give the Giants the lead back, but Donald Driver caught the first of his two touchdowns -- a 13-yarder -- just before the break for a 21-17 advantage.
On the first possession of the second half Jennings beat rookie cornerback Prince Amukamara with a jab step to the outside before cutting upfield. Amukamara nearly knocked the ball loose in the end zone, but replay confirmed Jennings had possession before losing control, resulting in a 20-yard TD.
Nicks answered immediately with a 51-yard pickup on the next play from scrimmage, then caught a four-yard fade in the right corner of the end zone with one hand.
New York pulled within one, 28-27, when Tynes booted a 50-yard field goal with 10:53 remaining in the fourth.
The Giants forced a punt in their own territory on the ensuing possession, but went three-and-out to give the Packers the ball back with seven minutes left.
Driver dragged his toes behind the front right pylon for a seven-yard score with 3:34 on the clock.
Rodgers, who finished with a 106.2 rating, is the first quarterback in NFL history to post a 100-plus rating in 12 straight games...Matthews also caused a Manning fumble just before the half, but Crosby missed a 43-yard field goal at the buzzer...The Packers were 7-of-12 on third down conversions, compared to New York's 5-of-11 success rate...Packers cornerback Charles Woodson suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter.
12/04 23:48:51 ET