The Giants have been to London three times and all three times, they've come away with a victory and it's probably safe to say their most recent win was also their most improbable one.
On paper, it didn't seem like the Giants were going to have much of a chance to beat the Packers on Sunday, but the Giants clearly don't read the paper. In front of a raucous crowd at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the Giants were able to steal a 27-22 win in a game that no one thought they could win. Not only did they go into Week 5 with a banged-up starting quarterback (Daniel Jones), but they were also missing several key receivers.
And to be honest, it was actually worse than that. Here's what the Giants were dealing with this week:
Daniel Jones nursed an ankle injury this week.— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) October 9, 2022
The Giants were without WRs Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shephard, Kadarius Toney, & Wan’Dale Robinson.
Leonard Williams and Azeez Ojulari were inactive.
Adoree Jackson left the game.
The Giants beat the Packers to move to 4-1. pic.twitter.com/qUx0wrmWZT
With his options limited on offense, Giants coach Brian Daboll decided to throw the kitchen sink at the Packers: He devised a game plan with offensive coordinator Mike Kafka that kept the Giants offense one step ahead of the Packers defense for nearly the entire game.
The Giants saved their most unique plays for the red zone. Their first touchdown of the game for New York came on a 2-yard run from Daniel Bellinger that was way more exciting than your standard 2-yard run.
That score came in the second quarter and cut the Packers' lead to 17-10.
In the second half, the Giants were even better on offense, scoring on each of their first three possessions. A big reason they were able to do that was because of the play of Saquon Barkley. After briefly leaving the game in the third quarter due to a shoulder injury, Barkley stormed back on the field to come up with two of the biggest plays of the game for New York.
The first one came on a short crosser from Jones that Barkley was able to turn into a 41-yard gain.
Four plays after that, Barkley lined up in Wildcat formation on a play where he ended up getting in the end zone for what ended up being the game-winning touchdown.
Barkley carried the ball 13 times for 70 yards on a day where he gashed the Packers defense with 5.38 yards per rush.
Although Barkley was great, you could argue that the Giants offensive MVP was Jones, who came up clutch for his team despite playing on a gimpy ankle. Jones was nearly perfect, going 21 of 27 for 217 yards. He also rushed for 37 yards, which probably surprised the Packers, who didn't look like they were really expecting him to be able to run due to his injured ankle. One big play from Jones came in the third quarter on a third-and-3 when he kept a drive alive by running 4 yards on a QB draw.
The Giants are now 4-1 on the season for the first time since 2009 and there's no reason to think they can't keep winning. They didn't just prove they can play with the big boys on Sunday, they proved they are one of big boys by knocking off the Packers.
The Giants might also want to start volunteering to play in London more often. They're now perfect in England and they've made the playoffs in every year where they've played overseas.
Kansas City 30-29 over Las Vegas
|It's been a season of heartbreaking losses for the Raiders, and the trend continued Monday with a one-point loss to the Chiefs. This game turned into a shootout, and the Raiders were able to stay in it thanks to Josh Jacobs (154 rushing yards) and Davante Adams (124 receiving yards), the latter of whom caught two touchdowns, including a 48-yarder with 4:27 left to play that cut the lead to one. The Raiders defense played well in the first half, but it had no answers for Patrick Mahomes in the second half. The Raiders made some costly mental mistakes, with the biggest one coming on a defensive holding penalty that gave the Chiefs a free first down on fourth-and-14. You can argue that this team is better than it's record, but as Bill Parcells used to say, you are what your record says you are, and the Raiders' record says they're the last-place team in the AFC West.|
|The Chiefs got off to an ugly start -- trailing 17-0 at one point -- but a controversial roughing-the-passer call against Chris Jones late in the second quarter seemed to spark them to a win. After the call, the offense caught fire by scoring on four straight possessions. The combination of Patrick Mahomes to Travis Kelce was pretty much unstoppable as the duo combined for FOUR touchdowns. The total by Kelce was the second-most by a tight end in a single-game in NFL history. The Chiefs weren't perfect and gave up plenty of big plays, but they held off a desperate Raiders team to join the Bills as the only other 4-1 team in the AFC.|
Raiders-Chiefs grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
N.Y. Giants 27-22 over Green Bay (In London)
|We've already covered how good the Giants offense was, and the surprising thing is that the defense might have been even better, especially in he second half. The Giants defense held the Packers scoreless over the game's final two quarters and continually frustrated Aaron Rodgers, who threw for only 76 yards in the second half. The defense only sacked Rodgers twice, but both sacks were big. The first one came from Dexter Lawrence on third down and ended a Packers drive in the third quarter. The second one, which came from Oshane Ximines, prevented Rodgers from throwing a Hail Mary on the final play of the game. The defense's ability to make big play after big play was a big reason why New York was able to stun the Packers.|
|Apparently, the Packers forgot to pack their second-half game plan for their trip to London. After playing a nearly flawless first half, the Packers absolutely fell apart in the second half. The most shocking part was how easy the Giants were able to move the ball on what's supposed to very good Packers defense. The other surprise is that it seemed like the Packers gave up on the run. Even though A.J. Dillon and Aaron Jones combined to average 5.1 yards per carry and even though the passing game was struggling at times, the Packers called more than twice as many passes (39) as runs (19) for their two running backs. They also didn't give their stud running backs a chance to get a first down near the goal line late in the game.|
Giants-Packers grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
L.A. Chargers 30-28 over Cleveland
|Brandon Staley made some baffling decisions in his game -- most notably when he decided to go for it on fourth-and-1 from his own 46 with 73 seconds left to play in a two-point game -- but the Chargers were still able to escape Cleveland with a win. Staley got bailed out by Austin Ekeler (173 yards and 1 TD on the ground) and Mike Williams (10 catches for 134 yards), who both had HUGE games. Although the Chargers defense got steamrolled by Nick Chubb, the unit did come up with several big plays including a fourth-down stop in the third quarter and an interception by Alohi Gilman that came at the goal line late in the game. The Chargers weren't perfect, but they're going home with a win and that's all that matters.|
|The Browns could have won this game, but they let it slip out of their hands with way too many ugly mistakes down the stretch. The most notable one came from Jacoby Brissett, who threw a third-down interception with under three minutes left to play. If Brissett had simply thrown the ball away, the Browns would have had a shot at a 27-yard field goal for the lead. Of course, there's no guarantee that kick would have gone through the uprights because Cade York struggled on the day. The rookie kicker missed two field goals, including a 54-yarder with 16 seconds left. The backbreaking mistakes overshadowed a huge day by Chubb, who rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns on just 17 carries.|
Chargers-Browns grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Minnesota 29-22 over Chicago
|In years past, the Bears might have packed it up and mailed it in after falling behind 21-3 in a game, but not this team. With Justin Fields making big play after big play in the second half, the Bears fought back to take a 22-21 lead. This was easily the most competent the Bears offense has looked all season and the unit got a small spark from David Montgomery, who returned to the lineup with 82 yards and a TD on 16 touches. Defensively, the Bears had no answers for what Minnesota was doing in a game where the Vikings only punted once.|
|When your QB is completing every pass he throws, it makes it much easier to win in the NFL and that's exactly what Kirk Cousins was doing on Sunday. The Vikings QB started the game by completing his first 17 passes, which set a franchise record. Although Cousins cooled down after that, he did heat up again during a fourth quarter where he led a game-winning TD drive that ended with him scoring on a QB sneak. Justin Jefferson continued to be an unstoppable force as he had another huge game with 154 yards on 12 catches. Although the defense struggled at times, Cameron Dantzler more than made up for those struggles by stripping the ball from former Vikings receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette with under one minute left to play. The Vikings are a force in the NFC North and they're now all alone in first place.|
Bears-Vikings grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
New Orleans 39-32 over Seattle
|The Seahawks offense lit up the scoreboard on Sunday, but Seattle didn't win because its defense simply couldn't stop the Saints. Apparently, the Seahawks didn't do their homework on Taysom Hill, who totaled four touchdowns for New Orleans. Offensively, although the Seahawks were good, they weren't perfect. Most notably, they couldn't convert on third down, going just 1 of 9. The Seahawks also had nearly every controversial call go against them with a DK Metcalf fumble being upheld on review and a Chris Olave incomplete pass being ruled a TD after review.|
|With the Saints offense in need of a spark, they turned to their secret weapon: Taysom Hill. The tight end- turned-quarterback-turned running back did a little bit of everything against the Seahawks. Not only did he throw a 22-yard TD pass, but he also rushed for three other touchdowns, including a 60-yarder with 5:22 left in the fourth quarter that ended up being the game winner. The Saints offense also got a huge boost from Alvin Kamara's return to the lineup. The running back totaled 194 yards on 29 touches. If the Saints offense ever reaches full strength, it's going to be tough to stop, but it hasn't quite reached full strength yet due to various injuries, including a concussion to Olave in this game.|
Seahawks-Saints grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Tampa Bay 21-15 over Atlanta
|The only grade Falcons fans care about is the one for the officials and we're giving them an "F" for their horrible roughing-the-passer call that came after a hit on Tom Brady on a third-down play late in the fourth quarter. The call essentially ended any chance the Falcons had at making a comeback. If the Falcons had shown up for any part of the first three quarters, they might have been able to win this game, but they didn't get things going on offense or defense until they were already down 21-0.|
|To break their two-game losing streak, the Buccaneers turned to two guys: Brady and Leonard Fournette. Brady threw the ball early and often in a game where he attempted 52 passes for 351 yards and a TD. Brady was especially good throwing to Fournette, who caught 10 of his 11 targets for 83 yards and a TD (Fournette also added 56 yards and another TD on the ground). The one problem for the Buccaneers is that they just couldn't score touchdowns once getting into the red zone (they were just 2 of 5 in the game). The Buccaneers offense also disappeared for a good chunk of the second half, which allowed the Falcons to creep back into the game.|
Falcons-Buccaneers grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Tennessee 21-17 over Washington
|The Titans defense gave up two long touchdowns in this game (75, 30), but other than that, mostly shut down Carson Wentz and the Commanders. The defense also came up with a goal-line stand in the final seconds to clinch the win. Offensively, the Titans are starting to look like the Titans we all remember so fondly. Not only did Derrick Henry have a big game (102 yards two touchdowns), but Ryan Tannehill did just enough despite facing immense pressure from a Commanders defense that sacked him five times. The AFC South team that everyone somehow forgot about is now back atop the division.|
|When the Commanders watch film of this game, they're going to want to turn their head every time a third-down play comes up. Washington was absolutely atrocious on third down (1-for-11) and its inability to keep drives alive was a big reason why it lost. Although the Commanders did get two big scoring plays from Dyami Brown, who had a 75-yard TD and a 30-yard TD), they had trouble sustaining any other drive. With five sacks of Ryan Tannehill, the defense played well enough to win, but that win didn't come because the Commanders couldn't score from the 2-yard line despite getting three chances to do so in the final 20 seconds. With the Giants winning, the Commanders now look like the worst team in the NFC East.|
Titans-Commanders grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Houston 13-6 over Jacksonville
|It took five weeks, but the Texans might have finally found their recipe for success: Give Dameon Pierce the ball and then let the defense do the rest. The rookie running back came up huge for the Texans, carrying the ball 26 times for 99 yards and a TD. Of that total, 27 of those yards came on Houston's game-winning TD drive in the fourth quarter. Defensively, the Texans did a lot of bending, but they didn't break. The unit came up with three big fourth-down stops and two interceptions, including a pick in the third quarter from Derek Stingley that saved the game. It seems crazy to say, but this 1-3-1 team could easily be 3-2 if a few plays this season had gone the other way.|
|If there's one team the Jaguars just can't figure out, it's the Houston Texans. The loss on Sunday was Jacksonville's NINTH straight to the Texans and this one might have been the most baffling one of all. The Jaguars simply couldn't get out of their own way. At three different points in the game, they went for it on fourth down and on all three times they failed. Also, Trevor Lawrence threw an ugly interception in the end zone midway through the third quarter. The Jags piled up offensive yardage in this game, but they just couldn't finish off their drives.|
Texans-Jaguars grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Buffalo 38-3 over Pittsburgh
|Pittsburgh struggled in all three phases. The defense struggled to get off the field, failed to put pressure on Josh Allen (who was pressured just one time), lost one-on-one matchups and did a subpar job in open field tackling. The offense mostly came up short on possession downs, did not make enough clutch plays and failed to make enough of the simple plays. The Steelers special teams followed suit with a muffed kickoff in the first quarter and a missed field goal in the second and third quarters. He missed some reads, but Kenny Pickett had a solid starting debut, given the challenge of facing the NFL's second-ranked scoring defense. Pickett had success getting the ball to rookie wideout George Pickens, who had 83 yards on six catches.|
|Josh Allen had a career game despite the absence of injured wideout Isaiah McKenzie. Allen threw for a career-high 424 yards before leaving the game after rookie James Cook's 24-yard touchdown run one minute into the fourth quarter. Gabe Davis caught three passes for 171 yards and two scores (including his 98-yard touchdown in the first quarter), while Stefon Diggs contributed with 102 yards. Khalil Shakir caught three passes for 75 yards after catching just two passes during the season's first four games. Defensively, the Bills were able to successfully disguise their coverages against Pickett. They made Najee Harris and the Steelers running game a nonfactor, as Pittsburgh rushed for just 54 yards on 17 carries. And Kaiir Elam, adding to the success of the Bills rookies on Sunday, recorded his first career interception near the end of the first half.|
Steelers-Bills grades by Bryan DeArdo (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
N.Y. Jets 40-17 over Miami
|Teddy Bridgewater got knocked out of the game after his first snap with head and elbow injures, so it's not fair to jump on Miami's offense for not racking up yards. Skylar Thompson came in and completed 19 of 33 passes for 166 yards and one interception, while Raheem Mostert rushed for 113 yards and one touchdown. What is fair, however, is to criticize Miami's defense. The Dolphins came into this weekend with the fifth-worst defense in the league, and they didn't make any progress in that category on Sunday. All five Jets touchdowns came on the ground, and Miami allowed a 21-point fourth quarter. The Dolphins are an intriguing team when healthy, but this defense has some major issues.|
|How about the Jets?! Zach Wilson pops in the starting lineup and is now 2-0 on the year. It's true he didn't throw a touchdown in the blowout victory, but he didn't need to with rookie running back Breece Hall. The Iowa State kid rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown, and also caught two passes for 100 yards. The Jets were juiced to play football on Sunday, and they defeated a team they should have.|
Dolphins-Jets grades by Jordan Dajani (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
New England 29-0 over Detroit
|After lighting up the scoreboard for the first four weeks of the season, the Lions got a reality check in Foxborough. The Lions first four possessions ended with a failed fourth down, a punt, an interception and a fumble that got returned for a TD, and then things only got worse after that. Jared Goff looked like he was having flashbacks to Super Bowl LIII when he also got shut down by a Bill Belichick defense. The Lions defense has been bad all season and the offense was just as bad on Sunday.|
|Going into Sunday, the Lions had the highest-scoring offense in the NFL, but then they ran into a brick wall. Belichick was ready for the Lions and he had no problems designing a defense that would shut them down. The Patriots defense forced two turnovers and outscored the Lions on their own with a fumble return TD by Kyle Dugger in the first half. With the win, the Patriots became just the second team this season to pitch a shutout. The offense also pitched in on the victory with a career day from Rhamondre Stevenson, who rushed for 161 yards. Bailey Zappe was more than serviceable in his first career start (17 of 21 for 188, 1 TD, 1 INT) and the Patriots will likely feel comfortable with him going forward as long as Mac Jones remains injured. |
Lions-Patriots grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
San Francisco 37-15 over Carolina
|If this were a boxing match, the 49ers would have won by first-round knockout. The 49ers dominated this game from start to finish while getting an especially impressive performance from a defense that recorded six sacks and a pick six. Offensively, the 49ers controlled the line of scrimmage, which allowed Jeff Wilson to rack up 120 rushing yards. The only downside to this win is that it did come at a cost with Nick Bosa, Robbie Gould, Emmanuel Moseley and Jimmie Ward all suffering injuries. Despite those losses, the 49ers still look like the team to beat in the NFC West.|
|If Matt Rhule's seat was hot heading into Week 5, it's safe to say that his seat is probably now the same temperature as the surface of the sun after watching his team get destroyed by the 49ers. The Panthers were overmatched, overwhelmed and outclassed by a 49ers team that dominated them in every phase of the game.|
49ers-Panthers grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Dallas 22-10 over L.A. Rams
|The Cowboys would have received an "A+" but Cooper Rush didn't exactly ball out this week. He completed 10 of 16 passes for 102 yards, and the offense scored just one touchdown. This Dallas win was made possible thanks to its fantastic defense, as Dorance Armstrong strip-sacked Matthew Stafford and blocked a Rams punt on the first two drives of the game. No matter who is under center, the Cowboys are always going to have a chance because of Dan Quinn's creation.|
|It's about time we have a serious conversation about the Rams. They achieved what they wanted to last year -- which is great -- but this season has been gross thus far. On Sunday, Stafford was inaccurate, the run game was once again nonexistent and the defense allowed a couple big plays on the ground. Take a second to really let it sink in ... the reigning Super Bowl champions lost to the Cowboys with a backup quarterback. Cooper Kupp is a stud, as he caught seven passes for 125 yards and a touchdown, but he can't single-handedly will this team to victory every week. Something has to change.|
Cowboys-Rams grades by Jordan Dajani (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Philadelphia 20-17 over Arizona
|This was a victory for Philadelphia, but the Eagles were very fortunate Kyler Murray had some late-game blunders that shouldn't have happened. Murray and the Arizona offense had Philadelphia on the ropes, facing a second-and-10 on the Eagles' 34-yard line with 36 seconds left. Murray had a 9-yard run and slid too early, which left Arizona 1 yard shy of a first down. Instead of running on third-and-1, Murray spiked the ball in a 20-17 game -- forcing the Cardinals to attempt a field goal for the tie. Matt Ammendola missed the 43-yarder with 22 seconds left as the Eagles survived. The Eagles defense allowed 313 yards on Arizona's final five possessions after taking a 14-0 lead. The play-calling in the first half was subpar, yet Philadelphia did enough to hold on to the win. The victory was a weird one -- and probably one the Eagles didn't deserve -- but Philadelphia is 5-0. |
|The Cardinals deserve a lot of credit for battling back in this one. Down 14-0 with the Eagles moving the ball on them early, Murray and the Arizona offense went into hurry-up mode and gained 313 yards and averaged 5.9 yards per play on their final five possessions to get back in the game. The defense couldn't get off the field, but they held the Eagles to just 20 points and 357 yards -- their lowest total output in both categories this year. Murray's late blunders cost them a chance to win the game to stay in a tie for first in the NFC West, a spot currently held by the 49ers. The season isn't over by a long shot, but the miscues by the franchise quarterback must stop if Arizona wants to make the playoffs.|
Eagles-Cardinals grades by Jeff Kerr (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)
Baltimore 19-17 over Cincinnati
|The Bengals had this game in their grasp, but their defense couldn't come up with a stop on a Baltimore game-winning drive that covered 50 yards in the final two minutes. The Bengals defense actually played well with a big fourth-down stop and an interception of Lamar Jackson, but also allowed Jackson to lead two big scoring drives in the fourth quarter. Offensively, the Bengals shot themselves in the foot in the third quarter on a drive where they came away with zero points after driving down to Baltimore's 2-yard line. Coach Zac Taylor made several baffling play-calls at the goal line -- including a Philly Special that lost 12 yards -- and he never gave Joe Mixon a chance to score even though the running back averaged 5.7 yards per carry on the night.|
|All hail Justin Tucker. The Ravens weren't perfect, but when you have Tucker on your team, you don't have to be. The All-Pro kicker drilled three field goals on the night, including the game-winner from 43 yards out. He also hit from 58. Tucker was the one constant for a Ravens team that had an up-and-down night. Jackson played well at times, but he was also slightly erratic with overthrows on two different plays that could have been touchdowns. However, Jackson more than made up for that by leading two key scoring drives in the fourth quarter. Defensively, the Ravens did a good job of bottling up the Bengals passing attack, limiting Joe Burrow to just 217 yards and Ja'Marr Chase to just 50.|
Bengals-Ravens grades by John Breech (Love the grades? Hate the grades? Let him know on Twitter.)