EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The Green Bay Packers had better hope they don't see the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants again anytime soon.
The Packers' five-game winning streak came to an embarrassing end as Eli Manning threw three touchdowns and Giants routed Green Bay 38-10 in a nationally televised game Sunday night.
Coming on the heels of last season's loss in the NFL semifinal, it was the Packers' second straight lopsided loss to New York (7-4) and this one seemed worse than the 37-20 setback. It also left them a game behind Chicago (8-3) in the NFC North.
The Giants dominated in all phases on a night that Manning set a franchise record with his 200th career touchdown pass.
"I think this is a game that makes everybody look inside and find out what you're about," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "I haven't felt like this since the first game I coached as a Green Bay Packers head coach. Beaten very thoroughly tonight. It doesn't taste good. It doesn't feel good."
The 38 points were the most given up by Green Bay this season and it came in a game in which Aaron Rodgers was sacked five times and hit at least as many times.
"You win five in a row and everyone is happy, but like I said last year during the run, there are things that go under the radar that need to be handled," said Rodgers, who finished 14 of 25 for 219 yards, a touchdown, an interception and a lost fumble. "Sometimes it takes a loss. ... We need to remember this feeling and not have this kind of embarrassment happen again.
"We have games and we have to make the most of them," Rodgers said. "We have three at home and four in the division. It all lays out right in front of us."
The only way they would face the Giants again this season would be in the playoffs.
The win allowed the Giants to snap a two-game losing streak, open a two-game lead in the NFC East and end all the negative talk that has surrounded the team in its bye week, starting with Manning's tired arm.
Manning's arm looked fine and the Packers certainly can attest to New York's turnaround following a week off. The showcase game was decided early as the Giants outscored the Packers 31-10 in the opening half. Manning reached 200 career TD passes by throwing for three scores.
"Play like world champions," coach Tom Coughlin said. "That was the theme of our meetings this week and Saturday."
The Packers were missing such key starters as linebacker Clay Matthews, defensive back Charles Woodson and receiver Greg Jennings, and it showed.
"I feel when your team performs that way, it starts with the head coach," McCarthy said. We had mental errors, penalties. It was out of character for our football team. It's a very disappointing loss on Sunday Night Football, a big NFC battle.
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