Just a surprising defensive effort from the Green Bay Packers.
With starting cornerbacks Sam Shields and Damarious Randall inactive, the Packers and their 29th-ranked pass defense held the New York Giants' offense in check most of the way en route to a 23-16 victory Sunday.
The short-handed Green Bay defense had the daunting challenge of slowing the veteran Manning, the explosive Beckham and a powerful New York offense. However, the Packers' stout defensive play made up for Green Bay's inconsistent offense and stumbling special teams.
The Giants (2-3) had possessions starting at their 45-yard line, their 41, the Packers 40, their 39, their 47 and their 49 in the first three quarters. New York managed three field goals, including a 30-yarder by Josh Brown on the sixth of those possessions that cut Green Bay's lead to 17-9 with 5:26 left in the third quarter.
The Packers (3-1) went four consecutive possessions without getting a first down before extending their lead to 20-9 on Mason Crosby's 33-yard field goal with 13:46 remaining in the game. Completions of 20 yards to Davante Adams and 21 yards to Randall Cobb fueled that scoring drive.
Green Bay mounted a key drive to build its lead to 23-9. Thanks to an early third-and-9 conversion by Cobb in which he broke four tackles to get the first down, Green Bay burned 6:22 and got a 25-yard Crosby field goal. That left Manning just 6:39 to overcome a two-touchdown deficit.
Manning finally led the Giants into the end zone with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Beckham with 2:54 remaining. Manning got hit by outside linebacker Nick Perry just as he threw the ball, and Beckham managed to keep both feet inbounds as he made the catch in front of the goal post.
Green Bay was able to run out the clock, but not without a scare. Running back James Starks fumbled on a second-down catch but recovered. On third-and-10, Rodgers hit Cobb for a gain of 13 -- taking a wicked shot from safety Landon Collins at the end of the play. Rodgers took a knee to run out the final two minutes.
Manning went 18 of 35 for 199 yards and the one touchdown. Rodgers went 23 of 45 for 259 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Packers running back Eddie Lacy gained 81 yards on 11 carries, while Cobb finished with nine receptions for 108 yards.
Beckham caught five passes for 56 yards.
Green Bay mostly dominated the first half, outgaining the Giants 251-93 and picking up 15 first downs to New York's four to lead 17-6.
The Packers struck first with a 16-play, game-opening drive that consumed almost nine minutes. Green Bay converted four third-down plays and scored on Rodgers' 2-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson, who stumbled out of his break but caught the ball while falling to the turf.
The Packers momentarily took a 14-0 lead, but Rodgers' touchdown pass to Cobb was overturned by offsetting penalties -- 12 men on the field by the Giants and an illegal shift on the Packers that left Rodgers fuming. On the next play, the final play of the first quarter, Rodgers' pass went through Nelson's hands and was intercepted by Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins.
After the Giants' Josh Brown kicked a 47-yard field goal, Green Bay answered quickly. First, it was Lacy plowing through the Giants for a gain of 31. Then, with cornerback Eli Apple lost to a groin injury, Rodgers went after his replacement, Michael Hunter, for a 29-yard touchdown pass to Adams.
Jenkins struck again, stepping in front of a third-down pass to Adams for another interception to give the Giants the ball at the Green Bay 40. Brown's 41-yard field goal made it 14-6 with 1:51 left in the half.
Then came another big swing. After Green Bay's three-and-out brought out some boo-birds, Manning had tight end Will Tye wide open for a 61-yard touchdown but he couldn't make the catch. On the next play, Manning was sacked and stripped by linebacker Kyler Fackrell, with defensive tackle Kenny Clark recovering at the Giants' 31. Crosby booted a 44-yard field goal on the final play of the half.
NOTES: The Packers were without their top two cornerbacks, Sam Shields (concussion) and Damarious Randall (groin), while the Giants were without RB Rashad Jennings (finger), TE Larry Donnell (concussion), S Nat Berhe (concussion) and S Darian Thompson (foot). ... Early in the second quarter, Giants CB Eli Apple was ruled out with an injured groin. He missed last week's game at Minnesota with a hamstring ailment. ... Green Bay had the ball for 13:03 of the first quarter. It averaged a 27th-ranked 27:44 entering the game. ... The Giants' defense hadn't forced a turnover all season before CB Janoris Jenkins had two interceptions in the first half.