Giants running back Saquon Barkley crosses for the winning score. PA
Big Blue

Saquon Barkley and New York Giants stun Green Bay Packers in London

The depleted G-Men were heavy outsiders but held the Packers scoreless in the second half as Barkley and Daniel Jones hauled them to 4-1.

RUNNIBG BACK SAQUON Barkley and quarterback Daniel Jones sparked a stunning New York Giants comeback as the Green Bay Packers’ first trip to London ended in a galling defeat.

The Packers were the 32nd and final team to cross the Atlantic for a regular season game as a sold-out Tottenham Hotspur Stadium hosted the UK’s first ever meeting between two sides holding winning records.

Green Bay were heavy favourites on Sunday as a little bit of Lambeau Field came to North London, but Barkley shook off injury to help steer the absentee-hit Giants to a stirring 27-22 triumph under their new head coach Brian Daboll.

This tussle between two of the most successful sides in NFL history surprisingly lived up to the billing, with Aaron Rodgers finding Allen Lazard and Marcedes Lewis for early touchdowns.

A superb trick play saw tight end Daniel Bellinger run one in for the Giants, but Matt LaFleur’s side went into half-time leading 20-10 and on course for a victory that would slip out of their grasp.

New York’s defence stood firm when the teams returned, providing the platform for a rousing comeback. Incredibly, they held Rodgers and the Packers scoreless in the second half while the seriously depleted offence scored 17 points to lift the G-Men to a record of 4-1 in what is supposed to be a transitional season.

Quarterback Daniel Jones stepped up and Gary Brightwell bundled in with Barkley in the locker room receiving treatment for a shoulder complaint that threatened to prematurely end his afternoon.

But the star running back returned in style, running in what proved to be the winning touchdown as Green Bay failed in their attempts to claw back.

It was a result that stunned the 61,204 crowd, who had roared Packers quarterback Rodgers onto the field before kick-off.

The reigning MVP attempted to march straight down the field with the opening possession but had to settle for a 46-yard field goal from Mason Crosby, who is part owner of League Two side Walsall.

The Giants were looking overly reliant on Barkley when they got the ball early.

The Packers were hardly purring offensively but a pass interference call against Xavier McKinney on Robert Tonyan in the end zone gave them a gilt-edged chance to score their first touchdown on foreign soil.

Rodgers’ first throw was off but his next was a laser that found Lazard, with Crosby making no mistake with the extra point.

Graham Gano struck a 48-yard field goal at the end of the first quarter but it was beginning to look like an uphill battle, which Rodgers emphasised on a slow and steady march down the field.

That 13-play drive ended with the reigning MVP aiming a nonchalant, looping throw over the bamboozled Giants defence to wide open tight end Lewis.

Crosby added a point before Barkley gave life to New York, taking the snap and busting up the gut with an electrifying 40-yard run.

That wildcat play gave life to a solid drive that ended with a spectacular touchdown as Jones and the running back were involved in a double hand-off that resulted in rookie Bellinger powering in.

Gano converted but Crosby would nail a 48-yard field goal to give the Packers a 10-point advantage at half-time.

The Giants kicker chipped away at that lead with a field goal of his own at the start of the third quarter, with Dexter Lawrence sacking Rodgers as Brian Daboll’s team refused to go away.

All those connected to Big Blue winced when star Barkley took a big hit and went to the blue tent for medical assessment and then into the locker room.

The Giants continued the drive without their star but Green Bay struggled to find an answer for Jones’ quarterback play, ending with Brightwell smashing through from two yards. Gano made the kick to level.

Green Bay were beginning to look nervy and were forced to punt, giving New York the chance to take the lead for the first time.

Barkley returned to the game for a drive that he lit up. Having collected a pass and run 41 yards, he would eventually take it in from two. Gano’s extra point was good, as was the mood of Giants fans.

Rodgers continued to be frustrated by Daboll’s side and the Giants gave up a safety to run down the clock, smartly seeing out their third London win.

Press Association
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