The New York Giants stunned reigning Super Bowl champions the Green Bay Packers in their NFC divisional play-off at Lambeau Field, with Eli Manning starring in a convincing 37-20 victory on Sunday.
Manning threw for 330 yards and three touchdown passes as the Giants beat the Packers on home turf for the second time in four post-seasons.
Green Bay made plenty of mistakes and mis-handled too frequently as their defence was cut open by Manning, who successfully located six different receivers.
Of those, Hakeen Nicks was the most productive partner, collecting seven throws for 165 yards and scoring two touchdowns.
Nicks took a short Manning pass 66 yards for a score in the first half, and then caught a 37-yard Hail Mary for another score on the final play before intermission.
Aaron Rodgers tried his best in a losing cause for the Packers, throwing two touchdowns and making 264 yards as well as topping the rushing charts seven carries worth 66 yards.
But the high-powered Green Bay offence failed to click into gear as it has during a regular season that saw the Packers go 15-1, with various receivers dropping passes and some of Rodgers throws being uncharacteristically inaccurate.
Rodgers found Donald Driver in the end zone during the closing stages and had earlier thrown a touchdown to John Kuhn, who would later give up the first fumble of his career.
Rodgers and Ryan Grant also coughed up the football, with the former throwing a late interception as the hosts paid the price for costly turnovers.
After Nicks’ two scores had given the Giants the advantage, Manning also threw a strike to Mario Manningham in the fourth quarter and Brandon Jacobs rushed in for a score to ice the contest late on.
“Our defence has done well for us the last few weeks and that’s made a huge difference for us, to be able to count on that,” said Giants head coach Tom Coughlin.
“Today, not only the outstanding play, but the turnovers.”
Packers quarterback Rodgers said: “We got beat by a team that played better tonight. That’s the reality of this league.
“I’ve been in the playoffs four times. Three times you lose your last game, you go home. The other time, the euphoric feeling that you keep fighting for.
“It’s tough. I didn’t think it was going to end tonight. I felt good about our chances, felt good about our team.”
The victorious Giants now meet the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC title game next Sunday.
New York defeated Green Bay at Lambeau in the NFC Championship game back in early 2008, before going on to defeat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.