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Aaron Rodgers threw two incredible touchdown passes in the first half vs. the Giants

Aaron Rodgers rears back to throw a Hail Mary pass that found Randall Cobb. (Jeff Hanisch/USA Today Sports)
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When the New York Giants took a 6-0 lead in the first half of Sunday’s playoff game against the Green Bay Packers, they might have been frustrated at not having a bigger advantage, but they had to have felt happy at how they had held Aaron Rodgers in check.

However, Rodgers proved that his talent can only be restrained for so long. With two remarkable plays, including a Hail Mary pass, he gave his team a 14-6 lead before halftime.

Rodgers ended the first half on a devastating note for the Giants, hitting Randall Cobb in the back of the end zone for a 42-yard score as time ran out in the second quarter. Cobb was somehow able to get behind New York’s defense, and Rodgers again proved to be the master of that low-percentage (for most human beings) play.

It appeared that Cobb helped create separation for himself with a push in the back of a Giants defender, but Eli Apple, a rookie cornerback for New York, also did a poor job of staying with the wide receiver after picking him up as the Packers sprinted toward the end zone. In any event, the play was reminiscent of one in last year’s playoffs, when Rodgers hit Jeff Janis on a Hail Mary to force overtime against the Arizona Cardinals.

Earlier in that season, Rodgers hit tight end Richard Rodgers on a Hail Mary to beat the Lions. Earlier in Sunday’s game, the Packers quarterback made more magic on a shorter touchdown pass, when he was able to elude pressure for an unusually long period before hitting well-covered wide receiver Davante Adams.

That play, in which Rodgers hung around the pocket for about nine seconds — NFL quarterbacks normally must get rid of the ball in under three seconds — had the Internet buzzing.

Still in his prime at age 33, Rodgers is a two-time NFL MVP and six-time Pro Bowler who led the NFL this season with 40 touchdown passes, against just seven interceptions. So perhaps we should simply expect amazing plays from him at this point, but both of his first-half scores got many more people out of their seats than the 80,000 or so in attendance at Lambeau.

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