EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The battle for NFC playoff berths lost one of its contenders Saturday when the Green Bay Packers were beaten by the New York Giants, 20-10, on two touchdown passes by Phil Simms.
The loss dropped Green Bay to 5-8-1 with one game left in the regular season, and left Minnesota, St. Louis and the Rams to battle for the final NFC wild-card playoff berth.
Simms completed 21 of 26 passes for 233 yards. He hit running back Lee Rouson with a 26-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter and tight end Zeke Mowatt with a one-yard scoring pass in the third period.
Despite being plagued by injuries early in his career, Simms has passed for 19,551 yards in nine seasons with New York, breaking the club record of 19,488 yards set by Charlie Conerly between 1948 and 1961.
"Nothing has changed since he has been here," Phil McConkey of the Giants said. "Physically and mentally, he is as tough a guy as you'll find at any position . . . as tough a guy as you'll find on this planet."
Simms, who suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter and did not return after completing a 32-yard pass to Lionel Manuel, said he knew he was close to the record, but he did not know it was his until George Adams told him in the huddle after an announcement on the public address system.
"That's nice," Simms said. "I've been here nine years and I have played a lot and I should have some records."
Joe Morris, still looking for his first 100-yard rushing game this season, scored for the Giants (5-9) on a three-yard run in the second quarter.
Morris became the second Giant to rush for more than 4,000 yards in a career. He went into the game 11 yards shy of the plateau reached previously on the Giants only by Alex Webster, who played in the 1950s and '60s.
The Giants' defense never let the Packers get in the game, allowing them only four first downs in the first half and surrendering a 26-yard field goal by Max Zendejas late in the third quarter after New York built a 20-0 lead.
Green Bay got its only touchdown with 2:32 left on a three-yard pass by halfback Paul Ott Carruth to fullback Jessie Clark. It was set up by a 48-yard punt return by Walter Stanley.