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Baltimore at Green Bay

Rodgers, defense lead Pack over visiting Ravens

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- A month ago, the Green Bay Packers were worried that their season was slipping away.

Now they've won four in a row after beating the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night.

Yes, Monday's 27-14 win was monumentally ugly. But that didn't matter afterward, because the Packers are suddenly sitting pretty in the playoff race.

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"It wasn't pretty out there, but a win is a win," Packers wide receiver Donald Driver said. "We had to get this one to stay ahead in the playoff race."

While the Packers (8-4) are in good position to earn an NFC wild-card berth, Monday's win showed they still have some work to do to be taken seriously once they make it to the playoffs.

Aaron Rodgers threw three touchdown passes, including two to tight end Jermichael Finley. But Rodgers also had a pair of interceptions, two of the combined seven turnovers in the game.

The teams also committed 23 penalties for 310 yards, tying for the second-highest yardage total in an NFL game.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy called the penalties "unbelievable for both sides" but said he was happy with the way his team responded to trying circumstances -- something they hadn't done well early in the season.

"I'll say this about our football team: I was very proud and excited the way they overcame the adversity," McCarthy said.

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The Ravens (6-6) struggled in coverage without star safety Ed Reed, who sat out with hip and ankle injuries.

But Ravens coach John Harbaugh insisted his team is "still breathing" in the playoff race.

"We've got plenty to be encouraged about," Harbaugh said. "We're in a tight race for the wild card, we are every bit in it. Everybody, they'll say what they'll say. It's a week-to-week proposition in this league."

This week wasn't so good.

Baltimore was called for five pass interference penalties, the most by a team in a single game since the New York Giants in 2001 according to STATS LLC.

Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said he didn't think one call cost them the game.

"Bottom line, [the] call was made," Lewis said. "You don't gripe about it, you just keep on moving.

The Packers weren't much better, getting flagged four times for pass interference.

Rodgers was 26 of 40 for 263 yards with two interceptions, only his sixth and seventh of the season.

While Reed's replacement, Tom Zbikowski, came up with one of the interceptions, the Ravens struggled in coverage.

Baltimore's Joe Flacco was 15 of 36 for 137 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions. The Packers sacked him three times.

The win is a continuation of a significant momentum swing for the Packers, who were 4-4 after looking bad in back-to-back losses to Minnesota and Tampa Bay in early November but haven't lost since.

They've worked out some of their pass protection problems -- Rodgers was sacked only once Monday night -- and their defense appears to be getting more comfortable in the 3-4 scheme installed by defensive coordinator Dom Capers in the offseason.

"If our defense plays like it did tonight, we're going to be tough to beat," Rodgers said.

Leading 17-0 at halftime and seemingly cruising, the Packers suddenly found themselves scrambling after a pair of turnovers, both involving Driver, allowed Baltimore to get back in the game.

The Packers were driving on their first possession of the second half when Driver caught a pass in Ravens territory and fumbled as he turned to run upfield. Flacco made the Packers pay, throwing to Kelley Washington for a touchdown. Washington tried to do a "Lambeau Leap," but fans pushed him out of the stands.

Rodgers watched as his first pass of the next possession bounced off Driver's leg and into the arms of linebacker Jarret Johnson. Flacco went deep, drawing pass interference on Packers cornerback Tramon Williams. Willis McGahee scored on a 1-yard touchdown run two plays later, cutting the lead to 17-14 in the third quarter.

After a missed field goal by Green Bay's Mason Crosby, Flacco then threw deep downfield to Derrick Mason, who caught the ball but was called for offensive pass interference against Charles Woodson. Mason compounded the problem by drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty afterward, and the Ravens had to punt from their own 9-yard line.

The Packers got the ball back, and Rodgers threw to Korey Hall and Driver for first downs before finding Finley for a 19-yard touchdown pass and a 24-14 lead with 10:31 remaining.

The Packers allowed a long kickoff return and Williams was called for pass interference, but Williams came back to pick off Flacco in the end zone to preserve the lead.

"It was getting frustrating a little bit out there," Williams said. "But, you know, it can get like that sometimes. As a defensive back, you have to have a short term-memory and continue playing. Something will eventually happen in your favor and luckily it did for me tonight."

Notes

  • Ray Rice was held to 54 yards rushing and lost a fumble. "You can't give them the ball," Rice said. "I gave it to them. We'll get it corrected."
  • The Packers placed OLB Aaron Kampman on injured reserve and signed OLB Cyril Obiozor from the practice squad before Monday's game.
  • Finley briefly left the game with a knee injury but was able to return.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Aaron Rodgers completes 26 of 40 pass attempts for 263 yards and three touchdowns in the home victory.
 
Aaron Rodgers completes 26 of 40 pass attempts for 263 yards and three touchdowns in the home victory. (Getty Images)
 

 

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Mon. Dec. 7Final
0014014
31401027
RavensPackers
Pass: J. Flacco (15-36, 137) A. Rodgers (26-40, 263)
Rush: R. Rice (14-54) R. Grant (18-41)
Rec: T. Heap (5-52) J. Finley (7-79)
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
FGMason Crosby 28 Yd, 8:39. Drive: 12 plays, 47 yards in 6:21.
2ND QUARTER
TDJermichael Finley, 2 Yd pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick is good), 4:35. Drive: 8 plays, 83 yards in 5:13.
TDDonald Driver, 8 Yd pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick is good), 0:32. Drive: 8 plays, 68 yards in 2:12.
3RD QUARTER
TDKelley Washington, 12 Yd pass from Joe Flacco (Billy Cundiff kick is good), 3:28. Drive: 11 plays, 71 yards in 4:39.
TDWillis McGahee, 1 Yd run (Billy Cundiff kick is good), 2:58. Drive: 2 plays, 42 yards in 0:16.
4TH QUARTER
TDJermichael Finley, 19 Yd pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick is good), 10:31. Drive: 4 plays, 49 yards in 2:19.
FGMason Crosby 32 Yd, 1:56. Drive: 8 plays, 36 yards in 4:52.
Players of the Game

J. Finley
Rec 7
Yds 79
Avg 11.3
TD 2
Green Bay

A. Rodgers
Att 40
Comp 26
Yds 263
TD 3
 
Baltimore
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
J. Flacco15/3613713
RushingATTYDSTDLG
R. Rice1454021
J. Flacco316010
W. McGahee4-411
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
T. Heap552023
K. Washington439114
R. Rice31707
M. Clayton116016
D. Mason21307
Green Bay
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
A. Rodgers26/4026332
RushingATTYDSTDLG
R. Grant184108
A. Rodgers430023
A. Green52308
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
J. Finley779229
G. Jennings677021
J. Jones444016
D. Driver331114
B. Jackson214010
K. Hall113013
J. Nelson1505
D. Lee1303
M. Tauscher1-30-3
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
NE 21 Final
MIA 22
SF 17 Final
SEA 20
DAL 24 Final
NYG 31
MIN 17 Final
ARI 30
SD 30 Final
CLE 23
NO 33 Final
WAS 30
OAK 27 Final
PIT 24
DEN 44 Final
KC 13
HOU 18 Final
JAC 23
TEN 17 Final
IND 27
DET 13 Final
CIN 23
STL 9 Final
CHI 17
TB 6 Final
CAR 16
PHI 34 Final
ATL 7
NYJ 19 Final
BUF 13