Lackluster Packers offense bailed out by bad Jaguars team, Packers win, move to 5-3
By Brian E Murphy, PackersInsider senior analyst
~Missing the starting triplets, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, and Cedric Benson, the Packers figured their offense might not be as potent as normal.
Little did they know, it would be worse than that. The Packers offense rolled up a paltry total of 238 yards, on 3.8 yards per play. That was their worst showing on offense in a long time. Rodgers also absorbed two very hard sacks, and fumbled the ball away right before halftime deep in their own zone, helping the Jaguars to a touchdown that almost tied the game going into halftime.
But the Packers survived as Rodgers did throw a pair of touchdown passes, one to the youngster Randall Cobb, and the other to the old, reliable fan-favorite Donald Driver.
The Packers won 24-15, and a rare blocked punt for touchdown was a key in getting it going. The Packers had not scored a touchdown on a blocked punt since 1990, the 4th longest streak in NFL history. This one was provided by Davon House who came around the edge to block the punt. Three or four guys batted the ball around before rookie Dezman Moses fell on and smothered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown and 14-3 Packers lead.
While the defense didn’t play good, they did bend but refuse to break.
Jacksonville quarterback Blaine Gabbert passed for 303 yards, and a touchdown, no interceptions.
But playing without injured star Maurice Jones-Drew, the Jaguars couldn’t get much going on the ground behind Rashard Jennings. The Packers defense held Jennings to 59 yards on 3.5 per carry.
The Packers were a heavy 16-point wagering favorite in this game, but didn’t play anywhere near it. Still, the bottom line is the W or L, and with the win, the Packers moved to 5-3, now tied with the fraudulent Minnesota Vikings in second place. The Bears got a gift from Steve Smith late in the game as the receiver forgot to wear long enough cleats. With Carolina leading by 5 late in that game, Cam Newton threw a simple out pass to Smith, who slipped and fell, allowing the pass to be a gift interception and a short return for a touchdown and the lead with 2 minutes to go.
After Carolina marched down and went back ahead by 2 with a field goal after that, Jay Cutler led the Bears down into field goal range, and Bears kicker Robbie Gould nailed a game-winning 41-yard field goal on the last play to give the Bears a 23-22 win. Mason Crosby was glad he didn’t have a game-losing/winning kick on the last play of the game.
Would you have had faith in Crosby in that situation?
The 5-3 Packers will be at home again next week as the Arizona Cardinals, missing their starting QB and top 2 RBs, come to town. After that, the Packers get their much-needed bye before traveling to Detroit and NY to face the champion Giants afterwards.