Monday, December 07, 2009

Final: Packers 27 - Ravens 14

The Packers added 10 points in the 4th quarter and staved off the effects of penalties and another special teams breakdown to prevail over the Ravens, 27-14.

This was an ugly game, as evidenced by the combined 23 penalties for 310 yards, tied for second most in NFL history. The Packers accounted for 11 penalties totaling 175 yards. Throw in the 3 turnovers for the Packers and the 4 for the Ravens and this was a sloppy game. still goes in the "W" column.

The 4th quarter started with K Mason Crosby missing a 38-yard field goal. His inconsistency is a growing concern.

Later on, Aaron Rodgers threw his third TD of the night on a pass to Jermichael Finley to put the Pack up 24-14 with about 10-1/2 minutes left.

Immediately, however, as has been the case so often this season, the Packers' special teams let the Ravens right back in the game by giving up a 68-yard kickoff return down to the Packers' 26-yard line. A pass interference call on CB Tramon Williams (one of several on him this evening) in the endzone put the ball at the 1-yard line. On second down, Ravens QB Joe Flacco was flushed from the pocket and made an ill-advised pass into the endzone where Williams intercepted the ball.

The Pack went 3-and-out after taking over at the 20. Following the punt, the Packers got the ball back on the Ravens' first play courtesy of an interception by LB A. J. Hawk. Right after the 2-minute warning, Crosby made a 32-yard field goal to put the Pack up by 13, at 27-14.

The Ravens had one last chance, but no timeouts and seemingly no urgency. After moving the ball onto the Packers' side of the field, the Ravens hopes were finally snuffed out on 4th-and-3 when LB Clay Matthews recorded his second sack of the night.

The Packers go to 8-4 on the season, still positioned well for the wildcard spot in the playoffs. And if the ViQueens were to do their usual swan dive late in the season, the division title could still be in play. That's a big "if." Just sayin' ...

The Pack travels south of the boarder to Chicago next Sunday to meet Da Bearz. As my friend Billy Da Bearz Fan said, Da Bearz' game yesterday was so boring he was yawning during the game...and he was there! Don't ya just love it when Bearz fans eat their own?

Anyway, let's savor this win, and overlook it's warts. At least for tonight. The Packers still commit way too many penalties and still have regular breakdowns on special teams at key moments in games. It's an Achilles Heel that will hurt them in the playoffs. They need to get that cleaned up, as coach Mike McCarthy would say. But until they show special teams coach Shawn Slocum the door, don't expect that to happen.'s all good. Packers win. Ah, it's great to be a Packers fan!