Rodgers, Packers squeeze past Ravens 19-17

October 13, 2013

 

Baltimore Ravens running back Bernard Pierce (30) is tackled by Green Bay Packers free safety M.D. Jennings as defensive end Mike Neal (96) lies on the ground during the first half of an NFL football game in Baltimore, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013.


BALTIMORE - For much of the afternoon, Aaron Rodgers was ducking oncoming linemen and misconnecting with hurried throws.

When it counted, however, Rodgers came up with the big plays.

Rodgers threw a 64-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson, Eddie Lacy ran for 120 yards and Mason Crosby kicked four field goals as the Green Bay Packers beat the Baltimore Ravens 19-17 on Sunday.

Rodgers went 17 for 32 for 315 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He played most of the game without two of his top three receivers James Jones hurt his left knee on a first-quarter play, and Randall Cobb left for good after being struck on his right knee on a tackle by Matt Elam.

And still, Rodgers was magnificent.

His 64-yarder to Nelson gave Green Bay a 16-3 lead late in the third quarter. After the Ravens closed to 19-17 on an 18-yard touchdown catch by Dallas Clark with 2:04 remaining, Rodgers clinched the victory with a 52-yard completion to Jermichael Finley on a third-and-3.

Rodgers completed only seven passes after halftime, yet those plays totaled 199 yards.

"Days like today remind you of why you love this game so much," Rodgers said. "Offensively, we're struggling a little bit, but we found a way to make enough plays to win."

The Ravens (3-3) had won 13 straight at home against NFC foes.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) loses control of the ball on a sack by Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil during the first half.

"Aaron made some really good plays out of the pocket in the second half," Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. "Early, he held it and took some sacks. Later, he held it and found some openings."

Rodgers received ample aid from a depleted defense. Despite playing without injured linebackers Clay Matthews and Brad Jones, the Packers limited Baltimore to 47 yards rushing and registered five sacks, including three by A.J. Hawk.

"It's kind of been our motto for a long time around here: 'Next man up.' We have to make it work," Hawk said. "We had a lot of young guys out there today who really did a good job."

It all added up to Green Bay's first road win following losses at San Francisco and Cincinnati.

"It's important to win on the road in this league if you want to make the playoffs," Rodgers said. "This was a tough environment. This is a team that's defending champs, a football team that's very well-coached, great players on both sides of the ball. This is a great team character-building win."
 

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco passes the ball during the first half.

Green Bay went up 9-0 in the third quarter when Crosby kicked a 50-yard field goal to cap a drive that featured a 43-yard pass play from Rodgers to Jarrett Boykin.

Baltimore answered with its first score, a 23-yard field goal by Justin Tucker following a 59-yard completion from Joe Flacco to rookie Marlon Brown.

Harassed and hurried for much of the afternoon, Rodgers finally came up with a signature moment. He started to his left, then rolled right before lofting a perfect spiral to Nelson, who had gotten behind Lardarius Webb.

Down 16-3, the Ravens began playing with a sense of urgency. Flacco directed a 10-play, 80-yard drive that ended with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jacoby Jones with 11:52 remaining.

Jones, who missed the previous four weeks with a knee injury, finished with two catches for 42 yards and had a 35-yard kickoff return.

Looking to enhance Green Bay's 16-10 lead, Rodgers and the Packers held onto the ball for just over 7 minutes before Crosby kicked a 31-yard field goal with 4:17 remaining.

It turned out to be the game-winner.
 

Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy (27) is brought to a sudden stop during the first half.

Flacco went 20 for 34 for 342 yards and got no help from the running game Ray Rice finished with 34 yards on 14 carries and was stuffed three straight times inside the 5 during the second quarter.

"We've got to be better on first and second down," Flacco said.

Baltimore accumulated only 36 yards of offense during the first quarter, zero on the ground.

In the second quarter, a peculiar sequence of events began when Green Bay's Ryan Taylor blocked a punt. The ball bounced beyond the line of scrimmage, was touched by John Kuhn of the Packers and recovered by Baltimore at its own 41-yard line. The Ravens subsequently got a first-and-goal at the Green Bay 4, but four straight runs failed to get the ball into the end zone.

Late in the half, Flacco was sacked and lost the ball. Green Bay's Datone Jones recovered and Crosby connected on a 31-yard field goal as time expired for a 6-0 lead.

Notes: Green Bay leads the series, 4-1. Baltimore's only win was 48-3 in 2005. ... Baltimore placed LT Bryant McKinnie on the inactive list. Eugene Monroe replaced him as a starter and made his Ravens debut. ... Ravens LB Terrell Suggs had his run of five straight games with a sack end. But he had 10 tackles to move into second on the Ravens' career list, behind only Ray Lewis.


Packers lose WRs Cobb and Jones to injuries

The Green Bay Packers lost receivers Randall Cobb and James Jones to leg injuries in the first half at Baltimore on Sunday.

Jones appeared to hurt his left knee on a pass play in the first quarter. He limped off the field and the Packers called it a "leg injury".

Cobb, the team's best breakaway threat at the position, was injured when he was struck in the right leg on a tackle by safety Matt Elam near the end of the half.

Houston quarterback Matt Schaub left against the St. Louis Rams in the third quarter with an apparent right ankle injury. Schaub was injured when he was sacked by Chris Long late in the third quarter. He remained on the turf for a few minutes before trainers helped him as he hobbled off the field.

Texans coach Gary Kubiak didn't have many details on Schaub's injury after the game, saying only: "Matt's got a little bit of everything on that one leg."

Houston WR Keshawn Martin injured a shoulder and safety Danieal Manning damaged his right knee.

Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell was carted off the field at San Francisco with an apparent right leg injury. Campbell was hurt when his leg buckled beneath him as he helped bring down Frank Gore on a 1-yard gain late in the game.

"He left the field with movement and the feeling was coming back," coach Bruce Arians said. "He had numbness. It was precautionary (carting him off)."

Cardinals spokesman Mark Dalton said on Twitter that Campbell "was taken to a Bay Area hospital to undergo precautionary MRI and CT scans. Initial results have been positive and he will continue to be evaluated."

San Francisco lost nose tackle Glenn Dorsey in the first quarter with a right hamstring injury. He is the Niners' second injured nose tackle after starter Ian Williams went down with a season-ending broken ankle in a Week 2 loss at Seattle.

The New England Patriots lost four players to injuries in their 30-27 win over the New Orleans Saints.

Their best defensive back, Aqib Talib, left with a hip injury in the third quarter. Late in the period, wide receiver Danny Amendola got up slowly and didn't return after being hit in the head following a reception that was nullified by a penalty. In the fourth quarter, their top linebacker, Jerod Mayo, was knocked out of the game with a shoulder injury. Starting offensive guard Dan Connolly also missed the rest of the game after a head injury.

For the Saints, star tight end Jimmy Graham limped off the field late in the third quarter but returned.

Dallas running back DeMarco Murray and defensive end DeMarcus Ware left the game against Washington because of injuries.

Murray left in the second quarter with a sprained left knee, and Ware had a right quad injury.

Redskins linebacker Bryan Kehl was ruled out with a sprained left knee, and cornerback David Amerson had a concussion.

The Vikings lost safety Harrison Smith (turf toe, left foot), cornerback Xavier Rhodes (sprained right ankle) and linebacker Desmond Bishop (sprained right knee) in their loss to Carolina. They'll have MRIs on Monday.

Jets running backs Bilal Powell (shoulder) and Mike Goodson (knee), wide receiver Clyde Gates (shoulder), and cornerback Kyle Wilson (head) all left and didn't return in their loss to the Steelers. Also in that game, Steelers TE David Johnson left in the first quarter with an injured left wrist and didn't return.

The Oakland Raiders were running out of offensive lineman after backup center Andre Gurode and right tackle Tony Pashos left their game against the Chiefs. Gurode hurt his knee midway through the second quarter. Pashos hurt his groin late in the first half.

Kansas City also lost left tackle Branden Albert with a bruised left knee.

The Broncos lost right tackle Orlando Franklin to a left knee injury in the third quarter of their win over Jacksonville. He hobbled out of the locker room on a cane.

Jaguars receiver Cecil Shorts III left in the first quarter with a right shoulder injury.

Lions cornerback Rashean Mathis left in the first half with a groin injury and didn't return against the Browns.

Bills linebacker Manny Lawson left the game against Cincinnati with a hamstring injury in the first half.

Titans linebacker Moise Fokou left in the fourth quarter at Seattle with a knee sprain. Seattle DE Chris Clemons suffered a hyperextended elbow late in the game.

 

Associated Press