« News From the Pack

Packers outlast Ravens

by Mark Daniels

Not far from Fort McHenry, where the first shots were fired in the Civil War,  the Green Bay Packers limped out of Baltimore, Maryland  just like Civil War heroes, wounded but smiling after outlasting the Ravens 19-17 in a mighty struggle.  Already down two playmaking linebackers going in, the Pack lost two playmaking wide receivers along the way with James Jones and Randall Cobb going down with knee injuries, leaving Aaron Rodgers with only two healthy receivers for the entire second half.   But an inspired effort on defense, lead by A.J. Hawk with 10 tackles and a career high three sacks, helped Green Bay get to 3-2 on the season.

It was a defensive battle for the first 30 minutes.  The Packers  scored on their first possession after rookie Eddie Lacy ripped off a 37 yard run.  Mason Crosby booted a 45 yard field goal for a 3-0 lead less than two minutes in.  The Ravens tried to run the ball but could not, punting on their first five series. Protection was an issue early for the Pack, Rodgers fumbled twice getting sacked but Green Bay recovered both.  The game got really interesting in the second quarter when Ryan Taylor blocked a Sam Koch punt.  The ball rolled forward and John Kuhn inexplicably tried to pick it up at the 41 yard line.  When he couldn't, Baltimore recovered and kept the ball.  Dallas Clark then caught a 45 yard pass and the Ravens were on the doorstep looking at first and goal from the 4.  That's when Morgan Burnett stepped up making three straight plays against the run.  On third down, the Ravens were called for holding but Mike McCarthy declined the penalty.  John Harbaugh kept his offense in one yard away but Bernard Pierce was stuffed by Mike Daniels and Micah Hyde.  The Packers moved into field goal range late in the second thanks to a 33 yard catch by Nelson but Crosby missed his first kick of the year wide right from 44 yards out.  With only :20 left, the Ravens took a shot downfield and missed and on second down, took another.  Nick Perry sacked Joe Flacco to force a fumble that Datone Jones scooped up and rumbled 20 yards to the 13, getting tackled with :02 left. That allowed Crosby to come on for a 31 yard field goal and a 6-0 lead at the half.

In the third quarter, Rodgers had a chance to extend the lead but his shot to the end zone was picked off by Jimmy Smith.  On the next series, Jarrett Boykin, pressed into service with the injuries to Jones and Cobb, finally made a play, taking a short pass 43 yards to set up Crosby's third field goal.  The Ravens answered quickly when Flacco found a wide open Marlon Brown for 59 yards but the defense again held on first and goal from the 6, forcing Justin Tucker to hit a 23 yard field goal for the Ravens' first points.  Rodgers then cranked up a big play, faking to Lacy, rolling right and hitting Nelson in stride behind Lardarius Webb for a 64 yard home run ball and what looked like a safe, 16-3 advantage.   Baltimore then drove 80 yards in 10 plays for their first touchdown, thanks a third down holding call against Tramon Williams at midfield.  Jacoby Jones ran behind Sam Shields for the 11 yard TD catch.

The Packers then put on a solid, 72 yard drive, eating up 7:35 of the clock but settled for Crosby's 4th field goal from the 31.   The Ravens faced 4th and 21 from their own 19 when Flacco found Tandon Doss deep down the middle when Jerron McMillian stumbled while turning around.  The 63 yard strike was followed immediately by Clark getting behind McMillian for an 18 yard touchdown and it was suddenly a two point game with 2:13 to play.  Instead of an onside kick, the Ravens went deep with all three timeouts left.  On third and 3 at the 27, Rodgers connected with Jermichael Finley for a 52 gain.  Lacy capped his 23 carry, 120 yard day with three straight runs that picked up one last first down and allowed Rodgers to take a knee for the win.

By the numbers, Green Bay outgained Baltimore 438-360.  On the ground, it was even more pronounced, the Packers rushed for 140, holding the Ravens to just 47 yards on 22 carries, a 2.1 average.  Rodgers finished 17 of 32 for 315 yards, a score and a pick, leaving him with a sub-par rating of 84.8.  Flacco finshed 20 of 34 for 342 and two scores, a rating of 112.6 but he was sacked five more times.   Nelson finished with 113 yards on only four catches, targeted 10 times.  Green Bay lost the turnover battle, had more penalties, and lost two key offensive weapons but found a way.   The severity of those injuries were not detailed afterwards, more information will come on Monday.

It was the Pack's first win in Baltimore since 1974.  They now lead the all-time series with the Ravens 4-1 and it was Harabugh's first home loss to an NFC team in his tenure.

The inactives were all injured players, except for Josh Boyd. Clay Matthews, Brad Jones, Jarrett Bush, Casey Hayward, Greg Van Roten and James Starks.   Next  up, another AFC North opponent, the Cleveland Browns at Lambeau next Sunday.