Green Bay holds on for big victory
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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The standings say the Green Bay Packers are in good shape for the playoffs. But a victory last night against the Baltimore Ravens showed they still have some work to do to be taken seriously once they get there.
Aaron Rodgers threw three touchdown passes, including two to tight end Jermichael Finley, and the Packers beat the Ravens 27-14 in a penalty-filled game last night. It was the fourth consecutive win for the Packers (8-4), solidifying their spot in the NFC wild-card race. But it certainly wasn't pretty.
The teams committed 23 penalties for 310 yards, tying for the second-highest yardage total in an NFL game.
The Ravens (6-6) struggled in coverage without star safety Ed Reed, who sat out with hip and ankle injuries.
Baltimore was called for five pass interference penalties, the most by a team in a single game since the New York Giants in 2001. The Packers were 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 last night -- and their defense appears to be getting more comfortable in the 3-4 scheme installed by defensive coordinator Dom Capers in the offseason.
Leading 17-0 at halftime and seemingly cruising, the Packers suddenly found themselves scrambling after two turnovers, both involving Donald Driver, allowed Baltimore to get back in the game.
First Published December 8, 2009 12:53 am