|Date of game: 10/13/2013
Recap: Baltimore vs. Green Bay
Baltimore, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - The Green Bay Packers overcame a slightly off day from Aaron Rodgers and the departures of several key players to deliver a 19-17 victory over the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.
Playing without top receiver Randall Cobb for all of the second half and fellow wideout James Jones for virtually the entire game, Rodgers completed a pedestrian 17-of-32 passes for 315 yards with one touchdown and an interception.
Plenty of his teammates stepped up, however, to help Green Bay (3-2) record its second straight win following its bye week and deal the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens (3-3) only their fourth loss in their last 30 home games.
Jordy Nelson caught a 64-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter and finished with 113 yards on four receptions, rookie Eddie Lacy rushed for a career-high 120 yards on 23 carries and Mason Crosby kicked four field goals in the triumph.
The Packers' defense chipped in as well, coming up with a key goal-line stand along with five sacks of Joe Flacco despite being without All-Pro pass rusher Clay Matthews.
"This is a tough environment," said Rodgers. "[Baltimore] is a team that's the defending champs, great football team, very well coached and great players on both sides of the ball. This is a great team, character-building win."
Jones limped off the field with a left leg injury on Green Bay's second drive of the afternoon and Cobb did not return after taking a helmet to his right knee from Ravens safety Matt Elam in the final minute of the first half. Matthews was inactive due to a broken right thumb sustained during last week's win over Detroit.
Flacco still managed 342 yards through the air and two touchdowns, including an 18-yard strike to Dallas Clark that brought Baltimore within 19-17 with 2:04 left. Clark ended with 81 yards on four grabs, with Tandon Doss amassing 99 yards on four catches.
Green Bay dominated on the defensive side en route to carrying a 6-0 edge into the break, then forced a pair of three-and-outs on Baltimore's initial two possessions of the second half. Following the second stop, Jarrett Boykin -- pressed into extended duty by the injuries to Cobb and Jones -- broke off a 43-yard catch-and-run that set up Crosby's third field goal of the day, a 50- yard boot with 6:06 to go in the third quarter.
The Ravens' previously stagnant offense finally generated something positive on the ensuing series, with Marlon Brown shaking off a tackle after making a short catch and racing 59 yards to the Packers' 6-yard line. The Green Bay defense stiffened once again deep in its own end, however, causing Justin Tucker to come on for a successful 23-yard field goal that brought the Ravens within 9-3.
The Packers didn't take long to restore a two-score cushion. Nelson burned cornerback Lardarius Webb on a deep post and hauled in Rodgers' perfectly thrown deep ball for a 64-yard score with 2:12 left in the third quarter.
Baltimore answered, however, with its best drive of the day, a 10-play, 80- yard march in which Flacco went 4-for-4 for 46 yards and pulled his team within 16-10 with just under 12 minutes remaining by hitting 52 Jones on an over-the-top fade from 11 yards away.
Green Bay proceeded to hold the ball for over 7 1/2 minutes on a methodical 12-play sequence featuring six Lacy runs that totaled 31 yards. A 19-yard strike from Rodgers to Jermichael Finley put the Pack in position for another Crosby field goal, a 31-yarder that extended the lead to nine with 4:17 to play.
The Packers appeared to have the game put away with Baltimore faced with a 4th-and-21 on its own 19-yard line with under three minutes left. Flacco kept hope alive by heaving a pass down the middle that Doss snared for an eventual 63-yard gain to the Green Bay 18, and Clark made a one-handed catch on the next play to cut the deficit to 19-17.
Baltimore would not get the ball again, though, with the Packers icing the game with two critical third-down conversions -- Rodgers' 52-yard hookup to Finley and Lacy's 4-yard run on 3rd-and-2 after the Ravens burned their last time out.
"We had a chance to win it at the end, we didn't get it done. They did," Ravens head coach John Harbaugh remarked. "Give them credit."
The Ravens mustered only 122 total yards and four first downs over the first two quarters, with Flacco connecting on just 8-of-19 throws while being sacked three times, but still had a chance to get on the board when a 45-yard connection from Flacco to Clark -- shortly after Ravens safety James Ihedigbo recovered a punt blocked by the Packers for a first down to maintain possession -- put the ball on the Green Bay 14-yard line midway through the second quarter with Baltimore trailing 3-0.
Baltimore later had a 1st-and-goal from the four, but Ray Rice managed just three yards on three rushes before the Packers stuffed Bernard Pierce short of the goal line on fourth down.
"Defense carried us pretty much most of the day," said Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. "Offensively, we had some adversity with the injuries. It was a fun game to play in I'm sure. It was a great game to coach in."
It remained a 3-point differential until Flacco was stripped by Nick Perry and Green Bay's Datone Jones returned the resulting fumble 20 yards to the Ravens' 13 with just two seconds on the clock. Crosby, who had missed from 44 yards out just minutes earlier, then connected on a 31-yard try on the final play of the half to send the Packers into the locker room with a 6-0 lead.
"We just couldn't get anything going, and you can't expect to play that badly for that long and win a game," said Flacco.
Green Bay's largest gain of the opening half came on its second play from scrimmage, when Lacy rumbled for 37 yards down to the Baltimore 33. Ravens linebacker Josh Bynes knocked away a Rodgers pass intended for Finley on third down, however, and the Packers settled for Crosby's 45-yard field goal.Game Notes
Cobb had four catches for 53 yards prior to exiting ... The Ravens mustered
just 47 rushing yards, with Rice limited to 34 on 14 attempts ... Jacoby
Jones had two grabs for 42 yards in his first game back from a knee sprain
that sidelined him the last four weeks ... Baltimore had been 10-0 at M&T Bank
Stadium against NFC opponents under Harbaugh and had an overall 13-game home
win streak in interconference games snapped ... Offensive tackle Eugene
Monroe made his first start with the Ravens since being acquired from
Jacksonville on Oct. 1 ... Baltimore outside linebacker Terrell Suggs
recorded 10 tackles and now has 728 as a Raven, according to team stats,
second behind only Ray Lewis for the most in team history ... Green Bay
has won four of the five all-time matchups in the series, but was
handed a 48-3 loss in its only previous visit to M&T Bank Stadium back in