Teams that lose the turnover battle usually don’t win in the NFL. Teams that give up a special teams touchdown usually don’t win on Sunday, either. Teams that do both in the same game? That stat just got blown up by the Packers in a 4th quarter comeback victory snatched out of the jaws of self-induced defeat.
Once again our Packer defense gave up a 100 yard performance to a running back at over 4.5 yards a carry. But this game had a yin for every yang, and it was the defense that sealed the victory with back to back sacks and a stop on 4th and 26, to end the game.
This game, a predicted blow out, was too close, and kept Packer fans on the edges of their couches until the last offensive Jaguar snap. That last snap was the Packer fan dreaded, “4th and 26”. Luckily, fate would not strike twice in 20 years against the Packers and that dreaded down and distance could stay a bubble of a bad memory for the Packer faithful.
Many of the Packers stars had great and horrendous plays in this up and down game. Rogers threw a beautiful pass to Marquez Valdez-Scantling that turned into a 78 yard touchdown. He also ran for a touchdown for the first time this year. These beautiful highlight film moments were surrounded by missed opportunities on a number of third down passes. Add to that, Aaron was intercepted for the first time in 263 pass attempts at Lambeau Field.
Davante Adams caught a beautiful leaping touchdown grab and had another called back on a penalty, but he also dropped a third down catch to end an early drive and fumbled to set up the Jaguars in Green Bay territory. Hopefully, his ankle injury is not going to impact his abilities next week.
The “Smith Brothers” each had a sack and tackles for loss but also missed tackles and took themselves out of tackles with poor ball/runner awareness. Overall, the defense, playing without both starting corners, kept the passing game in check. Of course it helped that they faced a rookie QB making only his second NFL start.
While every win should be celebrated in the NFL, the Packers special teams failure Sunday cannot be overlooked. How many years will we have this same conversation? Championship teams win in all phases of the game. While it seems like a skipping record to say it, the special teams, specifically the inconsistent punting and punting/kicking coverage teams, must improve.
As this Sunday comes to an end, the Packers still sit atop the NFC. While this win will not intimidate their upcoming opponents, it still keeps the Packers in the playoff conversation and will hopefully build a fire under the players to improve on today’s performance. And, the highlights of any win are still fun to watch.