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Packers Escape Raven’s 4th Quarter Surge 31-30

John Harbaugh came in with a plan. All in, take every chance to score. In the end, the Packer defense rose to the occasion on three critical stops and the Packers walked away winners in Baltimore.

On the Raven’s first drive they methodically drove the ball to the Packers three yard line. Harbaugh trusted his backup QB, Tyler Huntley, to score on 4th down. The Packer defense rallied, De’Vondre Campbell tracked the shifty passer, sacking Huntley as he broke the pocket for the sideline.

Those three points that Harbaugh gambled on would prove the difference in the game. He was probably fearful of a Rodgers air bombardment as he knew the Ravens secondary were all second stringers. Perhaps the string of game winning drives he watched Rodgers make on tape led to his decision to go for the final fourth quarter two point play instead of going to overtime with great momentum. In the end, Harbaugh is consistent, now losing two games during the 2021 season on failed 2 point extra point tries.

The Ravens are known for their run defense. Many coaches would have drawn up a pass happy game plan. LaFleur stuck to his team strengths and ended up with 96 rushing yards on 25 carries. The run set up enough passes to get Rodgers 3 touchdown throws, tying Brett Favre as the all time Packer leaders in touchdown passes.

Dec 19, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdez-Scantling (83) reaches the ball across the goal line for a touchdown defended by Baltimore Ravens cornerback Robert Jackson (17) during the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

For not practicing going on close to four weeks, Rodgers missed a couple he normally makes, but he made throws when he needed to keep drives alive and his receivers caught the clutch passes. Davante Adams juggled a touchdown and a critical third down pass but made the tough catches. Marquez Valdez-Scantling came to play in Baltimore. Five catches for 98 yards including a highlight touchdown grab and extension over the goal line were all made to look easy.

Once again the Packers started slow, Rodgers missed a wide open Adams on third down to force a first quarter punt and the Ravens kept the ball for most of the rest of the quarter. Rodgers had the ball as the first quarter ended and the eight play 84 yard touchdown drive evened the score at seven.

The Ravens responded with an eleven play, 73 yard, scoring drive that gave the Ravens a 14-7 lead. The Ravens game plan focused on their giant pass catching tight end, Mark Andrews. The Packers defense schemed safety Darnell Savage to match up on Andrews. That plan was a failure for most of the game. Savage was beaten on multiple passes and seemed to want no part of tackling him. Andrews had 10 catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns. The Packers seemed to realize their original scheme wasn’t working. They brought in Kevin King to match up on Andrews but King could not stop the simple slant route that the Ravens had run repeatedly.

Dec 19, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones (33) celebrates with wide receiver Juann Winfree (88) after scoring a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens during the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

With the Packers receiving the second half kickoff they reeled off six running plays on the 13 play drive that was helped by a questionable pass interference penalty on Baltimore that erased what could have been a crucial Allen Lazard drop on third down. The very next play Rodgers found Aaron Jones all alone in the end zone on a cleverly designed play with multiple crossing patterns that worked as a pick play by Lazard on Ravens linebacker Otaro Alaka. Alaka stumbled, leaving Jones uncovered for the catch and score.

The Ravens scored on a field goal in their first drive of the third quarter but the Packers responded with their second touchdown of the quarter upping their led to 28-17. On the next series the Packer defense stuffed the Ravens, yet on their own 29, Harbaugh decided to go for it on 4th and 6 with over twelve minutes left in the fourth quarter. Huntley missed his pass and the Packers took over. Rodgers then missed an open Lazard in the end zone on third down. Mason Crosby was the bright spot on Special Teams, nailing the 29 yard field goal and all his extra points to put the Packers up 14 in the fourth. 31-17.

The Ravens have a good track record for 4th quarter comebacks in 2021. They almost added to that resume by scoring two touchdowns in the fourth and shutting down the Packers offense for a quick punt. But the Ravens, who had repeated success running and passing up the middle of the Packers defense during the game, tried a sideline throw on the two point conversion attempt that was well defensed by rookie Eric Stokes.

The Packers now have sealed the North division and still lead the playoff hunt as the top seed. Next up, the Cleveland Browns at Lambeau on Christmas. Let’s hope for a merry day for the Green and Gold.

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Paul Edwards

Paul Edwards is a lawyer, victim advocate, writer, and long term Packer fan and Packer history enthusiast.

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14 Comments

  1. Rebelgb December 20, 2021

    If anyone wondered just how big an impact Kenny Clark makes to this Packer defense you only needed to see this game.

    1. Mick December 20, 2021

      Right on Rebel. With Clark in there, the OLBs would have covered the outside areas better, and prevented a good percentage of the Ravens scrambling plays. We all know what a shit show the special teams are, and it’s worrisome that this unit is showing NO improvement week to week. The Packers D had a rough time covering the Ravens TE all night. If, and or when, the Packers have to play the Bucs in the playoffs, they’ll have to contend with Gronkowski and those big receivers over the middle. I’m sure TB will exploit that weakness. Getting Clark back will really help. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed but, King is still either ailing or he just doesn’t want to get injured. He shouldn’t be out there.

      1. PF4L December 20, 2021

        Ailing?
        .
        The 5 year injury?
        .
        When i said he looked frail 5 years ago, i was sober.
        .
        Can we settle on injury prone and lacking in talent?
        .
        Will Gute sign him again?
        Even Gute, can’t be that stupid…What say you Tommi?

  2. Mick December 20, 2021

    At least Crosby has seemed to correct what was wrong with the kicking game lately but the punter is showing chinks in the armor. The mistakes on STs are rather baffling. Although this unit didn’t play as bad as last week; some of the plays are just bone-headed mistakes. I realize that the STs are constantly shuffling a/c injury or whatever but, one has to wonder what is, or isn’t being addressed in practices. I think coach LaFleur made the understatement of the year when asked about the performance of STs. when he said “it’s not up to standard”. We’re all happy with the win over the Ravens but, these mistakes won’t cut it in the playoffs.

  3. Tom M December 20, 2021

    Did Aaron Rodgers miss a wide open Davante Adams and then Allan Lazard because he hadn’t practiced in a month or because he’s 38 yrs old? It’s hardly been a one time occurrence. Usually it’s MVS, but not limited to, that he misses. This is when you have to be careful with stats. Rodgers hits Lazard wide open in the end zone and it’s game over. He gets a first down on that last drive and it’s game over. Give Baltimore credit, they’re a well run organization. They had Joe Flacco on a big contract not that far removed from a SB win and they draft Lamar Jackson on the back end of the first round in 2017. This Huntley kid is a poor man’s Lamar Jackson. He comes in and they don’t miss a beat. The New Orleans Saints have given the NFL a blue print on how to beat the world champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And it has nothing to do with QB’s with pretty passer ratings. You beat Tom Brady and the Bucs with defense, defense, and more defense. Huntley was able to out run the pass rush. Tom Brady will not. Nevertheless, we’ll need Kenny Clark and Jaire Alexander to give us our best chance to beat Tampa Tom.

  4. Big B December 20, 2021

    The first item on Lafleur’s scripted playsheet should be 1) Fire Drayton.
    Flashback to 2019 when the deplorable state of Packers’ special teams prompted an interview with Darren Rizzi, an acknowledged guru, but a lowball offer drove him off. He went to the Saints and they’ve done well. I appreciated that last night watching the Saints knock out TB. Coaching costs don’t have any bearing on the salary cap, so it’s inexcusable for the Packers, a publicly held team, to skimp in this area. I hope the off-season isn’t too late to make the change.

    1. icebowl December 20, 2021

      Spot on B…. The Swiss Cheese Secondary and Keystone Kops Special Teams ain’t gonna do it in Playoffs, Playoff.. ?

  5. PF4L December 20, 2021

    Tom M December 20, 2021
    Did Aaron Rodgers miss a wide open Davante Adams and then Allan Lazard because he hadn’t practiced in a month or because he’s 38 yrs old?
    ***************************
    Does Aaron Rodgers have to have a 158.3 passer rating to make you happy?
    Maybe if Rodgers stopped targeting Adams 15-20 times a game?
    Have any other fairy tales you want to invent…lol.
    .
    Holy shit man…….
    .
    You must be one unhappy miserable bastard in real life.
    That’s assuming, of course, you have a life.
    .
    Tommi’s Rodgers hate is next level, above next level.

  6. Tom M December 21, 2021

    Worship Aaron Rodgers all you like. We’re now in the SB tournament. It’s about beating the world champion Tampa Bay Bucs and getting to the SB. If you expect Aaron Rodgers to do it with his fancy QB rating, then expect to be disappointed, again. It’s going to take Kenny Clark and De’Vondre Campbell to limit Leonard Fournette. Rashan Gary and Preston Smith to make it uncomfortable for Brady. And Eric Stokes and Jaire Alexander to neutralize Evans and AB. That’s our best shot at getting to the SB. Because Rodgers will miss open receivers and settle for FG’s inside the 20 in the playoffs. We know this because it’s happened all season.

  7. PF4L December 21, 2021

    Because, it’s a given the Packers will be playing Tampa Bay in the NFCCG?
    .
    Tommi is God like…he knows all.
    .
    “That’s right sweetheart and you can take that to the bank cupcake” – Princess

  8. Tom M December 22, 2021

    Tom Brady is the world champion until someone knocks him out. It’d be great if the Rams, Cardinals, or even Dallas beat the Bucs. But that’s wishful thinking. In order to be the champion you have to beat the champion. If you recall, back in the 90’s we could never beat Dallas in the playoffs. The year we finally got to the SB, Carolina beat Dallas. Something the Packers couldn’t do the three previous seasons in the playoffs. Then we beat Carolina to go to the SB. You can’t expect someone else to beat your nemesis if you can’t beat them yourself. Until someone beats Tampa in the playoffs, they’ll remain our biggest obstacle to get to the SB. Until Rodgers proves otherwise, Brady owns Rodgers. Just put your head in the sand and mumble something about a worthless MVP award because that’s all that matters to you.

    1. PF4L December 22, 2021

      “To be the man daddy, you gotta beat the man”
      .
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6IumUZ0C10

    2. PF4L December 22, 2021

      “The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the World Champions until someone knocks them out” – PF4L – V.O.R.
      .
      ” Brady owns Rodgers.” – Princess
      .
      Head to head 2017 NFCCG…
      .
      Brady = 20/36..280 yards..3 TD’s ..3 Interceptions…73.9 passer rating
      .
      Rodgers = 33/48 ..346 yards…3 TD’s…1 Interception…101 passer rating
      .
      OWNED!!
      Our lovable Princess….so full of hate.
      .
      May God have mercy on his soul.
      ***************************************
      I think it might be safe to say, maybe even more accurately…..
      .
      The Bucs front seven owns the Packers.
      .
      Footnote….Not sure if true, but i heard when the Patriots were handed the George Halas trophy, the Patriots thanked Kevin King….by name.
      .
      Although rumor has it, Kevin King is having a fine season.
      .
      What say you Princess?
      .

      1. PF4L December 22, 2021

        *Tampa Bay