As closers go, it’s hard to beat Aaron Rodgers.
And it appears the Packers have a rookie running back who could aid their finishing efforts for years to come.
After the Ravens had narrowed the Packers’ lead to 19-17 with a little more than two minutes left, Rodgers and first-year running back Eddie Lacy helped Green Bay run out the clock and secure victory Sunday at Baltimore.
First, Rodgers hit tight end Jermichael Finley for a 52-yard completion on 3rd-and-3. Then, Lacy did the rest, getting the game’s final first down on a four-yard gain and smartly sliding down with the new round of downs secure and Baltimore having no more timeouts. Rodgers would kneel twice, and the Packers had their third win of the season.
However, in victory, the Packers lost wide receivers James Jones and Randall Cobb to leg injuries. Still, the Packers did enough on offense to win. Rodgers threw for 315 yards, with 199 coming after halftime, when Jones and Cobb were out of the game.
The Ravens’ offense struggled for much of the game, but it did perk up in the fourth quarter. Trailing 19-10 and facing a 4th-and-21 at the Baltimore 19 with less than three minutes left, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco found Tandon Doss for 63 yards. Then, on the next play, Flacco connected with tight end Dallas Clark, who made a nice one-handed 18-yard TD catch to draw Baltimore within 19-17.
However, the Ravens didn’t have much margin for error on defense with just 2:04 left, and the Packers made the necessary plays to win.
The Packers’ defense held the Ravens without points for more than 40 minutes of regulation, with a second-quarter goal-line stand against Baltimore a major play in the game. The Packers also earned three unexpected points at the end of the first half when Joe Flacco fumbled on a sack and the Packers’ Datone Jones recovered, setting up a field goal as the quarter came to a close.
Now 3-2, the Packers are a half-game out of first place in the NFC North behind Chicago and Detroit, who are both 4-2. The Ravens, meanwhile, fell to 3-3. They are a game behind Cincinnati in the AFC North.