The Heat Bowl:
After a game filled with many ups and downs, the Green Bay Packers came together as a team and made many late game, clutch stops on defense, and incredible throws on their final two drives of the game to clinch a 27-24 victory over the Bengals, improving their record to 2-1.
The Packers fell behind 21-7 early in the contest. The Bengals were dominating the point of attack on both sides of the ball. This lead to a balanced attack on offense and an effective pass rush on defense. The Bengal pass rush was responsible for Aaron Rodgers being sacked five times and having an interception returned for a touchdown. The outlook of the game looked bleak early on. However, the Packers regrouped at halftime and made second-half adjustments that helped generate a more consistent offensive attack and a more steady pass rush.
The defensive attack was spearheaded by rookie standout Josh Jones. Jones had a career day in yesterday’s contest, notching 12 total tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks. Both of Jones’s sacks came on key third-down plays that swung the momentum in the Packers favor. Jones’s standout play sparked the defensive unit and lead to the second half turnaround. Blake Martinez and Kenny Clark helped stifle Cincinnati’s second-half running game which invigorated the once dormant Green Bay offense.
The Packers began the second half with the ball and drove right down the field for a touchdown cutting the Bengals lead to 21-14. The rest of the second half was a seesaw battle seeing both defenses make key plays and both offenses trade field goals. The stage was set for a memorable conclusion to the first ever heat bowl at Lambeau Field.
In order for the Packers to come away with the victory, Aaron Rodgers would have to engineer another one of his dazzling two-minute drills under pressure. With the game on the line, Rodgers was at his best. He was able to move his passing pocket and work the sidelines with perfectly precise passes to Jordy Nelson and Geronimo Allison. The drive was capped off by a touchdown off of a perfectly thrown ball to Jordy Nelson in the right corner of the end zone to tie the game at 24.
The momentum carried into overtime as the Lambeau faithful caused Andy Dalton to use a timeout before the Bengals first snap. The defense continued to feed off of the fierce, roaring Lambeau crowd, causing the Bengals to go three and out in their first series of overtime.
The ball came back to the Packers and it was time yet again for Aaron Rodgers to work a little more of his late-game magic. Time stood still as Aaron Rodgers delivered another signature late-game money throw to Geronimo Allison who ran the ball down to the 6-yard line to set up Mason Grosby’s game-winning field goal.
Three stars????of the game:
1. Josh Jones: 12 total tackles, 2 third down sacks, 3 tackles for loss
2. Geronimo Allison 6 catches for 122 yards, 72 yard catch to set up Mason Crosby field goal.
3. Aaron Rodgers 28/42 313 Yards 3 Touchdowns 1 interception
David Michalski is a recent college graduate from Princeton New Jersey who has been a life long Green Bay Packers fan. Like the great Vince Lombardi, he values God, family, and the Green Bay Packers in that order. You can follow him on twitter at @kilbas27dave