As the Green Bay Packers were able to withstand a late rally by the Cleveland Brown, they were able to keep their spot at the top of the NFC, accomplishing some history along the way. Saturday’s 24-22 victory didn’t come easy, but at the end of the day, a win is a win.
Aaron Rodgers passed Brett Favre’s franchise record for passing TDs (443) on a connection with Allen Lazard to kickstart the scoring for Green Bay in the first quarter, a foregone conclusion after his performance last week produced enough TD passes to have tied Favre’s long-standing record. On the day, Rodgers threw three TDs along with 202 yards and no turnovers, a low-stat day but one that did just enough to lead this offense.
On the other side of the ball, the defense for the Packers gave Baker Mayfield issues all day, intercepting him on four different occasions as the game progressed. Without former Packer and starting center JC Tretter, Mayfield was consistently forced to improvised with constant pressure in his face, as the Green Bay front took him down for five sacks.
Rasul Douglas (2), Darnell Savage (1), and Chandon Sullivan (1) combined for the four picks of Mayfield, including Douglas’ final INT when the Browns were looking to drive for the game-winning score. Couch QBs eloquently pointed out that there may have been a missed holding penalty on Douglas on his game-sealing INT, as he had a hand full of Donovan Peoples-Jones’ uniform, but both players were hand fighting past the five-yard window, so the referee let them play on.
The Browns ultimately were most successful when the ball was put in the hands of Nick Chubb, who kicked off the game’s scoring to help cap off the game’s opening drive. On the day, Chubb only handled 20 total touches (17 carries), turning that into 184 total yards and a score.
The offense for the Packers forgot how to put points on the board in the second half, as a lone third-quarter field goal is all Green Bay scored after putting up 21 in the first half.
The lone brights on Green Bay’s offense included Rodgers, Davante Adams (10/114/2), and Lazard (2/45/1), while others chipped in through smaller contributions. Defensively, Pro Bowl snub De’Vondre Campbell led the way with 13 total tackles, while Rashan Gary (2), Preston Smith (1), Tipa Galeai (1), and Dean Lowry (1) all recorded sacks on the day.
With the fight for the top seed in the conference and the lone bye, the Packers have two divisional matchups to end the season, starting at home against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday Night Football in the new year. With Minnesota barely hanging onto their playoff hopes, a loss would bury them even more in the postseason picture, an outcome the Packers would love to help with.뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23