Packers Head to Bye Week Undefeated After Close Win Over San Diego
Green Bay's rookie cornerback, Damorious Randall, made a veteran play by breaking up a pass on fourth down and goal to help the Packers hold on to a 27-20 victory over the San Diego Chargers.
Despite allowing Phillip Rivers to complete 43 of 65 passes for 503 yards Sunday, Green Bay's defense made a stop when it mattered most. The Packers' defense didn't allow the Chargers to tie the game and showed in crunch time, they can be counted on.
Green Bay started the game with a near flawless first drive that resulted in a five-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to James Starks. Starks added another touchdown late in the first quarter. After running into a wall of defenders initially, Starks reversed it and went the distance for a 65-yard touchdown run. The Packers were in control in the first half and had a 17-3 lead. A touchdown by Rivers at the end of the second quarter cut Green Bay's lead to seven at halftime.
Early in the third quarter, Rivers tossed another touchdown pass to tie the game. Just before the end of the quarter, Rodgers found James Jones, who hauled in a touchdown pass to give the Packers the lead back. San Diego got within four in the fourth quarter on a field goal, but Green Bay added three points of its own to go back ahead by a score. That seven point margin was the difference as the Packers won their 13th straight game at Lambeau Field and improved to 6-0 going into the bye week. After a bye in Week 7, Green Bay travels to Denver, who is also unbeaten.
The bye week couldn't come at a better time for the Packers, as Green Bay is banged up. Ty Montgomery exited the game Sunday as the Packers lost another receiver. The good news is that Montgomery's x-rays were negative. Randall Cobb and Jones have also been playing through injuries and Davante Adams has sat out the last few games with an injury. Jeff Janis made two big catches for 79 yards Sunday for the Packers. Janis led Green Bay in receiving yards. Cobb caught two passes for 38 yards, while Jones had two catches for 30 yards and a touchdown.
Green Bay also had its first 100-yard rusher of the season and it wasn't Eddie Lacy. Starks ran for 112 yards on 10 carries. Lacy received four carries and ran for three yards and caught two passes for 17 yards. It appears that ankle is still bothering the former Alabama tailback.
Green Bay's offense needs Cobb and Jones at full strength along with Lacy and Adams. A healthy Lacy makes the Packers' offense a big boost. He can shred off tacklers with his spin move. Not to say Starks hasn't done a great job, though. He has. But with Lacy and Starks back there, Green Bay's run game can be more unstoppable. Then with Adams healthy, it gives Rodgers a deep threat and frees up Cobb and Jones.
As for the defense, the Packers gave up a ton of yards. However, Sunday, Green Bay's defense showed they can bend, but not break. Dom Capers' unit has shown that in crunch time, they can make plays and get stops.
Against the Chargers, Rodgers was 16 of 29 for 255 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Sam Tastad will have stories on the Packers all season with pre-and-post game previews. Follow him on Twitter @samtastad and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.