The Green Bay Packers beat the Baltimore Ravens 27-14 in a penalty-ridden, error-strewn game to boost their play-off hopes on Monday. Aaron Rodgers threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Packers to a fourth win in a row and improve their record this season to 8-4.
Yellow flags flew all night at Lambeau Field with the teams combining for 310 penalty yards to tie the second highest total for an NFL game. "It wasn't pretty out there, but a win is a win. We had to get this one to stay ahead in the play-off race," the Packers wide receiver Donald Driver said. "I'll say this about our football team: I was very proud and excited the way they overcame the adversity," said the Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy, who was not happy with his team's three turnovers but delighted with the performance of his quarterback.
"We had too many give-aways on offence, you can't turn over the football that many times," he added. "But I'm very pleased with Aaron's overall play. He's had an excellent year and really grown." Rodgers admitted a players' meeting after a 38-28 defeat to Tampa Bay on November 8 had sparked Green Bay's resurgence. "Guys spoke up and you really saw the passion," he said. "We talked about not wanting to miss out on a great opportunity. We have a great group here and we're in a good spot and have good confidence about us."
The Ravens (6-6) were on the receiving end of five pass interference calls and their offence managed just 185 total yards. The Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco threw a costly interception into the end zone as his team were trying to cut into a 24-14 deficit in the fourth quarter. He added another interception on the next series for the Ravens, who finished with four turnovers and 135 yards worth of penalties.
Green Bay had 175 penalty yards but took a 17-0 half-time lead behind touchdown receptions from Driver and Jermichael Finley, who was to add a second score in the fourth quarter. "We've got plenty to be encouraged about," said the Baltimore coach Harbaugh. "We're in a tight race for the wild card, we are every bit in it. Everybody, they'll say what they'll say. It's a week-to-week proposition in this league."
* With agencies