Green Bay Packers (10-3) 43, Atlanta Falcons (5-8) 37
Monday December 8th 2014 (at Green Bay)
Atlanta Falcons' Desmond Trufant tackles Green Bay Packers' Randall Cobb (18) after a catch during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Green Bay Packers' Micah Hyde tackles Atlanta Falcons' Julio Jones (11) after a catch during the first half of an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)
Green Bay Packers' James Starks celebrates after rushing for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)
GAME RECAP (SportsNetwork.com)
(GREEN BAY) - Aaron Rodgers fired three touchdown passes and Green Bay survived a shootout with Atlanta, as the Packers took a 43-37 victory on Monday. Rodgers went 24-for-36 for 327 yards, with Jordy Nelson catching eight passes for 146 yards and two scores for the Packers (10-3), who have ripped off five straight victories. It was the 100th start in Rodgers' career and he has a 68-32 mark in that time, same as former Packer Brett Favre. "It's been fun. Been a great 100 games started," said Rodgers. "We've said around here you can't start talking about the playoffs until you get to 10 wins. It's starting to come together." Eddie Lacy posted one touchdown rushing and one receiving, while totaling 106 yards, and James Starks also had a rushing touchdown and 101 total yards for Green Bay, which remained one game ahead of Detroit for first place in the NFC North. Julio Jones had a career night for Atlanta, catching 11 balls for 259 yards and a touchdown. He was off the field for Atlanta's last scoring drive, though, with a hip injury. "They just leaned on me today and I just tried to make most of the plays," Jones said. "Everything they threw on me, I tried my best to get them." Matt Ryan finished the game with four touchdown passes and an interception on 24-of-39 attempts for 375 yards for the Falcons (5-8), who still sit tied atop the NFC South thanks to New Orleans' loss to Carolina on Sunday. Atlanta made it a 10-point game just 2 1/2 minutes into the fourth after Ryan went down the left side and found Jones for a 22-yard score to make it a 34-24 game. It did not take long for Rodgers to answer, though, as he went deep himself for his top target, finding Nelson for a 60-yard score. Mason Crosby's extra- point attempt was blocked. The scores kept coming, as Ryan brought Atlanta back down the field, converting a 4th-and-4 with a 19-yard pass to Jones. Ryan capped the 12-play drive with a short toss to Roddy White for a 1-yard score. The two-point conversion attempt failed and it was a 40-30 game with 6:15 to play. An onsides kick was recovered by Green Bay, and Crosby booted a 53-yard field goal with 4:33 left, but Ryan came right back to again make it a one-score game. With his top receiver on the sideline, Ryan spread the ball around and found White for 29 yards to move the ball across midfield. The team faced a 4th-and- goal at the 2, with Ryan hooking up with Harry Douglas to make it a six-point game with 2:11 to play. Needing a stop from its defense after failing to recover the onside kick, Atlanta didn't get it as Rodgers had a 12-yard run just out of the two-minute warning. Starks followed that with a 41-yard run as the Packers ran out of the rest of the clock. Green Bay started the game with the ball, and Rodgers guided the team on an 81-yard drive that saw Starks run it in around the right end on the seventh snap for a 7-0 lead less than four minutes in. Atlanta countered with a scoring drive of its own, as Jones caught three passes for 45 yards on the drive and Steven Jackson finished it off with a 4- yard score with seven minutes left in the first. Rodgers guided his team on another touchdown drive, with Lacy finishing off the 13-play, 80-yard march with a 1-yard run around the left end on the first play of the second quarter for a 14-7 advantage. Rodgers converted a 3rd- and-17 early in the drive with a 30-yard pass to Andrew Quarless. Following a three-and-out from the Falcons, the Packers got the ball back at their own 16 and were able to get into scoring position, with Crosby hitting a 38-yard field goal for a 17-7 lead with 7:17 to play in the first half. Ryan was picked off by Morgan Burnett on Atlanta's next touch, returning the ball to the Atlanta 15. Four plays later, Rodgers hit Lacy with a pass over the middle for a 1-yard score and a 24-7 lead. Another short possession from the Falcons saw the Packers get the ball back near midfield with 2 1/2 minutes to play, and that was plenty of time for Rodgers as he found Nelson in the back of the end zone from 10 yards out for a 31-7 lead with 24 seconds left. Matt Bryant had a 53-yard field goal attempt tipped at the line to end the half. Starting the second half with the ball, the Falcons' first play went for 79 yards as Jones caught a bomb down the right side and ran it to the three. Ryan eventually found Eric Weems for a 5-yard score 2 1/2 minutes in. After a short possession from Green Bay, the Falcons got the ball back near midfield and wound up coming away with three points after Bryant booted a 50- yarder to make it a 31-17 game. The Packers answered on their ensuing touch with a 33-yarder from Crosby to take a 17-point lead into the final quarter.
Game Notes: Mike McCarthy has 98 wins in the regular season and playoffs with Green Bay, tying him with Vince Lombardi for second in team history...The teams combined for 967 yards of offense, 502 from Green Bay, which also controlled the ball for 33:01...Rodgers has 27,522 yards, most ever for a QB over his first 100 starts...Jones leads all receivers in the NFL with 1,428 yards...Rodgers has 35 touchdowns to just three interceptions this season, including 23 touchdowns and no interceptions at home.
                           ATLANTA   GREEN BAY
First downs                     26          28
Rushes-yards                 24-91      30-179
Net Passing yards              374         323
Passing (Att-Comp-Int)     39-24-1     36-24-0
Sacked-Yards Lost              1-1         1-4
Punts-Average               2-48.5      1-31.0
Fumbles-Lost                   0-0         1-0
Penalties-Yards               3-11        5-40
Time of Possession           26:59       33:01
ATLANTA   -   7   0  10  20  - 37
GREEN BAY -   7  24   3   9  - 43
1st - GB - James Starks, 3-yard run (Mason Crosby kick) GREEN BAY 7-0
1st - ATL - Steven Jackson, 4-yard run (Matt Bryant kick) TIED 7-7
2nd - GB - Eddie Lacy, 1-yard run (Crosby kick) GREEN BAY 14-7
2nd - GB - Crosby, 38-yard field goal GREEN BAY 17-7
2nd - GB - Lacy, 1-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers (Crosby kick) GREEN BAY 24-7
2nd - GB - Jordy Nelson, 10-yard pass from Rodgers (Crosby kick) GREEN BAY 31-7
3rd - ATL - Eric Weems, 5-yard pass from Matt Ryan (Bryant kick) GREEN BAY 31-14
3rd - ATL - Bryant, 50-yard field goal GREEN BAY 31-17
3rd - GB - Crosby, 33-yard field goal GREEN BAY 34-17
4th - ATL - Julio Jones, 22-yard pass from Ryan (Bryant kick) GREEN BAY 34-24
4th - GB - Nelson, 60-yard pass from Rodgers (Crosby kick blocked) GREEN BAY 40-24
4th - ATL - Roddy White, 1-yard pass from Ryan (Run failed) GREEN BAY 40-30
4th - GB - Crosby, 53-yard field goal GREEN BAY 43-30
4th - ATL - Harry Douglas, 2-yard pass from Ryan (Bryant kick) GREEN BAY 43-37
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING
GREEN BAY - James Starks 10-75 1 TD, Eddie Lacy 13-73 1 TD, Aaron Rodgers 5-28, John Kuhn 1-4, Randall Cobb 1-(-1)
ATLANTA - Steven Jackson 16-50 1 TD, Matt Ryan 2-23, Jacquizz Rodgers 3-20, Devin Hester 1-0, Devonta Freeman 2-(-2)
PASSING
GREEN BAY - Aaron Rodgers 36-24-327 3 TD
ATLANTA - Matt Ryan 39-24-375 4 TD 1 INT
RECEIVING
GREEN BAY - Jordy Nelson 8-146 2 TD, Eddie Lacy 5-33 1 TD, Randall Cobb 4-58, Andrew Quarless 3-52, James Starks 2-26, John Kuhn 1-6, Davante Adams 1-6
ATLANTA - Julio Jones 11-259 1 TD, Roddy White 3-42 1 TD, Steven Jackson 2-26, Harry Douglas 2-11 1 TD, Devota Freeman 2-10, Jacquizz Rodgers 1-14, Patrick DiMarco 1-9, Eric Weems 1-5 1 TD, Levine Toilolo 1-(-1)
AROUND THE NFC NORTH
Thursday December 4th
DALLAS 41, Chicago 28 - The Dallas Cowboys stayed perfect on the road and ended a three-game losing streak to the Chicago Bears by getting the ball to DeMarco Murray every chance they could. Murray had 41 touches and gained 228 yards from scrimmage as the Cowboys shook off a demoralizing division loss on Thanksgiving to beat the Bears 41-28 on Thursday night. There was no relief for the Bears, who lost not only the game, but also star wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who was taken away from Soldier Field in an ambulance after suffering an injury to his ribs in the first half, though he tweeted later that he was OK. Murray, the NFL's leading rusher, followed last year's 146-yard effort against the Bears with 179 yards and a touchdown on 32 carries and added 49 yards on nine catches. Tony Romo had three touchdown passes -- two to Cole Beasley -- and earned his eighth career win in Thursday games as he and the Cowboys bounced back from a 33-10 loss to NFC East rival Philadelphia by winning in Chicago for the first time since 2007. It's on the road where the Cowboys (9-4) have thrived this season, going 6-0. That mark will be put to the test next Sunday when they play in Philly with first place in the division on the line. Matt Forte and Jay Cutler rushed for touchdowns in the fourth quarter -- Cutler after an onside kick, cutting a 25-point Dallas lead to 10. But the Bears (5-8) lost for the second week in a row after falling in Detroit on Thanksgiving.
Sunday December 7th
MINNESOTA 30, New York Jets 24 (OT) - Jarius Wright turned a screen pass into a winning 87-yard touchdown in overtime, lifting the Minnesota Vikings over the New York Jets 30-24 on Sunday. Facing a 3rd-and-5 on his team's first possession of overtime, Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater threw a pass
to Wright behind the line of scrimmage. Wright got the first down and proceeded to beat the Jets defense down the sideline to win the game. Bridgewater completed 19-of-27 passes for 309 yards and a pair of touchdowns with an interception to lead the Vikings (6-7) to their second straight win. Wright finished with 123 yards on four catches, and Charles Johnson also scored with four catches for 103 yards. Matt Asiata led Minnesota with 54 rushing yards and linebacker Gerald Hodges returned an interception for a touchdown for the first score of the game. Geno Smith threw for 254 yards, a touchdown and an interception for the Jets (2-11), who have lost three in a row. Percy Harvin caught six passes for 124 yards and a touchdown against his former team and Eric Decker added 89 yards on six catches for the Jets. Chris Ivory ran for 73 yards on 16 carries, and Chris Johnson finished the day with 16 carries for 53 yards.
DETROIT 34, Tampa Bay 17 - Matthew Stafford had three touchdown passes, and Joique Bell scored twice as the Detroit Lions pounded the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 34-17, at Ford Field on Sunday. Stafford went 26-for-34 for 311 yards with touchdown passes to Bell, Calvin Johnson and Joseph Fauria for the Lions (9-4), who have won two straight after consecutive road losses. Johnson finished the game with eight catches for 158 yards, while Bell had 18 carries for 83 yards and a rushing touchdown while adding five catches for 50 yards for Detroit. The Lions are still in the hunt for the top spot in the NFC North, as the team remains a game back of the Packers for first place. Josh McCown was under pressure all day as he was sacked six times and took several hard hits. He completed 20-for-39 passes for 250 yards with two touchdown passes, but he was picked off twice and also lost a fumble. Vincent Jackson caught 10 passes for 159 yards, and Mike Evans caught both touchdown passes for the Buccaneers (2-11), who have lost their last three games.
NFC NORTH DIVISION STANDINGS
GREEN BAY   10   3   0   .769   423  304
Detroit      9   4   0   .692   265  224
Minnesota    6   7   0   .462   263  281
Chicago      5   8   0   .385   281  378