December 8, 2009 in Sports

Packers prevail

But Green Bay has its struggles
Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Green Bay’s Nick Collins (36) intercepts a pass intended for Mark Clayton in front of teammate Tramon Williams.
(Full-size photo)

GREEN BAY, Wis. – The standings say the Green Bay Packers are in good shape for the playoffs. But Monday night’s victory over the Baltimore Ravens showed they still have some work to do to be taken seriously once they get there.

Aaron Rodgers threw three touchdown passes, including two to tight end Jermichael Finley, and the Packers beat the Ravens 27-14 in a penalty-filled game.

It was the fourth straight win for the Packers (8-4), solidifying their spot in the NFC wild-card race. But it certainly wasn’t pretty.

The teams committed 23 penalties for 310 yards, tying for the second-highest yardage total in an NFL game.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy called the penalties “unbelievable for both sides” but said he was happy with the way his team responded to trying circumstances – something they hadn’t done well earlier.

“I’ll say this about our football team: I was very proud and excited the way they overcame the adversity,” McCarthy said.

The Ravens (6-6) struggled in coverage without injured star safety Ed Reed (hip and ankle).

But Ravens coach John Harbaugh insisted his team still can save its season.

“We are still breathing,” Harbaugh said. “We are still alive.”

Baltimore was called for five pass interference penalties, the most by a team in a game since the New York Giants in 2001. The Packers were flagged for four pass interferences.

Rodgers was 26 of 40 for 263 yards with two interceptions, only his sixth and seventh of the season.

While Reed’s replacement, Tom Zbikowski, came up with one of the interceptions, the Ravens struggled in coverage.

Baltimore’s Joe Flacco was 15 of 36 for 137 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions. The Packers sacked him three times.

“If our defense plays like it did tonight, we’re going to be tough to beat,” Rodgers said.

Leading 17-0 at halftime and seemingly cruising, the Packers suddenly found themselves scrambling after a pair of turnovers allowed Baltimore to get back in the game.

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