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Upon Further Review: Rodgers, Crosby power Pack to top of NFC North


The MVP of NFL plays for the Green Bay Packers.

And his name is Mason Crosby.

The Packers 36-year-old kicker won’t actually take home that award this season, but he made all of his extra points and, more importantly, nailed a 57-yard field goal that put Green Bay up by 10 with 3:30 left in the fourth quarter. Green Bay went up by two scores with less than four minutes to play and later clinched the 31-24 win for the Detroit Lions.

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All of the rest of the Packers’ points came from their 37-year-old quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who bolstered his MVP campaign by going 26 of 33, passing for 290 yards and three touchdowns, and leading Green Bay to another NFC North crown.

Rodgers was hardly alone in his excellence. He connected with Davante Adams seven times for 115 yards and a touchdown and found Marquez Valdes-Scantling six times for 85 yards and a touchdown. Robert Tonyan added his ninth touchdown reception of the season while Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Rashan Gary and Darnell Savage combined for four sacks and slowed down a feisty Detroit offense.

The Packers certainly were not perfect in this game. Matthew Stafford moved the ball down the field before he left the game and Jamal Agnew’s 71-yard kick return late in the fourth quarter could have been disastrous, but in the end, Green Bay never really let the Lions (5-8) back in the game in the second half.

That cannot be said about the New Orleans Saints after their 24-21 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, and all of a sudden, the 10-3 Packers are at the top of the NFC.

Green Bay continues to take care of business against sub-.500 teams, and it looks like it is rounding into one of the most complete teams in the league.

Here’s a recap of Sunday’s game: (RECAP | PHOTOS)

 

PLAYER OF THE GAME

It’s almost becoming a weekly routine at this point, but with the way Rodgers is playing how can anyone else be considered the player of the game? Rodgers looked like his vintage self once again and dropped four total touchdowns on the Lions. He was accurate, mistake-free and turned on the jets in his six-yard scoring run in the third quarter. In Rodgers’ 2011 MVP season, he completed 68.3% of his passes for 4,643 yards, 45 touchdowns and six picks. In his 2014 MVP campaign, he tossed 38 scores compared to just five picks. Through 13 games this year, he has completed 69.6% of his throws for 3,685 yards, 39 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He’s putting up MVP-level numbers once again in 2020.

 

DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME

Valdes-Scantling had a great performance yesterday. The Packers wideout finished with six catches (on six targets) for 85 yards and a touchdown. He helped Green Bay sustain drives all game and snagged a jump ball out of midair on his 14-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter.

 

THAT MOMENT

Crosby’s 57-yard field goal that put the Packers up 10 points with 3:30 to go changed everything about this game. It would have been a 52-yard boot if Elgton Jenkins didn’t commit a false start on the original attempt, and at that point it would have been tempting to punt. After all, if the kick gets missed then Detroit would have gotten the ball at its own 39-yard line with plenty of time to drive to a touchdown. Instead, Crosby boomed it through and forced the Lions to try to score twice in the final 3:30, and we know how that went.

 

THIS NUMBER

39 — The amount of touchdown passes thrown by Rodgers this season. No. 12 now leads the league in touchdown passes and his 119.7 passer rating is also tops in the NFL. Rodgers has 10 games with 3+ touchdown passes, is completing 69.6% of his throws and has his team at the top of the NFC.

 

THEY SAID IT

“That’s a lot of faith and belief in Mason’s abilities. He knows himself. He’s been doing it a long time and I’m just glad, definitely, he made us right.” – Packers head coach Matt LaFleur on Crosby’s kicking abilities.

“I’m really proud of the way that he played today, the focus that he’s shown the last few weeks not getting the football has been really admirable. That’s how you earn the respect of your teammates, the way you conduct yourself when it may not be going as well as you’d like.” – Rodgers on Valdes-Scantling.

“We’re definitely not done. We’ve got a lot more work to put in and get where we ultimately want to be. We’re putting ourselves in a pretty good position right now. We’ve just got to keep our head down and keep working.” – Adams on finishing the season strong.

 

WHAT’S NEXT

The Packers return to Lambeau Field for a primetime game against the 4-9 Carolina Panthers on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. Carolina fell to the Denver Broncos 32-27 on Sunday with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater throwing for 283 yards in the defeat.




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