Packers getting healthier as they begin their playoff drive
Aaron Rodgers didn’t seem perturbed after Green Bay closed the regular season with a 37-30 loss at Detroit that snapped a five-game winning streak, but had no bearing on its playoff position. The reigning league MVP instead was encouraged to be working behind an offensive line that’s getting closer to full strength after 2020 All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari and rookie center Josh Myers returned from knee injuries. Bakhtiari was making his season debut. “We talked about momentum, and that was important, but I really wanted to get out there with Dave and Josh,” Rodgers said.news.yahoo.com
Lawrence, McCaffrey, Jones headline 2021 All-Absent Team
The league could put together a talent-packed all-star team of players who came up well short for whatever reason this year. From rookie Trevor Lawrence to running back Christian McCaffrey to wide receiver Julio Jones, this year’s “All-Absent Team” is packed with star power:QUARTERBACKTrevor Lawrence, Jaguars. The can’t-miss prospect can’t seem to throw a touchdown pass. The former Clemson star has one touchdown pass in Jacksonville’s last eight games and has lost seven consecutive starts. The star pass rusher underwent back surgery in late September after being limited in the season opener.wftv.com
NFC Matchups: Where else to start but Brady and Rodgers?
But Gronk in particular has always been a big-play guy in big games for Brady, and Green Bay doesn't have linebackers who excel in coverage. Green Bay will do some blitzing, though not as much as Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles figures to do. Unlike Brady, Rodgers can create outside the pocket, and he's especially dangerous when doing so. Veteran placekicker Mason Crosby is solid, making all 16 field goal attempts, but missed four PATs for Green Bay. Tampa Bay's Ryan Succop, now in his 12th pro season, made 28 of 31 field goal tries but missed five extra points.
Top cornerbacks standing out on NFL's Super Bowl hopefuls
Nearly every team still vying for the Super Bowl has an elite cornerback often capable of shutting down an opponent's top receiver all by himself. The NFC playoff bracket has three of the conference's four Pro Bowl cornerbacks: Green Bay's Jaire Alexander, Los Angeles' Jalen Ramsey and New Orleans' Marshon Lattimore. Staley's scheme has employed Ramsey in multiple roles throughout the season, and his job often changes from play to play. Oddly enough, the remaining playoff team perceived to have the least dominant cornerbacks is defending champion Kansas City, the favorite to make it back to the Super Bowl. “Some of the best cornerbacks happen to play on the best teams, that’s all I can say,” Bills safety Micah Hyde said.
Rodgers leads Pack to top of NFC after draft disappointment
(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)The NFC playoff field features the usual cast of quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 45, 31-25 over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Feb. 6, 2011, at Arlington, Texas. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 48, 43-8 over the Denver Broncos on Feb. 2, 2014, at East Rutherford, N.J. Last year: No. The Bears’ leading tackler left in the first quarter of the Green Bay game with an elbow injury. DBs Buster Skrine, rookie Jaylon Johnson and Deon Bush missed the loss to Green Bay.
Packers struggle to put away Jags, get by with 24-20 win
GREEN BAY, Wis. – Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur liked the way his team finished. “We will challenge everybody in this organization that’s a part of this football team to bring more emotion,” LaFleur said. CJ Henderson knocked the ball loose from Adams, and Myles Jack returned the fumble 16 yards to Green Bay’s 16. Green Bay played without usual starting cornerbacks Jaire Alexander (hand/concussion) and Kevin King (quadriceps). COACHING SHORT-HANDEDJaguars cornerbacks coach Tim Walton didn’t make the trip to Green Bay because of what the team described as personal reasons unrelated to COVID-19.
Steelers' Roethlisberger active after virus-related absence
The unbeaten Pittsburgh Steelers wound up relatively healthy for their game against the AFC North rival Cincinnati Bengals following a brush with the novel coronavirus. Defensive tackle Tyson Alualu is also back after missing a game with a knee injury. Cincinnati is without running back Joe Mixon, whose lingering foot injury is forcing him to miss a third game in a row. Receiver Cooper Kupp, left tackle Andrew Whitworth and running back Darrell Henderson all were active after missing practices with injuries. Raiders: T Kolton Miller (ankle), DT Maurice Hurst (ankle), QB Marcus Mariota, RB Theo Riddick, G John Simpson, DT Daniel Ross.
Aaron Rodgers leads Packers past undermanned 49ers, 34-17
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling, bottom left, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) celebrate after connecting on a touchdown pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Aaron Rodgers took advantage of the undermanned San Francisco 49ers rather than sympathizing with the team that dominated his Green Bay Packers twice last season. Rodgers threw for 305 yards and four touchdowns and the Packers overwhelmed the depleted 49ers 34-17 on Thursday night. DEPLETED ROSTERThe run of injuries and coronavirus rules left the 49ers with a shell of a roster, especially on offense. 49ers: CB K’Waun Williams (ankle) and S Jaquiski Tartt (toe) left the game and didn’t return.
Rodgers at ease as Packers roll past Vikings 43-34
Davante Adams was predictably the biggest beneficiary, with a career-high, franchise-record-tying 14 catches for 156 yards and two scores. Aaron Jones rushed for 66 yards and a touchdown for the Packers, who posted their highest score against the Vikings since a 44-31 victory at the Metrodome on Oct. 27, 2013. Jaire Alexander, who also recorded a safety on an untouched cornerback blitz in the second quarter, made the bobbling interception. When LG Lucas Patrick (shoulder) was forced out in the second quarter, Jenkins moved back to his original spot and free agent addition Rick Wagner entered at RT. ... DT Kenny Clark (groin) was hurt in the second quarter during Alexander's interception and didn't return.