Cory's Corner: Packers Just Keep Winning

 
I'm not going to make excuses for injuries. 
 
Davante Adams was out again with a turf toe, Marquez Valdes-Scantling left the game with a leg injury in the second quarter and Geronimo Allison suffered a punishing helmet-to-helmet hit to start the second half. 
 
Aaron Rodgers got his 21st career game-winning drive as the Packers squeaked past the Lions 23-22. "Today didn't feel like a win," Rodgers said to ESPN following the game. "We battled, made some mistakes."
 
That is quite the understatement. The Packers had three turnovers, were just 1-for-4 in the red zone and were 4-for-12 on third down. The Lions actually led through three quarters and it looked like Detroit was going to earn the upset win. 
 
The national narrative on this game is going to be Penaltygate. Trey Flowers was ticketed for illegal use of hands twice on left tackle David Bakhtiari -- and both were on third down. In slow motion, Flowers didn't get his hands on
the face or neck of Bakhtiari. However, in full speed, I could see why that call was missed; his hands appeared to be where they shouldn't be. 
 
But that's not why the Lions lost this game. They lost the game because they settled. But they sure gave Matt Prater a workout. He kicked five field goals, including two over 50 yards, to give the Lions a nine-point lead with 12:22 left. The Packers know all too well about settling. A certain 2014 NFC Championship comes to mind.
 
Early on, I was stunned because the defense was missing assignments and looking lost as the Lions took a 13-0 lead. Remember, the defense has been the backbone of this team. Yet, after that, things quickly changed. Za'Darius Smith had a sack on the next drive and on the next third down, Preston Smith and Kyler Fackrell shared a sack. 
 
"I can't say enough about our guys and the fight they have in them," said an energized Matt LaFleur after the game. 
 
But it wasn't even over until Rodgers took the ball from his own 18 with 6:46 left. The previous possession was a 35-yard touchdown pass to Packers' No. 5 wideout Allen Lazard that was so perfect, it looked like it was dropped from the Goodyear Blimp. On the final drive, Rodgers was 5-for-5 for 53 yards including a 12-yard scamper. Rodgers was amazing on that final drive. For much of this season, it didn't look like Rodgers out there. But there is defintely some Pixie Dust left in that right arm after he carried the Packers to a 5-1 record and the first time Green Bay has gone 3-0 vs. the NFC North foes since 2012. 
 
"It's pretty remarkable what he's able to do out on that field," LaFleur said. 
 
This team continues to find ways to win. And you could make an argument that the Packers should be undefeated after dropping a tough Thursday nighter to Philadelphia.
 
That just shows these guys are all bought in and believe in their head coach that always seems to have perfect hair. This isn't a situation where one player wants to do something for himself, but a situation where a player doesn't want to let a teammate down. 
 
The microcosm of this game is long snapper Hunter Bradley waving Mason Crosby to the stands. He used his hands as a stool for Crosby to have his own Lambeau Leap for the game-winning 23-yard field goal. Moments later, Crosby received the game ball in the locker room from LaFleur. 
 
This team still isn't playing perfect football, which is scary for the rest of the league. 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (10)

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

October 15, 2019 at 07:51 am

ABSOLUTELY CRAZY AND INCREDIBLE GAME

GO PACK GO!!!! BART STARR IS SMILING!!!!

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

October 15, 2019 at 07:57 am

GAME BALL TO THE ENTIRE PACKERS TEAM EVEN WITH ALL THE FLUB UPS...

SUCCESS IS 1% Genius and 99% Persistence!!

The PACKERS were RELENTLESS!!!!

THIS IS A PLAYOFF CONTENDING TEAM AT LEAST FOR THEIR DESIRE TO WIN IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY!!!!

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Houndog's picture

October 15, 2019 at 08:15 am

Another win, and we'll all need to listen to the whining about the refs (which can't be denied) but it's still a win and as Rodgers said, the poor calls balance out over time. We've endured our share.
But hey, would the Lions have even been in the game if it wasn't for GB's generosity? How many gifts of 'here's the ball with a short field' do you need to give them?
Two things I need to mention:
1.) I agree with Booger McFarland that the Packers do seem run ball better under a standard set vs the two tight end set (that might be a dead giveaway). And
2.) Why is Jimmy Graham still on the team?

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wimiller's picture

October 15, 2019 at 08:23 am

the refs i think were into making make up calls for giving the Lions a TD in the first quarter, but i say get rid of instant replay. the game is played in real time and should be officiated in real time. the replay often gets it as wrong as the call on the field. the refs get it right most of the time, but with all these new rules and super slow mo it makes everyone feel like somehow they got cheated. the game slows down, more commercials, and this is not your great football of the 60s, 70s, 80s. etc.

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dobber's picture

October 15, 2019 at 10:40 am

One of the commentators said it last night: good teams find ways win when they don't have their best stuff. Point to the officials if you want (it's karma, folks), but the defense buckled down and held the Lions to under 60 yards passing and under 75 yards of total offense after the first drive of the second quarter, and the Packers dominated TOP after that point. The defense won this game last night, despite the first quarter.

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flackcatcher's picture

October 15, 2019 at 05:45 pm

Can't be understated dobber. After Pettine made 1st quarter adjustments (T. Will for Redmond, Burks sliding into hybrid/LB position on most third down) this defense shut down a good lions offense playing on their side of the field for most of the game. This game was won by both of the Packers lines who flat out stuffed the lions for most of the game. A very old fashioned Black and Blue division game for the most part.

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cheesehead1's picture

October 15, 2019 at 10:57 am

Poor officiating that definitely benefitted us, but we’ve been on the receiving end also. Cleveland also had two terrible calls go against them. Wonder if Gute will trade for a WR, think it may be time. Go Pack, next up the Raiders!

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TheBigCheeze's picture

October 15, 2019 at 05:18 pm

you're forgetting the gift TD the refs gave the lions on that 4th and goal..that was 7 points....the Pack didn't benefit ANY points on the supposed "bad calls" at the end...they could have kicked a FG either way....

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4thand1's picture

October 15, 2019 at 06:27 pm

What would be the Packer's record be without AR? I say maybe 1-5. Get well soon Devante, you now have Lazard to take some of the heat off.

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murf7777's picture

October 15, 2019 at 09:07 pm

MLF was impressive the way he handled the game clock at end of the half and game. He continues to impress.

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