Game Recap: Packers Squeak Out 24-20 Win Against the Jaguars

Sarah Kelliher recaps the Packers’ week ten win against the Jaguars.  

Winning ugly was the theme of the 2019 season and that same theme returned on Sunday after the Green Bay Packers (7-2, 2-1 NFC North) just barely beat the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8, 1-3 AFC South) 24-20 in a lackluster game at Lambeau Field.

The lack of energy from Green Bay was evident from the jump after the Packers failed to score on their opening drive for the first time all season. As a result, the Jaguars took an early 3-0 lead after their field goal attempt was good from 52-yards out on their opening drive. 

Throughout the rest of the first quarter, the Packers continued to struggle to find their rhythm on offense and seemingly lacked any sense of urgency. To better paint the picture for you, on the Packers  first three offensive drives, they only had one first down, which was gifted to them after a defensive pass interference call.

However, thanks to wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling, the second quarter started off on a much better note for Green Bay. On the first play of the quarter, quarterback Aaron Rodgers connected with MVS for a 78-yard touchdown play to put the Packers up 7-3.

Later in the quarter, the Packers were once again forced to punt, and the special teams unit caused them to really pay the price for it. Jaguars’ punt returner, Keelan Cole Sr., found gap after gap after gap in the Packers’ punt return coverage (and stole punter JK Scott’s ankles) and took it 91-yards to the house to retake the lead with a score of 10-7.  

After they immediately got the ball back, the Packers were able to make more good things happen on offense. After first down plays from MVS, running back Jamaal Williams and wide receiver Davante Adams, Rodgers scrambled for a 5-yard touchdown to put the Packers back on top, 14-10.

With just 1:28 left in the half, Green Bay safety Adrian Amos read Jacksonville’s offense scheme perfectly and came up with a big interception right before the half. As a result, the Packers extended their lead to 17-10 after Mason Crosby was good from 39-yards out.

In the second half, the Packers continued to lack energy and looked entirely too predictable on offense. Even Davante Adams, who is usually a consistent force for the Packers’ offense, struggled throughout the day and that was evident after he fumbled early into the second half. The Jaguars were able to take advantage of the turnover and tied the game at 17 after a 12-yard touchdown pass.  

Just two drives later, Rodgers also fell ill to the turnover bug and threw a rare interception. His pass to MVS was entirely too far behind him and it resulted in an easy pick for the Jaguars. Jacksonville took advantage of the turnover, again, taking a 20-17 lead after their kicker was good from 31-yards out.

The Packers, despite how little they looked like they wanted to be there, continued to tread on though. To kick off their next drive, Rodgers connected with tight end Robert Tonyan for a 23-yard first down, then running back Aaron Jones and MVS moved the chains for the Packers before Davante Adams climbed the ladder with an impressive 6-yard touchdown grab to give us our final score of Packers 24 Jaguars 20. Jacksonville had a chance to win it at the end of the game, but Green Bay’s defense applied pressure and got the job done to help the Packers improve to 7-2 on the year.

 

What we learned: Bakhtiari got paid

Since there wasn’t much we learned from the game (except that the Packers didn’t show up) let’s talk about some of the great news that broke during the game on Sunday.

During the fourth quarter, ProFootballTalk broke the news that the Packers signed left tackle David Bakhtiari to a new contract just before midnight on Saturday. The much-awaited deal includes a four-year extension and has a new money value of $23 million per year, making him the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history.

At his post-game media availability, Bakhtiari confirmed the news and shared his excitement. “To have the monetary validation for all the hard work I’ve put in really means a lot… I always wanted to say I was the highest-paid offensive linemen in NFL history. Today, I get to say that.”

 

What went right: Closing out both halves

Despite an overall sluggish performance, something that went right for Green Bay on Sunday was how they closed out both the first and second halves. In the first half, Amos had his big interception play that put the ball back in Green Bay’s hands and allowed them to extend their lead by a touchdown. And, at the end of the game, the d-train came though for the team after back-to-back sacks from linebackers Rashan Gary and Preston Smith and then a stop on 4th and 26 to seal the deal for Green Bay.

It seemed like time after time this season the Packers were giving up touchdowns in “garbage time” and today was finally different. If the Packers can bring that energy to games they are actually playing their best too, that’ll be a dangerous combination for any NFL team to handle.

 

What went wrong: The game plan

I have no idea what Packers head coach Matt LaFleur had drawn up for this game but whatever the heck it was just did not work. On paper, this should have been an easy win for Green Bay and instead they kept Jacksonville, who have dropped every game since week one, in this one until literally the final play of the game.

Next week, the Packers hit the road against a good 6-3 Colts team, and they cannot afford to beat themselves as they get deeper into the season and start seeing some better teams. Just like the Bucs game, I’m hoping the Packers can throw this one out and look forward with a new and improved plan.

 

Offensive MVP: MVS

One of the few bright spots in Sunday’s matchup was MVS’ performance. Valdes-Scantling led the team in receiving yards with 149 total yards and had a touchdown (ESPN stats). His 149 yards are a new career high for the youngster. If MVS can continue to come up with some big catches, like he has the last two weeks, it’ll be quite a scary site once wide receiver Allen Lazard rejoins him and Adams in the wideout room.

 

Defensive MVP: Za’Darius Smith

Another week, another nice performance from Za’Darius Smith. Z continues to be the consistent force on this defense and Sunday was no different. Smith was applying pressure all day long and had a total of 5 tackles, 4 of which were solo, 1 sack, 1 tackle for a loss and 1 QB hit (ESPN stats).

 

A look at some of your takeaways

 

  • “Packers just can’t start slow. Adams, a healthy Lazard, and a confident MVS would be nastyyyyy.” - @Stanky_Cheeze

 

  • “Not going to win any style points with this W, but it counts all the same. Here’s to hoping Lazard is back in action next week and can bring this offense back to what we saw in the beginning of the season.” - @mattydobi
     

Up next, the Green Bay Packers hit the road for a matchup with the Indianapolis Colts. Kickoff is set for next Sunday, November 22 at 4:25 p.m. EST.

 

Sarah Kelliher is a contributor for CheeseheadTV and a podcaster with Pack-A-Day Podcast. She can be found via Twitter @sarahkelliher4

 

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Comments (21)

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HankScorpio's picture

November 15, 2020 at 04:45 pm

The picture of the punt coverage in a nice, neat line of 4 guys is a nice visual of what really cost them that TD. Yeah, Scott did the coverage guys no favor with the punt but they did a gawd-awful job of maintaining their lanes

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Point-Packer's picture

November 15, 2020 at 05:01 pm

That 4th and 1 with the game on the line run Aaron Jones into a wall like he had been all game was some Mike McCarthy shit. As was the awful special teams play. The soft defense. The predictable play calling. And playing down to an inferior opponent. GB hired MLF to not be MM, but this game reminded me of a MM led team. If I wanted to watch that crap, I'd go online and watch a Dallas game this year.

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13TimeChamps's picture

November 15, 2020 at 07:22 pm

Mike McCarthy is no longer the coach of the GBP. Maybe it's time for you to let go of the past. Sorry he didn't sign an autograph for you.

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Point-Packer's picture

November 15, 2020 at 08:13 pm

If he would have, I would have used it to wipe my ass.

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WisconsinStrong's picture

November 15, 2020 at 05:20 pm

Sarah, your reviews of the games are sometimes (unfortunately) more entertaining than the games themselves, and that was especially true today. Classic lines: "The Packers, despite how little they looked like they wanted to be there . . . ," and "I have no idea what Packers head coach Matt LaFleur had drawn up for this game but whatever the heck it was just did not work." In spite of our record, it's starting to feel that the oft-repeated 4th and 1 stop has become a symbol of our being a bit stuck in a creative and low-energy rut this year.

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jclombardi's picture

November 15, 2020 at 05:26 pm

You nailed it on the head who is responsible for this deja va lackluster performence: HEAD COACH AND GAME PLAN. Good article Sarah.

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Coldworld's picture

November 15, 2020 at 05:52 pm

To come out flat once Is not good but understandable, to come out twice in three weeks like that is a damning indictment of the head coach. Too many clever thoughts and not enough passion?

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canadapacker's picture

November 15, 2020 at 06:13 pm

Nobody has said this yet - but the OLine played the running game terribly. They opened very few holes - got caught standing up and clogged the running lanes and got no push and never got to the second level. Very hard for a running back when they are always running into to a brick wall. We only had a few jet sweeps and outside runs even they only gained a good chunk once or twice. Some of the play calls like a 3rd down receiver screen to Adams - not a chance to convert that 3 of us and 3 of them - bad call by Lafleur. And that 3rd and 1 late in the 4th - brutal call given how the Oline was playing - would rather have AR bootleg , Jones and get it to a TE - or Adams or a Jones sweep - in all cases do not go out of bounds or have an incompletion - but that play was just a recipe for failure -

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Mojo's picture

November 16, 2020 at 12:22 am

You mentioned GB had only a few jet sweeps. That has stood-out to me as well.

It seems as the season has progressed, the Packers have used the horizontal motion less and less and have gone back to their more traditional plays behind center.

In the Rams - Seahawks game later in the day, LA was using motion and inventive formations all game long with success.

I know their preferred motion guy is Ervin who left with an injury but can't someone else fill that roll?

Seemed the offense is more effective when they use movement so why so little of it lately?

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porupack's picture

November 15, 2020 at 06:38 pm

Nice to see MVS get his game.

The only 3rd down stops were really Jacksonville's making drops, or mistakes, or falling down (gifted Amos the interception). Cuz they were wide open most of the game. Jville; cranking out 6-8 yard runs. GB 1-2 yard runs. GB again makes unknown players have career days. A JV defense ranked, what? Stomped the vaunted packers. Any defense capable of hitting hard and rallying to the ball sends the packers whimpering....almost dreading the next play....just staying in the huddle long as they can. Packers have more unenjoyable wins that any team of any sport in history. Wins should be a little fun. Why do I often feel just as pissed after half the wins as I do their losses? Ahhh, ok. Its off my chest. But, next week, another hard hitting team, and they got some good tape.

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buddrow53's picture

November 15, 2020 at 07:17 pm

So let me ask would you trade our defense for theirs?

They looked quite a bit quicker looked like they played more physical then us.

Yes no what say you?

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Point-Packer's picture

November 15, 2020 at 08:13 pm

Today? yes.

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Lphill's picture

November 15, 2020 at 08:46 pm

Packers are awful when they need 1 yard , they need to figure out the right personnel package , also the 3 man rush does not do any good , as ugly as the game was Rodgers stats were actually pretty good , large point spreads motivate the underdog.

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buddrow53's picture

November 15, 2020 at 08:53 pm

Agree Greg Jennings kept asking why the Pack didnt play man to man to help the pass rush to put pressure on the qb.

lol the coaches must have heard his comments the last part of the their drive.

Finally good pressure.

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nostradanus's picture

November 15, 2020 at 09:01 pm

Packers are 7 & 2 and solidly in first place, relax they be ok

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buddrow53's picture

November 15, 2020 at 09:55 pm

I am relaxed they will be ok until the playoffs. Defense has got to get better period!!!!!!

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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

November 15, 2020 at 10:18 pm

Best comment Nost!

Packers have warts but all teams do. There are so many factors that impact games and especially in playoffs. The Packers have the talent and if the health gods, and the motivation gods smile at the right times for the Packers they have as good a chance as anyone else.

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stockholder's picture

November 15, 2020 at 10:21 pm

Bahk got paid. Yep- Offense sells Tickets . Defense wins championships. Interesting how PFF didn't have him rated as the best Lt in the NFL. They question his run blocking. Something we were going to see more of. So BG now has one of the most expensive lines in the NFl. Why can't we get that 1 yard, when we need it?

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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

November 16, 2020 at 12:27 am

Interesting how you think PFF is the be all and end all of assessing player performance. Do we really need a GM and a cap expert? The Packers could just hire someone like you to read PFF and make the appropriate moves.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 16, 2020 at 04:54 am

Bakh has an 89 grade, which means elite. At worst PFF thinks Bakh is an above average run blocker. I concur with that assessment.

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Archie's picture

November 16, 2020 at 06:48 am

Offense had an unusual off day.

Defense had an awful day, per usual.

Defense is way too soft. Unfortunately, I don't see that changing under this coaching staff.

We "may" make the play-offs but it is unlikely we will win any games after that with this defense.

Maybe they will prove me wrong but I'm not betting on it.

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