Green Bay Packers (20) Clinch Sixth Consecutive Playoff Berth With Win Over Tampa Bay (3)
GREEN BAY, WI – 12/22/14 – The Packers are playoff bound. A phrase that is becoming commonplace within the Cheesehead nation. Their win yesterday over their former division rival, coupled with the Philadelphia Eagles upset loss on Saturday, put the green ‘n gold over the top. After all of the possible teams that were able to make the playoffs going into the weekend, five of the six teams have been settled, with the NFC South (de facto) championship game next Sunday to decide who will represent them.
The first quarter wasn’t much for either team, as there were no points scored until there were 0:49 left in the opening frame. The 0-0 score was broken when running back Eddie Lacy ripped off a 44-yard touchdown run up the left sideline. That would be the only touchdown scored until there were just under three minutes left in the game. If you look at the stats, the Packers absolutely dominated this game, out-gaining their opponent 431-109 by game’s end. While the 431 yards is impressive, the 109 is even more of a good sign for the Packers. They held the Bucs running attack to just 16 yards, and the passing game to just 93. Quarterback Josh McCown was under pressure all day long, and it showed by the Packers seven sacks.
Despite flu-like symptoms, quarterback Aaron Rodgers still had an MVP level performance: 31 for 40, 318 yards and a touchdown. He was able to find his two favorite targets in Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb for a 20 of his 31 completions. Nelson caught Rodgers’ only touchdown, while Cobb had more receptions and yards (11 to 9; 131 to 113). Eddie Lacy finished with 99 yards on 17 total carries, while John Kuhn carried the rock four times for 22 yards as the Packers rushed for 121 yards.
Defensively, the Packers were led by Morgan Burnett’s 10 tackles and he even managed to come out of the game with a 1/2 of a sack. The dynamic duo of pass rushers, Clay Matthews & Julius Peppers, really had themselves a day, combining for 4.5 sacks of Josh McCown. Second-year player Datone Jones had a pretty good day too, coming away with a 1/2 sack and even sealed the deal by intercepting a late-game pass from McCown.
The win set up the biggest game of the season for the Packers next weekend. They’ll play the Detroit Lions, who haven’t won at Lambeau Field since 1991. The winner will be the NFC North Champion and get a first-round bye, while the loser will most likely have to face off against the winner of the NFC South Championship (Atlanta or Carolina).
Join us here at 98.3 WRUP as the Packers look to win their fourth straight NFC North Championship against the Detroit Lions! Pregame will begin at 2:30pm with a 4:30 kickoff! GO PACK GO!
-Carl Leander Johnson