Packers Rally for Overtime Victory Over Bengals 27-24
Written by Luke Ghiardi on September 25, 2017
Green Bay, WI – September 25, 2017 – Things did not get off to a great start for the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Sunday afternoon. After not scoring a touchdown in either of their first two games, the visiting Cincinnati Bengals took the opening possession and went right through the Packers defense. Using 10 plays and going 79 yards in just over 5 minutes, A.J. Green scored the first touchdown of the year for the Bengals on a 10-yard pass from Andy Dalton.
Green Bay answered right back thanks to an overturned fumble call on the 1-yard line which set up a 1 yard touchdown run from Lance Kendricks to knot things up at 7-7.
After a couple of possessions for both teams resulted in nothing but punts, the Bengals offense once again found some life in the 2nd quarter. Bengals running back Giovani Bernard caught a pass from Andy Dalton and ran into the end zone untouched from 6 yards out to give the Bengals the lead once again, 14-7.
Looking to answer, the crowd at Lambeau saw a true rarity. From December 2, 2012 to October 11, 2015, Aaron Rodgers did not throw a single interception at Lambeau Field. The streak lasted 20 games, 586 passes, and 1,043 days (cbssports.com). Aaron Rodgers throwing an interception at Lambeau is something like a solar eclipse. On Sunday, with the Packers trailing 14-7, Rodgers threw an interception, and this one went for six. William Jackson III picked off Rodgers and took it 75 yards to the house to give the Bengals a 21-7 lead heading into halftime.
Green Bay’s offense made adjustments at halftime and came out strong to begin the second half. Owning the first possession of the 2nd half, The Packers went 75 yards in 8 plays capped off by a 1 yard pass from Aaron Rodgers to Jordy Nelson for a score to bring the Packers within one possession.
The Packers offense was not the only unit to make solid halftime adjustments. The defense came out looking much better in the 2nd half as well. They blanked the Bengals offense, which had found success in the first half, for most of the 2nd half.
After blanking the Bangals in the 3rd quarter, the Packers kicked off the fourth quarter with a Mason Crosby field goal from 28 yards out to cut their deficit to 21-17. The Bengals were able to move the ball into field goal range late, and Randy Bullock nailed a 46 yard kick to put the Bengals up 24-17 with 3:46 to go in the ball game.
If there is any player in the league that you want to have the ball down 7 with just under 4 minutes to go, it is probably Aaron Rodgers. He showed why on the final possession of regulation. Rodgers was masterful in leading a game-tying touchdown drive which was capped off by Rodgers finding Nelson for their second touchdown hookup of the game with 17 seconds remaining.
Aaron Rodgers came into the game 0-7 in his career in overtime games. With the coin toss playing such a prominent role in NFL overtime games, and the Bengals winning the toss, it looked as if he were going to go to 0-8. But the Packers forced a Bengals 3 and out and Rodgers got a chance for his first ever overtime victory.
While under center, Rodgers used a hard count to get a Bengals defensive lineman to jump offside, which allowed Green Bay a free play. There is no one better perhaps in NFL history than Aaron Rodgers utilizing a free play. He found Geronimo Allison streaking down the sideline, hit him in stride, and Allison went 72 yards before he was finally brought down. This set up an easy chip shot for kicker Mason Crosby who nailed the 27-yard kick for the win which gave Aaron Rodgers his first ever overtime victory and improved the Packers record to 2-1 on the season.