The Green Bay Packers hosted the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football, which is the Pack’s only MNF appearance this season. And they held onto their home field advantage barely beating the Falcons 43-37.
Despite a furious Falcon comeback, Aaron Rodgers and the offense carried Green Bay to a record setting night and their fifth straight win.
This was Rodgers’ 100th career start, and how fitting it was to tie his former teammate, Brett Favre at (68-32) the same exact record through 100 starts on Monday Night.
But a standout stat is Rodgers touchdown to interception ratio (223-55) the best in NFL history through 100 starts. That’s actually 28 more touchdowns and 50 less interceptions thrown than the future Hall of Famer in the same amount of games. He also has thrown for more passing yards in the first 100 starts than any other quarterback in history, 27,849 yards, counting for 3,000 more yards than Favre.
Adding three touchdowns and again zero INT’s against the Falcons, Rodgers is on pace for his second career MVP with his season total now 35 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
“It’s been fun, it’s been a great 100 games started,” Rodgers said. “When you’re a young player, you can only dream about these kinds of opportunities. Then you get into it and you think I’d love to do 100 more.”Mike McCarthy is one of only two coaches to win the Super Bowl as the sixth seed.
That kind of attitude and playmaking ability gives Green Bay a warm smile. It’s hard to imagine, this is a player who was passed on by 23 teams in the NFL Draft just nine years ago.
We all think of Green Bay's GM Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy as genius now.
Mike McCarthy also reached a milestone on Monday Night. McCarthy won his 98th game as Green Bay Packers Head Coach, earning him a spot next to the legendary Vince Lombardi with the most wins by a Packers’ head coach. It must be humbling to think of a coach in “Titletown” with as many wins as Lombardi. But McCarthy has been consistent since day one.
McCarthy ironically coached both Favre and Rodgers. If there's anyone who knows how to bring out the best of the best, it's him.Morgan Burnett celebrates his first pick of the season.
Monday Night’s win marks the sixth season with at least 10 wins under his nine years in Green Bay, and counting.
The Packers are now (7-0) at home and (10-3) on the season, currently holding the second seed in the NFC playoff race.
But unfortunately, this game will be remembered by some for the defensive letdown allowing the Falcons to almost steal one.
After a 31-7 halftime lead looking to end in a blowout, the Packers gave up 30 pts in the second half. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones tag-teamed the comeback.
Jones was unstoppable with 11 catches for 259 yards, his career high and the most in Falcons history.
Giving cause for concern as the defense let Atlanta back into the game with only forced one sack by Clay Matthews and one turnover; a pick by Morgan Burnett. But Atlanta scored on all 5 possessions. Having no answers for the Falcons passing attack, Green Bay’s best defense was their offense.Jordy Nelson runs untouched for his 12th touchdown on the year.
Rodgers stopped the bleeding as he hit his go-to target Jordy Nelson for his second touchdown. Rodgers threw a 60 yard bomb as Nelson’s double move, post corner, was caught in stride for the score.
Nelson also put his name in the record books with that touchdown. He now holds the most TD’s of over 40 yards in a season passing greats including Jerry Rice with seven. I have a feeling he’ll be adding to that number.
After a couple of recovered onside kicks, one of which by guess who, Jordy Nelson, the Packers ran out the clock.
Having a closer like Eddie Lacy sure helps in these situations. James Starks added a spark to the running game with an early touchdown and game clinching run. Lacy and Starks combined for 148 rushing yards.
Lacy also scored twice, receiving and rushing, making for another first in the storied franchise.James Starks breaks down the sideline for a 41 yard gain to clinch the win.
This was the first time in Green Bay Packer history where three players have all scored at least 10 touchdowns each in a season. Lacy joined Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb as they account for 33 total touchdowns so far.
Despite all the impressive accolades and milestones on Monday Night, the Packers sweat out their fifth straight win. The 43-37 victory wasn’t like others blowing teams out at Lambeau Field. This one serves as a great reminder to finish strong.
“We made Matt Ryan look like Matty Ice again out there,” Clay Matthews said. “More power to him, but a lot of that was our doing. We’ve got to be better, and we will.”
With three games left in the regular season, the Packers hold the NFC North lead with the Detroit Lions on their heels. Heading towards a tough Buffalo Bills squad in Week 15 gives Dom Capers’ defense a good opportunity to redeem themselves.