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Game notes: Ryan Grant steps in, carries the load

Posted Dec 23, 2012

Kicker Mason Crosby makes two, receivers reach milestones

GREEN BAY—Throughout his career with the Packers, running back Ryan Grant was known as a late-season finisher.

He looked like that again on Sunday.

With Alex Green missing the game due to a concussion, Grant carried the bulk of the load in the ground game and posted 20 rushes for 80 yards and two TDs in a 55-7 pounding of the Titans at Lambeau Field.

“You can definitely build off this,” Grant said. “This is exciting.”

Grant was talking about the team in general, but he could just as well have been talking about himself. In just his third game back since re-signing with the Packers on Dec. 5, Grant showed a combination of power, patience and vision when needed as he got the most carries he's had in a game in three years. He also was solid in blitz pick-up, added a 34-yard reception on a screen pass, and had no issues with ball security after fumbling a week ago in Chicago.

An intriguing question is whether he showed enough to the coaching staff to take on more responsibility in the playoffs.

“I don’t really get into that,” said Grant, whose two TDs came on runs of seven and nine yards in the fourth quarter. “I’m very prideful about the way I perform, and I’m hard on myself. I’m my biggest critic.

“I need to see whether I showed myself anything first. I’m going to look. I’m sure there are a couple runs I wanted to do this or that. But it felt good to just be able to contribute on that level.”

DuJuan Harris added eight carries for 29 yards on the ground, including a seven-yard TD in the third quarter. It appears he’ll remain a change-of-pace back as the Packers move forward, and his quickness combined with Grant’s power looked like an awfully good combination on Sunday.

“We’re just executing,” Harris said. “We’re getting it done.”

Two-for-two: Kicker Mason Crosby finally broke an ugly streak. He had missed at least one field goal attempt in nine consecutive games in which he had tried one, until going two-for-two on Sunday with makes from 26 and 48 yards.

The 48-yarder was a little dicey, but it deflected in off the right upright. Crosby’s kick from the right hash mark was dead straight and was going directly at the upright the whole way. He gave an emphatic fist pump when it went through.

“For me, we’re going to keep battling,” said Crosby, who is now 19-of-31 on field goals this season. “I’ve put a lot into it. I’ve put a lot of work, a lot of detail into my preparation, and my teammates see that. I want to go out there and be accountable and hold myself to a high standard so I execute for my team.”

Good report: The biggest thing the players were concerned about in the locker room afterward was the health of receiver Randall Cobb, who injured his ankle on a punt return midway through the third quarter and left the game.

Receiver Greg Jennings said he was told Cobb was moving around pretty well.

“When they told me he was running, that made me feel a lot better,” Jennings said. “Anytime you see a guy go down, when it’s your teammate and someone you work with every day, your concern level increases. But hopefully he’s OK.”

With 62 yards receiving and 39 yards on punt returns, Cobb surpassed Ahman Green’s single-season franchise record for total net yards. Green had 2,250 in 2003. Cobb now has 2,342 combined yards this season (receiving, rushing, kickoff and punt returns).

More milestones: Receiver James Jones not only added to his league-leading TD reception total with his 13th on Sunday, he also posted his first 100-yard game of the season.

Jones finished with seven catches for precisely 100 yards, going over 700 yards on the season for the first time in his career. Jones’ last 100-yard game came in Week 5 at Atlanta last year.

Meanwhile, Jennings scored his first TD since Week 4 vs. New Orleans. That moved Jennings into sole possession of fifth place on the franchise’s all-time list with 51 TD receptions. He had been tied with Max McGee at 50.

Additional coverage - Packers vs. Titans

 
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