GREEN BAY—They never know.
All they can do is respond, and in doing so on Sunday they joined several offensive teammates with career-best performances in the Packers’ 38-20 victory over the Redskins at Lambeau Field.
Starks, forced into the game when
Counting the playoffs, which are kept separate statistically, Starks actually had the Packers’ last 100-yard rushing game, in the 2010 NFC Wild Card contest at Philadelphia. But the offense had still gone two full seasons without a runner hitting the century mark on the ground.
A 32-yard TD run by Starks late in the third quarter ended that particular drought, by a guy who two weeks ago was considered on the roster bubble at cutdown time.
“I guess he burst that bubble,” tight end
Ironically, Starks also took out of the game the same player who took out Lacy. Washington safety Brandon Meriweather’s helmet hit concussed Lacy after a 10-yard run on his first carry, but early in the second quarter, Starks lowered his shoulder heading down the sideline as Meriweather tried to deliver another big blow. Meriweather got the worst of the collision this time, lying on the field a few minutes with a concussion of his own.
The power and determination Starks showed on that 20-yard run carried through the rest of the day, during which he topped the Philly playoff outing from three seasons ago by nine yards. Coupled with
“All training camp he’s had a chip on his shoulder, and he came in there and ran like that today – tried to punish people, tried to finish runs,” Jones said. “If we can get that out of him every game, he adds another dimension.”
The Packers have several dimensions to their passing game, of course, which is why Jones didn’t fret or pout after not catching a pass in Week 1 at San Francisco.
On Sunday, he caught three passes on Green Bay’s opening drive for a field goal and never slowed down, recording career highs in receptions (11) and yards (178), failing to snag only one of 12 passes thrown his way.
Jones actually had beaten his previous career bests by halftime, with nine grabs for 152 yards, thanks in part to a 57-yard catch-and-run that set up the Packers’ third TD for a 24-0 halftime lead.
The only black mark on Jones’ day was a fumble late in the second quarter, which he lost while trying to reach for the front pylon of the end zone. The ball slipped from his outstretched hand and hit the pylon for a touchback.
In the end, the miscue meant nothing, other than taking away a possible fifth TD pass for Rodgers, who was over 400 yards by the end of the third quarter.
Add it all up and it’s the second most productive offensive day in the history of the franchise, with 580 total yards (441 net yards passing, including 39 lost yards in sacks, plus 139 yards rushing).
“I think that was the tip of the iceberg today,” Finley said. “It was awesome to see it. We have to keep it going now. We can’t make it a one-hit wonder.”
For the record, the franchise single-game mark is 628 total yards, set at Philadelphia on Nov. 11, 1962, in a 49-0 win. After Sunday, no one in the Packers’ locker room would consider that out of reach.
“We did have a good game, but we can be better,” Cobb said. “We can do better, we can give more, we can do more. We made plays, but we can make bigger plays. We’re going to continue to push for that.”Complete game coverage