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Game notes: Aaron Rodgers excited for chance to make history at home

Packers ran the ball well against Baltimore’s top-ranked unit

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers

The competitive side of Aaron Rodgers undoubtedly flew home slightly irked about not connecting with Allen Lazard on what would've marked his record-breaking 443rd touchdown pass in Baltimore on Sunday.

In the aftermath of Sunday's 31-30 win over the Ravens, however, Rodgers also is OK with having the opportunity to make history this Saturday at Lambeau Field when the Packers host the Cleveland Browns on Christmas Day.

Rodgers' three-touchdown performance against the Ravens nearly became a four-TD day when Lazard created separation in the end zone on third-and-goal from the Baltimore 11, but the reigning NFL MVP's pass sailed just out of his receiver's reach.

The Packers didn't get the touchdown but Mason Crosby's 29-yard field goal extended their lead to 31-17, a two-TD advantage that proved pivotal during Baltimore's attempted comeback.

With a third consecutive NFC North title in his back pocket, Rodgers heads back to Green Bay tied with former teammate Brett Favre for the franchise record of 442 touchdown passes thrown as Packers quarterback.

"There is something special about being able to do it at home," Rodgers said. "The competitor in me is a little upset I didn't just trust that the outside route was going to hold the corner long enough. When I was about to throw it, I felt like I was in no man's land and I threw him kind of a 50% catch, 50% incompletion ball instead of trusting the corner was going to attach to the outside route and that we really had a chance to get him there.

"But, of course, there's definitely stuff inside me that's excited about the prospect of doing it at home in front of our fans."

Rodgers has continued to play at an MVP level over his last five games despite a lingering toe injury, completing 126-of-183 passes for 1,593 yards, 13 touchdowns and one interception (117.1 passer rating).

While difficult to compare year-to-year, Rodgers says he does "feel like I'm playing better in many respects." Among his favorite throws Sunday was the 24-yard pass he threaded into receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling shortly before halftime.

In addition to having his eighth game with a 100 passer rating or better, Rodgers did so without throwing an interception for the ninth time this season. The Packers, from 2019-21, have now surpassed the 2010-12 New England Patriots for most zero-giveaway games in a three-year span with 26.

"He's had multiple games with multiple touchdowns and no picks. I don't really know too many guys that can do that consistently," Valdes-Scantling said. "He makes throw after throw, that you're just like how did he get that ball in there? Like the one he threw to me in two-minute across the middle of the field, it's just like, how did that ball get through there? But he's the best, and that's who he's going to be."


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Success in the run: The Packers were able to control the football in the second half thanks in large part to their success running directly at Baltimore's top-ranked run defense.

Aaron Jones (13 carries for 58 yards) and AJ Dillon (seven carries for 22 yards and a touchdown) led the Packers' balanced attack, with Jones also adding a 9-yard touchdown catch. It was Jones' sixth receiving TD of the year, marking the most by a Green Bay running back since Johnny "Blood" McNally's 11 in 1931.

When asked about Green Bay's success against Baltimore's front, Jones gave credit to the Packers' offensive line coach/run game coordinator Adam Stenavich and a position group that's continued to perform well despite being down four preferred starters.

"Steno does a great job with those guys, and I always let those guys know and they know themselves that it all starts with them up front," Jones said. "If they don't come out ready to play, we can't run the ball, we can't get a pass off. So it all starts with them."

Campbell's sack: Sunday marked De'Vondre Campbell's fifth game this season with at least 10 tackles.

There was perhaps no one more important than his fourth-and-goal sack of quarterback Tyler Huntley to end Baltimore's opening drive. After receiving the opening kickoff, the Ravens drove 70 yards in 14 plays down to Green Bay's 3-yard line.

Looking to make an early statement, Baltimore chose to go for it on fourth down. After Huntley rolled out, Campbell did well to stay in front of the mobile QB to drop him for a 3-yard loss.

"I think it was a huge play in the game," said Campbell, who leads Green Bay with 125 tackles this season. "I was just kind of reading the quarterback and pushing through my zone and I didn't have anybody to cover, so I just kind of went and added on to the blitz. We thought he was going to throw it away, but he didn't. So, it was a pretty good play."

The Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens faced off in America's Game of the Week on Dec. 19, 2021.

Big Dog's big plays: One week after recording his most catches and receiving yards in a Packers uniform, Marcedes Lewis added another three receptions for 40 yards against the Ravens.

The biggest of those plays came in the fourth quarter when Lewis broke several tackles on a 23-yard catch-and-run to the Baltimore 6-yard line. He now has 21 catches for 212 yards on the season.

"I think he rewound the clock a little bit, going back into his younger years," joked Jones. "But you could just see how bad Big Dog wants to get in the end zone. He's running hard and I love it."

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