Jennings Making Big Plays Again

Receiver Greg Jennings hadn’t topped 100 yards in a game since Week 3, and he had found the end zone only once this season since catching that dramatic 50-yard touchdown pass to beat the Bears back in the season opener. So Sunday’s big game for the fourth-year wideout had been a while in coming. - More Packers-49ers Game Center

Receiver Greg Jennings hadn't topped 100 yards in a game since Week 3, and he had found the end zone only once this season since catching that dramatic 50-yard touchdown pass to beat the Bears back in the season opener.

So Sunday's big game for the fourth-year wideout had been a while in coming. His five-catch, 126-yard outing, which included a 64-yard touchdown, played a huge role in the Packers' 30-24 victory over the 49ers.

"It felt good," Jennings said. "Felt good just to get the ball in my hands and make a play afterwards."

Despite the lack of highlight reel performances, Jennings had still been productive this season. But his 543 yards and two touchdowns through the first nine games were well off the pace that saw him post 1,292 yards and nine scores a year ago, a monster season that earned him a lucrative contract extension.

His big season in 2008 naturally led to more attention from opposing defenses, however, and that has had an impact on his numbers in 2009.

"I see a lot of safety help," Jennings said. "It can be frustrating, but as long as we're getting guys open and we're still moving the ball, you have to live with it. You have to take one for the team.

"I see how guys feel now when they get that safety help. It's like, 'Look, can you give me one time, one shot of just man-to-man coverage, something.'"

Jennings got that shot midway through the second quarter on Sunday. On first-and-10 from the Green Bay 36, the Packers lined up in shotgun with an empty backfield and five pass-catchers spread out - four receivers plus tight end Jermichael Finley.

Jennings, lined up in the left slot, angled toward the middle of the field and quarterback Aaron Rodgers hit him in stride. Jennings then made a couple of San Francisco defenders miss, got some blocking interference downfield from fellow receivers James Jones and Jordy Nelson, and took it 64 yards in all for the score.

"When we go 'Big Four, that brings a smile on everyone's face," Jennings said of the formation that includes him, Donald Driver, Jones and Nelson. "We like to see each other in that huddle.

"Aaron got me the ball in great position where I could cut back, and great things happen when you get the ball into our hands in space."

The 64-yarder was actually longer than any gain Jennings posted last year, and it was his longest since catching an 80-yard TD in Week 14 of the 2007 season against Oakland. It was his 12th career TD catch of at least 40 yards, and the day marked his 12th career 100-yard game.

On Sunday, Jennings also had a 37-yard reception on a first-quarter fly pattern to convert a third-and-3 and set up a Packers field goal. He had four catches for 121 yards in the first half, most in his career in a first half, with all four picking up first downs. He added one catch for 5 yards in the second half.

{sportsad300}The frustration Jennings mentioned about seeing so much extra attention from defenses hadn't consumed him, and it hadn't changed the way he studies or prepares to play.

He was shut out in Week 2 against Cincinnati for the first time in his career but bounced back with two big catches for 103 yards the following week in St. Louis. Then he was blanked in the first half of the second Minnesota contest, only to respond with seven grabs for 81 yards in the second half.

That's the way a pro has to handle it, and Jennings knows he doesn't need to do everything himself in this offense. If he's not catching passes, others are, and that's just fine by him.

"You're not antsy," he said. "It's all about what we're doing. We're a well-balanced team. You're not going to have that guy that just stands out. Last week I think everybody had four catches with like 50 yards. That's the type of balanced offense we like to have.

"We have a lot of playmakers, a lot of guys who are going to get their hands on the ball, and that's the way you win. You win with a team. You don't win with just one or two players."

But a big day once in a while sure is nice.

"When you're winning," he said, "that's the only thing that matters."

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