JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Packers' defense got a fourth-down stop with 16 seconds left in the red zone to preserve a 27-23 victory over the Jaguars in the 2016 season opener on Sunday at EverBank Field in Jacksonville.
QB Aaron Rodgers finished 20-of-34 for 199 yards with two TDs for the Packers, while RB Eddie Lacy had 14 carries for 61 yards. WR Randall Cobb led the Packers with six receptions for 57 yards.
Jaguars QB Blake Bortles was 24-of-39 for 320 yards with one TD and one interception. WR Allen Robinson had six receptions for 72 yards, and the Packers held RB T.J. Yeldon to just 39 yards on 21 carries.
Here's a quarter-by-quarter recap of the action:
The Packers couldn't quite finish off their long drive with a TD. A 4-yard pass to Cobb on third-and-3 gave Green Bay a first-and-goal on the 6, but two runs by RB Eddie Lacy and another by RB James Starks did not find the end zone. The Packers settled for K Mason Crosby's 20-yard chip shot, making it 27-20 with 12:01 left.
Going back to the middle of the third quarter, that drive consumed 16 plays, 73 yards and 9:14 on the clock. The only thing wrong with it is it didn't end in a TD.
The Jaguars came right back, though. After Packers S Morgan Burnett sacked QB Blake Bortles on first down, Bortles found WR Allen Robinson for 22 yards and a first down. Bortles needed Robinson again moments later, hitting him over the middle on fourth-and-4 that was barely good enough for a first down after a close measurement.
The drive hinged on another fourth down shortly thereafter – fourth-and-3 from the Green Bay 38. Bortles used the Jaguars' third and last timeout of the half before the play, and he found Robinson again for a 9-yard gain to convert.
Packers S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix then broke up a deep pass over the middle for Robinson near the goal line, and LB Nick Perry followed with a sack on third down. The Jaguars settled for a 50-yard field goal by K Jason Myers, making the score 27-23 Packers with 5:12 to go.
The Packers couldn't do anything, going three-and-out and losing 5 yards on a delay of game right after a timeout, no less. The communication issues led to a punt by Schum that went out of bounds at the Jacksonville 47 with 3:17 left. Fortunately for the Packers, the Jaguars were penalized for holding on the punt, backing them up to the 37.
The Jaguars got the penalty back in one snap with an 11-yard pass to TE Marcedes Lewis. CB Sam Shields left the game after the next play when he hit RB T.J. Yeldon after a short gain.
CB Damarious Randall covered Robinson deep on second down, and then a short pass to Yeldon took things to the two-minute warning with Jacksonville facing fourth-and-4 from the Green Bay 46.
Jaguars G Luke Joeckel was called for holding Mike Daniels on the ensuing play, making it fourth-and-14, but then Packers S Morgan Burnett was called for holding on a pass that Clinton-Dix intercepted. The turnover was wiped out, and the Jaguars had a first down on their own 49 with 1:43 left.
A pass over the middle to Robinson was fumbled, but Robinson caught his own muff in midair, and then Rollins broke up a deep ball to Robinson in the end zone from the 23. A 9-yard pass to WR Rashad Greene set up yet another fourth down, fourth-and-1 from the Green Bay 14 with 23 seconds left.
The Packers defense finally held up, burying Hurns on a short pass at the line of scrimmage to seal the win.
The Packers and Jaguars traded field goals in the third quarter, sending Green Bay into the fourth period ahead, 24-20, on Sunday at EverBank Field. The quarter ended with the Packers driving, in the red zone.
The Packers began the second half with another good drive. Two passes to WR Jordy Nelson gained 11 yards and moved the chains. QB Aaron Rodgers found a wide-open WR Randall Cobb on third-and-10 for a juggling 32-yard catch. If Cobb hadn't needed to jump, he might have been able to score a touchdown.
A diving catch by TE Richard Rodgers converted another third-and-10 and was good for 22 yards, making it first-and-goal on the 8. The drive stalled there, though, and K Mason Crosby extended Green Bay's lead to 24-17 with a 25-yard field goal.
The Jaguars answered. WR Allen Hurns beat CB LaDarius Gunter – in for CB Quinten Rollins – with a stop-and-go move for a 38-yard reception on third-and-7 that got Jacksonville into scoring range. RB Denard Robinson then converted on third-and-2 with a tough run to the 24, but the Packers' defense held there. K Jason Myers was good from 39 yards out, pulling Jacksonville within 24-20 with 6:15 left in the third.
The Packers then put together a rather slow, methodical drive. A 4-yard pass to Cobb and a QB sneak by Rodgers converted two third downs. A defensive holding penalty gave the Packers another first down across midfield, and then RB Eddie Lacy burst through a big hole on the right side for a 28-yard gain, down to the 17.
A back-and-forth second quarter ended with the Packers ahead, 21-17, at halftime on Sunday at EverBank Field, as Green Bay regained the lead in the final minute.
Backed up to their own 3-yard line to start the period, the Packers went three-and-out for the third possession in a row. Schum's 46-yard punt was downed at the Jacksonville 47, giving the Jaguars good field position once again.
The Jaguars made a bold move, going for it on fourth-and-5 from the Green Bay 48, and they converted with an 8-yard pass to WR Allen Robinson. A 14-yard pass to TE Julius Thomas followed, getting the Jaguars into scoring range, and Yeldon converted on third-and-1 for a first down at the 14.
Green Bay's defense held there, though, and the Jaguars took a 10-7 lead on a 26-yard field goal by K Jason Myers with 7:48 left in the half.
The Packers finally got going on offense, as RB Eddie Lacy carried twice for 11 yards and WR Randall Cobb made an appearance in the backfield and carried for 6. A 16-yard pass to WR Davante Adams got a first down across midfield, and an 8-yard pass to Nelson – his first reception since the 2014 playoffs – moved the chains again.
Lacy then took a screen pass, avoided a tackle for loss, and sprinted up the sideline for 17 yards to the 12. Two more passes to Nelson finished it off, with the TD going for 6 yards and putting the Packers ahead 14-10 with 3:05 left.
The Jaguars came right back. An 11-yard pass to Yeldon and a 10-yard pass to Thomas got them out near midfield at the two-minute warning. A 30-yard pass to WR Allen Hurns, who beat CB Quinten Rollins ona stop-and-go route, put the Jaguars on the Green Bay 22, and Bortles hit Thomas over top of Rollins for the TD with 1:09 to go in the half.
The Packers worked quickly. On the first snap, TE Jared Cook was interfered with by S Johnathan Cyprien on a downfield pass, giving Green Bay 30 yards. Passes to RB James Starks and WR Randall Cobb gained 16 total yards, and under heavy pressure, Rodgers found WR Davante Adams for a diving 29-yard TD grab with just 13 ticks on the clock.
The Packers and Jaguars traded touchdowns in the first quarter on Sunday at EverBank Field and headed to the second period tied at 7.
The game started well for the Packers' defense. On Blake Bortles' second pass attempt, CB Quinten Rollins got a hand in and deflected the ball intended for WR Marqise Lee. Packers LB Joe Thomas was there to snag the interception, giving the Green Bay offense the ball at the Jacksonville 29.
Immediately, the Packers faced a fourth-and-1 decision, and RB Eddie Lacy picked it up with a 9-yard run right up the middle. A couple of snaps later, QB Aaron Rodgers scrambled 6 yards for the TD, putting the Packers on the board with 9:36 left in the quarter.
Green Bay's defense got its next stop thanks to a third-down sack by LB Clay Matthews near midfield, but Jaguars P Brad Nortman pinned the Packers at their own 3-yard line with a high punt that Micah Hyde appeared to lose in the sun.
The Packers' offense went three-and-out, and P Jake Schum's first regular-season punt for Green Bay was a solid 56-yarder. Jaguars PR Rashad Greene returned it 14 yards to the Green Bay 48, giving Jacksonville the ball pretty much right back where they gave it up.
The Jaguars got into scoring range right away, as TE Marcedes Lewis took a screen pass and behind some good blocking rambled 37 yards to the 11. Two runs by T.J. Yeldon finished off the drive, tying the score with 3:40 left.
The Packers went three-and-out again, as a deep ball for WR Davante Adams on third down was broken up by CB Prince Amukamara, and Schum's 48-yard punt was fair caught at the Jacksonville 21.
Matthews made his second big play of the quarter, tackling Yeldon for a 7-yard loss on second-and-3 on the next series, leading to a Jaguars punt. Jacksonville downed it again inside the Green Bay 5.