The hits keep coming for the Green Bay Packers, who won a hard-fought game over the Ravens in Baltimore yesterday. In the process they lost three more starters to injury. This time it was Nick Perry, Randall Cobb and James Jones who went down. Cobb and Perry look to be out a for a while but Jones may even be able to return this week, but I would be shocked if they rushed him back that soon.
Somehow the Packers found a way to win with just Jordy Nelson and Jarret Boykin at receiver and Andy Mulumba at linebacker. Perry got hurt on the play that arguably won the game and will cause head coaches to think twice about getting risky with less than 30 seconds to go in the half and backed up in your own territory. Perry’s strip-sack set up Mason Crosby for a field goal two plays after Crosby missed from 44 yards out.
Boykin was definitely in over his head in his first extended playing time but did make a couple of nice plays after overcoming running some bad routes and dropping passes. The Packers were able to win because of Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy and a big play each from Nelson and Jermichael Finley.
Rodgers hooked up with Nelson on an old play that has worked for years for those two. It worked to perfection again as Jordy was wide open and Rodgers threw the ball 60 yards in the air and hit him in stride for a 64-yard TD. Jordy had dropped an easy pass early in the game so I was a little worried when I saw him so wide open.
Lacy brings a new dimension to the Packers’ offense that they didn’t have last year and frankly, they would not have been able to win a game like that last year. Lacy was a beast and always seems to reach the second level. He is also wise beyond his years as he showed when he gained the necessary two yards for the Packers’ final first down and immediately hit the turf, avoiding the unnecessary punishment and risk of a fluke injury. Lacy should blow by 1000 yards this season if he can be one of the lucky few who avoid the injury bug. He has already missed one game so maybe he is over it.
Finley had a relatively quit day that included a dropped pass as well, but when the Packers needed a first down to keep the clock running he turned a little hitch into a 50-yard gain. He should have went down in bounds but with Lacy the Packers now have the ability to grind out a first down on the ground when they need to. Somebody just needs to tell head coach Mike McCarthy that you can do that in the first quarter too. Lacy had 23 carries but the way he was running and with the poor day Rodgers was having, I think he should have had 30.
The Packers’ defense played outstanding until the fourth quarter. The Ravens got desperate and the Packers got sloppy and almost let them steal it after leading 16-3 at one point. The Packers are going to have to find a way play defense for four quarters but it won’t be easy with your second and third-string linebackers playing and still missing your biggest play-maker in Casey Hayward.
The Packers didn’t make a roster move today but one would think they can’t go into a game with just two healthy receivers. Sure Finley can play out wide but if somebody goes down they would be in big trouble. They do have Myles White, and the recently re-signed Reggie Dunn on the practice squad. White didn’t look bad in the preseason so I could see him being activated for Sunday. Cobb may end up on the short-term injured reserve list.
The Packers face the 3-3 Browns in Lambeau next Sunday. The Browns looked like world-beaters two weeks ago but came crashing back to earth Sunday with Brandon Weeden back at quarterback. Who knows who will start Sunday. If the shorthanded Packers can steal another one they would be sitting good with a couple of big division games and the reborn Eagles to follow.
The Packers are going to need some good luck with injuries though, or this season could head south in a hurry. It can’t get any worse. Can it?