Week 15 Game Recap: Green Bay Packers 3, Baltimore Ravens 48
What you need to know
The Packers nightmare season continued, as they were throttled by the hapless Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football. Without a running game, quarterback Brett Favre forced passes trying to make something happen and was off target with many, including two that ended up in the hands of Ravensí defenders as interceptions. The offense as a whole never got anything going, as their only score (a field goal) was set up by a long kickoff return and a Baltimore personal foul penalty.
Rookie running back Samkon Gado was very good early, but fell to the injury bug, as so many Packers have done this year. He left the game late in the first half, with a slightly sprained knee. He did not return. With Gado out, the Packers went to a committee approach to the running game that wasnít particularly successful.
The defense played horribly as well, allowing 48 points to the lowest scoring team in the league. They made consistently bad Ravensí quarterback Kyle Boller look like a Pro-Bowler, and allowed Jamal Lewis just his second 100 yard rushing game of the year.
With the outcome of the game clear, the Packers substituted rookie quarterback Aaron Rodgers for Favre late in the third quarter. The rookie made a lot of mistakes, including an interception and two fumbles, the later of which was returned for a touchdown. In all, it was a performance that canít have Packers fans feeling good about the rest of the year, or even 2006.
The Ravens had their most complete game of the season, as all parts of their team were hitting on all cylinders. Quarterback Kyle Boller had his best game yet as a pro, throwing for over 250 yards and three scores. Unbelievably, he managed to avoid making the mistakes that had always plagued his play in the past. His favorite target was tight end Todd Heap, who turned in a phenomenal nine catch, 110 yard, two touchdown performance. The other score went to Randy Hymes on a phenomenal catch.
Jamal Lewis returned from brief stint away with a hand injury, and looked great in doing so. He managed just his second 100 yard game of the season, and threw in a late score for good measure. The Ravensí running game was excellent, totaling over 180 yards and two scores. The other rushing score was a dash by receiver Mark Clayton, who lined up in the shotgun formation as the quarterback on the play.
The Ravens defense looked like the stout teams of the Ravensí playoff years, holding Green Bay to only three points. They held the Packersí running game in check, and kept the entire team out of the end zone. Favre was intercepted twice, Rodgers once, and Rodgers was sacked three times. Two of Rodgers sacks resulted in fumbles, the later of which was returned by Adalius Thomas for a touchdown.
What you ought to know
Favre played a poor game. His throws were hurried by the Ravensí pass rush, and his judgment was poor on most of the deep balls he threw. He completed less than half of his attempts, and those he did complete went for short yardage; they averaged 10.3 yards. Favre was intercepted twice in the game, but there were at least two or three other occasions where the ball was capable of being intercepted, but was mishandled by the defender. Without much of a running game, he tried to make things happen but forced too many bad passes in places where it cost the team. His lack of accuracy and judgment made the once dominant Favre look like a mediocre quarterback, at best.
|QB Aaron Rodgers, Pass: 8 - 15 - 65 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 8 - 0|
Rodgers replaced Favre at the very end of the third quarter. He had a rather inauspicious start to his pro career, throwing one interception and losing two fumbles, the later of which was returned for a touchdown. He was also sacked three times in the fourth quarter. He showed a few flashes of his talent though, often scrambling outside of the pocket to find an open receiver. He seemed to make a connection with wide out Antonio Chatman, as Rodgers targeted him five times, hooking up for three catches. His interception was intended for Robert Ferguson.
|RB Tony Fisher, Rush: 4 - 27 - 0, Rec: 4 - 27 - 0 (5 targets)|
Once Gado went out of the game injured, the rest of what remained of the depleted Packer running back corps split duty the rest of the way. Fisher performed admirably in limited duty, and produced the same numbers through the pass as through the rush. Four of his targets came from Favre, and one from Rodgers.
|RB Samkon Gado, Rush: 6 - 45 - 0, Rec: 1 - 1 - 0 (1 targets)|
Gado was running well before his sprained his knee and had to leave the game. He did not return. He had a nice run of 26 yards in the first quarter. He was well on his way to a solid fantasy performance when he was hurt.
Henderson was utilized as a blocker and a receiver out of the backfield. Twice Rodgers targeted him compared to only one look from Favre.
Rookie Noah Herron (Northwestern) saw a majority of the rushing touches once Gado went down with an injury. He didnít get on track, but he also didnít make any major mistakes.
Chatman was the most productive receiver for the Packers. His catches were split evenly between Favre and Rodgers, although Rodgers targeted him more. His catches from Favre went for shorter gains than with Rodgers, and he seemed to develop some late game chemistry with the rookie quarterback from California.
Driver had a rather unproductive night; especially considering the high number of passes sent his way. It wasnít entirely his fault though, as both Favre and Rodgers were highly inaccurate, and most of his misses werenít catchable. He was the target on Favreís second interception.
Ferguson only managed to snag one catch out of his eight targets. He was more favored by Favre, as the veteran threw his way six times, while Rogers only targeted him twice. Each quarterback threw an interception while throwing towards Ferguson. Favre targeted him in the end zone.
Lee converted both of his targets (from Favre) into completions.
Martin saw more looks than Lee, but wasnít quite as productive as his tight end counterpart. Favre targeted him in the end zone.
The Packers allowed Jamal Lewis his second 100 yard game of the season. In all, the Ravens piled up over 180 yards on the ground, and ran for two scores. It was definitely on off night for the Packersí rush defense.
The Packersí pass defense was horrible, letting Kyle Boller lose for one of the best performances of his career. Seriously, Boller looked like an All-Pro against this secondary. They allowed 250 plus yards and three touchdown tosses, while forcing no interceptions. If there was any silver lining, it was that they sacked Boller three times.
|QB Kyle Boller, Pass: 19 - 27 - 253 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 9 - 0|
Boller looked nothing like his usual self, pulling out one of the best performances of his career on the Monday Night stage. He played confident and assured, and made none of the mistakes that weíve seen in the past from him. He had a special connection with tight end Todd Heap, whom he found for 110 of his yards and two of his touchdowns. The other scoring toss was a spectacular grab by receiver Randy Hymes. Boller played a nearly flawless game, easily leading the Ravens to a blowout victory.
Wright came in at the end of the game, and only handed the ball off to Jamel White.
|RB Jamal Lewis, Rush: 22 - 105 - 1, Rec: 2 - 9 - 0 (2 targets)|
Lewis had an excellent game coming back from an injured hand. He managed only his second 100 yard game of the season, and scored as well. He had big runs of 17 and 20 yards.
Taylor saw a few looks in the running game, and performed nicely. He averaged over six yards per touch.
White got his rushes at the end of the game, with the victory clearly in hand.
|WR Mark Clayton, Rush: 3 - 14 - 1, Rec: 2 - 24 - 0 (5 targets)|
Clayton continued to look impressive, despite only catching two passes. He was utilized more in the running game, and even scored on an 11 yard dash. On the play he lined up in the shotgun formation as the quarterback, took the ball to the right, and scooted along the sideline for the touchdown.
Mason led the Ravensí wide receivers in catches and yards. He was targeted the second most of any of the receivers.
Both of Hymesí targets came in the end zone, the first of which he snagged out of the sky for a spectacular one-handed touchdown grab.
Heap, along with Boller, was one of the stars of the game. He caught nine balls for over 100 yards and two scores. It was an excellent performance, and the Packers had no answer for him.
The Packers had success running the ball with Samkon Gado in the first half. Once he went down with an injured knee, the Ravens rush defense stiffened. They allowed just over 100 yards, and no scores.
The pass defense was exceptional. They picked off Favre twice and Rodgers once. They sacked Rodgers three times, causing him to cough the ball up twice. Adalius Thomas returned the second of these fumbles for a touchdown. All together, they allowed just over 200 yards and no scores.