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Packers extend winning streak to three games; Packers-Jaguars notes & quotes

Posted by Duke Bobber on October 28, 2012 – 6:30 pm

QB Aaron RodgersPACKERS TOP JAGUARS TO EXTEND WINNING STREAK TO THREE GAMES
– Green Bay beat Jacksonville, 24-15, today at Lambeau Field to improve to 5-3 on the season. The Packers have won three straight games and four of their last five.
– With the victory, the Packers have won 16 of their last 17 regular-season games (.941) at Lambeau Field and 22 of their last 26 regular-season games overall (.846).
– Green Bay stays at home to host the Arizona Cardinals next Sunday at 12 p.m. (CST). The Packers will have their bye the following week.

OTHER POST-GAME NOTES:
– Today’s paid attendance was 70,464. It was the 306th consecutive sellout (289 regular season, 17 playoffs) at Lambeau Field.
– By appearing in today’s contest, WR Donald Driver joined QB Brett Favre (255) as the only players in franchise history to play in 200 regular-season games. Driver became the 22nd wide receiver in league annals to play in 200 games.
– Driver’s fourth-quarter TD catch was his 62nd career touchdown, which moved him into a tie with RB Paul Hornung for the No. 5 spot for the most overall touchdowns in franchise history.
– QB Aaron Rodgers threw his 153rd career TD pass, moving him past Bart Starr (152) for No. 2 in franchise history.
– Rodgers has thrown 18 TD passes over the last five games, the most in franchise history by a Packers QB over a five-game span in a season. The previous high was 17 by Rodgers in 2011 (twice).
– Rodgers threw a TD pass in his 33rd consecutive regular-season game at home, further extending his franchise record.
– It is the longest streak in the NFL since Dolphins QB Dan Marino’s 39-game streak from 1983-88.
– Rodgers has not thrown an interception in three consecutive games.
– CB Davon House became the first Packer to block a punt since LB Marcus Wilkins on Sept. 29, 2003, at Chicago.
– House made his first career start as a pro on Sunday.
– LB Dezman Moses became the first Packer to return a blocked punt for a touchdown since S Tiger Greene on Dec. 2, 1990, at Minnesota.
– WR Randall Cobb’s touchdown catch in the first quarter gave him four TD grabs over the past four games.
– LB Brad Jones recorded the first forced fumble of his career.
– S Morgan Burnett posted a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.


POST-GAME QUOTES:

GREEN BAY PACKERS HEAD COACH MIKE McCARTHY:
(opening statement) “It was definitely a grind-it-out type victory today. We’re pleased to be at 5-3. I’ll share my thoughts with you as I shared with the football team. I felt the victory was obviously important, but it was a little bit of a rollercoaster throughout our play. I thought today was a very good example of offense, defense and special teams picking it up for one another when it wasn’t going as well in their particular area. These games are always hard fought and our focus is on moving to the Cardinals. Part of our message leaving the locker room before I came in here was we need to be 6-3 at the bye. Today was a tough contest. Offensively we had some tough sledding, particularly early with the no huddle. I got away from that after the hits to the quarterback. Our protection in the run game needs to improve. We came in here to be balanced, a balance between run and pass. Statistically we hit that, but the efficiency was not there. I thought our defense played very well, particularly in the third quarter. They kind of carried us. Special teams, they’ve been the lead dog all year. They set the tempo with the blocked punt. For (Special Teams Coordinator) Shawn Slocum and the special teams our focus was to put pressure on the punt protection. I thought the execution by Davon House and the block was excellent.”

(on if the injured players had an effect on the game) “The inactive list, everybody has one. It happens in every game. I don’t really think it’s something we need to talk about. No disrespect to the people on the inactive list. Our preparation this week was cut short because of the stress we had at practice. I felt the team was ready to play coming out of Friday. I thought segments of the football team didn’t come out with the energy or the focus. I thought we were a little bit of a rollercoaster in certain segments and individuals. We have to get that removed. That’s something that [needs to improve] as the weather starts to turn and we get into these games that are more important. It’s important that our record stands at 5-3. Our inactive list is something that we can’t control, so we’re not looking for excuses.”

(on the decision to go for a fake with P Tim Masthay) “The fake field goal, we were just kind of watching the wind. I thought the wind changed throughout the day. I thought the ball was carrying more to the north. We were pretty close to being to the point where we would talk about going for it on fourth down and so forth. It was a play that we had been practicing. I think it was pretty obvious that the decision that was made was probably not the best decision. We’ve been aggressive on special teams and this one didn’t work.”

(on the defense’s performance) “I thought our defense came out in the second half and just did an excellent job. They were able to make some plays in the fourth quarter. I thought with their energy and the way they flew around, they gave the offense a number of opportunities. But yes, I thought that was a big part of the victory. That’s what I’m referring to. I thought special teams set the tempo early with the big play. Offense, we were up and down. Defense, I thought definitely picked it up in the third quarter. Once again, that’s what good teams do. You win games. You pick it up for one another when the efficiency isn’t quite where you want it to be.”

(on the blocked punt) “Those are game plan decisions you make going into the game. That’s something that we talked about on Monday and Tuesday and that was the route we wanted to go. You have to credit (Special Teams Coordinator) Shawn Slocum and (Special Teams Assistant) Chad Morton with their game planning. I thought (CB) Davon House was excellent. As far as the design and the execution of it, and the finish, it was excellent. Obviously, it was a huge play in the game.”


PACKERS QUARTERBACK AARON RODGERS:
(on how the absence of WR Jordy Nelson and WR Greg Jennings affected the offense) “I think it was more that we didn’t run it well. We were 5 for 13 on third downs, didn’t throw it very well. It was a choppy game, I think, from the start. We didn’t get into a rhythm early, went three and out, and we went down and scored. We had a punt block for a touchdown. As big as that is for us, sometimes that keeps (the offense) on the sidelines for a while, which kind of takes us out of our rhythm. So, I think it was more that we had opportunities and we didn’t play very well.”

(on how healthy he is right now) “I’m looking forward to the bye week to get to 100 percent, but other than the one day, I haven’t missed any practice and haven’t had anything to put on any type of list. It’s just bumps and bruises that in Week 8 bother you at different times. Today I got a helmet to the arm, which kind of hurts. I got hit in the head a couple times, (but) I’ll be all right.”

(on if they looked past the Jaguars at all) “I don’t think so. I think it was just that you’ve got to give them credit. They played their scheme pretty well. They brought pressure probably twice all game and decided to play a lot of combo coverage, some quarters to the single receiver side and four over three to the other side. That was what they wanted to do, get after us with their four-man pass rush and stop the run with six in the box. I think mission accomplished for them. They had some steady pass rush, they did a good job stopping the run and they put enough guys in coverage to slow us down a little bit.”

(on if he got hit on the arm on the sack-fumble) “No, that was just poor ball security.”

(on WR Donald Driver making the most of his opportunities) “He’s really good at that route he caught the touchdown on. He’s had a few of those the last couple years and I just liked the matchup. He ran a nice route (and I) put the ball in a spot he could make a play on it. He’s going to make the most of his opportunities. Donald’s been around for a while, knows how to run his routes, knows how to get open – and with some injuries, he had some more opportunities today and made a couple plays. We know what we get out of Donald. We know what kind of player he is, what kind of professional. When he gets opportunities, he’s going to make the most of them.”

(on whether he thought his fumble should have been classified under the Tuck rule) “That was my initial reaction. I actually told the white cap (referee), I said ‘Tuck rule,’ as my first thing. Now, I’m not a big fan of the rule. I was actually pulling for the Raiders back in the day when (Charles) Woodson made him (Patriots quarterback Tom Brady) fumble. I was living in northern California and pulling for Rich Gannon and the Raiders there, so I’m not a huge fan of it, but it is the rule. That being said, as I stepped in the pocket I felt like the ball was extended and I was bringing it back in. Next thing I know, I’m on my back and I know the ball’s not in my grasp. They recovered it, obviously they didn’t think it fell under that great rule.”

(on whether this game is a setback) “I don’t see it as a setback at all. I see it as playing an opponent with a stout front four, uncommon opponent. It’s good to be on this side of an ugly win. It’s tough to win in this league and I think the expectations we’ve set around here and the way we’ve played on offense – especially in the last couple weeks – the expectations were we were going to come out and maybe blow them out. But we didn’t start fast. We didn’t have enough juice early on and didn’t play well enough on offense to get that done. Defense and special teams did their part and offensively we’re going to very critical as we watch the film tomorrow and move forward. However, that being said, we’re 5-3. As much with the adversity we’ve dealt with early in the season has affected us, I think we’ve come out. We’ve won three in a row and we’re moving in the right direction.”

(on what it means to get a win when they don’t play their best) “That’s important. It’s important when you don’t play your best that you can still come out with W’s because it’s a lot easier to watch that film when you’ve won, even if you didn’t play very well on whatever side of the ball you’re on. We struggled on offense. You’ve got to give them credit. They had a good plan, they executed really well, but it’s going to feel a lot better tonight as we’re relaxing knowing we’re 5-3 and we’re right in the mix.”


PACKERS
SAFETY MORGAN BURNETT:
(on having to step up due to the injury of DB Charles Woodson) “It was tough. He’s one of our leaders and all of us young guys look up to him. We really wanted to go out and play hard for him. That motivated us to prove and show that we can go out and step up when one of our leaders goes out.”

(on whether or not the Jaguars’ offense surprised the Green Bay defense today) “No, they didn’t surprise us. This is the NFL. You can’t underestimate anyone. Blaine Gabbert, give him credit. He did a great job, made some good throws. Justin Blackmon made some good catches and those guys did well moving the ball, but as a defense, as long as you keep them out of the end zone, that’s your main goal.”


PACKERS
KICKER MASON CROSBY:
(on the fake field goal attempt) “The look wasn’t there. I think Tim (Masthay) got a little pressure and it was just unfortunate. I couldn’t really tell what happened because I was running a route. We’ll have to look at the film, but it was one that we thought might work out and it just didn’t.”


PACKERS
WIDE RECEIVER DONALD DRIVER:
(on his touchdown reception) “It felt good. Aaron (Rodgers) called a play we’ve been running in practice when we get down to the three-yard line. He called a nice play and I kind of knew that I had man-to-man coverage and all I had to do was beat my guy and I knew Aaron was going to make a great throw.”

(on playing a role in the team’s victory) “It’s great. Any time you step on the field and help your team win makes you feel good. I was excited about going out there and getting the opportunity to make the plays that I made. Hopefully there will be more to come.”

(on if he felt like today was a good opportunity for him with all of the injuries at the WR position) “Every week we go into a game thinking that you’re going to have opportunities. Right now we have two great guys down with Jordy (Nelson) and Greg (Jennings). Once they come back and play, you just hope that you can continue to contribute as much as possible.”

(on if not having WRs Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings throws off the rhythm of the offense) “I don’t think so. James (Jones) had another great game as always. I don’t think it throws the rhythm off at all. The next guy has to step up and today everybody stepped up and we won the game. It wasn’t great, but we won.”


PACKERS
CORNERBACK DAVON HOUSE:
(on his blocked punt) “It’s big. Big momentum… We try to win in all three phases – offense, defense and special teams. A lot of people don’t know that special teams is one of the biggest parts, as you can tell. A blocked (punt) for a touchdown, that’s seven points.”


PACKERS LINEBACKER CLAY MATTHEWS:
(on how he would assess the team’s performance) “It’s hard to tell right now with the emotions of the game. We had let downs not only on defense, but special teams and offense. Overall, when you hold them to however many points, which we did – it’s a good performance. Obviously we would like to win these games in a better fashion. It was kind of sloppy out there, lack of energy, but a win’s a win in this league.”

(on why there was a lack of energy) “I don’t know. Perhaps it could be the early morning game, our first one here. Ultimately, that’s not a good enough excuse, and we definitely were flat. It’s something that needs to be addressed, will be addressed, and hopefully I think we have another early game next week at home so we’re not going to fall into that same type of game and hopefully we can put points on the board early and have the defense continue to show up.”

(on if there was any anxiety due to the amount of starters out with injuries) “No, maybe for the coaches but not so much for the players. With the players, we just play ball. I know it sounds cliché and simple, but we expect those guys opposite of us, or in the huddle, or wherever on the field, to contribute and do their job as if they were the initial starter. No excuses, but it is next man up, and unfortunately there’s a lot of people down right now.”


PACKERS
LINEBACKER DEZMAN MOSES:
(on his recovery for a touchdown after the blocked punt) “It was pretty much four or five guys had a shot before me. I just kept hustling to the ball. I saw it bounce around a few times. I got my hands on it and the play was over from there. I was in the end zone at that point. It’s a little different before you get in there, guys are trying to scoop and score and make the big play. Luckily it kept going toward the end zone and I got a chance to get my hands on it. I didn’t have to worry about running, it was more about falling down and securing the ball.”

(on the importance of the blocked punt and touchdown) “I believe every play is important. You never know what play is going to be the play that determines the game. It turned out to be a lot closer game than we expected. All those plays count and that was definitely a big one.”

(on his first Lambeau Leap) “I’ve already graded it an eight. I had the jump and the twist all in there. Pretty smooth, so it was all in stride.”


JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY:
(on the loss) “I hate to be standing up here again with another loss, but there are some things that showed up today that I was pleased with. There are some positives that we can take from this game playing in a tough environment. Some guys stepped up and made some plays for us today, including our quarterback, which I thought he did. We still have things to clean up, but I thought there was progress.”

(on Green Bay’s blocked punt touchdown) “I’ll take responsibility for that. Our tempo was slow, and that gave them a chance to creep up and jam it in. We should have brought that guy in. It is nobody’s fault but mine.”

(on the defense) “I thought we played well. We were talking about from the beginning to make them earn everything that they were going to make. Up until that last throw we were trying to keep everything in front of us and just tackle them. I thought we did a better job of tackling today. I thought we were very good at stopping the run. We made them drive down the field to score touchdowns.”

(on going for a two-point conversion before halftime) “I went against the rules in going for two early and I’ll tell you why. I wanted to score the points. I wanted to go in at halftime tied. That’s why I did it. I know I went against all the rules in the statistical books, but at some point we were going to have to go for two. After that fact, I wish we had just kicked the extra point, but we had the play designed the way we wanted it. But the ball was thrown behind Justin Blackmon.”


JAGUARS QUARTERBACK BLAINE GABBERT:
(on playing with an injured shoulder) “It is just something that you have to manage and deal with. All in all I really didn’t worry about it or focus on it one bit today. Everything was normal at the start of the game. It is just mind over matter at that point.”

(on getting the pass game going) “We were just trying to make plays. We had some great calls. It just came down to us executing.  We executed on some and we didn’t execute on others. That was kind of the tale of the game. We left too many plays out there. It showed and we lost.”

(on wide receiver Cecil Shorts) “He is doing a great job. He has the ability to stretch the field and make plays. He did a great job today along with our other receivers.”

(on struggles in the red zone) “We did some good things, but when you are in the red zone three times and only come away with one touchdown you aren’t going to win many games doing that. You need to have a high touchdown percentage when you are playing the teams that we have played in this league.”


JAGUARS CENTER BRAD MEESTER:
(on Blaine Gabbert throwing for over 300 yards) “That’s the type of guy Blaine is. An unbelievable guy, an unbelievable leader of this offense. I’m excited for the things that he is going to do.”

(on the inability to finish drives) “We really have to find a way to finish drives, there is just no other way to explain it. Somehow we just have to find a way to get into the end zone. That’s the key.”

(on the play of the defense) “The defense did a tremendous job, again, and they continue to do a great job all year, and we have just got to find a way to finish drives.”


JAGUARS CORNERBACK WILLIAM MIDDLETON:
(on the defensive game plan coming into the game) “Coach Tucker had a great defensive plan against these guys. Everybody knows Aaron Rodgers, the guy’s a hell of a quarterback and that’s a credit to him, their offensive coordinator and their coaches. But Mel’s game plan going into this week was phenomenal and he did a really good job calling the game.”

(on the defensive pass interference penalty late in the fourth quarter) “It’s a part of the game. I’m not upset about it at all, and we’re moving on to the next one and we got another big home game next week.”

(on the defense playing well today) “Yeah, we did, the defensive line got to Aaron (Rodgers), the linebackers played the run and the pass game, and our safeties really communicated the calls, so as a unit I think we played really well today.”


JAGUARS WIDE RECEIVER CECIL SHORTS III:
(on his breakout game) “Every week you want to be the player to make plays. This was only my second start, and I had an opportunity today and I took advantage of it.

(on the offense having to settle for field goals) “We got to convert third downs. You see the Packers, they’re a good team and they convert third downs. It’s something we have to do, and we are getting better at it, but we have to convert.


JAGUARS OFFENSIVE TACKLE GUY WHIMPER:
(on his touchdown catch) “It was something that we practiced during the week, and I have a little history playing tight end in college. We practiced it and they called it in the game and we executed.”

(on losing the game today) “The game only comes down to a couple plays and we need to execute on those plays a lot better and the outcome of this game would have been a whole lot different.”

(on the play of quarterback Blaine Gabbert) “He’s showing signs that he can be one of the elite quarterbacks in this league. It’s going to take time, but he’s showing that he’s ready and willing to take that next step.


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