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Packers rally to hold lead at halftime

Posted by Vic Ketchman, packers.com editor on September 22, 2013 – 1:33 pm

Packers Safety M.D. JenningsCINCINNATI–Bengals turnovers allowed the Packers to rally to take a 16-14 lead into halftime at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday.

Mason Crosby kicked a 41-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter, cutting the Bengals’ lead to 14-3. Sam Shields’ interception of an Andy Dalton pass at the Bengals 27-yard line led to the score.

The Packers got another big break almost immediately, when Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham fumbled and A.J. Hawk recovered at the Bengals 37-yard line.

Again, the Packers failed to gain a first down, as Aaron Rodgers was sacked on third down in a drive that only went backwards. Tim Masthay punted and the Bengals took possession at their 15-yard line.

That’s when disaster struck the Bengals. BenJarvus Green-Ellis fumbled, forced by Clay Matthews, and M.D. Jennings picked up the ball and ran 24 yards for a score that cut the Bengals’ lead to 14-10. It marked the third turnover the Packers defense had forced.

Turnover No. 4 was only moments away. Dalton fumbled while being sacked by Clay Matthews. Brad Jones recovered at the Bengals 21-yard line.

The Packers got a holding call in the end zone against Pacman Jones, causing first-and-goal from the 5-yard line. Again, the Bengals defense held, and Crosby kicked a 19-yard field goal to cut the Bengals’ lead to 14-13.

Late in the first half, the Packers began a drive at their 22-yard line. A helmet-to-helmet hit by the Bengals resulted in a penalty and a big gain for the Packers. It seemed to ignite the Packers offense, as Rodgers moved his unit quickly and efficiently down the field, but the drive stalled on a sack on second down and a short completion on third down. Crosby gave the Packers the lead, 16-14, following a 26-yard field goal on the final play of the half.

It was announced that tight end Jermichael Finley had sustained a concussion and would miss the rest of the game. Finley was injured on the Packers’ first series of the game.

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