Green & Gold


Safety, LB could be early draft targets for Packers

The prospect with that impressive 40-yard dash time might look good in green and gold. He may not be the best fit in a certain round for the Green Bay Packers.

In those instances, general manager Ted Thompson has plenty of voices in the room on draft day to remind him of the team’s philosophy. If that player happens to fill a hole, all the better for Thompson.

“Even in the draft, during the draft itself, sometimes if we need to pat ourselves on the back, we’ll repeat it,” Thompson said before offering the phrase “Let’s just take the best player.’ I have people remind me and whisper in my ear.”

For the most part, things have worked out nicely in Green Bay under Thompson in spite of pleas from some fans to be more aggressive in free agency.


Packers season ends with 23-20 loss

Photo by Jim Leuenberger San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick gains some of his 98 rushing yards during the 49ers' playoff game Sunday against the Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. The Packers lost the game, 23-20.

For a Green Bay Packers team that had to overcome mountains of adversity just to make the playoffs, it was hard to accept that they came up just one play short in a 23-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in a wild card playoff game Sunday at a frigid Lambeau Field.

After tying the game at 20-20 on a 24-yard Mason Crosby field goal with 5:06 left to play in the fourth quarter, the Packers allowed the 49ers to drive 65 yards and eat up the rest of the clock. Phil Dawson, the 49ers kicker, then hit a 33-yard field goal for the 23-20 win.

It was a bitter loss for the Packers, who battled through a bevy of injuries and setbacks this season to make the playoffs, and their fourth loss to the 49ers in the last two seasons.

“It hurts,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “Yeah, it hurts.”


Packers win North title over Bears

Wolf River Media Photo by Greg Mellis Chicago Bears defenders work at bring down Packers rookie Eddie Lacy during Sunday's NFC North championship game in Chicago. Lacy rushed for 66 yards and a touchdown on a bad ankle.

A fourth-and-eight touchdown throw from quarterback Aaron Rodgers to receiver Randall Cobb with 46 seconds left to play put the Green Bay Packers ahead of the Chicago Bears 33-28 in a back-and-forth regular season finale Sunday at a cold and windy Soldier Field in Chicago with the NFC North championship on the line.

It was fitting that Rodgers (collarbone) and Cobb (leg), who both returned this game after missing weeks due to injury, connected on the game’s pivotal play, giving the Packers the win, the NFC North title and a home playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

“You see the heart that this team has, to go through what we went through all season and still have a chance to get into the playoffs,” Cobb said. “To have a game like we played tonight … we found a way to win the game. I think it speaks a lot about our team.”


5 things we learned in Packers' win

Wolf River Media Photo by Greg Mellis Quarterback Aaron Rogers celebrates a third quarter touchdown of the Packers' 33-28 win Sunday in Chicago. The victory gave the Packers their third straight NFC North title and propelled them in the NFL playoffs. They will host San Francisco on Sunday.

Aaron Rodgers missed about half the season. Now, he can make up for lost time.

Rodgers returned from a broken collarbone and fired a 48-yard touchdown to Randall Cobb in the final minute Sunday to lead the Green Bay Packers to a 33-28 victory over the Chicago Bears and the NFC North championship.

"There were a lot of opportunities for us to give up, and we just kept believing in each other," Rodgers said. "I'm proud of our guys."

Back after missing seven games with a broken left collarbone, Rodgers found a wide-open Cobb on fourth-and-8 to wipe out a one-point deficit with 38 seconds left.

Green Bay will host San Francisco next weekend in the wild-card round.

The Bears had one final drive, but Jay Cutler's deep pass to Alshon Jeffery was intercepted by Sam Shields on the final play.


Packers lose but hope remains

Photo by Jim Leuenberger Packers rookie running back Eddie Lacy dives into the end zone against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at Lambeau Field. Green Bay lost 38-31 but remains in contention for a playoff berth.

The Green Bay Packers’ roller-coaster season will continue for another week, despite a 38-31 loss Sunday to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the snow at Lambeau Field.

The loss would have ended the postseason hopes for the Packers (7-7-1), but the Chicago Bears (8-7) were embarrassed 54-11 by the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night. Detroit (7-8) dropped out of playoff contention with a 23-20 overtime loss at home to the New York Giants.

The Packers and Bears will play Sunday in Chicago with the NFC North title, and the playoff berth that comes with it, on the line. That game has been moved to a 3:25 p.m. start.

The Packers' fate was nearly sealed as they raced the clock on the final drive Sunday, trailing 38-31.

The Packers entered the fourth quarter down by 10, 31-21, until a Mason Crosby 22-yard field goal cut the deficit to seven.


Lacy strong candidate for rookie award

Eddie Lacy was wearing a walking boot on his right foot Wednesday in the locker room, as he has everywhere except to games since spraining his ankle against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 14.

The boot is mostly precautionary, as is the decision to hold the rookie running back out of a few practices the last two weeks.

“It looks pretty cool,” Lacy said of his protective footwear.

However the boot makes Lacy look, there is no doubt what Lacy is: a grinding, three-down, 1,000-yard rusher who has transformed the Packers’ running game.

Lacy is also a deserving candidate for the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.

The former Alabama running back has amassed 1,028 yards, just 77 short of breaking John Brockington’s Packers rookie record of 1,105 yards, and eight touchdowns, a first for a rookie in franchise history. He’s tied with Brockington for the most 100-yard games in a rookie season with four.


Keys to the Game: Packers vs. Steelers

Green Bay Packers

Loose Lacy

The Green Bay Packers will need a heavy dose of rookie running back Eddie Lacy on Sunday. The weather conditions may be snowy and wet, the Packers will either have backup quarterback Matt Flynn or a rusty Aaron Rodgers returning from a broken collarbone at the quarterback position, and the Pittsburgh Steelers have the 19th-ranked rushing defense. It all adds up to a perfect stage for Lacy to have a big day.

Play 60

The Packers have had furious comebacks the last two weeks to stay in the hunt for the NFC North title. While the wins have been exciting, the Packers are very lucky to be on a two-game winning streak. The comebacks show this team is capable of winning. If the Packers show that for a full 60 minutes, they might find themselves with a comfortable lead in the fourth quarter. Nothing would cheer a cold Lambeau Field crowd more than a competitive and productive first half from the Packers.



Packers, Cowboys in similar situation

Desperate for a win to stay in the hunt for a division title and hopeful that a dreadful defense can put things together in the final weeks of the season: that is a good description of both teams that will meet at AT&T Stadium on Sunday.

The Green Bay Packers (6-6-1) and the Dallas Cowboys (7-6) are mirror images heading into a game that will likely determine the fortunes of both teams.

Both teams need a win Sunday to remain relevant in their division race, the only way either team can qualify for the postseason. The Packers are a half-game behind both the Detroit Lions (7-6) and the Chicago Bears (7-6) in the NFC North. Dallas is a game behind the Philadelphia Eagles (8-5) in the NFC East.

Both teams have struggled defensively this season. The Packers have the 21st-ranked defense in the league, averaging 369.4 yards per game. The Cowboys have been even worse, giving up 426.8 yards a game, worst in the NFL.


Keys to the Game: Packers at Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Run the ball

As of Thursday, it was not known whether Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) would be ready to return or if stud rookie running back Eddie Lacy will be healed from a twisted ankle. Whatever appearance the Packers offense takes on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, running the ball should be priority No. 1. The Cowboys’ defense, ranked 32nd overall is 28th against the run. The pass defense is even worse, at 32nd in the league. If the Packers can establish the run, they can keep the ball out of quarterback Tony Romo’s hands and set up the pass for later in the game.



Packers stay alive with 22-21 win

Photo by Jim Leuenberger Packers quarterback Matt Flynn runs from Falcons defenders during a game Sunday at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. Flynn threw a fourth-quarter TD pass that capped the Packers' 22-21 comeback victory and kept alive their hopes for a division title and playoff berth.

The Green Bay Packers got a shutout performance from its struggling defense in the second half Sunday and a solid offensive performance without Aaron Rodgers en route to a 22-21 win over the Atlanta Falcons in Green Bay.

“Excellent win today for our football team. I’d classify it as a character win,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “I’m very proud of the way the guys stayed after it.”

After the Matt Flynn-led Packers overcame an 11-point deficit in the second half, the win was sealed by the Packers’ defense, which stuffed the Falcons on three potentially game-winning drives in the fourth quarter.

The Packers' winning drive was set up by Mike Neal's strip-sack of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan with about 12 minutes remaining. Defensive lineman Johnny Jolly recovered the ball at the Atlanta 21. Four plays later, Flynn found tight end Andrew Quarless for a 2-yard touchdown.


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