Packers dish out punishment
Ravens fall as penalty flags fly
GREEN BAY, Wis. - The standings say the Green Bay Packers are in good shape for the playoffs. But last night’s victory over the Baltimore Ravens showed they still have some work to do to be taken seriously once they get there.
Aaron Rodgers threw three touchdown passes, including two to tight end Jermichael Finley, and the Packers beat the Ravens, 27-14, in a penalty-filled game at Lambeau Field.
It was the fourth straight win for the Packers (8-4), solidifying their spot in the NFC wild-card race. But it wasn’t pretty.
The teams committed 23 penalties for 310 yards, tying for the second-highest yardage total in an NFL game.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy called the penalties “unbelievable for both sides’’ but said he was happy with the way his team responded to trying circumstances - something they hadn’t done well early in the season.
“I’ll say this about our football team: I was very proud and excited the way they overcame the adversity,’’ McCarthy said.
The Ravens (6-6) struggled in coverage without star safety Ed Reed, who sat out with hip and ankle injuries.
Baltimore was called for five pass interference penalties, the most by a team in a game since the Giants in 2001. The Packers were flagged four times for pass interference.
Rodgers was 26 of 40 for 263 yards with two interceptions, only his sixth and seventh of the season.
While Reed’s replacement, Tom Zbikowski, came up with one of the interceptions, the Ravens struggled in coverage.
Baltimore’s Joe Flacco was 15 of 36 for 137 yards with a touchdown and three INTs. The Packers sacked him three times.
The Packers were 4-4 after looking bad in back-to-back losses to Minnesota and Tampa Bay in early November but haven’t lost since.
They’ve worked out some of their pass protection problems - Rodgers was sacked only once last night - and their defense appears more comfortable in the 3-4 scheme installed by coordinator Dom Capers in the offseason.
Leading, 17-0, at halftime, two Packers turnovers allowed Baltimore to get back in the game.