Monday, December 7, 2009
Halftime: Packers 17, Ravens 0
By Kevin Seifert ESPN.com
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Some halftime thoughts from Lambeau Field, where Green Bay has a commanding lead:
Aaron Rodgers had two first-half touchdown passes.
You couldn’t ask for much more from the Packers' defense. On a national stage, they’ve shut down a pretty potent offense. The Ravens have 72 total yards and six first downs. They’ve committed two turnovers and haven’t threatened to score after linebacker Clay Matthews forced tailback Ray Rice to fumble in the red zone on their opening possession. This is how an elite defense plays in December.
Keep in mind the Packers are using three defensive rookies extensively, and all of them have made significant contributions. Matthews has three tackles, along with a sack and the forced fumble. Defensive lineman B.J. Raji has two tackles, including one behind the line of scrimmage, while linebacker Brad Jones has three tackles.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has completed 16 of 24 passes, including two for touchdowns. But if you ask me, he looks hampered by the rib injury he was reported to have last week. We noted he grimaced in obvious pain after throwing an inaccurate deep pass that was ultimately intercepted. He’s also taken a while to get up after several post-throw hits. I don’t think it’s a serious situation, but just something to monitor.
Tight end Jermichael Finley is becoming a fan of "Monday Night Football." He has five receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown. In an Oct. 5 Monday night game at Minnesota, Finley had six receptions for 128 yards and a score.
It might be too late, but if I were the Ravens, I’d work harder to get the ball to Rice. The NFL’s leading open-field runner, based on yards after the catch, Rice has only two receptions.