Rapid Reaction: Green Bay Packers
October, 20, 2013
By Rob Demovsky | ESPN.com
GREEN BAY, Wis. – A few thoughts on the Green Bay Packers’ 31-13 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at Lambeau Field.
What it means: Combined with losses by the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions earlier on Sunday, the victory moved the Packers into first place in the NFC North for the first time this season. The Bears and Lions both dropped to 4-3, while the Packers improved to 4-2. The question now is whether they can hold on to first place given all their injuries.
Stock watch: One of the big questions all week was whether Jarrett Boykin could give the Packers any production in place of injured receivers Randall Cobb and James Jones. Boykin, who had two drops the week before against Baltimore during his first extended action, fared just fine. Coach Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers wisely got Boykin involved early with a few short passes to get his confidence up. Boykin finished with eight catches for 103 yards, including his first career NFL touchdown -- a 20-yarder in the fourth quarter.
Concern for Finley: In one of the scarier injury scenes of the season, Packers tight end Jermichael Finley was taken off the field on a gurney after he sustained a neck injury with 10:03 left in the game. Finley received medical attention on the field for several minutes, but the Packers said he had movement and feeling in all of his extremities. The injury occurred when Finley took a hit to the head from Browns safety Tashaun Gipson, who was penalized for unnecessary roughness for what referee Jeff Triplette said was leading with the helmet.
Penalty-aided points: The Browns got their only points of the first half, a 46-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff in the second quarter, thanks in part to an unnecessary roughness penalty on Packers cornerback Tramon Williams. Williams violently threw receiver Josh Gordon to the ground after Gordon dropped a pass. The Browns were so bad in the first half, gaining just 89 total net yards, perhaps Williams should have known that Gordon was going to drop the pass.
What’s next: After two straight AFC wins over the Browns and Baltimore Ravens, the Packers return to the NFC North for back-to-back prime-time games next Sunday night at the Minnesota Vikings and on Nov. 4 at home against the Chicago Bears on "Monday Night Football."
2:39 4th Qtr Detroit 14 Green Bay 30 4:48 4th Qtr Oakland 14 Denver 40 2:00 4th Qtr Arizona 17 San Francisco 20 8:30 PM ET Cincinnati Pittsburgh Final Cleveland 10 Baltimore 20 Final Dallas 44 Washington 17 Final Indianapolis 27 Tennessee 10 Final Jacksonville 17 Houston 23 Final San Diego 7 Kansas City 19 Final New York 37 Miami 24 Final Chicago 9 Minnesota 13 Final Buffalo 17 New England 9 Final Philadelphia 34 New York 26 Final New Orleans 23 Tampa Bay 20 Final Carolina 34 Atlanta 3 Final St. Louis 6 Seattle 20