It wasn’t easy.
And it sure wasn’t pretty.
But a win is a win is a win.
You put a ‘W’ in the left column and you move on.
Now, a pop quiz for Green Bay Packers fans.
And this won’t be on the midterm exam.
The reason for the Pack’s success to date is:
A) the play of MVP Aaron Rodgers.
B) Mike McCarthy’s ‘next man up’ philosophy.
C) Special Teams play under Shawn Slocum.
D) All of the above.
All tests should be this easy.
Of course, given what the Packers have been through midway through this campaign, they needed all of that and more to get where they are now.
Which is on a roll.
The Jacksonville Jaguars hung around more than McCarthy and his charges may have been comfortable with, but Green Bay took care of business, 24-15, for the third win in a row.
Rodgers hooked up with the emerging Randall Cobb for a first quarter score for the now 5-3 Pack.
The touchdown pass by A-Rod ties Bart Starr for second place with 152.
Brett Favre’s 442 aerial scores is a benchmark that the entire league is looking up at.
Dezman Moses won the greased pig contest in the end zone after Davon House blocked a punt for another Special Teams touchdown.
It was the first TD on a blocked punt for the franchise since December of 1990, before some on the roster had even been born.
And names like Jarrett Boykin, Mike Neal and even Donald Driver were seen on camera during the telecast.
One thing became painfully clear.
For all the talk about how much Charles Woodson has slowed in the twilight of his hall-of-fame career, his presence was truly missed.
Ditto for John Kuhn, the fullback and last defense to protect A-Rod.
Rodgers was already playing, in effect, with a hand tied behind his back since Jordy Nelson joined Greg Jennings in street clothes for this one.
That’s a heaping amount of firepower to be without.
Jaguar QB Blaine Gabbert had some success and was helped at the end of the first half by a Rodgers fumble that allowed them to score nine points in less than two minutes.
The rhythm and machine-like precision of the Packer offense was non-existent.
The no-huddle offense, or lack thereof, coupled with the dearth of weapons meant Green Bay’s ability to stretch the field was hampered.
A long pass to James Jones and a corner curl touchdown catch by Driver gave the Pack some badly needed separation and a 21-12 lead with 12:36 left in the game.
The prevailing wisdom said that, in Woodson’s absence, Morgan Burnett had to step up his game.
A fumble recovery, sticky coverage and a passel of great tackles allowed him to check that off his to-do list.
The defense stiffened just enough to force Jacksonville to just a field goal (their third), shaving the deficit to 21-15.
A huge stop by the depleted ‘D’ snuffed out any thoughts of upset that the Jags may have had dancing in their heads.
Mason Crosby’ nailed a 25-yard chipper, which made up for an earlier, improbable 32-yard clanger off the right upright.
That miss kept Gabbert and his now 1-6 mates still within reach until the final minutes of this one.
In the age of parity and with all the injuries the Packers have suffered, getting a win at home against an inferior opponent is still an accomplishment.
“On an given Sunday” any team can jump up and bite you in the Green & Gold derriere.
Now the Packers stay at home and try to make it four straight when the Arizona Cardinals fly east for a game at Lambeau Field next Sunday, November 4.
Kickoff for the game, with the bye week on the horizon, is at noon.
The angry birds are a better team than Jacksonville, so Green Bay will have to be much crisper in its execution if it wants to keep the traction they’ve built up since the collapse at Indianapolis against the Colts.
The 4-3 Cards host the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night.
The Packers are still looking up in the standings at the Chicago Bears, who escaped against Carolina and are 6-1.
It would appear that Jerel Worthy, who got dinged on a kickoff, was the only injured player who might need attention in the infirmary this week.
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