Packers hold off Ravens fourth-quarter rally to seal important win

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

The Green Bay Packers made it difficult on themselves late on but, in the end, they held on for an important victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

Two late Ravens touchdowns almost ruined the Packers’ impressive performance, but the defense held firm on a gutsy two-point conversion attempt to give Matt LaFleur’s team an important win.

Aaron Rodgers was impressive, finishing 23/31 for 268 yards and three touchdowns.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling was his top target, catching five of his seven targets for 98 yards and a touchdown. Valdes-Scantling’s rise has been fun to watch. No longer is he simply a deep threat for the Packers; he offers a lot to this offense.

For the most part, the defense held up, fourth-down meltdown aside.

A Mason Crosby field goal gave Green Bay a 31-17 lead with around nine minutes remaining. It would take something special for Baltimore to get back into the game. Two touchdowns later and 40 seconds remaining on the clock, we were set for either a tie game or a nervous few moments if the Ravens decided to go all-or-nothing on a two-point conversion.

As he did two weeks ago against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh went for the win on a two-point try. Unfortunately for Harbaugh and the Ravens, it ended the same way. Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley looked for tight end Mark Andrews in the end zone, but Darnell Savage got a hand on it and the pass fell incomplete.

All the Packers needed to do was recover the onside kick and kneel it out for the win. Considering how poor the special teams has played this year, this was no guarantee. But running back AJ Dillon made it look easy on the onside kick — remember when they said he couldn’t catch?

In the end, it was a valuable win for the Packers who strengthened their grip on the NFC’s top seed.