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Eric Goska column: Victory rare with these offensive numbers

Oct. 28, 2012
 
Green Bay Packers running back Alex Green carried 22 times for 54 yards with a long of seven yards. Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette
Green Bay Packers running back Alex Green carried 22 times for 54 yards with a long of seven yards. Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette

Winning combination

The five regular-season games won by the Packers in which they failed to average four yards a play, gain 250 yards overall and 75 yards rushing, while surrendering at least 300 yards to the opposition.

Date Opponent Final
10-28-2012 Jaguars 24-15
10-14-2007 Redskins 17-14
11-14-1993 Saints 19-17
12-13-1992 Oilers 16-14
12-3-1978 Buccaneers 17-7

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Who said the Jacksonville Jaguars donít have an offense?

Who said the Green Bay Packers would win in a romp?

The Jaguars ran up far more yards than the Packers did at Lambeau Field. Taking into consideration Jacksonvilleís production along with Green Bayís lack thereof, it is fortunate that the Green and Gold prevailed 24-15.

Mike McCarthyís short-handed offense generated 238 yards of offense including 66 yards on the ground. It averaged just 3.7 yards per play.

The Jaguars, the NFLís offensive doormat through the first seven weeks of play, were far superior. They piled up 341 yards and averaged 4.8 yards per play.

Green Bay rarely does well when its offense comes up short of 250 yards overall and 75 yards rushing, fails to average four yards a play and surrenders 300 or more yards all in the same game. Prior to Sunday, Green Bay had participated in 43 such regular-season games in which it that happened. By beating the Jaguars it won for just the fifth time under those circumstances.

The Packers worked for every yard gained. It started with a running game that just couldnít find sunlight.

Alex Green shouldered the load. He carried 22 times for 54 yards with a long of seven yards.

James Starks had the Packersí longest gain on the ground. He picked up 8 yards to keep alive a drive that ended in Mason Crosby missing a 32-yard field goal attempt late in the third quarter.

To his credit, Packers coach Mike McCarthy didnít abandon the run. Fourteen of the teamís 26 running plays occurred on first down, seven in each half.

With 66 yards, the Packers failed to gain 75 yards rushing for the 23rd time since 2006. Their record when doing so is 13-10.

Aaron Rodgers and the passing game never appeared to get into rhythm. Rodgers was without two of his top receivers as Greg Jennings (groin) and Jordy Nelson (hamstring) watched from the sidelines.

Fifteen of Rodgersí completions went for fewer than 10 yards. His longest connections were a 31-yarder to wide receiver James Jones in the fourth quarter and a 20-yarder to tight end Jermichael Finley in the first quarter.

This lack of big gains helped to keep Green Bay under four yards a play for only the eighth time under McCarthy. The team is 4-4 in those games.

Jacksonville moved about more easily, especially through the air and especially in the first half. By passing for 303 yards, Blaine Gabbert became the third quarterback this season (Drew Brees-446; Andrew Luck-362) to surpass 300 yards passing against the Packers.

Gabbert had four completions of more than 20 yards. All four came on scoring drives.

The second-year quarterback connected with Justin Blackmon for 36 yards on the Jaguarsí second drive. It ended four plays later with a 38-yard Josh Scobee field goal and a 3-0 lead.

Gabbert found running back Rashad Jennings for 24 yards and Cecil Shorts for 35 yards late in the second quarter. Scobee capped that advance with a 22-yard field goal to pull Jacksonville to 14-6.

Finally, Gabbert hit Shorts for 24 more in the fourth quarter. Scobee followed with his third field goal and Jacksonville trailed 21-15.

In all, the Jaguars gained 341 yards on 71 plays (4.8 yards per play). That average was more than a yard better than what the Packers managed.

Green Bay last won under similar circumstances five years ago when they edged the Redskins 17-14 at Lambeau Field. On that day, 56 of the teamís 225 yards came on the ground as the team averaged 3.8 yards a play. The Redskins amassed 304 yards.

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

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I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
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1014 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
34%
1271 votes

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports