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Rants and Raves: Packers fall for fake punt

Dec. 22, 2013
 

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Packers receiver James Jones exhales in the fourth quarter Sunday at Lambeau Field. / Kyle Bursaw/Press-Gazette Media

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Rant: The Packers got fooled on a fake punt to start the third quarter. After being stopped on third-and-1 at their 44-yard line, the Steelers lined up to punt. But punter Mat McBriar rolled right and hit David Paulson on a 30-yard pass play to give Pittsburgh a first down. Also on the play, Jake Stoneburner was penalized for roughing McBriar, giving Pittsburgh the ball at Green Bayís 13. On the next play, Ben Roethlisberger scrambled for a touchdown to give the Steelers a 17-14 lead.

Rave: James Jones has had an inconsistent season after leading the NFL in TD receptions last year. Since a midseason knee injury knocked him out of two games, Jones has averaged 3.5 catches per game. But on Sunday, he was Matt Flynnís go-to receiver, catching nine balls on 12 targets for 84 yards, including one play on which he stole the ball from the defender for an 8-yard gain and another on third-and-1 when he held on to the ball after taking a big hit.

Rant: Green Bay gave up five plays of 20 or more yards, including 22- and 25-yard runs by LeíVeon Bell. The rookie running back finished with 124 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries.

Rave: Matt Flynn finally shook the first-half blues with a stellar first two quarters. His 111.1 quarterback rating came on 14 completions in 19 attempts for a touchdown and 137 yards. He was in rhythm with his receivers, particularly Jones and Jarrett Boykin, who combined for 10 first-half catches. The second half, however, was a different story for Flynn.

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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