Just a great game for the Green Bay Packers. They clearly outplayed a lesser team. The biggest stat, box score from ESPN.com, was 460 yards on offense for the Packers, and only 139 for the Browns. RB Ryan Grant had 151 total yards by himself.
The offensive line gave Grant a lot of room to run, and there were no sacks on QB Aaron Rodgers. LT T.J. Lang looked good in this game, getting into the 2nd level to make blocks all over the field. He also kept pass rushers off Rodgers's blind side, he even cleared that side of the field on Rodgers's long 19 yard scramble. Rodgers completed 75% of his passes and seemed to have no trouble finding open receivers. The defense held the Browns to 2.8 yards/carry (21 for 58), and it was another dismal day for QB Derek Anderson (12 of 29 for 99 yards and 1 INT). The special teams really struggled, but the Browns offense couldn't do anything with good field position or second chances. Penalties were a problem again (8 for 70 yards).
There were a couple injuries during the game. According to Mike McCarthy, TE Jermichael Finley and WR Brett Swain both have knee sprains. It's too early to tell, but I expect they'll both miss next week's game. Grant was hurt in the 3rd quarter, but he did come back. Also, DE Cullen Jenkins and LB Brandon Chillar were injured, but then returned. WR Greg Jennings got some dirt in his eye, and he should be fine.
Complete play-by-play recap after the break. This was an important game to win, and not lose sight of, before the Vikings come to town next week. We've got lots to talk about this week.
Play-by-Play from NFL.com:
2-M.Crosby kicks 69 yards from GB 30 to CLV 1, out of bounds.
This was the first of two kickoffs by K Mason Crosby that went out of bounds. I guess they were a little too concerned about WR Joshua Cribbs.
(12:44) 25-R.Grant right tackle ran ob at GB 18 for 4 yards (24-E.Wright).
This was the first of 6 carries on the opening drive by Grant. I had been hoping they would run the ball more, but this drive was ridiculous. They moved the ball 60 yards for almost 7 minutes, and it ended on a failed 4th down attempt.
(4:34) 3-D.Anderson pass deep middle to 11-M.Massaquoi to GB 36 for 22 yards (31-A.Harris). PENALTY on GB-31-A.Harris, Face Mask (15 Yards), 15 yards, enforced at GB 36.
This happened on one of the 2 good drives the Browns managed. They went 70 yards in over 6 minutes, and apparently saw something they liked in the matchup of CB Al Harris and rookie WR Mohamed Massaquoi. Obviously this play was won by Massaquoi, but in all Anderson attempted 8 passes to the rookie, that was his only catch, and usually Harris was in coverage. Overall, a win for Harris.
(:06) (Shotgun) 3-D.Anderson pass incomplete short right to 87-M.Furrey (56-N.Barnett).
Maybe he could have picked it off, but it was a great play by LB Nick Barnett to break up the short pass and force them to settle for a FG.
(12:22) 12-A.Rodgers pass short right to 41-S.Havner for 45 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
Finally some pass attempts. Maybe all the 1st quarter running plays were just setting up this pass to TE Spencer Havner. It was 3rd and 1, an obvious running play, but Havner was left uncovered and he turned it up the sideline all the way for a TD.
(11:09) 15-D.Zastudil punts 40 yards to GB 28, Center-64-R.Pontbriand. 38-T.Williams to GB 33 for 5 yards (54-B.Costanzo). PENALTY on GB, Defensive 12 On-field, 5 yards, enforced at CLV 32 - No Play.
This was the 12 men on the field play on a 4th down punt, which gave the Browns a 1st down. Swain was injured on the previous kickoff and McCarthy said it caused a communication/coaching error.
(10:56) 31-J.Lewis right tackle to CLV 37 for no gain (97-J.Jolly, 79-R.Pickett).
The Browns tried to run right up the middle for most of the game, and usually had nowhere to go. This was a play clogged up by DE Johnny Jolly and NT Ryan Pickett, but they didn't have any better luck when NT B.J. Raji and DE Cullen Jenkins played. The Browns aren't a great running team, but they did even worse than usual against the Packers defense. LB A.J. Hawk and Barnett were left unblocked a lot, and they led the team in tackles.
(7:12) 12-A.Rodgers pass short left to 80-D.Driver for 71 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
The Browns showed Rodgers a look he had seen in practice this week, he knew right where to throw the ball, and WR Donald Driver did the rest. Great play by Driver to run past the rest of the secondary, and fend off CB Eric Wright, who was the last man to beat.
(5:15) (Shotgun) 3-D.Anderson pass short right intended for 80-B.Robiskie INTERCEPTED by 21-C.Woodson at CLV 40. 21-C.Woodson to CLV 15 for 25 yards (35-J.Harrison).
Looking back at the last two games, Anderson has attempted 8 passes to rookie WR Brian Robiskie, and he only has 1 reception. Anderson and Robiskie seemed to be running different plays. The learning curve for a rookie WR can be steep.
(2:00) 25-R.Grant left tackle for 1 yard, TOUCHDOWN.
After the INT, the Packers had to go 15 yards for the TD. They attacked the weak Browns run defense with 12 yards by Grant, and 3 yards rushing by Rodgers.
(:30) (Shotgun) 3-D.Anderson sacked at CLV 49 for -7 yards (74-A.Kampman).
LB Aaron Kampman has looked much better these last two weeks. He had 5 QB hits last week, and 3 more against the Browns. Including this sack.
(11:04) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass short middle to 41-S.Havner to CLV 15 for 12 yards (22-B.McDonald). PENALTY on GB-86-D.Lee, Offensive Pass Interference, 10 yards, enforced at CLV 27 - No Play.
A game to forget for TE Donald Lee. He had at least one drop, a big holding penalty in the 1st half, and then this penalty, which did nothing to help Havner on the reception.
(10:28) 2-M.Crosby 55 yard field goal is No Good, Wide Left, Center-61-B.Goode, Holder-10-M.Flynn.
It was 4th and 20, but this whole play seemed rushed. Up 21-3, I was expecting a punt to keep the Browns in bad field position. Instead they attempted a 55 yard FG that missed wide left.
(9:06) 3-D.Anderson pass short right to 16-J.Cribbs to GB 44 for 3 yards (21-C.Woodson). FUMBLES (21-C.Woodson), RECOVERED by GB-54-B.Chillar at GB 48. 54-B.Chillar to GB 48 for no gain (55-A.Mack). Cleveland challenged the incomplete pass ruling, and the play was Upheld. (Timeout #1 at 08:56.)
CB Charles Woodson won't get any statistical credit for the fumble recovery, which seems unfair since it was all because of him. The Packers forced 2 turnovers and Woodson (unsurprisingly) was responsible for both.
(4:22) (Shotgun) 12-A.Rodgers pass short right to 25-R.Grant to CLV 1 for 3 yards (50-E.Barton).
Great play by Browns LB Eric Barton, who stood up Grant at the goal line and forced the Packers to settle for a FG.
(2:01) (Shotgun) 3-D.Anderson pass incomplete short right to 83-G.Estandia. PENALTY on GB-51-B.Poppinga, Defensive Holding, 5 yards, enforced at CLV 36 - No Play.
The drive should have ended there on 3rd and 10, but LB Brady Poppinga grabbed the receiver and gave them another chance.
(1:51) (Shotgun) 3-D.Anderson pass short left to 35-J.Harrison ran ob at CLV 47 for 6 yards (56-N.Barnett). PENALTY on GB-20-A.Bigby, Unnecessary Roughness, 15 yards, enforced at CLV 47.
SS Atari Bigby said he took his eyes off of RB Jerome Harrison and he shouldn't have been near him.
(1:29) 31-J.Lewis left tackle ran ob at GB 22 for 16 yards (21-C.Woodson).
The Browns actually got something going on this drive. It was only their 2nd real scoring opportunity. RB Jamal Lewis had 25 yards rushing on the drive (and 22 yards the rest of the game). This isn't a criticism. I'm just pointing out how good the Packers defense was the rest of the game.
(1:02) 3-D.Anderson pass deep right to 86-M.Gaines to GB 1 for 21 yards (54-B.Chillar).
I'm not a fan of Chillar in coverage against TEs. He allowed two TDs during the St. Louis game, and this near TD pass down to the 1 yard line. A great goal line stand forced an incomplete pass on 4th down.
(10:19) 25-R.Grant right tackle pushed ob at CLV 5 for 37 yards (26-A.Elam).
I thought Grant was going all the way.
(9:47) 12-A.Rodgers pass short left to 89-J.Jones for 5 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
Nice play by WR James Jones to shield the defender away from the ball. I'm surprised this was the first (and only) pass attempt to him. They rarely had 3 WRs in the game. Usually they had 2 TEs and Havner played a lot.
(8:56) Flynn in at qb 25-R.Grant right guard to GB 14 for 3 yards (93-J.Trusnik).
A QB Matt Flynn sighting. A true sign the game was over.
(6:25) (Shotgun) 3-D.Anderson sacked at CLV 45 for -11 yards (77-C.Jenkins). FUMBLES (77-C.Jenkins), and recovers at CLV 45. 3-D.Anderson to CLV 45 for no gain (74-A.Kampman).
Great play by Jenkins, beating Pro Bowl LT Joe Thomas for the strip. This play started in Packer territory, down 31-3, the Browns couldn't get anything going and were forced to punt again.
(4:34) 10-M.Flynn pass short right to 85-G.Jennings to GB 37 for 12 yards (24-E.Wright).
And Flynn gets to complete a pass too.