Finally here at Opening Day of the NFL season. The Jaguars enter this season as a team on the rise. A team hoping that they have finally answers their many defensive woes and looking forward to the promise of their young offensive weapons. The Packers walk onto the field as a team that has arrived, a team that expects to play for a title this year.
After a quick first down, the Packers defense started the season with an interception, giving the offense the ball at the 29 yard line to start the afternoon. Packers opted to go for it on fourth down, and eventually led to the Aaron Rodgers rushing touchdown on a second and five from the six.
After an exchange of punts, The Jaguars got into the red zone on a screen pass to Marcedes Lewis. Yeldon completed the drive taking two carries for the last 11 yards. This 7-7 score is how the half ended. Two punts with the sun at their backs allowed Jacksonville to pin the Packers deep twice as the returners could not field the ball.
The Jaguars continued to use the screen game and the short passing game to attack the Packers blitz game and drove to the Packers’ 8 yard line before settling for a field goal. Jaguars started both scoring drives inside Packers’ territory.
Packers responded with a 75 yard drive that mixed in some strong running (including a run by Cobb) and Aaron Rodgers finally getting in rhythm. The drive featured Jordy Nelson’s first catch and then his first touchdown.
The Packers continued to struggle against tight ends as Julius Thomas caught two passes including the 22 yard touchdown pass. It was a beautiful pass from Bortles and landed out of the reach of Rollins. Lee and Robinson found holes in the defense again to harm the Packers.
The Packers came right back with an amazing two minute drill. Everything started with a big defensive pass interference on Johnathan Cyprien. Then there were a few dump off passes to get the Packers in field goal range. Then Rodgers dropped back, stepped up in the face of a blitz, and threw the ball to the end zone with a Jaguar draped on his back. Davante Adams then manipulated his body to make a falling catch at the goal line to give the Packers the 21-17 halftime lead.
Packers and Jaguars started the second half by exchanging field goals. Then the Packers got the ball with 6:15 left in the third quarter and did not give possession again until 12:04 left in the fourth. The Packers went from their own 25 to the Jacksonville two. Three rushes from inside the Jacksonville eight left the Packers just short, but the running game was very strong in this drive and the Packers converted three third down attempts before settling for the short field goal.
After getting a quick first down the Jaguars found themselves in a third and two. Nick Perry stopped T.J. Yeldon in the backfield to set up a fourth and four. Bortles completed a four yards and no inches pass to Robinson for the second fourth down conversion of the Jaguars day. The Jaguars followed that up with a fourth and three conversion. A penalty and a sack and the Jaguars faced their third fourth down of the drive. Fourth and 12 and the Jaguars added a 52 yard field goal.
The Packers got the ball back with just 5:05 left in the game and a chance to impose their will and hold the ball to the end of the game, but after a promising run by Rodgers the Packers only went backwards and did not manage a single first down before punting the ball away.
The Jaguars started off at their own 37 with 3:17 left in the game and down four points. By the time the two-minute warning came around it was again fourth down at the Packer 46 yard line. A holding call made it 4th and 14 and Morgan Burnett handed the Jaguars another chance on a defensive holding call. Then in the most fitting manner possible, the Packers won the game for stopping the Jaguars on fourth down for the first time all day on a 4th and 1 from inside the red zone, as Damarious Randall made a great tackle on a screen pass.
Randall Cobb had six receptions and 57 yards, both leading the team. On top of this Cobb had three carries for 11 yards lining up in the backfield. Cobb seemed to be working through cramps, but still was in on some of the biggest plays, though without a touchdown. Damarious Randall had six tackles, including a tackle for loss and two big passes defended. Randal high pointed a few good balls was one of the shining stars in a balanced defense. Jake Ryan also did very well in pass defense and looked especially good in the run game as the Packers held Yeldon to 39 yards on 21 carries.