Packers: Tom Oates gives Green Bay overall grade of ‘B’ for OT victory over Cincinnati
By the end of the game, Aaron Rodgers had made everyone forget he threw a pick-six. Rodgers was sacked five times in first half alone. Kyle Murphy had a long day against rookie Carl Lawson. World, meet Geronimo Allison. Where is the run game? Davante Adams and Martellus Bennett had late third-down drops.
After looking disoriented early, the defense held Cincinnati to 109 second-half yards. Rookie Josh Jones made play after play, including two sacks. He should never leave the field, period, end of discussion. Ahmad Brooks picked a good time for his first Packers sack. He also forced a grounding penalty.
Special teams: B+
Mason Crosby drilled two field goals and an extra point in crunch time. Trevor Davis showed moves and speed on a 33-yard punt return. He also made a fair catch when he had room to run. Once he got a 27-yard shank out of his system, punter Justin Vogel was great. Green Bay kept Alex Erickson in check.
Dom Capers played four safeties and shadowed the great A.J. Green with rookie Kevin King. It didn’t look good early as the Bengals kept getting receivers wide open on crossing routes and swing passes in the first half, but Capers made the necessary adjustments. Cincinnati’s longest completion went for 21 yards.
It was seldom pretty, but the Packers persevered and won a game that will come in handy when the playoff bids are handed out. They trailed 21-7 at halftime and again were besieged by injuries at key positions, but the Packers dominated the second half on both sides of the ball. That should tell you something.