The Green Bay Packers sure know how to make a game interesting. Despite looking like the better team for most of the contest, the Packers allowed the much improved Cincinnati Bengals to stick around. Both teams made big plays on both sides of the ball, including a 75 yard touchdown from Joe Burrow to Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate Ja’Marr Chase. After an exciting 45 minutes, the Packers kicked a field goal to lead Bengals 22-14 in the fourth quarter, and then all hell broke lose.
Field Goal Woes
Down 22-14, Joe Burrow and his impressive trio of receivers marched down the field to score a touchdown and the game tying two point conversion.
This left Green Bay more than 37 seconds, which seemed would inevitably lead to a late victory in the same way the Packers beat the San Francisco 49ers two weeks ago. A 57 yard run by Aaron Jones put the Packers in prime position to win. The Packers were unable to punch the ball in from the 18 yard line, which brought out Mason Crosby for a 36 yard field goal. Crosby, who had been reliable as any kicker, missed. This gave Bengals rookie kicker Evan McPherson the chance to win the game. He missed. Rodgers, smelling blood in the water, laid in a beautiful pass to Davante Adams to setup another attempt for Crosby to win the game. And wouldn’t you guess it? He missed. Three kicks missed under two minutes combined with the amount of beer, cheese and chilli consumed by Packer and Bengal fanatics likely resulted in the highest blood pressure spike in the history of the Midwest.
After taking a moment to settle down, overtime began. On the first play of the extra period, newly acquired Packers linebacker De’Vondre Campbell picked off Burrow, giving the Packers excellent field position and the opportunity to kick a field goal and earn a thrilling victory. Campbell has been a major boost to the Packers defense, and will soon be paired with newly signed linebacker Jaylon Smith.
But alas, Crosby would miss his third field goal in a row after making his three previous attempts. The Bengals took over and once again gave McPherson a shot to end an unbelievable four miss field goal streak and become a hero. But for the statistically absurd fifth time, the kicker missed.
This gave Green Bay one more shot. Rodgers took a sack to bring up third and 16, and then hit Randall Cobb just inches short of the first. Big decision time for LaFleur, who rightly trusted his veteran kicker to give it one more shot. One perfect snap, perfect hold and perfect kick later, the Packers emerged with a statement victory.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) October 10, 2021
Crosby has had an excellent season, and one uncharacteristically uneven and frustrating game. After setting the Packers record for consecutive field goals made with 30 made in a row, even one miss from Crosby seemed strange. After the game, Packers leaders Rodgers and Aaron Jones expressed their confidence in Crosby, as did LaFleur. History has shown Crosby will bounce back after a rough game, and he will look to once again prove his reliability going forward.
One of the easy fixes for the Packers field goal unit is for the Packers offense to score touchdowns, especially when in the red zone. Last season, the Packers were a historically efficient red zone team, or as they fondly called it: the Gold Zone. Coach LaFleur and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett have addressed this problem in interviews, and will prioritize it as the Packers look to take their offense from great to exceptional.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) October 10, 2021
One way to improve the red zone offense is to continue targeting Davante Adams, who had a monster game against the Bengals.
Six catches for 117 yard and a touchdown is a damn impressive stat line for a wide receiver. For Davante Adams, that’s a first half. Adams is the best receiver in the NFL, and it’s not really not that close. The All-Pro wide out finished the game with an absurd 11 catches for 206 yards and a touchdown. This was the first 200 yard game for Adams, whose route running, speed and hands have made him virtually uncover-able when paired with Rodgers accuracy.
Red Sox vs. Yankees. Army vs. Navy. Jaime Lee Curtis vs. Michael Myers. These epic rivals have clashed throughout the years in the same manner as the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers. The classic NFC North foes will play for the first time this season, and the Bears will bring yet another new QB into the storied rivalry.
The Bears have officially named Justin Fields as their starting quarterback after a controversial “battle” with Andy Dalton. Fields has had his ups and downs as a rookie quarterback, and the Packers defense will look to capitalize on any mistakes Fields may make.
On the defensive side, the Bears bring a number of talented players including Khalil Mack and Eddie Jackson. The Packers young offensive line will face a prolific Bears pass rush who have 18 sacks this season, the most in the league. The Packers will once again look to establish the run/short pass game with Jones and breakout star A.J. Dillon. Dillon had a fantastic showing against the Bengals, and will look to use his hard running and soft hands to defeat the Bears tough defense.
Prediction: Classic Rodgers game as he tops 300 yard and has four touchdowns. Packers win 35-21.