Packers beat Raiders 30-20 after clinching playoff spot
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Coach Mike McCarthy will let outsiders worry about the aesthetics. He's just looking ahead to another postseason.
Aaron Rodgers threw a touchdown pass and Damarious Randall returned an interception for another score to help the Packers beat the Oakland Raiders 30-20 on Sunday, after Green Bay clinched a franchise-record seventh straight postseason spot.
The Packers (10-4) reached the end zone on just one of five red zone trips and blew a 14-point lead before recovering for the win that kept them ahead of Minnesota in the NFC North.
''We're right where I want to be. Right where we need to be,'' McCarthy said. ''The style points, you can flush that. I'm sick and tired about talking about the negativity - we've won 10 games.''
The Packers (10-4) clinched the postseason in the first quarter when the New York Giants lost to Carolina. But Green Bay still wants to hold off Minnesota in the division the next two weeks so there's no celebrating with just a postseason berth.
''We're happy about that,'' offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga said. ''That's kind of the expectation here, is to get into the postseason. We have two big games ahead in Arizona and Minnesota. You want to be playing good football and get some momentum going into the second half of the year or really into the postseason. We're still focused on what we have ahead of us.''
Derek Carr threw two early interceptions to put Oakland (6-8) in a hole, but then had a pair of touchdown passes to Amari Cooper. It wasn't enough as the Raiders were eliminated from playoff contention for the 13th straight season.
''It hurts. It hurt my heart to be honest because I know how much work I put into this, how much work our team puts into this,'' Carr said.
''I know the sacrifice during the week and even during the offseason. Everyone's ultimate goal is to go to the playoffs and win the Super Bowl. That's always my goal, that will never change.
Here are some other takeaways from the Packers win over the Raiders:
REUNION WEEK: Raiders safety Charles Woodson faced the Packers for the first time since they cut him following the 2012 season. Woodson, who helped Green Bay win a Super Bowl, said it was a little different facing players he knew so well like Rodgers. He almost got a late interception of his friend only to see teammate David Amerson steal it away at the goal line.
''I didn't say anything but seniority, man,'' Woodson said. ''It doesn't work around here I guess.''
REUNION PART TWO: Packers receiver James Jones also got to face his former team for the first time since the Raiders cut him in May. Jones had six catches for 82 yards and a touchdown but also had another score wiped out by his offensive pass interference penalty. Jones said he wasn't out for revenge.
''I try not to get my emotions built up in this game,'' he said. ''It's a crazy game. I've been cut from two teams so I don't hold any grudges for anybody. I just go out there every game trying to play well. It wasn't trying to get back at the Raiders; I love those dudes over there.''
MILESTONE MANIA: Raiders decade-long wait for a 1,000-yard receiver has ended. Cooper became the first Oakland player to reach that mark since Randy Moss in 2005 when he caught a 41-yard pass from Derek Carr in the third quarter against Green Bay. Every other team in the league has had at least one 1,000-yard receiver in that span. In all, 201 players had reached the 1,000-yard mark in a season between Raiders to accomplish that feat.
''I guess it's a good thing to do but people go for 1,000 yards every year so it's not really a big thing,'' Cooper said.
LONG DRIVE: The Packers used a 19-play, 92-yard drive to add onto their lead with a field goal by Mason Crosby in the fourth quarter. It was the most plays on a drive for Green Bay in 11 years and the longest in the NFL this season. But it didn't exactly make Rodgers happy.
''I think we got three points out of it and it wasn't very productive,'' he said.
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