GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers (6-2) are playing the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7). Follow along for updates from a blustery Sunday at Lambeau Field.
Packers 24, Jaguars 20
Packers 24, Jaguars 20 (9:03 remaining)
In one of the biggest drives of the season, the Packers pulled ahead of the Jaguars. Davante Adams, who missed time with an ankle injury, made a leaping touchdown catch on first-and-goal from the 6. On third-and-9 from Green Bay’s 26, tight end Robert Tonyan took advantage of a coverage bust for a gain of 23. Aaron Jones followed with a run for 20 and Marquez Valdes-Scantling had a tackle-breaking catch-and-run gain of 18.
Jaguars 20, Packers 17 (12:40 remaining)
Chase McLaughlin booted a 31-yard field goal to give the Jaguars – two-touchdown underdogs – a 20-17 lead. The Packers were fortunate to be down by only three. James Robinson’s 17 yard touchdown run in which he broke three tackles was nullified by a holding penalty.
Packers 17, Jaguars 17 (15:00 remaining)
The Jaguars will have the ball at Green Bay’s 34 to start the fourth quarter. On third-and-8 late in the third quarter, Aaron Rodgers tried to connect with Marquez Valdes-Scantling on a crossing route but cornerback Sidney Jones’ coverage was excellent and he intercepted the ball, giving the Jags the ball at the 44. According to ESPN, it was Rodgers’ first interception at home in 263 passes over a stretch of seven games.
Injury update: Packers WR Davante Adams is questionable with an ankle injury. He was not on the field for the possession that ended with the interception.
Packers 17, Jaguars 17 (2:43 remaining)
Green Bay got a defensive stop, with Kingsley Keke’s big pressure on third down. Punter Logan Cooke’s punt bounded into the end zone. With Davante Adams emerging from the medical tent and running on the sideline, the Packers will start the drive with Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Malik Taylor and Equanimeous St. Brown as the receivers.
Packers 17, Jaguars 17 (7:09 remaining)
Packers coach Matt LaFleur kept the offense on the field on fourth-and-3, even with Mason Crosby in range for a 51-yard field goal and with receiver Davante Adams on the bench with a trainer. Aaron Rodgers’ desperation pass fell incomplete.
Packers 17, Jaguars 17 (10:30 remaining)
Jake Luton fired a 12-yard touchdown pass to Keelan Cole between a host of defenders for the tying touchdown. The big play was created by Jacksonville’s defense. At the end of a 26-yard catch-and-run by Davante Adams, Jaguars cornerback C.J. Henderson poked the loose. Linebacker Myles Jack recovered and returned the ball to Green Bay’s 16. It was the first lost fumble all season by a Packers receiver, running back or tight end. Not even an offensive holding penalty could help Green Bay’s defense get a stop.
Injury update: Packers S Darnell Savage was back in the game.
Packers 17, Jaguars 10 (12:10 remaining)
Za’Darius Smith collected his eighth sack of the season to force a punt. One play earlier, safety Darnell Savage was injured while dragging down running back James Robinson. That left the Packers without three-fourths of their starting secondary, with cornerbacks Jaire Alexander and Kevin King inactive.
Packers 17, Jaguars 10 (2 seconds remaining)
Mason Crosby booted a 39-yard field goal as the Packers settled for a disappointing field goal. The score was set up by Adrian Amos’ interception and 23-yard return to the Jaguars’ 26. With the Jags in two-minute mode, Za’Darius Smith’s rush perhaps forced the errant throw to tight end Ben Ellefson. The Packers couldn’t take full advantage, though. Center Corey Linsley was late on a stunt by Davon Hamilton, resulting in a key sack. On third-and-17, Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams hooked up for a sublime touchdown but right tackle Billy Turner hooked defensive end Josh Allen for a critical holding penalty.
Halftime: The Packers lead at halftime by only seven points despite dominating statistically with a 230-99 advantage in total yards and a more than 2-to-1 edge in time of possession. Rodgers was 16-of-20 passing for 200 yards. Green Bay’s running backs have 35 yards on 13 attempts.
Injury update: Running back/receiver/returner Tyler Ervin is out with a rib injury. He went to the locker room after a catch late in the first half.
Packers 14, Jaguars 10 (2:15 remaining)
On second-and-goal from the 5, Aaron Rodgers faked the handoff to Aaron Jones, booted to his right and easily scored. It was a big drive, and a high-wire one, at that. On third-and-6, Rodgers extended the play before finding Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a gain of 22. On third-and-8, the Jaguars blitzed and Rodgers fired the ball into the flat to running back Jamaal Williams, who broke a tackle and gained 12. On another third down, which required about a yard-and-a-half, Williams powered ahead for the first down.
Jaguars 10, Packers 7 (10:06 remaining)
The worst thing a punter can do is kick the ball a long ways with limited hang time. That’s what JK Scott did. Jacksonville’s Keelan Cole barely had to move a muscle to catch Scott’s rocket of a 59-yard punt. With the coverage team spread out, Cole had plenty of room to run and returned the kick 91 yards for a touchdown. Cole avoided linebacker Ty Summers and added insult to insult by juking Scott. The punt had 3.9 seconds of hangtime and the nearest member of the coverage team to Cole upon fielding the ball was safety Henry Black, who was 20 yards away.
Packers 7, Jaguars 3 (14:47 remaining)
Changing ends to start the second quarter changed the Packers’ fortunes, with Aaron Rodgers and Marquez Valdes-Scantling connecting on a 79-yard touchdown. It was the longest touchdown of the season and the longest of his career. Valdes-Scantling beat cornerback Sidney Jones by a couple steps, caught the ball in stride at the 37 and cut away from safety Jarrod Wilson, who might have gotten tangled up with an official around the 10-yard line.
Since the start of the 2019 season, Valdes-Scantling has five touchdown catches of 40-plus yards. Only Tennessee’s A.J. Brown and Kansas City’s Tyreek Hill (six apiece) have more. That’s more than 15 teams during that span, according to Pro Football Reference.
Jaguars 3, Packers 0 (5:02 remaining)
A big win by Jacksonville, which started its drive at the 5 and gave the ball back to the Packers at the 4 – a whopping 91-yard exchange of field position. Maybe the Jaguars should keep running the ball. Rookie running back James Robinson has 45 yards on six carries.
Jaguars 3, Packers 0 (10:36 remaining)
Chase McLaughlin drilled a 52-yard field goal to give the Jaguars the early lead. An 11-yard pass to D.J. Chark on the first play and consecutive runs of 6, 5 and 6 yards by James Robinson got the Jaguars into scoring range. On second-and-4, Kamal Martin’s powerful blitz forced a throwaway to help stop the drive.
Packers 0, Jaguars 0
For the first time this season, the Packers failed to score on their opening drive. They had scored four touchdowns and four field goals in the first eight games. On third-and-5, Aaron Rodgers might have been able to run for the first down but saw tight end Robert Tonyan behind safety Jarrod Wilson. The ball was just a bit too far, resulting in a three-and-out punt.
How to Watch
TV: FOX – Chris Myers, Greg Jennings, Brock Huard, Jennifer Hale (field reporter).
SIRIUS: 137 (Jax), 83 (GB) | XM: 381 (Jax), 225 (GB).
The Packers will be without starting cornerbacks Jaire Alexander and Kevin King. Their best defense might be the howling wind.
Where would the Packers be without the Jaguars? Perhaps not entering Sunday with six wins and on the short list of Super Bowl favorites.
Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett helped build a Jaguars offense that reached the AFC Championship Game in 2017 in spite of quarterback Blake Bortles. Eleven games into the 2018 season, he was fired. In Spring 2018, the Jaguars picked up the option on tight end Marcedes Lewis, only to release him a month later. He’s now a vital cog in Green Bay’s powerful rushing attack. Receiver Allen Lazard was plucked off the Jags’ practice squad late in 2018. Before a core-muscle injury, he had emerged as a legit No. 2 receiver. At midseason last year, Jacksonville released returner Tyler Ervin, having never given him the ball on offense. Now, he’s become a key element as a runner and receiver.
“Sometimes a change of scenery for anybody is a good thing,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said.
While it’s coach Matt LaFleur’s offense, Hackett has played a key role in constructing a unit that ranks third in the NFL in scoring despite not having an abundance of playmakers.
LaFleur called Hackett “our glue guy.”
“He can do the job of about four people,” LaFleur added. “He is a machine that can just knock out work. He’s so intelligent, knows everything that’s going on, whether it’s in the O-line room, quarterback room, tight ends, running backs, doesn’t matter. He’s got a great grasp of overall football knowledge. I know this: We wouldn’t be where we are today without him.”
What doesn’t show up in the playbook, stats or film is Hackett’s relationship with Rodgers.
“That’s the No. 1 thing,” Rodgers said. “There’s nobody in the building that brings me more joy or is more fun to be around than Nathaniel Hackett. He’s become such a close confidant and friend besides a fantastic coach. I just really, really can’t express enough how important he is to our team in so many way. He’s incredible in front of the room. He brings a lot of great energy that’s really important to not just meetings that can sometimes without the energy he infuses maybe get long at times. Never feels that way with him in front of the room.”
The Packers, as usual, are fielding one of the youngest rosters in the NFL. That makes the 40-year-old Hackett one of the few contemporaries of the 36-year-old Rodgers. Not that that’s mandatory – Rodgers had a strong bond with Joe Philbin, as well – but the energetic Hackett seems to be just what Rodgers needed at this point in his career.
“We listen to the same music and same movies and we know that stuff. There are other guys that don’t know a lot of that stuff. So, I think those things give us some things in common,” Hackett said. “We’re just really lucky that we have the opportunity to work together. It’s just something that’s blossomed into a mutual respect. I think he’s not only a great player but a great person, and his intelligence and the football conversations we have are awesome. And we both like to have fun.”
The man who fired Hackett, Doug Marrone, remains Jacksonville’s coach. This isn’t about revenge, though; not that a coach can do much in that regard, anyway.
“That’s the game of football,” Hackett said of being fired. “I’ve been very lucky throughout my life growing up in this business, having a father (Paul Hackett) that’s gone through the ups and downs of the profession. In the end, it’s about the players, it’s about the relationships in the game and it’s about the things that you learn. …
“That’s in the past. You have to be thankful for the opportunity that you had and the things that you accomplished while you were there and there was a lot of good. Focus on that. It’s another game, we have to put each foot forward and try to find a way to win another football game. It happens to be against Jacksonville.”
The last time the Packers were on their home turf, they were run off the field by Minnesota on a miserably windy day. It will be another miserable day at Lambeau Field. While morning showers should be out of the area, the kickoff forecast calls for 38 degrees and winds of 25 mph that will gust up to 50 mph.
With Dalvin Cook, the Vikings were well-equipped to pull off the upset two weeks ago. The Jaguars? Not so much. In that Minnesota game, the running back matchup was Cook vs. Jamaal Williams. Today, it will be James Robinson vs. Aaron Jones and Williams. Robinson is a legit player but Jones is a legit game-changer. The wind, however, might level the playing field a bit at quarterback just because it could limit Rodgers’ opportunities.
The Packers have scored on every opening possession this season. The Jaguars, on the other hand, have been outscored by 40 points in the first quarter alone. This game might be over at halftime. The only question might be whether the Packers will cover as 14-point favorites.
Prediction: Packers 31, Jaguars 17. (Record: 6-2.)