2021 Week 5 - That's What Cheese Said

Hear from the head coach and key players following Green Bay's thrilling 25-22 victory in overtime against the Bengals.

It was a wild one in Cincinnati this past Sunday with Green Bay winning 25-22 in overtime, but when the Packers and Bengals face off, that’s kind of the norm. 

Both kickers combined for five missed field goal attempts. Mason Crosby’s three missed attempts also ended his streak of 27 consecutive field goals made, a new franchise record he set this season. 

“All I can think about is that last kick,” said Crosby. “You see the faces of your teammates, what those guys put on the line to continue to get in that position, I just wanted to come through for them.” 

Per Elias, five missed field goals is the most in a game since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, and that’s not the only history Green Bay helped make on Sunday. For the first time in franchise history, the Packers had a 300-yard passer in Aaron Rodgers, a 200-yard receiver in Davante Adams, and a 100-yard rusher in Aaron Jones in the same game. 

“Both teams tried to lose that game a few times,” said Rodgers post game. “To be 4-1 with the injuries we’ve dealt with feels really good.”

Those injuries include All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari, Pro Bowl offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins, rookie center Josh Myers, All-Pro edge rusher Za’Darius Smith, field-stretching receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and All-Pro cornerback Jaire Alexander, just to name a few. 

While Jenkins and Myers could be back in time for the Chicago Bears game next week at Soldier Field, this Packers team is all too familiar with the “next man up” mentality. 

“It’s one of those team wins,” Rodgers said, adding that the phrase can feel cliche but if you look at the players who played meaningful minutes in the game that may not have even been on the roster in June or August, this feels like the definition of a team win. 

"I guess the one silver lining to this whole thing is you're developing some young guys in the process of this," said Head Coach Matt LaFleur. "You never know, this game, especially at the end of the year, what it can come down to. It's great for the development of a lot of those guys, but we're lucky to have great people that will battle and they put it all in each and every week."

The offense had its most productive game this season with 466 total yards, and Adams chipped in in a huge way. His 206-yard game was the first 200-plus yard game of his career. Before the game, Adams mentioned the feeling he had that this could be a career day for him to his wife and a few others. 

“Either I’m clairvoyant or I know what I’m talking about,” Adams said of his performance. His longest reception came on a 59-yard completion from Rodgers that got the team down into the red zone. 

“Even when you know that I’m probably going to him, he still finds a way to get open and makes a big catch and breaks a tackle. I mean the guy’s a special player,” Rodgers said of Adams. 

“I don’t think there’s anybody better than him,” LaFleur added, joking that he has a 99 rating in Madden for a reason. 

Rodgers’ second touchdown of the game went to second-year running back AJ Dillon who’s adjusting nicely to a larger role on offense. It was Dillon’s first career receiving touchdown, and he ended the game with four receptions for 49 yards, good for second on the team. 

The backfield tandem of Dillon and Jones combined for 133 yards on the ground, with 103 of those yards coming from Jones in his first 100-yard rushing game of the season. He grabbed over half those yards on an explosive 57-yarder. The duo averaged 6.0 yards per attempt on the day. 

Defensively, the Packers forced two turnovers for the fourth consecutive week. Both safety Adrian Amos and linebacker De’Vondre Campbell had interceptions, and both tied for team-lead with eight tackles a piece. 

“I thought our defense played outstanding against some really good players,” said LaFleur, praising rookie Eric Stokes specifically for his performance against Ja’Marr Chase. “I thought Stokes competed at the highest level.”

Multiple players stepped up on defense, including Kevin King who had arguably his best performance since the 2019 season. 

“I thought Kevin played a really great game,” said LaFleur, adding that it was unfortunate he got hurt and that he was almost playing with one arm at times. He toughed it out until the middle of the fourth quarter when he had to exit the game. 

Both the head coach and Rodgers also raved about Campbell, with Campbell being one of the guys who wasn’t on the roster to start training camp but who’s stepped up in a huge way for the defense. 

“I can’t tell you enough about Dre,” LaFleur said. “He is all over the field...He is such an outstanding player, outstanding leader and we’re lucky to have him.”

“He can run, he’s a great tackler, he’s around the ball all the time. He’s a great locker room guy.” added Rodgers, calling him a great pickup by the personnel department. “We’re just so thankful to have him.” 

The defense held the Bengals to 5-of-14 on third down, with players at all levels stepping up to make plays. Defensive lineman Dean Lowry tied his career high with two passes defensed at the line. 

“I think throughout the season, you need games like this to really tighten the bonds on the team, to really believe in each other,” he said post game. 

Even with Crosby missing three field goals, the team’s confidence in him never waivered.

“All that matters was that last one and that’s the only one I remember. I don’t even remember how many he missed, I just remember the one he made,” said Adams at the podium. 

“I went up to him and I just told him I loved him,” Jones said of his conversation with Crosby before his final kick. He added that he fumbled last week and the team has your back in those moments. “I’m kind of glad it worked out like that. You know? You get to make up for mistakes that you made or face adversity. I’m proud of Mason.”

When you play the game as long as Crosby has, you’re part of a number of big moments, whether they’re high moments like the playoff game in Dallas in 2016, or low moments like three straight missed field goals against the Bengals. Still, Crosby has never doubted his ability, instead calling this Packers team resilient. 

“Ultimately when we needed it most, he got it done,” LaFleur said. He’s now 14-3 in one-score games since 2019, which is the best win percentage in the NFL during that span. This was also Green Bay’s first win in Cincinnati since 1998. 

“This was an important game for us, to be able to fly home at 4-1 when that game looked like it could go either way or even a tie, this definitely changes the positive vibes moving forward,” said Rodgers. 

The Packers have another midwest trip this week as they take on the division rival Bears at Soldier Field. While Green Bay leads the division, the Bears are finally starting rookie quarterback Justin Fields and have climbed to a 3-2 record. This will be meeting number 203 between the two teams, with the Packers currently on a four-game winning streak. Kickoff is 12:00 p.m. CT on Sunday.

 

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Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV and podcaster for the Pack-A-Day Podcast and Pack's What She Said. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

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Comments (6)

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Leatherhead's picture

October 12, 2021 at 12:11 pm

That was a helluva game. I’d put it right up there with the Hail Mary game against Detroit, the 48-47 win over Washington, and the 12-6 win over Chicago as one of the most entertaining regular season nail-biters I’ve ever seen.

Thankfully, it ended the “right” way, we’re 4-1. We took care of business in Cincinnati, now it’s time for some pleasure against Chicago.

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PeteK's picture

October 12, 2021 at 12:18 pm

Big game because getting a two game lead in our division takes some of the pressure off. Fields' injury should hopefully hamper his running and scrambling ability.

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Minniman's picture

October 12, 2021 at 02:48 pm

What happened to Burrow when he tried to run hopefully creates doubt in his mind - with Campbell, Barnes and now Smith, hopefully now QB sneaks have consequences.

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LambeauPlain's picture

October 12, 2021 at 12:29 pm

I believe with Jenks and hopefully Myers back, the O will move the ball vs bares.

What will Jaylon Smith bring to the D? Could Barry employ 3 ILBs in some packages? Barnes has shown he can get to the passer on blitzes...Smith can too.

The D line is starting to pressure on a fairly consistent basis. It will be key to keep the rookie Fields off balance and help the banged up DBs. The Preston and Gary are keeping up their end of the bargain...and I was also encouraged to see Garvin showing up with pressures.

It is interesting that both Z and Garvin have almost the exact measurable in size, weight and speed. Z is probably on his way out...hopefully Garvin in on his way in.

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Minniman's picture

October 12, 2021 at 03:13 pm

“ I believe with Jenks and hopefully Myers back, the O will move the ball vs bares.”

I’m really intrigued now to see when these 2 and Bakh returns, IF and by how much the play and dominance of the O-line actually increases?

…I know one thing, if anyone is the “highest paid’ on the o-line, it should be the coaches and scouts. That group of alchemists can turn lead into gold. I’d make sure that we lock them up for the next 3-4 years before an individual player!

Who else lost 3 of 5 starting o-linemen (including switching out a pro-bowl C for a rookie) and doesn’t become a dumpster fire during the period…..and against good defensive fronts too!

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ricky's picture

October 12, 2021 at 02:48 pm

At the end of the year, when the league is "seeding" teams, the Packers ranking will depend on how many wins they got. There are no extra points for pulling an upset, or just squeaking by an opponent on a tough day for your kicker. Just win, baby.

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