BALTIMORE—Right guard T.J. Lang said it best about running back Eddie Lacy.
“He fits what we do perfectly,” was Lang’s comment.
In grinding out a 23-carry, 120-yard day, Lacy was once again the Packers’ workhorse in their 19-17 road victory over the Ravens on Sunday.
One week after coming one yard short of his first career 100-yard game, Lacy was well on his way just two snaps into this one. Breaking off runs of 10 and 37 yards to start the game, Lacy found the sledding a little tougher the rest of the way but still pounded out yards both outside and between the tackles against a Ravens defense known for standing tall up front.
“Whether we’re running the zone or our pattern schemes, trying to make some plays out on the edge, he can do both,” Lang said of Lacy. “He can make guys miss, he can also run right through them. He’s a huge boost to the way we play up front, physical-wise.”
The Ravens’ respect for Lacy also produced the Packers’ biggest play of the game, when Aaron Rodgers rolled out to the right off a play-action fake to Lacy and found Jordy Nelson wide open behind the defense for a 64-yard TD.
“That was a big play for us,” Lacy said. “They bit on the play-fake. You pretty much expect it with those two.”
Lacy became the third different Packers running back to top 100 yards this season, and he was needed all the way until the end. With the offense trying to run out the clock, the Packers faced second-and-11 from the Baltimore 22-yard line with 1:38 left.
The Ravens still had one timeout left, so if the Packers hadn’t gotten the first down, they would have had to kick a field goal and leave time on the clock for one more Ravens drive.
But Lacy blasted up the middle for 9 yards to set up third-and-2, and then he bounced out to the left, picked up the first down and slid down in bounds to allow the Packers to kneel out the win.
“The offensive line did a great job today,” Lacy said. “It was a grind, both blocking and running the football. But we kept the same mindset and kept pushing and kept pushing.”
Quick redemption: Kicker Mason Crosby’s streak of 10 consecutive made field goals to start the season came to an end late when he pushed a 44-yard try wide right with 20 seconds left in the first half.
Crosby didn’t even have to think about the miss during halftime, though, as he got an immediate shot at redemption.
Deciding not to run out the clock, the Ravens were trying to push the ball down the field when on second down, QB Joe Flacco had the ball stripped from behind by linebacker Nick Perry. Defensive end Datone Jones scooped it up, rambled 20 yards and was tackled with two seconds left, just enough time for Crosby to nail a 31-yard field goal as the half expired.
“All that stuff I talk about moving on quickly and all that, this was definitely one I had to move on quick,” Crosby said. “You don’t usually get one right after. That was a good opportunity.
“I turned around, re-focused and went out there and hit a good ball.”
The kick put the Packers ahead 6-0 at halftime, and Crosby went on to add field goals of 50 and 31 yards in the second half for a 4-for-5 day. He’s now 13-for-14 on field goals this season.
“I felt like I finished well, and that was important,” he said.
In his face: Tight end and special-teams ace Ryan Taylor used his head on Sunday – to block a punt.
As Taylor charged up the middle of the Ravens’ punt-protection unit in the second quarter, punter Sam Koch’s punt drilled Taylor right in the face mask.
“We knew this guy had a block spot at about 9 yards. We had studied that, so we knew we had a better opportunity this week at blocking it,” said Taylor, who became the second Packers player in two years to block a punt, following Davon House’s block against Jacksonville last season.
“I just kind of came free, gave a little move to the guy blocking me, and I think I ended up blocking it with my face. If you’re that far, on top of him, you’ve really beat your guy bad.”
Unfortunately, the Packers didn’t get possession following the block. The ball caromed forward across the line of scrimmage, and despite players and coaches on the Packers sideline waving their arms to signal to everyone to get away from the ball, fullback John Kuhn tried to pick it up. He fumbled and the Ravens recovered, keeping Baltimore in possession of the ball.
It was a huge missed opportunity, and the Ravens would have turned the miscue into points had it not been for Green Bay’s defensive goal-line stand. But Taylor called the moment a “character-builder” and said the team just had to shake it off.
“We just moved on and kept playing,” he said. “It was a close game and it’s not something you can dwell on.”
Injury update: The Packers lost receivers Randall Cobb (knee) and James Jones (leg) to injuries during the game, prompting the first extended action for receiver Jarrett Boykin.
It appeared to take Boykin a while to get on the same page with Rodgers, but he eventually contributed a catch-and-run for 43 yards.
Head Coach Mike McCarthy is hoping neither of the receivers’ injuries is serious.
“My hope for Randall is good information tomorrow,” McCarthy said. “James Jones, I’m hoping for good info there, too.”
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