GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – In December football, getting the win can sometimes boil down to riding out the storm.
Monday night in Green Bay, the storm was a choppy game full of penalties, long drives, and confounding turnovers – but in the end, the Packers pulled away for a comfortable win at Lambeau Field.
The Packers (6-8) defeated the Los Angeles Rams 24-12 on Monday Night Football, with quarterback Aaron Rodgers earning his ninth consecutive win on the Monday night stage and the Green & Gold keeping their playoff hopes alive.
Green Bay never trailed the visitors from Los Angeles in a game that kicked off at 15 degrees, with windchills in the single digits.
The home team played with an edge of desperation, knowing every win is crucial for the chance to surge into the postseason. That was perhaps best encapsulated by a nine-minute, game-ending drive that culminated with the Packers kneeling it out at the Rams one-yard line.
During a swift, low-scoring first half, Green Bay scored the lone touchdown on an eight-yard, pile-pushing jolt from AJ Dillon, one of his two touchdowns in the game.
But it was a 14-6 advantage in the third quarter and a stalwart finishing effort in a scoreless fourth that defined the night for the Green and Gold.
Getting possession on the third quarter kickoff, the Packers drove 58 yards on 11 plays with Aaron Rodgers dicing the middle of the Rams defense, eventually culminating the drive in a one-yard touchdown plunge by Dillon.
After a penalty set the Rams’ ensuing drive back behind the sticks, the Packers converted on special teams, taking over at LA’s 35-yard line after a 17-yard punt return by Keisean Nixon and a 15-yard penalty added to the end of the run.
Green Bay made quick work of the following drive, reeling off six plays over three minutes and capping the march with a seven-yard touchdown screen pass to Aaron Jones.
The 24-6 advantage marked the Packers’ largest lead of the season, but it was short lived as the Rams sprinted back into the game with a 55-yard drive in just two minutes.
After a missed extra point, the Packers held a 24-12 advantage entering the fourth quarter and let their defense lock down the game.
Rasul Douglas intercepted Baker Mayfield on the Rams’ first drive of the fourth quarter, surviving with the turnover despite an ill-advised pitch back to Adrian Amos to try and gain extra yardage.
The Packers, however, coughed it up two plays later when Jalen Ramsey stripped Aaron Jones in the midst of a standing pile-up past the first down marker.
Despite a 40-yard pass interference penalty on Amos, the Pack defense buckled down, forcing a punt after moving the Rams backward on the drive.
Green Bay took possession with 8:51 remaining in the game, and with a 15-play drive that featured five first downs and 82 yards down to the LA one-yard line, the Packers sent the game into the frigid night and into the win column, eliminating the reigning Super Bowl champions from playoff contention.
The Packers are back in action on December 25, Christmas Day, with a road game at Miami before returning home to face the Vikings and Lions in the final two weeks of the regular season. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Green Bay’s playoff chances are now at 12.2 percent following Monday’s win.