Ravens blank Packers, 23-0
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Baltimore Ravens’ defense forced five turnovers. The offense finished off a shutout of the Green Bay Packers with 10 fourth-quarter points.
Now that’s the way that Ravens coach John Harbaugh wanted his team to play coming off a bye week.
Baltimore (5-5) got its third shutout of the season in blanking the Packers 23-0 on Sunday. The Ravens last accomplished the feat when the Ray Lewis-led defense had four shutouts for the Super Bowl-winning team in 2000; the last NFL team to have three was New England in 2003.
“Just a huge win, we needed it,” said safety Eric Weddle, who had one of the team’s three interceptions. “The break off was huge for us both mentally and physically.”
Maybe this is just the refresher that the Ravens needed to make a playoff push.
The schedule sets up nicely with Baltimore playing four of their last six games at home. They also have another chance to gain ground on the AFC North-leading Steelers with a visit to Pittsburgh in Week 14.
Terrell Suggs, Matthew Judon and Willie Henry each had two sacks apiece against Green Bay. But leave it to Suggs to add some perspective to the defense’s feel-good day.
“Don’t mean (anything) if we don’t make the playoffs,” the veteran edge rusher said sternly about the shutouts. “It’s good, but if we don’t get in … you won’t remember them.”
The Packers’ streak of eight straight postseason appearances looks to be in jeopardy with the offense struggling without injured quarterback Aaron Rodgers. He’s out with a broken collarbone.
Replacement Brett Hundley was 21 of 36 for 239 yards. But he threw interceptions on the Packers’ first two series. On the third drive, backup running back Devante Mays fumbled on his first carry of the season.
The Packers (5-5) have lost four of their past five games.
“You have to take care of the football,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “Offensively, that was way too much for us to overcome.”
The momentum from the Packers’ 23-16 win last week over the Bears is gone. It was such a turn of events from Chicago, where Hundley made clutch throws in the fourth quarter. The schedule doesn’t ease up next week with a night road game against the Steelers. McCarthy is sticking with Hundley.
“Brett Hundley’s our starter. I believe in Brett Hundley. It didn’t go very well, obviously. We understand the standard that’s been set here. We’re all part of it,” McCarthy said.
The Packers were shut out for the first time since Nov. 19, 2006, when then-starter Brett Favre left with an injury in the first half of a 35-0 loss to New England. Rodgers, then in his second year in the league, finished off that loss in relief.
The Patriots’ defensive coordinator back then? Current Ravens coordinator Dean Pees.
“Dean called a great game. He probably didn’t blitz as much as we usually do,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t think (Hundley) could exactly know what we were in.”
Davante Adams was one of the Packers’ few bright spots after torching the Ravens’ strong secondary for 126 yards on eight catches. The Packers actually outgained the Ravens 265-219. But turnovers sapped any momentum.
“We’re not in panic mode, everything is still in front of us,” Adams said. “We’ve got to get a grip of it real quick here. Otherwise, we will be in panic mode.”
JOE IN AWE
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco will cherish the memories of winning a game at venerable Lambeau Field. He threw for 183 yards, going 22 of 28 with an interception, and pretty 21-yard touchdown pass to Mike Wallace in the third quarter.
“This is a historic place. You grow up watching games played here and it’s just so much history involved with this place,” Flacco said.
Packers linebacker Clay Matthews suffered a groin injury midway through the first quarter. He returned for one play on the next defensive series, then watched the rest of the first half from the sideline. Matthews did have a sack before getting hurt, his first sack since Week 4, to give him 3 1/2 for the season. Another starter, defensive lineman Kenny Clark, was carted off the field in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury.
Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix singled out Ravens center Ryan Jensen when asked about Clark’s injury.
“If you can’t whoop him regularly, don’t cheap-shot him. That’s what that guy’s been doing all year. I’ve been watching film of (Jensen) and he’s a dirty player,” Clinton-Dix said. “I would love to have him on my team if he was like that but, at the end of the day, you can’t play like that and want to be a great in this league. It’s uncalled for.”