The Packers and Jaguars played one of the better games Sunday afternoon to kickoff the 2016 season, with the Packers making a huge 4th-and-1 stop in the final seconds to pull out a 27-23 win.
Aaron Rodgers was 20 of 34 passes for 199 yards, with TD passes to Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams in the win for the Pack, who won just their second opener in the last five years.
Keys to the Packers Win:
1. Defense Bends but Doesn’t Break
The play on the 4th-and-one where the Jags tried a WR screen to Allen Hurns that didn’t work was a thing of beauty by the Packers defense. They read the play perfectly, and it was a welcome sight not to see the Pack just give the Jags the first down and have to hold in the final 15 seconds a couple end zone shots. The young D did their job when needed the most.
2. Run Game Does its Job
The Packers run game outrushed the Jaguars 94-48, and the Jags only averaged 1.8 yards per rush, as they played without Chris Ivory. Give some credit to Eddie Lacy who ran hard all day, putting up 61 yards on 14 carries, a 4.1 yards per carry average. If the run game and the run D can play this well weekly, it gives the Pack that much of a better shot to win.
3. Spreading the Wealth
Aaron Rodgers threw to eight different pass catchers, completing a total of 20 passes. It was nice to see Nelso reach the end zone, and it seems like ARod was in a comfort zone all day. Also give some credit to the offensive line, which protecting well all day, and only allowed one sack for zero yards to the Jaguars. Good signs for a team who looks to regain their great offensive numbers from two years ago.