I only have three words after Sunday’s 31-30 escape in Baltimore: Survive and advance.
That expression gets tossed around every spring during March Madness. College basketball gets a little crazy and wild but at the end of the day, the only thing the teams, players and coaches really care about is surviving and advancing in the tournament.
Likewise, the Packers shouldn’t really care about anything other than the ‘W.’ The Ravens are dealing with plenty of injuries and so are the Packers. At this time of the year, you don’t get a trophy for having the most players miss games.
You get one for being the last team standing on Feb. 13 amid a confetti cloud at SoFi Stadium.
“You find a way to get it done even when things aren’t going 100 percent your way,” said Packers linebacker De’Vondre Campbell, who had five tackles and a sack on Sunday.
Tyler Huntley was making his second career start at quarterback for Baltimore and played like Michael Vick. He ran for 73 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 215 yards and another two touchdowns. His quick first step made it tough for the Packers to set the edge and whenever Huntley got outside the tackle box, he became nearly unstoppable.
But today is a day where everything becomes a little bit clearer. And the reason why is because the Cardinals and Buccaneers both lost. Somehow, Arizona lost to the lowly Lions and Tampa Bay just cannot figure out the Saints in the regular season. The Bucs are 0-4 vs. New Orleans in the regular season since Tom Brady came to town last year.
I agree, things looked a little clunky. The defense, which has been a bright spot as of late, gave up four plays of 15 yards or more to a team that really has been struggling to find its identity.
Does that mean that the sky is falling? No way. It means that it’s a week-to-week league — especially in a season that has been driven by parity. As of Monday morning, there were 28 teams that were still alive for the playoffs.
I was impressed with the play of Marquez Valdes-Scantling. While the Ravens were concerned with putting two or sometimes three defensive backs on Davante Adams, Valdes-Scantling caught five of seven targets for 98 yards and a touchdown. If the Packers can get consistent production from Valdes-Scantling, who was a fifth round pick in 2018, I don’t know a defense that will be able to stop this unit.
The Packers have scored 35 points a game since Week 11 and are finding different ways to beat teams. Against the Rams, it was Randall Cobb. Against the Bears, it was Adams. And on Sunday, it was Valdes-Scantling. That’s the scariest part for opposing defenses. Eight different receivers caught a pass on Sunday and nine were targeted.
It may not look pretty all the time. But at the end of the game, you only have to have more points than the other team. It doesn’t matter how the sausage gets made. What matters is that the Packers are winning games and are now a whisper away from home field advantage in the NFC playoffs.
Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on “Clubhouse Live” and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn
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