Local Teams

National Football League
Green Bay 27, Jacksonville 23
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, September 11, 2016
Where: EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Florida
Temperature: 90°
Head Official: Carl Cheffers
Attendance: 63179

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A frustrated Jacksonville Jaguars team felt like it should have finally come through with a victory against an elite quarterback.

The Green Bay Packers weren't apologizing for escaping with one instead.

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke out of an early rut to throw two touchdowns and run for another as the Packers staved off a late Jaguars rally and won 27-23 at EverBank Field.

"I don't think we played that well offensively," Rodgers said. "Too many red zone trips and a really embarrassing last drive there for us on offense. But we won. It's tough to win in this league and it's tough to win on the road. We're 1-0 and going back to Minnesota with a chance to open up that stadium."

The Jaguars sure had an opportunity to pull off an unexpected victory when they forced Rodgers and Green Bay to go three-and-out and regained possession with 3:17 remaining in the fourth quarter.

"When you invest yourself and your feelings into a game -- and invest in your teammates and body as well -- it makes it tough," said Jaguars defensive end Jared Odrick, who was credited with the team's lone sack. "Especially because we know what we're capable of. We're capable of winning games like that."

Quarterback Blake Bortles led his offense to Green Bay's 14-yard line with 27 seconds remaining before a short pass to receiver Allen Hurns on fourth-and-1 went for a loss and ended the team's last gasp.

Packers cornerback Damarious Randall and safety Morgan Burnett were in on the tackle on the short toss to Bortles' right.

"Once again, it came down to a gutty play from our defense," Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said.

Bortles mixed passes to tight end Marcedes Lewis, running back T.J. Yeldon, and receivers Allen Robinson and Rashad Greene on his team's final possession.

The pass to Robinson went for 22 yards and saw the ball squirt loose when safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix landed a square hit, but Robinson managed to recover and continue the Jaguars' drive.

But the Packers found a way to make just enough plays to escape with a thrilling victory.

"Our standard of play is nowhere where we want it to be, but it's good enough to win on Week 1," McCarthy said. "It's what we have to do. You have to get the first one in the column. It happens each and every year. They never look the way you want them to look. But at the end of the day, it comes down to football, making plays. This game came down to that and we made the play."

The loss is Jacksonville's fifth straight in openers and drops the team to 1-11 in September games under coach Gus Bradley. This one was particularly frustrating for a young team because of how well it played.

The Jaguars stymied Rodgers for much of the first half, forcing Green Bay into three consecutive three-and-outs at one point before the former NFL MVP finally found his rhythm.

He hit old friend Jordy Nelson, playing for the first time since suffering a torn ACL in August 2015, for a touchdown before finding Davante Adams on a miraculous throw-and-catch just before halftime to give the Packers a 21-17 lead.

Rodgers' touchdown to Adams came with cornerback Jalen Ramsey pulling the quarterback down by his jersey. Somehow, Rodgers had enough strength to find Adams, who had cornerback Davon House draped all over him, for a 29-yard touchdown.

"I stuck my arm in there and he ended up making a great catch," a still-incredulous House said after the game, adding: "I've got to watch the film and see what happened."

Green Bay settled for a pair of Mason Crosby field goals in the second half as Rodgers finished 20 of 34 for 199 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran for a 6-yard score on Green Bay's first possession, which followed a Bortles interception.

Bortles, as he did during a breakout season last year, was able to hit several big plays in the game. He found Lewis for a gain of 37 yards in the first half and Hurns for a catch-and-run of 38 in the second half.

Jacksonville's third-year quarterback finished the game 24 of 39 for 320 yards with one perfectly thrown 22-yard touchdown to tight end Julius Thomas in the first half.

Bortles led the NFL with 18 interceptions last season and had one on the team's first drive on a pass that was bobbled by receiver Marqise Lee and set up Green Bay's opening score.

Running back T.J. Yeldon had a rushing touchdown for the Jaguars but finished the game with 39 yards on 21 carries. Yeldon was forced to shoulder a heavier load than expected after running back Chris Ivory was admitted to a local hospital Sunday with an undisclosed injury.

The plan all offseason was to have Yeldon and Ivory share carries, but it went out the window immediately.

Despite the unexpected situation, the Jaguars were functional on offense, totaling 348 yards of offense to Green Bay's 294.

A revamped defense also showed it should be able to hold up against a tough opening month of opponents.

That didn't lessen the disappointment inside the Jaguars' locker room after the game.

"There's a lot of people hurt in this locker room," Robinson said. "We put a lot of effort in going into this week and it's not the last week, but this is one that everybody put a lot of effort into."

NOTES: DE Tyson Alualu was inactive for the Jaguars, snapping his streak of 96 consecutive games played. ... Thomas, who missed the first month of the season with a broken hand last season, had five catches for 64 yards and a touchdown. ... WR Randall Cobb appeared to twist his ankle and limped gingerly off the field in the third quarter but did not miss a play with the Packers' offense. However, No. 1 CB Sam Shields left the game with an undisclosed injury late in the fourth quarter and did not return. ... Nelson had six catches for 32 yards in his first action in more than a year.
Top Game Performances
Green Bay   Jacksonville
Eddie Lacy Player T.J. Yeldon
14 Attempts 21
61 Yards 39
4.4 Avg Yards 1.9
0 Touchdowns 1
28 Long 7
Green Bay   Jacksonville
Randall Cobb Player Allen Hurns
6 Receptions 4
57 Yards 75
9.5 Avg Yards 18.8
0 Touchdowns 0
32 Long 38
Team Stats Summary
  Yards Scoring Defense
Team Tot Rus Pas TD FG INT Sck FF
Green Bay 294 95 199 3 2 1 3.0 1
Jacksonville 348 48 300 2 3 0 1.0 1
Upcoming Games
  • Jacksonville will play their next game on the road against San Diego. The Jaguars have a W/L % of .000 after a win and .000 after a loss.
  • Green Bay will play their next game on the road against Minnesota. The Packers have a W/L % of .000 after a win and 1.000 after a loss.