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Packers beat Browns, lose Finley

by Mark Daniels

The Green Bay Packers keep winning and keep losing major players in the process.  A 31-13 drubbing of the Cleveland Browns was accomplished on a cold, damp afternoon at Lambeau Field in the circa 1929 uniforms but in the 4th Quarter, Jermichael Finley's 5th catch was his last.  Hit in the neck by Tashaun Gipson of the Browns, Finley lay motionless on the field for several minutes.  He was eventually moved to a stablizing board, onto a stretcher, and taken to a hospital for further tests.  The team reported after the game that Finley had feeling and movement in all of his extremities and more information on his injury will be forthcoming.  It was Jermichael who got the game off to a rousing start, scoring on a 10 yard pass from Aaron Rodgers on the first offensive series, breaking three tackles along the way.   After Davon House intercepted a very ineffective Brandon Weeden, the Pack marched 56 yards in 11 plays and took a 14-0 lead on Eddie Lacy's one yard run.   The teams traded field goals in the second quarter, Mason Crosby hitting a 26 yarder with :03 left for a 17-3 advantage at intermission.   The Pack's offense bogged down thanks to penalties in the third quarter but after Finley's injury, Jordy Nelson caught a one yard scoring pass and then Jarrett Boykin, starting for the injured James Jones, capped his career game (8 catches/103 yards) with a 20 yard touchdown.  The Browns put up 10 second half points thanks to a pair of big kickoff returns, Weeden hitting Jordan Cameron on a 2 yard pass with 6 minutes to play but the Packers defense, playing without Clay Matthews and Brad Jones again, help the Browns to 216 yards of offense.  Jamari Lattimore led the charge with a dozen tackles, they sacked Weeden 3 times and stopped them on downs inside the 10 in the closing minutes.  After the game, head coach Mike McCarthy adressed the media:

Audio: Mike McCarthy.

Green Bay outgained Cleveland 357 to 216, controlling the ball for over 33 minutes.  Aaron Rodgers finished 25 of 36 for 260 yards and three scores for a passer rating of 117.8.  Weeden on the other hand was just 2 of 11 after the first quarter and 17 of 42 for the game for only 149 yards and a rating of 48.6.  Eddie Lacy had another fine game, 82 yards on the ground on 22 carries and five receptions for 26 more.  Inside the locker room, the thoughts on the Finley injury and a third straight victory were gathered:

Audio: Post Game Locker Room Quotes.

Other notes on the game, it was a flag fest, 22 accepted penalties for 203 yards.  Cleveland had 12 for 106, the Packers 10 for 97.  The special teams did not have a great day, Tim Masthay was off, a net punting average of only 30 and two big kickoff returns were given up (86, 56).  With 7 points, Mason Crosby moved past Chris Jacke into third place all-time on the Green Bay scoring list with 821 points, with all time leader Ryan Longwell in attendance.   It was the Pack's 10th straight home win, 23 out of their last 24.  With the Bears losing to Washington and the Lions falling to the Bengals, Green Bay moves into first in the NFC North at 4-2 with big division games looming at Minnesota and home to Chicago.

The inactives for the game included Casey Hayward, James Starks, Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Brad Jones, Ryan Taylor and James Jones.

Randall Cobb was in the locker room after the game but he zoomed past the media riding a Segway with his broken fibula.