November 27, 2014

Franklin’s fumble is the final blunder for the Packers

The Green Bay Packers and Cincinnati Bengals each committed four turnovers on

Johnathan Franklin

Johnathan Franklin

Sunday, the final of which led to Terence Newman’s 58-yard fumble return for the game-winning touchdown.  It gave the Bengals a 34-30 win over the Packers.

On 4th and 1, Mike McCarthy decided to go for it with 3:47 left to play and the result wasn’t a good one.  McCarthy  admitted to thinking about kicking the field goal but changed his mind and went for it.  McCarthy was down to his final running back, rookie Johnathan Franklin, who tried to dive over the pile with an up the middle run, only to fumble on the way up.  Newman eventually ended up with the ball and he did the rest.

The Bengals then finished things off when Michael Johnson batted down Aaron Rodgers’ fourth down pass at the Cincinnati 20-yard line with 1:21 left to play and they ran out the clock.

While Mike McCarthy has won 65% of his games as the Packers head coach, he hasn’t been good in close games.  When games are decided by four points or less, McCarthy’s teams are 9-20, counting playoff games.  Of his two quarterbacks, Rodgers is 6-18.  Brett Favre was 3-2.  According to coldhardfootballfacts.com, Rodgers is now 3-19 in games when the Packers trailed by 1 to 8 points in the fourth quarter and had at least one possession.

AUDIO: A Rodgers says they just didn’t play well:13

Rodgers’ (26 of 43 for 244 yds, 1 TD, 2 Int.) struggles come on a day when the running game produced 172 yards on 28 carries, and the Packers defense finally got some take/aways, four to be exact.

AUDIO: A Rodgers says the Packers defense deserved better :22

The Packers fell behind 14-0, then scored 30-straight points to go up 30-14.  Then the Bengals scored the games final 20 points for the 34-30 win.

The Packers suffered some key injuries during the game and it hurt them.  Tight end Jermichael Finley left the game early with a concussion.  Running back James Starks left with a knee injury and linebacker Clay Matthews, who forced a pair of fumbles and had a sack, left with a hamstring injury.

Cincinnati’s second touchdown of the game came when Jeremy Ross mishandled the kickoff and the Bengals recovered.

AUDIO: Mike McCarthy on the fumbled kickoff :23

Andy Dalton finished 20 of 28 for 235 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception and a fumble for the Bengals.  M.D. Jennings returned the fumble 24 yards for a touchdown.

The last time a team won a game after giving up 30 straight points was Sept. 12, 1999, when Dallas rallied to beat Washington 41-35 in overtime.

Green Bay rookie Johnathan Franklin rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown, giving the Packers back-to-back games with a 100-yard rusher.

The Packers get their earliest bye week in the Mike McCarthy ERA.  They’ll take this week off, then return to host the Lions on October 6th at Lambeau Field.