CINCINNATI — The Green Bay Packers improved to 4-1 with a 25-22 overtime win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. Here are my three quick thoughts on the game:
Wide left (times three)
Rarely does a field goal kicker get to redeem himself after three misses.
Mason Crosby did Sunday.
Crosby doesn’t have many poor performances but this was one of them. And he still ended up kicking the game-winning field goal, connecting from 49 yards out with 1:55 left in overtime.
Crosby had made 27 consecutive field goals when he lined up to put the Packers ahead late in regulation.
But Crosby pushed his 36-yard attempt to the left with 2:12 remaining, giving Cincinnati a chance to win the game. Then he missed a potential game-winning 51-yard attempt to the left as time expired. Then he missed a 40-yard attempt on Green Bay’s opening series of overtime.
Crosby also missed an extra-point attempt in the second quarter. Plus, he was 0-for-2 on calling the coin toss, choosing tails both times on tosses that ended up being heads.
Crosby knew his game-winner was good before it went through the uprights. What a crazy game for him and the Packers.
Slow start, fast finish
Aaron Rodgers started the game by throwing incompletions on five of his first seven pass attempts. One of them was an interception on a deep ball to Davante Adams.
He was terrific from that point forward, finishing 27-for-39 for 344 yards with two touchdowns.
Rodgers and Adams connected 11 times for 206 yards and a score. Rodgers did have a key missed throw late in the fourth quarter when Adams had his man beat in the end zone on a third-down play and Rodgers threw wide.
Defense wears down
At one point in the fourth quarter, I was planning to write how it had been a pretty solid showing by the Green Bay defense all things considered.
At that point, Cincinnati had eight possessions: five punts, an interception and two touchdowns. And one of the touchdowns was a big mistake by an individual, with safety Darnell Savage whiffing on an attempt to knock down a deep pass and the result being a 70-yard touchdown reception by Ja’Marr Chase just before halftime.
But then the Packers couldn’t get off the field while trying to protect a 22-14 lead in the fourth quarter. Cincinnati drove 75 yards in 15 plays in a drive that lasted nearly 8 minutes, with Joe Mixon finishing it off with an 8-yard run. Joe Burrow hit Tee Higgins on the 2-point conversion and, just like that, the game was tied.
But give credit where credit is due: Linebacker De’Vondre Campbell came up with a huge play on the opening snap of overtime, picking off a pass from Burrow to give the Packers the ball at the Cincinnati 17.
Contact Jim Polzin at email@example.com.