The Cleveland Browns are still winless after 13 games, and the Green Bay Packers’ playoff hopes are very much alive.
After jumping out to a 21-7 lead, thanks to a career-high three DeShone Kizer touchdown passes – including Josh Gordon’s first score since 2013 – the Browns squandered their best chance to end win their first game this season, and just their second during the previous 32 games. Maybe more important, the playoff-hopeful Packers avoided their worst loss in two decades, when they were defeated by the 0-10 Indianapolis Colts.
Kizer, who played well for most of the afternoon, made a fatal mistake during Cleveland’s first drive of overtime. While trying to avoid a Clay Matthews sack and a massive loss, the rookie quarterback foolishly threw the ball up for grabs in what resulted in a Josh Jones interception. The Packers proceeded to march down the field when Brett Hundley hit wide receiver Davante Adams, who spun out of a tackle and scored a game-winning touchdown from 25 yards out.
After a shaky first half for the Packers offense, Hundley heated up, making a series of impressive throws to lead two fourth-quarter touchdown drives. The former UCLA standout displayed an accurate arm and athleticism outside of the pocket. He finished the game 35-of-46 for 265 yards with three scores, along with 31 yards rushing and zero turnovers, the first time he accomplished such a feat.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) December 10, 2017
Hundley, who improved to 3-5 as a starter, set the table for a Week 15 Rodgers return. The All-World quarterback has not played since breaking his right collarbone on Oct. 15, but will be activated this week from injured reserve.
Moreover, he will do so with the added benefit of a revamped running game. Rookie Jamaal Williams has assumed the starting role with the confidence and production head coach Mike McCarthy could only have dreamt of when starter Ty Montgomery was lost for the season. After helping the Pack achieve a season-best 199-yard rushing effort in last week’s win against Tampa Bay – Williams had 113 rushing yards – the fourth-rounder from BYU added 49 on the ground and another 69 receiving (with a touchdown) versus Cleveland.
With Rodgers back under center next week, the 7-6 Packers will conclude the regular season on the road against Carolina, followed by a home game with Minnesota and a road tilt with Detroit. It is an ideal schedule too, as all three opponents are ahead of them in the NFC postseason hunt.
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