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Grading the Packers: Offense gets highest marks, makes up for rocky performance by defense in win over the Bengals

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Jim Polzin grades the Green Bay Packers in their 25-22 overtime win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.

Offense:

The Packers had a 300-yard passer (Aaron Rodgers), a 200-yard receiver (Davante Adams) and a 100-yard rusher (Aaron Jones). Not to be overlooked is that an offensive line down three starters held up well and helped pave the way for those gaudy numbers. Rodgers started the game slowly and was 2 of 7 at one point, but he was excellent through the last three quarters and overtime. Adams continues to find ways to get open despite defenses knowing the ball is coming to him and throwing double teams at the star receiver.

Defense:

Opponents have now scored touchdowns on all 13 trips inside the red zone against the Packers this season, with Cincinnati going 2-for-2. Green Bay could have taken a 16-7 lead into the half had safety Darnell Savage not somehow missed breaking up a deep ball on a play that resulted in Ja’Marr Chase recording a 70-yard touchdown reception. Linebacker De’Vondre Campbell left the game with an injury in the second half but returned and made a big interception in overtime.

Special teams:

Mason Crosby made the game-winning field goal, but not before he missed on his previous three attempts and also missed an extra point. Corey Bojorquez had his first bad punt of season, a 31-yarder in the first quarter. The Packers also allowed a 44-yard kickoff return.

Coaching:

Matt LaFleur was too conservative after Campbell’s interception — he admitted as much afterward — and called back-to-back running plays to set up a 40-yard field goal attempt instead of giving Rodgers a chance to make a play through the air. It’s no secret that Packers offensive line coach Adam Stenavich is a rising star in the profession and Sunday was another feather in his cap considering how well the makeshift group up front played.

Overall:

LaFleur admitted there was a lot to clean up after this one. Still, it’s better to make fixes after a road win and, considering how many key players were out of the lineup, this one had to be particularly rewarding for the Packers.

Contact Jim Polzin at jpolzin@madison.com.

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