|Date of game: 12/8/2014
Recap: Green Bay vs. Atlanta
Green Bay, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - Aaron Rodgers fired three touchdown passes and Green Bay survived a shootout with Atlanta, as the Packers took a 43-37 victory on Monday.
Rodgers went 24-for-36 for 327 yards, with Jordy Nelson catching eight passes for 146 yards and two scores for the Packers (10-3), who have ripped off five straight victories.
It was the 100th start in Rodgers' career and he has a 68-32 mark in that time, same as former Packer Brett Favre.
"It's been fun. Been a great 100 games started," said Rodgers. "We've said around here you can't start talking about the playoffs until you get to 10 wins. It's starting to come together."
Eddie Lacy posted one touchdown rushing and one receiving, while totaling 106 yards, and James Starks also had a rushing touchdown and 101 total yards for Green Bay, which remained one game ahead of Detroit for first place in the NFC North.
Julio Jones had a career night for Atlanta, catching 11 balls for 259 yards and a touchdown. He was off the field for Atlanta's last scoring drive, though, with a hip injury.
"They just leaned on me today and I just tried to make most of the plays," Jones said. "Everything they threw on me, I tried my best to get them."
Matt Ryan finished the game with four touchdown passes and an interception on 24-of-39 attempts for 375 yards for the Falcons (5-8), who still sit tied atop the NFC South thanks to New Orleans' loss to Carolina on Sunday.
Atlanta made it a 10-point game just 2 1/2 minutes into the fourth after Ryan went down the left side and found Jones for a 22-yard score to make it a 34-24 game.
It did not take long for Rodgers to answer, though, as he went deep himself for his top target, finding Nelson for a 60-yard score. Mason Crosby's extra- point attempt was blocked.
The scores kept coming, as Ryan brought Atlanta back down the field, converting a 4th-and-4 with a 19-yard pass to Jones. Ryan capped the 12-play drive with a short toss to Roddy White for a 1-yard score. The two-point conversion attempt failed and it was a 40-30 game with 6:15 to play.
An onsides kick was recovered by Green Bay, and Crosby booted a 53-yard field goal with 4:33 left, but Ryan came right back to again make it a one-score game.
With his top receiver on the sideline, Ryan spread the ball around and found White for 29 yards to move the ball across midfield. The team faced a 4th-and- goal at the 2, with Ryan hooking up with Harry Douglas to make it a six-point game with 2:11 to play.
Needing a stop from its defense after failing to recover the onside kick, Atlanta didn't get it as Rodgers had a 12-yard run just out of the two-minute warning.
Starks followed that with a 41-yard run as the Packers ran out of the rest of the clock.
Green Bay started the game with the ball, and Rodgers guided the team on an 81-yard drive that saw Starks run it in around the right end on the seventh snap for a 7-0 lead less than four minutes in.
Atlanta countered with a scoring drive of its own, as Jones caught three passes for 45 yards on the drive and Steven Jackson finished it off with a 4- yard score with seven minutes left in the first.
Rodgers guided his team on another touchdown drive, with Lacy finishing off the 13-play, 80-yard march with a 1-yard run around the left end on the first play of the second quarter for a 14-7 advantage. Rodgers converted a 3rd- and-17 early in the drive with a 30-yard pass to Andrew Quarless.
Following a three-and-out from the Falcons, the Packers got the ball back at their own 16 and were able to get into scoring position, with Crosby hitting a 38-yard field goal for a 17-7 lead with 7:17 to play in the first half.
Ryan was picked off by Morgan Burnett on Atlanta's next touch, returning the ball to the Atlanta 15. Four plays later, Rodgers hit Lacy with a pass over the middle for a 1-yard score and a 24-7 lead.
Another short possession from the Falcons saw the Packers get the ball back near midfield with 2 1/2 minutes to play, and that was plenty of time for Rodgers as he found Nelson in the back of the end zone from 10 yards out for a 31-7 lead with 24 seconds left.
Matt Bryant had a 53-yard field goal attempt tipped at the line to end the half.
Starting the second half with the ball, the Falcons' first play went for 79 yards as Jones caught a bomb down the right side and ran it to the three. Ryan eventually found Eric Weems for a 5-yard score 2 1/2 minutes in.
After a short possession from Green Bay, the Falcons got the ball back near midfield and wound up coming away with three points after Bryant booted a 50- yarder to make it a 31-17 game.
The Packers answered on their ensuing touch with a 33-yarder from Crosby to take a 17-point lead into the final quarter.Game Notes
Mike McCarthy has 98 wins in the regular season and playoffs with Green Bay,
tying him with Vince Lombardi for second in team history ... The teams
combined for 967 yards of offense, 502 from Green Bay, which also controlled
the ball for 33:01 ... Rodgers has 27,522 yards, most ever for a QB over his
first 100 starts ... Jones leads all receivers in the NFL with 1,428 yards ...
Green Bay plays in Buffalo next Sunday ... Atlanta hosts Pittsburgh next
Sunday ... Rodgers has 35 touchdowns to just three interceptions this season,
including 23 touchdowns and no interceptions at home.