Packers 24, Browns 22: 2-minute drill

Aaron Rodgers threw three touchdowns and the defense picked off four passes to help the Green Bay Packers get by Cleveland Browns 24-22 at Lambeau Field on Christmas.

Game Balls

Offense: Aaron Rodgers

Green Bay got a little conservative in the fourth quarter but the three-time MVP still managed to put together an impressive day. Even with a couple three-and-outs on two of their final three drives, he finished 24-for-34 for 202 yards and three touchdowns. The first of them was No. 443 in his career, passing Brett Favre for the most in team history.

He threw two more in the half to Davante Adams, including on a fade just before halftime. It left him with 16 touchdowns and no interceptions in the last five games as the Packers improved to 4-1 in that stretch.

However, he didn’t escape without some more damage done to his fractured pinky toe. Rodgers said it was feeling really good coming into the game but then got stepped on twice, including by right guard Royce Newman. It led to Rodgers getting a pain injection at halftime. He told reporters that it felt OK after the game but they’ll see if there was any kind of a setback tomorrow.

Defense: CB Rasul Douglas

The remarkable story and season of Douglas continued Saturday. He came up with two of the Packers four interceptions and they both came at huge moments.

Cleveland was trailing 14-12 just before the half and driving before Baker Mayfield looked deep and found Douglas instead of a slipping Jarvis Landry. The offense turned that into seven points in the final seconds of the half.

Then, trailing 24-22 in the final minute of the game, Douglas got physical with the Browns receiver at the top of the route and beat him to the spot to snag the second interception. It essentially ended the game and gave him four interceptions in his last four games and five since joining the team in October from Arizona’s practice squad.

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What They Said

Aaron Rodgers has played with some of the best to ever do it, including Brett Favre and Charles Woodson. But he believes Davante Adams is now at the top of the heap after posting 10 catches for 114 yards and two scores.

“I really feel like he’s the best player I’ve played with,” Rodgers said.

Asked to clarify whether he means offensive or overall, Rodgers doubled down with Adams, who became the first player in team history to top 100 catches in three straight seasons.

“Most dominant player I’ve played with.”

In Case You Missed It

— Kenny Clark returned to the lineup after missing last week after testing positive for COVID-19. The defensive lineman finished with four tackles.

— Marquez Valdes-Scantling missed the game due to being on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The wide receiver is also dealing with a family tragedy that he posted about on social media.

— Cornerbacks Kevin King and Shemar Jean-Charles, along with practice squad linebacker La’Darius Hamilton, were put on the reserve/COVID-19 list just hours before the game.

— Left tackle Yosh Nijman got the start again and played well. He was forced out of game in the fourth quarter with an undisclosed injury. It forced the Packers to put Ben Braden in his place for a drive, which last just three plays – all runs – before they punted. Technically, Braden is their fourth-string left tackle behind All-Pro David Bakhtiari, Pro Bowl guard Elgton Jenkins and Nijman.

— The Packers had a chance to end the game before Douglas’ second interception but a pair of uncharacteristic drops from Adams forced the defense to come up with one last stop. The second was the more shocking of the two, as Rodgers hit a wide open Adams in the hands down the left sideline but the All-Pro couldn’t come down with it. He told reporters the ball was traveling in the stadium lights and he didn’t see it until the last second but added it’s a routine play that he has to make.

Inside the Numbers

30-0 – That is Matt LaFleur’s record in regular season games when his team win the turnover battle. The Packers were plus-4 on the day.

12 – That is how many wins the Packers have this season. LaFleur becomes the first coach in NFL history with at least 12 wins in each of his first three seasons.

67 – That is how many touchdowns Rodgers and Adams have combined for in their careers. It’s the most by any duo in team history, passing Rodgers and Jordy Nelson.

219 – That is how many yards rushing the Browns had, including 126 by Nick Chubb. Cleveland averaged 8.8 yards per carry. It was the worst defensive effort against the rush since allowing 285 yards to San Francisco in the 2019 NFC title game.

5 — That is how many sacks the Packers had. It included two from outside linebacker Rashan Gary, to give him a career-high 8.0 on the season. The former first-round pick had seven in his first two years combined.

What’s Next

Green Bay (12-3) will host Minnesota (7-7) on Sunday night at Lambeau Field.