Rodgers rallies the Packers ahead of the McCarthy Cowboys 31-28 in overtime


NFL

The Cowboys (6-3) lost a 14-point lead going into the fourth quarter for the first time in franchise history.

Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy, left, and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) greet each other during warm-ups before an NFL football game on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022 in Green Bay , Wisconsin. AP Photo/Morry Gash

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers might have finally found a new high-roller target.

And the Green Bay Packers still have a chance to salvage a season that seemed headed for oblivion.

Rodgers threw three touchdown passes to rookie Christian Watson and led a 55-yard run in overtime to set up Mason Crosby’s game-winning 28-yard field goal, and the Packers stopped a five-game skid with a 31- 28 against the former coach. Mike McCarthy and the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

“We saw what we could be, and we saw that it was just us that got in the way,” said Watson, a second-round pick from North Dakota State. “All we had to do was believe.

Green Bay (4-6) looked set to lose six straight games in the same season for the first time since 1988, trailing 28-14 in the fourth quarter before Rodgers led two long drives that ended in assists for Watson.

Watson entered Sunday with 10 catches for 88 yards in an injury-riddled rookie season. He caught four passes for 107 yards against Dallas, including touchdowns for 58, 39 and 7 yards.

He became the first Packers rookie since Keith Woodside in 1988 to have multiple touchdowns in a game. The TD catches were the first of his career, although he reached the end zone on a 15-yard run against New England on October 2.

Rodgers rebounded from throwing three interceptions to tie a career high in a 15-9 loss at Detroit last week.

“Last week was definitely a low, for sure,” said Rodgers, who went 14 of 20 for 224 yards. “Not in a depressing, isolationist way, but more disappointment. And I felt like that was the bottom and it was just from there. I think a lot of the battles that we face are between me and me, between the person who can go out there and dominate and knows they can and the little voice in your head trying to get you out of that confident perch around you.”

McCarthy coached the Packers to their last Super Bowl title after the 2010 season and posted a 125-77-2 record with Green Bay before being fired in 2018. It was his first game against the Packers since that he took over as coach of Dallas in 2020.

“I’m very frustrated with how the game ended, obviously,” McCarthy said. “I think the most important thing for us is that we just have to get out here and learn from these games. I love these kind of games. That’s what I said to these (guys), ‘You need these close games to get where you want to go.'”

Rodgers was McCarthy’s quarterback for most of his time with the Packers. Their relationship has been strained over McCarthy’s final seasons, but they’ve traded compliments over the past week and shared hugs before and after Sunday’s game.

Rodgers said they also had a long chat earlier in the day.

“It was really, really meaningful, I think for both of us,” Rodgers said.

The Cowboys (6-3) lost a 14-point lead going into the fourth quarter for the first time in franchise history. They entered Sunday with a 195-0 record in such games, including the playoffs.

McCarthy opted to go fourth-and-third of Green Bay’s 35 on the opening possession of overtime instead of trying a long field goal. Dak Prescott came under pressure from Jarran Reed and threw a desperate pass to Tony Pollard which fell incomplete.

“I agree with the decision,” McCarthy said. “Obviously I know we haven’t converted. Fourth and 3, we just didn’t convert.

The Packers had a third-and-one of their own 44 on the ensuing drive when Rodgers threw down the middle to Allen Lazard, who grabbed the ball just beyond midfield and ran to the 20 for a gain of 36 yards. The Packers then set things up for Crosby’s game-winning kick.

Green Bay’s Aaron Jones rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown.

Dallas’ CeeDee Lamb finished with 11 catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Pollard rushed for 115 yards and a score. Prescott went 27 of 46 for 265 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions, both by Rudy Ford.

Watson’s 58-yard touchdown in the second quarter was the Packers’ longest completion of the season. He celebrated by doing a back somersault in the end zone.

He delivered a few even bigger plays in the fourth quarter. Rodgers found Watson for 39 yards on fourth-and-7 with 13:23 left. They connected again on a game-tying 7-yard TD with 2:29 left.

Green Bay got the ball back at their own 33 with 1:38 left but gained just 9 yards on two Jones carries and an incompleteness before throwing, a streak that angered Rodgers on the play call .

“I felt like I threw the ball pretty much exactly where I wanted it tonight,” Rodgers said. “I wanted to have a chance to win the game.”

Rodgers and the Packers felt much better at the end of the game.

injuries

Cowboys CB Anthony Brown left with a concussion in the second quarter.

The Cowboys were missing running back Ezekiel Elliott (knee). … The Green Bay defense was missing outside linebacker Rashan Gary (knee), linebacker De’Vondre Campbell (knee) and cornerback Eric Stokes (ankle/knee). The Packers placed Gary and Stokes on injured reserve after both players were injured in Detroit.

Next

Cowboys: In Minnesota on Sunday.

Packers: Host Tennessee Thursday night.



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