Packers move to 13-0 with 46-16 win over Raiders
GREEN BAY, Wis. – Charles Woodson hasn't played for the Oakland Raiders since 2005, so it wasn't a particularly big deal for him to get an interception against his old team.
Woodson and the rest of the Green Bay Packers have much bigger things on their minds these days.
Green Bay is 13-0 and earned a first-round bye in the playoffs after Sunday's 46-16 rout of the Raiders. The next steps are securing home-field advantage in the postseason and, perhaps, pulling off a perfect season.
Woodson hasn't shied away from talk of a 16-0 season in recent weeks, but said after Sunday's game that he's more worried about the Packers playing their best by the time the playoffs begin.
"We've won a lot of games, but there's a lot of football left to be played," he said. "The only thing that we've assured ourselves is we have a chance going into the playoffs and then that's when the real fun starts. We're just going to continue to stay focused here on out for the rest of the regular season and just try to continue to roll with Ws and go into those playoffs on fire."
Now the Packers have to hope star receiver Greg Jennings will be there with them. Jennings sustained an apparent left knee injury in the third quarter and had to be carted from the sideline to the locker room. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers said after the game that it "didn't look very good."
Packers coach Mike McCarthy was more guarded, classifying the injury as a sprain and saying that it warranted further evaluation.
"Hypothetically, it would be a big loss," defensive lineman B.J. Raji said. "But I've got my fingers crossed that hopefully he'll be OK. Ultimately, I hate to see any one of my teammates, Greg or anybody, be in that kind of pain where another man has to carry you off the field and carry you to where you want to go."
Jennings' injury — and some problems with Rodgers' pass protection — were about the only downsides to Sunday's game for the Packers.
Rodgers threw for 281 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in less than three quarters of work before yielding to backup Matt Flynn. Ryan Grant had two touchdowns rushing.
Including the playoffs, the Packers now have won 19 straight games dating to last season — nearly a full calendar year. That's the second-longest streak in NFL history behind the 2003-04 New England Patriots' 21 straight victories. They're the first reigning Super Bowl champion to start the season 13-0 since the 1998 Denver Broncos.
McCarthy still isn't interested in talking about the possibility of the Packers going 16-0, but his level of confidence is clear.
"(If we're) taking care of things and keeping our focus on improving the quality of play, I don't think we can be beat," McCarthy said. "You could have asked me that six years ago, I would have said the same damn thing. That's the way we think around here."
While Green Bay's defense hasn't always been at its best this season, it is causing turnovers. The Packers picked off four passes from Carson Palmer on Sunday, providing more scoring chances for their offense.
"We feel real good about what they're going to do once they have an opportunity," Woodson said of the offense. "Today they put up a lot of points, and a lot of that is because defensively we came up with some plays. Those things work hand in hand. When you've got an offense and a quarterback that's playing the way he's playing and you give those guys opportunities, good things are going to happen for you."
Things are looking far more grim for the Raiders, who have been blown out two weeks in a row. With Denver's overtime victory against Chicago on Sunday, the Raiders lost their share of the AFC West lead.
"I'm not going to let this team keep going backwards," coach Hue Jackson said. "The last two weeks, we haven't come close to playing or looking like the football team we've been."
Palmer threw for 245 yards with a touchdown and the four interceptions.
"I did not give us a chance to win today," Palmer said. "I did not play well enough and made way too many mistakes."
Oakland continues to play without injured running back Darren McFadden, along with wide receivers Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore. And the Raiders made plenty of mistakes to help an opponent that doesn't really need it.
"You are not going to beat a high school team with the penalties and mistakes (like) the ones that we made," linebacker Aaron Curry said. "You make a lot of mistakes, you lose."
Notes: McCarthy said defensive lineman Ryan Pickett and running back Brandon Saine both sustained concussions. ... The Packers set a franchise record with 466 points, topping the previous record of 461 points in 2009. ... The Raiders ran into an odd spell of bad luck on the second-half kickoff, when Green Bay's Randall Cobb appeared to step out of bounds during a 50-yard return. Officials said the replay system was malfunctioning, and the Raiders couldn't challenge.