Playoff-bound Packers 30, Raiders 20

Posted at 7:59 PM, Dec 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-20 20:59:19-05

Review each part of the game from our live blog coverage:
- Pregame | 1st Quarter | 2nd Quarter | 3rd Quarter | 4th Quarter | Postgame

Postgame story

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- With their playoff berth officially secured, the Green Bay Packers can turn their focus to bigger goals.
Aaron Rodgers threw a touchdown pass and Damarious Randall returned an interception for another score to help the Packers beat the Oakland Raiders 30-20 on Sunday, after Green Bay clinched a franchise-record seventh straight playoff spot.
The Packers (10-4) clinched a spot in the postseason in the first quarter when the New York Giants lost to Carolina. But the Packers still have their eyes set on a division title and they remained one game ahead of Minnesota in the NFC North.
Derek Carr threw two early interceptions to put Oakland (6-8) in a hole but then had a pair of touchdown passes to Amari Cooper. It wasn't enough as the Raiders were eliminated from playoff contention for the 13th straight season.
The Packers built a 14-0 lead with defense and then had to win it behind Rodgers and the offense. Green Bay fell behind 20-17 midway through the third quarter on Carr's second touchdown pass to Cooper.
The Oakland lead was short-lived as Jeff Janis returned the ensuing kickoff to the 47. Three plays later, former Raider James Jones beat a busted coverage for a 30-yard touchdown catch.
Rodgers engineered a 19-play field goal drive on Green Bay's next possession and Mason Crosby's third field goal made it 30-20 with 4:25 left to put the Packers in control.
The highlight for the Raiders was rookie Cooper cracking the 1,000-yard milestone, as he caught six passes for 120 yards. He reached the mark on a 41-yard catch in the third quarter, becoming the first Oakland player with 1,000 yards receiving since Randy Moss in 2005. That was the longest current drought in the NFL.
The rest of the accolades went to the Packers, who got 2 1/2 sacks from Julius Peppers to win their third straight game following a midseason slump.
Carr threw two interceptions in the first quarter to set up Green Bay touchdowns. Micah Hyde's interception set up the Packers at the 18 and John Kuhn ran it in from the 5 for the first score.
Carr's next pass was high to Seth Roberts and Randall returned it 43 yards for a touchdown that made it 14-0.
The Raiders rallied with a pair of field goals in the second quarter but the Packers still looked to be in control as they drove into scoring range late in the half. But Benson Mayowa forced and recovered a fumble by James Starks at the Oakland 21 with 1:22 to go and Carr connected on a 19-yard TD pass to Amari Cooper four plays later to make it 14-13 at the half.


4th Quarter

Green Bay 30, Oakland 20
Crosby 33 yd FG

Green Bay 27, Oakland 20
Crosby 21 yd FG

3rd Quarter

Green Bay 24, Oakland 20
Rodgers-Jones 30 yd TD pass

Oakland 20, Green Bay 17
Carr-Cooper 26 yd TD pass

Green Bay 17, Oakland 13
Crosby 24 yd FG

Jayrone Elliott is out for today's game with a quadriceps injury.

2nd Quarter

Green Bay 14, Oakland 13
Carr-Cooper 19 yd TD pass

Green Bay 14, Oakland 3
Janikowski 30 yd FG

Green Bay 14, Oakland 3
Janikowski 23 yd FG

1st Quarter

Green Bay 14, Oakland 0
Randall 43 yard INT return TD

Green Bay 7, Oakland 0
Kuhn 5 yd TD run

Final: Carolina Panthers 38, NY Giants 35. The Giants loss means the Packers are playoff bound.

Pregame blog

(also following Buffalo vs. Washington & Carolina vs. NY Giants. If either Buffalo or Carolina win, the Packers clinch a playoff spot).


Pregame story

It seems just a matter of time that the Green Bay Packers are going to make the NFL playoffs, barring the ultimate collapse.

After all, they could have a playoff berth clinched by the time they kickoff against the Oakland Raiders Sunday afternoon. They will if Buffalo beats Washington in an early game.

Of course, they will as well if they beat Oakland. (Click here for a full list of playoff scenarios.)

However, Sunday's game is not as much about playoff positioning as it is about seeing whether the Packers can pass a "trap game" kind of pre-playoff test.

The Oakland Raiders may not have a winning record, but they come with droves of talent at the two most important positions in football: quarterback and pass rusher.

Raiders signalcaller Derek Carr is just one passer rating point behind Aaron Rodgers this year - a thought that would have been ridiculous 12 months ago.

Khalil Mack is the top sack-maker in the NFL, and he will face a Packers offensive line that is banged up, to say the least - all five starters on the injury list coming into the weekend.

Oakland also boasts one of the best secondary players in the NFL - 39-year-old former Packer and NFL defensive player of the year Charles Woodson.

Yes, that Charles Woodson. He's still playing like he's 29.

However, if the Packers do their job and find a way to win in Oakland, they will be halfway to an NFC North title.

Stay tuned.