DETROIT – The throw, by Aaron Rodgers’ own admission, wasn’t great. But the catch by Randall Cobb – and the result, a 22-yard go-ahead touchdown in the Green Bay Packers 24-20 victory over the Detroit Lions Sunday at Ford Field – couldn’t have been better.
Facing third-and-1 at the Detroit 22-yard line, Rodgers lofted the ball toward the back left corner of the end zone to Cobb. With Lions cornerback Jacob Lacey draped on him (and holding onto his right arm) and safety Ricardo Silva ranging over late, Cobb miraculously reeled the ball in, and the ensuing extra point gave the Packers a 21-20 lead.
“Randall's a big-time player for us. He's going to be a guy for us for a long time who is going to be a big part of our offense,” said Rodgers, who has been gushing about Cobb for weeks on end. “I wanted to get him in space and get the ball to him as much as we can. We give him the ball in the backfield, we try and throw little screens to him, try and get him in space. That play, we made a little check. They came down and kind of double-teamed him, they played him in and out. I didn't really throw the best ball there, but I gave him a chance and he made an incredible catch."
Cobb, who’s now caught a team-high 54 passes for 574 yards (second to Jordy Nelson’s 577) and seven touchdowns (second to James Jones' eight), finished the day with nine receptions for 74 yards while adding a pair of runs for 19 more. His touchdown catch capped a calm, cool, collected drive that was jump-started by Jermichael Finley’s 40-yard catch-and-run.
“Right before that series, (Rodgers) came up to us and got us all together and said, ‘We may have an opportunity, if our defense stops them right here we’re going to get the ball back with plenty of time,’” Cobb said. “We knew from that moment on we had to go out there and get the job done.
“(Finley’s catch) sparked us. We were able to get a little up-tempo after that play, we went to a little no-huddle and we were able to get the tempo where we usually have it and we were able to make plays.”.
Of his own catch, Cobb didn’t think the ball would come his way after the way he got off the line of scrimmage. Then, he barely saw the ball between finding it in the air late and peering through sweat and rubber granules that dotted the visor on his facemask.
“I inside released, which normally the quarterback gets off you, whenever that happens,” Cobb explained. “And he gave me the opportunity still. I caught (vision of) the ball about midway; I didn’t see it at first, and I was able to adjust to it. My visor was a little dirty, but I was able to make the catch.”
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