GREEN BAY, Wisc. (CBS/AP) — Winning every week is one thing. On Sunday, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers made a legitimate playoff contender look like a team that was ready to pack its bags.
Rodgers threw for 281 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in less than three full quarters’ worth of work, Ryan Grant had two touchdowns rushing and Charles Woodson picked off a pass against his former team as the Packers trounced the Oakland Raiders 46-16.
The Packers ran their record to 13-0 — leaving them only three games short of completing a perfect regular season. And they did it with a near-perfect performance.
Carson Palmer threw for 245 yards with a touchdown and four interceptions for the Raiders (7-6), who looked like anything but legitimate contenders in the AFC West.
With little actual drama in the game, the biggest concern for the Packers was an apparent left knee injury to wide receiver Greg Jennings in the third quarter. Green Bay defensive lineman Ryan Pickett also walked to the locker room after sustaining a head injury in the third quarter.
Rodgers got an early rest in the blowout, as backup Matt Flynn took over late in the third.
Oakland was playing 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. Palmer threw an interception on the Raiders’ first possession, and Oakland committed eight penalties in the first half alone.
And while the Packers’ play has been far from perfect for most of the season, especially on defense, this one was total domination.
Green Bay had four touchdowns and a field goal on its first five possessions. Things got out of hand so quickly that the Raiders tried a fake punt midway through the second quarter. As was the case for most things the Raiders attempted Sunday, it didn’t work.
Grant rediscovered his big-play ability for the Packers, breaking a 47-yard run two plays after Palmer threw an interception to rookie linebacker D.J. Smith on the Raiders’ first possession.
The Packers were without injured running back James Starks, who had surpassed Grant in the Packers’ rotation. Until that play, Grant hadn’t looked like his explosive old self for most of the season.
After a defensive stop, Rodgers directed a 10-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Taylor — the rookie’s first career touchdown.
Trailing 31-0 with about six minutes left in the half, the Raiders tried the fake punt. But Shane Lechler threw high to Rock Cartwright for an incompletion, and the Packers took over at the Oakland 28-yard line.
The Raiders ran into more 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.
But Jennings had to go to the locker room after hurting his left knee early in the third quarter, and the Raiders finally got on the scoreboard when Michael Bush ran for a 2-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 34-7.
Packers outside linebacker Erik Walden scored on a fumble return late in the third quarter. Walden has been in trouble off the field for the Packers and was charged Wednesday with misdemeanor disorderly conduct-domestic abuse following an altercation with his girlfriend.
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