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Green Bay Packers: Takeaways from Week 7 Win Over Cleveland Browns

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COMMENTARY | The Green Bay Packers didn't have much trouble in Week 7, beating the Cleveland Browns 31-13 and moving to 4-2 on the year. The win, along with losses from both the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions, moved the Packers back on top of the NFC North, and despite all of the injuries, this still looks like a top-tier team in the conference.

Even without Randall Cobb and James Jones, Aaron Rodgers still looked as good as ever. He threw for 260 yards and three touchdowns and was clearly having fun out there, smiling and joking with the referees during the game.

A more relaxed Rodgers is good news for the Packers. He had just three touchdowns and three interceptions in his last three games, and this game helped him turn things around. He doesn't choose favorites on the field, he just throws to the guy that's open.

Speaking of open players, Jarrett Boykin was huge in the win. After looking lost and out of sync last week against the Baltimore Ravens, Boykin completely turned things around, catching eight passes for 103 yards and a touchdown. He showed some nice burst for his size and made some game-changing plays.

While the injuries to Cobb and Jones are unfortunate, it has given Boykin an opportunity to get some in-game experience and become a better overall player. His situation is much like what Kenbrell Thompkins has been going through with the New England Patriots, as he's developed into a valuable receiver after struggling to begin the year.

A lot of fans are already comparing this to the 2010 season due to all the injuries on both sides of the ball, but that Super Bowl-winning team didn't have a run game until the postseason. This one does thanks to Eddie Lacy, who ran for another 82 yards and a touchdown in the win.

He isn't as explosive as Giovani Bernard, but Lacy is starting to make his own case for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Since coming back from his concussion, he's put up 301 rushing yards and had over 20 carries in all three games.

The one player I still want to see get another chance on offense is Johnathan Franklin. He was so explosive in the loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 3, but big fumbles in back-to-back games forced Franklin into a lesser role in the offense. Hopefully he can get more opportunities to prove himself as the season goes on, but he's going to have to make sure to hold onto the ball when he does get those chances.

On defense, the Packers have continued to improve as a football team. They've held their last three opponents to under 20 points and held the Browns to just 216 total yards on Sunday.

With Clay Matthews and Nick Perry out, A.J. Hawk has stepped up big. He had three sacks against the Ravens, then came back and had 12 combined tackles and pressured Brandon Weeden throughout this week's game. He's had his problems over the past few years, but he's a valuable part of this defense right now and is continuing to make big plays.

Someone who had impressed me in his limited playing time heading into this game had been Jamari Lattimore. He played well against the Ravens last week, and according to Pro Football Focus , he was tied with Nick Perry at 3.0 for the second-highest defensive grade in the game.

In this one, Lattimore was even more impressive. He came away with 12 combined tackle and his first career sacks, doing just about everything well on defense. The Packers needed someone to step up and help this depleted group of linebackers, and Lattimore did that with another strong performance.

Last, but certainly not least, I was impressed with Davon House, who has had to step in at times while Casey Hayward recovers from injury. He's stepped up the past two games with six passes defended and came up with a big interception in the first quarter against the Browns, picking off Weeden on fourth down.

Overall, it's hard to ask for a better performance than the one the Packers gave this week. Despite all of the injuries all over the depth chart, they keep sticking with their "Next Man Up" philosophy, and it keeps working.

It still might be early, but it's really starting to feel like the 2010 season all over again in Green Bay.

Tyler Brooke is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report, focusing on the Packers, Colts, and the NFL as a whole. His work has been featured on ESPN.com, CNN.com, SI.com, and a number of other sites.

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