GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Aaron Rodgers hit Donald Driver for the go-ahead touchdown, and the Green Bay Packers relied on their defense to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-15 on Sunday at Lambeau Field.
While Green Bay's offense sputtered, the Packers' defense forced three consecutive three-and-outs in the third quarter. That bought time for Rodgers to get into gear.
A 31-yard completion to James Jones was the big play early in the fourth quarter. On second-and-goal, Rodgers hit Driver with a 4-yard touchdown pass, giving the Packers a 21-12 lead with 12:36 remaining.
The Jaguars answered, but for the second time in the game, they had to settle for a field goal after reaching the red zone. Josh Scobee's 32-yard kick made it 21-15 with 6:50 to play.
A Green Bay three-and-out gave Jacksonville a chance.
Two catch-and-run checkdowns to Maurice Jones-Drew's replacement, Rashad Jennings, turned into gains of 15 and 18 yards to midfield. On fourth-and-4, Blaine Gabbert looked for Justin Blackmon on a crossing route, but Packers safety Morgan Burnett collided with Blackmon, and Gabbert's pass was almost intercepted.
That gave Green Bay the ball at the 44 with 2:55 to go. Faced with third-and-7, Rodgers went deep to James Jones, with William Middleton flagged for interference, giving the Packers 37 yards and a critical first down. The Packers then ran the clock down to 28 seconds, when Mason Crosby hit a 25-yard field goal to put the game away.
The Jaguars, 15.5-point underdogs, survived a blocked punt recovered for a touchdown to trail just 14-12 at halftime.
Green Bay took a 7-3 lead with its only strong drive of the first half, punctuated by Rodgers' 5-yard pass to Randall Cobb. The Packers extended their advantage to 14-3 midway through the second quarter. Green Bay's Davon House blocked a Bryan Anger punt, with the loose ball bouncing and dribbling into the end zone, where it was recovered by Dezman Moses.
The Jaguars, however, wouldn't wilt. After settling for a field goal following first-and-goal at the 10, Jacksonville got the ball back at the Green Bay 13-yard line on rookie Andre Branch's sack, strip and fumble recovery.
On third-and-goal, inches from the end zone, Gabbert went play-action and dumped the ball to backup lineman Guy Whimper, who made a nice grab on a low pass for the touchdown. The Jaguars went for two but failed when first-round pick Blackmon dropped Gabbert's pass.
Jacksonville outgained Green Bay 233-91 in the first half, with most of the Packers' yards coming on the 69-yard touchdown drive.
NOTES: The game inactives could have formed a good team. The Packers were without six starters: safety Charles Woodson, fullback John Kuhn, cornerback Sam Shields, linebacker Nick Perry and receivers Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson. The Jaguars were without four starters: running back Jones-Drew, cornerback Derek Cox, safety Dwight Lowery and receiver Laurent Robinson. ... Before the game, the Jaguars released linebacker Brandon Marshall and offensive tackle Herb Taylor. They activated defensive end John Chick from the physically unable to perform list and promoted quarterback John Parker Wilson off the practice squad. ... Driver joined Brett Favre as the only players in franchise history to play in 200 games. He's the 22nd receiver in NFL history to reach that milestone. ... Rodgers' touchdown pass to Driver was the 153rd TD toss of his career, moving the quarterback past Bart Starr for second place in team history. Favre leads the way with 442. ... The Packers' blocked punt was their first since 2003 and their first touchdown off a blocked punt since 1990.