Rambo steps in to help Bills beat Packers 21-13 (2024)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills third-string safety Bacarri Rambo won’t soon forget his first two NFL career interceptions.

Not every defensive back gets an opportunity to pick off Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers once — never mind twice — in a game.

Cast off by Washington three months ago, Rambo came off the bench to intercept Rodgers on consecutive drives in the second half to help secure a 21-13 win over the Packers on Sunday.

“It’s just a huge, huge confidence boost,” said Rambo, Washington’s 2013 sixth-round draft pick out of Georgia. “It’s just going to allow me to play even faster and build confidence in myself that, hey, I can do this. I belong in this league.”

Rambo, who signed with Buffalo last month, got his opportunity midway through the third quarter after backup safety Duke Williams left the game after experiencing concussion-like symptoms. Rambo’s first interception came after the Bills went ahead 16-10. And his second, on a pass that went off receiver Jarrett Boykin’s fingers, set up Dan Carpenter’s 48-yard field goal.

The interceptions keyed a dominating performance that ended with defensive end Mario Williams forcing a fumble by Rodgers that resulted in a safety with 1:51 left.

Buffalo (8-6) stayed in a jumbled AFC playoff picture. Meanwhile, the Packers (10-4) had a five-game winning streak snapped and prevented them from closing in on clinching their sixth straight playoff berth.

It was an uncharacteristically sloppy performance by Rodgers, who had thrown only three interceptions all season — and none in his past five starts. He finished 17 of 42 for 185 yards. His 34.3 quarterback rating was the worst of his career.

“It wasn’t my best day by any stretch of the imagination,” Rodgers said. “I’ve got to play better for us to win. I expect more of myself.”

Eddie Lacy scored on a 1-yard run, and Mason Crosby kicked two field goals for Green Bay.

Marcus Thigpen, another Bills newcomer, scored on a 75-yard punt return, and Carpenter hit all four field-goal attempts.

Here are some other things that stood out as the Packers fell to 0-6 at Orchard Park:

BAD HANDS: Rodgers got very little help from his receivers, who dropped several passes. The most notable drop was committed by the usually reliable Jordy Nelson.

Trailing 16-10 and facing second-and-6 at his own 6 late in the third quarter, Rodgers hit a wide-open Nelson in stride up the right sideline only to have the pass glance off his fingers.

“We had all sorts of chances and just didn’t make them for whatever reason,” Nelson said. “My drop could’ve won the game for us, so I’ve got to make those, no matter how easy or hard they are.”

NO OFFENSE: The Bills’ defense bailed out another sputtering performance by the team’s Kyle Orton-led offense.

Orton finished 14 of 27 for 158 yards with an interception. Buffalo produced 13 first downs, 253 yards offense and settled for two field goals on two drives inside Green Bay’s 20.

“We’ll just keep on getting better,” Orton said. “We’ll feel good that we got the win, but realize there are a lot more things we can do to get better.”

FINALLY .500: The Bills’ record hasn’t dropped below .500 all season. And now Buffalo’s guaranteed its best finish in 10 years. The eight wins are the most for Buffalo since a 9-7 record in 2004.

The team still has an uphill climb to end a 14-season playoff drought — the NFL’s longest active streak. Due to tiebreakers, the Bills rank ninth out of nine AFC teams with eight or more wins.

Buffalo plays at Oakland this weekend, before closing at New England.

PACKERS REGROUP: Green Bay is tied atop the NFC North standings with Detroit, and failed to keep pace with conference-leading Arizona (11-3).

Rodgers maintains confidence the Packers can bounce back after losing for just the second time in 11 games.

“Everything’s right in front of us. If we win out, we still win the North,” Rodgers said. “This is an important time for us to see what kind of chemistry we have on this team.”

Green Bay travels to play Tampa Bay next weekend, and closes at home against Detroit.

MILESTONES: Bills receiver Sammy Watkins had one catch for 28 yards, enough to up his total 850 to set the team’s rookie record. The former mark was set by Lee Evans, who had 843 yards in 2004.

Nelson had 55 yards receiving to set a single-season career best with 1,320 yards — 6 more than he had last year.


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Rambo steps in to help Bills beat Packers 21-13 (2024)
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