Ohio State spectators of the Green Bay/Baltimore game were likely looking forward to seeing former Buckeye linebackers AJ Hawk (Packers) and John Simon (Ravens). The later missed the game with an injury, but Hawk was arguably the Packers’ MVP in the contest. Clay Matthews was out for the Packers nursing an injured thumb and Brad Jones was resting a hamstring injury, so Hawk served as the duct tape holding the linebacker unit together. But instead of duct tape, he was more like a sparkly, flashy glitter glue.
Hawk, who entered the game having yet to record a sack this season, got to Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco three times, playing a critical role in keeping the Ravens off the scoreboard in the first half. It would take a 4th and forever 50-yard bomb from Flacco to Tandon Doss to set up a late Ravens touchdown that made things interesting late. Other that, the Ravens offense was quiet for most of the afternoon, and Flacco found himself prancing around regularly. Ray Rice was held to 34 rushing yards, and the Ravens rushed for just 47 total yards.
In addition to the three sacks, which matched his season total from a year ago, Hawk had eight tackles and two assists. “A.J. played his behind off,” said Packers linebacker Jamari Lattimore (per the Green Bay Press Gazette). Lattimore also had a big day for Green Bay, contributing two tackles for a loss.
Fellow Packers teammate Mike Daniels was also very excited about Hawk’s day. ““A.J. made us right,” he told reporters. That’s the best way to put it. He showed why he is A.J. Hawk. It’s an honor to play with him.”