FINALLY! The Packers beat their first team over .500 since November 16th of last year when they beat the 5-4 Chicago Bears. That is a long time coming, but after reading of the events that took place Monday morning, I had a strong feeling the Packers were going to win. The offense had it out in their Monday meeting. Driver spoke, Tauscher spoke and Rodgers spoke. Enough was enough. They finally realized the severity of the situation they had put themselves in. Backs were against the wall. A loss pretty much knocked them out of playoff contention in Week 10. There was an obvious sense of urgency. So much of professional sports is showing up. For most of these teams, the talent level is remarkably close, so it comes down to energy, and harnessing that energy into making plays. You can tell when a team shows up to play and when they are there for the paycheck. I figured Sunday was going to be one of those show up games for the Packers, and it was.
Talking with buddies last week, I was really the only one who felt the Packers were going to win. My reasons were twofold. One, the stuff I mentioned above, and two, our defense. The Packers D was ranked #4 in the NFL and has the ability to shut teams down, which in turn keeps our inconsistent offense in the game. They had shut down two crappy teams, but this was a test and they passed with flying colors. Some keys to the game…
1) If the Packers make the playoffs, Charles Woodson will win Defensive Player of the Year. It’s ridiculous how good he is. Besides Jared Allen, who has almost all of his sacks against the Packers, name another player who is getting the publicity Woodson is getting. Look at this line from Sunday: 9 tackles- 8 solo, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles, 1 INT. One of the most dominant performances by a DB I have ever seen.
2) Dallas has a solid defense, but we committed to the run. 28 carries and Ryan Grant averaged 4.2 yards per carry. Everything was between the tackles. Hopefully, they have thrown the stretch play out of the playbook.
3) It was nice to see the McCarthy understand the team he has. His offensive line sucks. He finally put in a game plan to make up for it. There were no deep patterns Sunday. There isn’t enough time for the receivers to get into their deep routes, so everything was short. Worked fine. 25 completions for 189 yards. Not pretty, but effective.
4) Play of the game- The touchdown pass to Havner. Driver had dropped a TD on first down and after a short run it was 3rd and goal from the 2. Touchdown makes it 17-0, field goal makes it 13-0, keeps Dallas within two scores, and gives them a little momentum because of the goalline stand.
5) Our linebacking crew could be together for a long time. Pretty exciting, isn’t it?
6) NFL officials suck. 22 penalties enforced, 7 first downs by penalty. It’s getting insane. On a side note, did you see the game last night, when a Browns DL was flagged for a personal foul on Flacco for tackling him below the knees? Where exactly can you hit a QB now and not get a penalty?
7) I’m feeling a shutout Sunday against the 49ers. We can put a wildcard contender out to pasture.
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