7

October

Packers Blew Chance to Put Colts Away at End of 1st Half

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers should have put Sunday’s game against the Colts away at the end of the first half.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers gets annoyed when people ask him about not having many fourth quarter comeback wins on his resume. Rodgers usually points out that he’s won a lot of games in the second and third quarter, making any type of late comeback unnecessary.

The Packers had one of those game-clinching opportunities late in the second quarter on Sunday against the Colts. Instead of putting the game away, the Packers went three-and-out and everything unraveled from there.

After Adam Vinatieri missed a 53-yard field goal, the Packers had the ball on their own 43 with 1 minute, 17 seconds left in the first half. The offense was rolling, the Colts were reeling, and another score — even a field goal — would have probably been the deciding blow.

Time to end this one early, right? Unfortunately, the Packers did just the opposite.

Rodgers hit John Kuhn for six yards on the drive’s first play, then missed Jordy Nelson, then saw Jermichael Finley drop another pass (the drop was bad, but it was also a weird play call, Finley likely would not have reached the first-down marker even if he caught it).

We’ve seen some pathetic efforts from the Packers offense this season, but that drive might have been the worst.

We can complain about the bad defense, we can pound our fists about the dropped passes, we can curse Mike McCarthy for not running the ball or being more imaginative on offense, we can wonder what happened to the 2011 version of Rodgers, and we can shake our heads at Mason Crosby’s choke job at the end of the game. All of those criticisms are valid.

But it all comes back to that pathetic drive, in my opinion.

Make it 28-3 at halftime and there’s no way the Colts mount any sort of comeback. Score on that drive and Rodgers can go on his Tuesday radio show and tell everyone how he won another game well before the fourth quarter, no comeback necessary.

Instead Rodgers has to spend Tuesday’s show explaining how the Packers lost despite leading  by 18 at halftime, their largest blown halftime lead since November of 1957.

The quarterback could make his explanation simple by just talking about that terrible drive at the end of the first half.

5

October

2012 NFL Regular Season Week 5: Packers vs Colts Preview

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense look to keep the rhythm going against the Indianapolis Colts.

They say lightning never strikes the same place two times in a row, but the Green Bay Packers nearly witnessed such an occurrence.

Not even one full week removed from the debacle in Seattle, the Packers inconceivably nearly lost a second consecutive game thanks to some dubious officiating by regular official Jeff Triplette and his crew.  Thanks to a big goal line stand by a defense that was leaky all game and an offense that finally showed signs of life, the Packers hung on to defeat the New Orleans Saints 28-27 at Lambeau Field.

With the win, the Packers go to 2-2 on the season and after a wacky schedule to start the season, the Packers go on the road for three straight games beginning this Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium against the Indianapolis Colts.

The Colts had a bye in Week 4 and enter the game with a record of 1-2. The team also will play its first game without head coach Chuck Pagano who recently was diagnosed with Leukemia and may not coach the rest of the season.  Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians will coach the team in Pagano’s absence.

What can Packers fans expect from this game?

Scouting the Colts

The Colts currently are going through what the Packers did in 2008 and that’s transitioning from a future Hall of Fame quarterback to his replacement.   The Packers struck gold with Aaron Rodgers and it stands to reasons the Colts could do the same with Andrew Luck.

Luck was the most NFL ready quarterback drafted last April, though Robert Griffin III with the Redskins has outplayed him so far this season.   The Colts pretty much cleaned house after last season’s disastrous campaign with Peyton Manning out the entire year with a neck injury.  Gone are Jeff Saturday (who is with the Packers), Pierre Garcon and Joseph Addai and in are Samson Satele, Donald Brown and Donnie Avery.

Veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne is back however and should be serving as Luck’s security blanket as he adjusts to the speed of an NFL game.

So far this season, Luck has thrown for 846 yards with five touchdowns against four interceptions.  His completion percentage is 53.3%.   Luck throws a very good deep ball but has struggled with accuracy.  This figures to improve with time so the Packers should feel lucky getting the Colts early versus playing them in November or December.