4

December

Green Bay Packers Stay Unbeaten, Knock off Giants 38-35

Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Another week. Another team throwing everything they had at the Packers. Another Packers victory.

The Packers beat the Giants 38-35 on Sunday and are now 12-0. It was a forgettable game for the Packers defense, but Aaron Rodgers and the offense came through late to secure the win.

Some quick thoughts on how it went down:

What went right

  •  Aaron Rodgers. He struggled occasionally and threw a pick that led directly to a Giants TD, but finished 28 for 46 for 369 yards, four TDs and a 106.2 passer rating. Also, the winning drive he led with 58 seconds to play was unreal.
  • Clay Matthews. Matthews was a one-man show on defense Sunday. No other defender did much of anything.
  • Jordy Nelson. It didn’t matter how covered he was or where he was on the field, Nelson was determined to come down with the ball when Rodgers threw it to him.
  • Donald Driver. The old guy still staying relevant.
What went wrong
  • Everything on defense. It didn’t matter if the Giants were running or throwing, the Packers defense struggled to stop it. Did the Packers miss AJ Hawk and Desmond Bishop that much?
  • Dropped passes. C’mon fellas! Catch the damn ball when Rodgers throws it to you. Jermichael Finley had three drops himself.
  • Marshall Newhouse. The young man has filled in admirably for Chad Clifton, but got destroyed today by Jason Pierre-Paul and Dave Tollefson. Newhouse also needs to learn how to drill a defensive lineman in the gut when they jump to try and knock down a pass from Rodgers. Just standing there and staring while they leap in the air doesn’t do any good.
  • Communication in the secondary. It appeared that Williams was expecting safety help on a couple of those deep completions. It’ll be something the beat reporters will have to ask McCarthy, Capers and the DBs this week.
What’s next
  • The Oakland Raiders at Lambeau. It’ll be another team with a good running game fighting for their playoff lives and doing everything possible to spoil the Packers run to perfection. Bring. It. On.
——————

Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

——————

26

October

Undefeated But Not Overconfident: What The 2011 Packers Can Learn From The 2007 Patriots

It feels pretty good, doesn’t it?

The Green Bay Packers, the defending world champions, are 7-0 and the only remaining undefeated team in the National Football League.   Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is playing lights out (and that may be an understatement) and shows absolutely no signs of slowing down.   The Packers’ nearest competition in the NFC North, the Detroit Lions, have lost two straight games which has given the Packers a two game lead in the division. Brett Favre remains a source of scorn and ridicule.

Could life be any better for Packer Nation? Not likely.

There is one major roadblock each week going forward that both the team and its fans will have to face.

Overconfidence or even arrogance.

For their part, Mike McCarthy and his players all seem to be saying the right things.  They know they nearly blew in Minnesota against a rookie quarterback.  The defense is all too aware they are giving up far too many yards.

McCarthy himself said it best in his press conference yesterday: “It’s exciting because we know our best football is ahead of us.”  He even described his team’s play right now as “above-average” despite the Packers not blowing out their opponent for the first time in weeks.  The team knows it can play better and that slow starts could come back to haunt them.

As for the fans, they seem to be doing their part as well.

I honestly expected that heading into the bye at 7-0 and having only a few potentially challenging games remaining that there would be a lot of chest bumping and talk of a 16-0 season.  That’s not to fault fans for doing such a thing. Runs like this only occur so often so they have every right to be excited and fired up.

Thankfully, we seem to have taken a page from the Book of McCarthy.  Fans are taking the season one week at a time and the talk of a perfect season has been limited to whispers if not less. We know our team has its flaws and that the old adage is true:  “Anything can happen on any given Sunday.”

Perhaps we’ve all learned from history.  Rewind to January 2008 and the NFC Championship between the Packers and Giants.  After the Giants beat the Cowboys in Dallas in the divisional round, we thought we had a trip to Super Bowl XLII in the bag.