So I only got to watch the first half of the Packer game. I had to shuttle daughter Aly to the Maple Grove dome for some indoor softball. I listened to Wayne’s call of the second half in my car and was forced to follow overtime via the gamecast on my phone. So I can’t really report firsthand on what went down from my perspective.
What I do know is the bright spots were Aaron Rodger’s performance, particularly in the fourth quarter and overtime. Jamaal Williams playing his finest game as a Packer. Davante Adams continuing to do Davante Adams things. The revolving door of defensive personnel, down eight opening day starters in the second half, stepped up and got big stops when it was needed late.
But were it not for a completely undisciplined Jets defense, which was responsible for most of the 172 penalty yards the team incurred, the Packers would not have escaped MetLife with their first road win of the season.
Once again, what stood out most was abysmal special teams play, something we’ve gotten accustomed to witnessing over the past few years. Giving up long returns, fumbles, penalties: the good news is that special teams coach Ron Zook is about to run out of lives and will no doubt be ushered out soon after the Lions game ends next weekend. It won’t be soon enough. Sure, part of the cause is the constant churning of different guys on each unit week in and week out, but this has been a problem for so long that Zook finally needs to go.
Some of you won’t be happy that the Pack won because it will cause them to drop down the draft board. A win over the Lions will likely have them picking somewhere in the middle of the first round next spring. I take the other side. I think winning a game like this, riding Rodgers’ arm and legs and making a statement can set a tone for the offseason and for 2019. With two #1 picks, Brian Gutekunst can move up the board if he sees a guy that he can’t pass up.
There’s plenty of work to be done to get back into the NFC conversation in 2019 and it begins with identifying the new head coach. Everything else will fall into place after that, including deciding which veteran free agents to keep, which ones to let go and which ones to target in March.
But for one meaningless Sunday in December, the Pack fought through adversity, overcame double digit deficits several times and leaned on their MVP to get them a win. It was awfully nice to see–even if some of us didn’t get to see it.