Packers XLV

Romo Giveth and Packers Taketh Away

Posted December 16th, 2013 @ 02:12am

As season-savers go, this one ranks right up there. Here was my Sunday afternoon: I watched little to none of the first half, cheering on my eldest at his basketball tournament.

While juggling scorekeeper duties and keeping an eye on the Red Zone on my Droid Maxx, I caught a play here and a play there. What I saw was disheartening. Dallas was moving the ball at will and the Packers offense couldn't muster a thing.  The Cowboys' final touchdown of the first half was the last thing I saw on the Chanhassen Rec Center TV as we headed for home. 26-3. Ugh.

So I settle in for the inevitable. After giving up a Cowboys record 300 yards of offense in the first half, the Packers defense looked finished. But a funny thing happened in the second half. Dallas continued to throw the ball, despite the big lead. You gotta love the Cowboys. They ran it down the Packers' throats in the first half, yet handed off to DeMarco Murray just seven times in the second half.

Then Eddie Lacy opened the second half with a 60 yard burst and Jordy Nelson made a circus touchdown catch and the Pack had a pulse. A faint pulse, but a pulse. Matt Flynn found his rhythm and the Packers got closer and closer.

The back of our brains were reminding us that if we could get within a score we could factor in the Tony Romo effect, one that takes hold in the fourth quarters of games and increases in frequency as the calendar moves closer to the end of the year.

First we had to go through some heartbreak. It looked like the Pack was poised to take the lead trailing 29-24, when Tramon Williams appeared to pick off Romo. Replay took it away and the 'Boys converted the third down when Mike Neal was mistakenly flagged for encroachment. It triggered Romo's last scoring drive, putting them up 36-24 and it looked like it was over.

But Flynn wasn't finished. His 80 yard drive was a lot of Lacy but also some key throws, like the third down conversion to Andrew Quarless (whose emergence the last couple weeks has been huge). When he hit James Jones for the score cutting the lead to 36-31, the ball was back in Romo's court. But they couldn't resist putting the ball back in the air. Sam Shields' athletic interception put the Pack in position to take the lead and Flynn delivered again. Starting at midfield, the Flynn/Lacy combo platter moved effortlessly down the field against Dallas' putrid and exhausted defense.

Romo had one more chance, but of course he threw another pick. In a play that was called as a run, but audibled to a pass by Romo, Tramon Williams made the play of the day, the acrobatic pick that this time was not reversed. Romo and his receiver Beasley were not on the same page and Williams served up the dagger.

It goes down as the Pack's greatest comeback ever and the Cowboys' biggest collapse ever. A december clash that could have huge post-season implications for both teams. The Cowboys will still win the East if they win their last two, but they had a golden opportunity to take a one game lead, after the Vikings shocked the Eagles.

As for the Pack, they'll be cheering on the Ravens to spring the upset on Monday night. But even if the Lions win, they have to keep winning. The final weekend is looming as gigantic, since Minnesota has proved that they're not quitting. If Rodgers can come back Sunday to shake off the rust against the mediocre Steelers, the North could be decided at Soldier Field on the final day of the year.

At about 5pm on Sunday, it was beginning to look like that game might be irrelevant. But after a heroic second half by Flynn, Lacy, Shields, Williams and the rest, the Packers somehow are right back in it. With a healthy Rodgers they might actually become dangerous.

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Comments (12):

I don't know about you guys, but I'm diggin' the high drama here. You really can't beat it. Sure, it wasn't the way any of us wanted it, but this is shaping up to be one to remember for a long time. This is a hell of a ride, isn't it?

on December 15th, 2013 at 08:15pm

Great comeback. This team could do some damage if they make the playoffs. Any word on Cobb at all?

on December 15th, 2013 at 08:30pm

Sit down, fat lady. Ain't time for you to sing yet! That was as remarkable a comeback as i can ever remember. Love doing it to Jerry hinges. Thanks packers. Feel like we should be greeting the team with cheers at airport when they come home.

on December 15th, 2013 at 08:59pm

When we go to Dallas, we have to make our own breaks. Once the Offense showed they could put points on the board, the defense showed they would be willing to stop the opposition. It was a tale of two halves, and I'm glad to have stuck it out. I LOVE beating Dallas! Love it! I don't to analyze anything, just enjoy the win.

on December 15th, 2013 at 09:15pm

you proved me wrong PACK. good to see some turnovers. I sure wished we would have signed shields before this season started. we may lose him now. and we cannot afford to lose a cb like him. but as we won that game, I said to my wife and in laws, I hope packer fans just don't think we will win now against the steelers as a gimmy. then THC says, mediocre steelers, what the hell are we? I just watched them kick the hell out of the bengals, but, like u guys all said let's just sit back and enjoy it. another week to get antsy for. go packers

on December 15th, 2013 at 10:58pm

Kudo's to andrew quarless. finally a TE makes a play. GO PACK!!!!!!!!!! The Bears still suck. the motor city kittys will go down tonight.

on December 16th, 2013 at 05:29pm

We now know what to get the Packers for Christmas. Alarm clocks. So they'll be awake for the start of the game instead of waiting till the second half to show up.

on December 16th, 2013 at 05:47am

Boy....these games where I am out of my seat screaming at my set like I am on the sidelines are exciting Maybe we should think of making Flynn inactive in first halves of games and bringing him in second halves to close. Hope Rodgers is set to go against Steelers. We will need him as Big Ben is no Romo. We need help from those Ravens. Have not heard a thing on Cobb.... They originally said December....would be nice to get this package back before Christmas. Go Pack Go !!

on December 16th, 2013 at 08:18am

Voice... I hope your right. I was screaming at my set and Harbough to let the kid Tucker kick the 61 yarder. At first they lined up like they were going for it on 4th down and then Harbough must have heard me and called timeout and changed his mind !! Thank You !! Thank You !! Note to TT: I wish you would have listened to Davy and I at the last draft time....did you take notice of that number 26 for the Ravens.??..Matt Elam...the perfect hard hitting safety we so sorely would have needed. He was available at our turn at number one. Maybe D. Jones will turn out fine but boy do we need another safety !! Oh well...let's enjoy this ride and hope Doc. Mckenzie clears Rodgers !! GO PACK GO !!

on December 17th, 2013 at 01:34pm

I'll add a word of caution to all of this. We can lament all we want about the shortcomings of the defense, and wish TT had drafted so and so and this and that, but the fact of the matter here is the D is what it is. There's no changing it this far in, and while they've had their problems in the first half of the last two, they've managed somehow to pull it together in the second half. Hopefully Rodgers is back this week, and we can keep this roll going. You can't make this stuff up - the Lions lose on a 61 yard field goal? I'll take it! Week 3 of the playoffs is upon us. The Bears game is important, but the Steelers is just as important, maybe more so since it's the next game, because they need them both. Are you diggin' the drama?

on December 17th, 2013 at 02:38pm

Well, well, well...how 'bout that?!? A big thank you goes out to John Harbaugh & Co. for giving the Packers full control of their playoff direction. A few weeks ago, when things were looking awfully bleak and no wins in a 5 game stretch, a few were saying (not any of you guys, of course) the Pack should tank it the rest of the way. LOOK AT THEM NOW!!! A big game next week against Big Ben, and an even bigger game against da Bears, and they're in!! I said it before, and I'll say it again - when there's a chance, never give up hope. This could be the start of something special, my friends!

on December 17th, 2013 at 09:15am

Maybe some shades of 2003 here? The year the Vikings blew a 6-0 start and lost the divison to the Packers on the last play of the last game of the season at Arizona. I wonder if the announcers for Chicgo and Detroit can match Paul Allen's immortal, "NOOOOOO.NOOOO. THE CARDINALS HAVE KNOCKED THE VIKINGS OUT OF THE PLAYOFFS!"

on December 20th, 2013 at 05:56am

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