Packers XLV

Packers Complete the Process of Earning Trip to NFC Title Game

Posted January 12th, 2015 @ 02:01am

It was a strange, frustrating day from the start. The zebras were calling it close; the Pack was committing dumb penalties and Aaron Rodgers was moving around like he was 41, not 31. But he looked like a different player in the second half, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb made one big play after another, and then the Dez play happened.

I think we can all agree that the correct call was made. What we can debate is whether the rule is stupid and should be revisited. I went back and looked at the play this most resembled: the Calvin Johnson non-catch in the season opener in 2011. That one looks more egregious--but ultimately the same thing happened, the receiver lost control of the ball before finishing the play--or completing the process of the catch. I think the rule should be changed. Calvin's play looks like a catch and Dez's play looked like a catch.

When Mike McCarthy threw the challenge flag, I screamed at the TV screen. 'You'll be out of timeouts,' I yelled. Another example of  McCarthy reaching for the flag when he should have kept it in his pocket. Whether it was desperation or whether someone on the sidelines or in the booth saw the move ball enough to warrant a second look, it was a great decision and the game turned on that call.

But back to the rest of the game. As gimpy, cautious and flat out injured Rodgers looked in the first half, he looked like a different guy in the second half. He slid around the pocket a bit, had more zip on the ball and looked much more confident in that calf. He finished with a 125.4 passer rating, after completing 75% of his passes in the second half. With the Cowboys rolling coverage to Jordy Nelson, he turned to rookie Davante Adams, whose career day was much needed. And then he turned to Randall Cobb who's tiptoe 31 yard catch near the end of the half set up the field goal that closed the gap to four at halftime.

Both Adams and Cobb went over 100 yards and Lacy did too--the first time in Packer playoff history that three players accomplished that feat. Lacy averaged over five yards per carry, despite missing some time with an asthma attack early.

The defense was led by Julius Peppers, who forced two fumbles (the one by Murray saved a potential TD run--there was nothing but green grass ahead of him) and had a sack, one of four on Tony Romo. The back to back sacks at the end of the third quarter ended a drive quickly and put the ball back in Rodgers' hands, and he took the team down for the go ahead score, punctuated by a ridiculous scoring toss to Richard Rodgers.

There were some uncharacteristic penalties, some missed tackles and some things that need to be cleaned up if they're going to earn a trip to Phoenix in a few weeks. Most importantly, the Packers will need a Rodgers who resembles the second half Rodgers if they're to have a chance against the Seahawks. But we'll enjoy this one for a couple of days.

The Pack is back in the NFC title game for the first time in four years and it feels awfully good. We'll find out soon enough if they are up to their next challenge.

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Comments (12):

Regarding the call that will be talked about all week - while it was determined to be the correct call (regardless of what anyone thinks about the rule itself), the outcome of the game didn't completely hinge on that call. IIRC, there was about 3:30 left in the game, and even if Dallas had the call go in their favor and scored a TD, there was plenty of time for the Packers to come back to take the lead. The offense was still clicking, and had plenty of time left to make it happen. Even so, it is what it is. Don't blame the refs for doing their jobs. Think of it as payback for the non-call that went in the Cowboys' favor last week. Instant karma came back to get 'em.

on January 11th, 2015 at 08:39pm

Hi Dave, What a game! I was right with you when you were yelling at McCarthy to not throw that flag...I am very happy he did and that he finally won a challenge Rogers won this one for us by being 70% of his brilliant self. I was loving your show this morning until Dave or Doug, or Bill or what ever his name is who had the last call and keeps on spouting about Farve and telling that Rogers would be one and done! Well....put this WIN in your pipe and stop annoying the rest of the real Packers fans! I know that everyone needs a good villain , but the same old stuff week in and week out gets old. I will make sure to call in every week with something relevant to add to the program, in the hopes that the I'll be the extra caller that makes Bill, or Doug, or Dave ( whatever his name is...) miss a week on your show. PS - I did find a great packers bar with about 50 great packers fans! Lots of fun, and sorry about by diatribe on the Rogers hater, but it annoyed me more than normal today. Go Pack Go! Best always, John from San Jose

on January 11th, 2015 at 08:48pm

Say John, I'm right with you. I've even considered calling in with a punch of Lynn Dickey facts for a bit of tongue in cheek fun, but seeing as it not relevant to what is actually happening I hold back. :) I think we are all feeling a bit lucky about how the Dez call turned out. Just like in my pick up games though, you never know what's going to happen when a ball is not caught cleanly and bobbled. Sheilds deserves credit for having about as good of coverage as you can have and getting his hand in there too. This time the defense held up it's end of the bargain, and that's why we got a chance next week. Hey and did you notice Peppers showed up!

on January 11th, 2015 at 09:21pm

Because this isn't Facebook, this is me just liking what Bill said. Ditto, Bill, and Go Pack!!

on January 11th, 2015 at 11:45pm

Exciting game, with plenty of drama. I cannot help but, think that Brad Jones is a waste of a spot on the Active Roster. The game seems too fast for him. The stupid penalties. The out of position plays. I cringe every time I see number 59 out there. With the Seahawks number 1 Defense lined up to defend their title. The 12th Man ready to make noise. This week will be the biggest challenge yet. The Packers can ill afford another 10 penalties and poor performances. Green Bay needs to play perfect.

on January 12th, 2015 at 03:08pm

A frame-by-frame photo of the Dez Bryant play on espn.com/nfc north blog shows even more clearly than the video replay that he did not make the reception. The score might not even have been close. Had the Brad Jones holding penalty on third down not extended Dallas' first td drive and the Packers not lost the fumble on the confused time-out call and snap from the Cowboys' 26 to set up the second the score as well as the stats would be decisively in the Pack's favor.

on January 12th, 2015 at 05:10am

Guys, you have my word. Bill will not make it on the air this Sunday. Two hour show this week. 8-10!

on January 12th, 2015 at 08:57pm

John and LDF, his name is Bill, and he won't let the brett thing go. I wish Dave wouldn't even take his call, John from MPLs. drives me nuts too, Mister sinakin crap. just ask a? would you. he always calls in the in the Zone show too. on the Game, Glad u mentioned Peppers LDF. he saved the game. if he doesn't get his hand in on murray, he had a td, and were down 21- 10. we did such a good job on him the 1st half, but then he broke some big ones. I really worry about lynch next week and wilson scrambles, let's enjoy this, a lot of teams know were spoiled. but we are Packer fans. the 70 and 80's were not so fun. enjoy it now. How do u think the viking fans feel about Adams? they have 4 for 1 in patterson as common man calls him, and done nothing, TT is the man. they need to sign Cobb asap. and TE Rodgers looks like he is a steal now too. keep this in mind next week guys, and You can all laugh out loud. But the guy that scares me the most next week for receivers is wilson , the TE, we will see. Davey said on his show we did a good job on TE'S this year, I didn't think so. who was on Witten? for now I am going to enjoy this week GO Pack.

on January 12th, 2015 at 11:38am

Back from Arizona where I watched the game on a 70" flat screen with surround sound at our friends house. Now I have to convince the wife that I need one of this size. Boy...are there a lot of Cheeseheads in Arizona !! As to the game even if the Bryant TD is allowed the zone Rodgers was in there was enough time to win with a FG. I like being the underdog in Seattle. The nice play of HA HA in pass help allowed Morgan Burnett to play some up LB to help contain Murray. Expect more of the same defenses on Lynch. Please Mr. Capers no more Brad Jones on the field in any capacity. No more instant karma....its time for Big Boy football !! GO PACK GO !!

on January 13th, 2015 at 08:35am

how are there still people who spell Aaron Rodgers incorrectly. what the heck john from san jose. Do you watch the games? Do you ever see the back of his jersey or the countless stat graphics about his staggering numbers since week 4?

on January 15th, 2015 at 11:46am

your a fucking idiot. Dez Bryant caught the ball and dove for the end zone. If anything the ground caused a fumble but his chest hit the ground before the ball did so he was down by contact. You must be blind or have too much of Aaron Rodgers cum in your eyes to think he didnt finish the catch. The game this sunday isnt even a real game because Green Bay didnt beat Dallas. It will be fun watching Seattle destroy Green Bay in a fake game and go on to win the super bowl again

on January 16th, 2015 at 05:19pm

on January 16th, 2015 at 06:47am

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