Packers XLV

Pack Takes Giant Step Toward Undefeated Season

Posted December 5th, 2011 @ 01:12am

The Packers needed this. They needed to win a game with a final drive. In a historic-feeling season where they've never trailed in the fourth quarter, where the closest a team has come is a six point loss at the Metrodome, the Packers showed why they are better than everybody else in 2011.

With Charles Woodson out of the game with a head injury, Jarrett Bush was getting torched as usual, and the young inside linebackers looked gassed and a bit overmatched at times. When Eli Manning drove down for a quick score and then converted the two point play to tie it at 35-35 with a minute to go, we all said to ourselves, one minute--one timeout--own 20 yard line...okay, we've got this. Though the momentum favored the red, white and blue, Aaron Rodgers is at the top of his game. He lives for moments like these. First a 24 yarder down the right sideline to Jermichael Finley, then a beautiful arced pass under pressure that Jordy Nelson brought in for the catch of the game. Then Greg Jennings fights for extra yardage and it's all teed up for Mason Crosby to nail a 31-yarder on the game's final play.

Checkmate.

Give the Giants a ton of credit. They were embarrassed the past two weeks against the Eagles and at New Orleans. The players played an inspired game on both sides of the ball. Bradshaw and Jacobs gave their running game a lift and Manning made a number of big plays to Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. As Rodgers said after the game, "Every team is going to give us our best shot."

For the first time this season, Rodgers' passer rating didn't reach 110. He finished at 107, thanks to a "where did that come from" interception and six drops, several by Finley, who had a nice six catch, 87 yards and a touchdown, just days after saying that the chemistry between Rodgers and him wasn't there.

Injury concerns after the game: it starts with Woodson who took a shot in the head and may have suffered a concussion. You know he wants to play against his former team next week. We'd all like to see him play, too. James Starks left the game early with an ankle injury. Brandon Saine and Ryan Grant made some nice plays in his absence, but the Packers are better with Starks back there. The worst injury appeared to be Andrew Quarless who looks like he suffered a significant knee injury. Good thing the Pack kept five tight ends.

Let the media wag their tongues and talk about an undefeated season. The players don't seem to care. They're saying all the right things: that the only important thing right now is getting to 13-0 and beating the Oakland Raiders at Lambeau Field next Sunday. With three of the final four at Lambeau, it appears we might be headed toward history. If it happens, it will make for the most anticipated post-season in all of our lives. 12 down, four to go.

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Comments (37):

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on April 16th, 2012 at 02:23am

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on December 21st, 2011 at 12:33pm

This game was all about Finley, although Jennings had his drops too. If Finley catches half of those drops, I'd bet this game isn't nearly as close. Does he need to sign a new contract to get his head straight? I s he pressing? I don't know, but if you get two hands on the ball you are suppose to catch it. That's the rule. It would also appear that the Packs confidence in Grant is pretty low, seeing how much time they gave Saine. Still, this is a good win on the road against a team that could make the playoffs. We had our hands full, but we came away with the playoffs secured! Go Pack!

on December 4th, 2011 at 09:12pm

Completely agree with OSSG. The defense is horrendous, most of the time, but what can ya do? I keep waiting for it to cost them a game, in a big spot, but they just keep winning and getting, somewhat redeeming turnovers. Not that any defense, outside of San Francisco's is really noteworthy this year. It is what it is. A-Rodg is going to be the MVP for good reason this year.

on December 5th, 2011 at 04:55pm

Dropped balls just cannot happen with this team, and Finley is certainly making his case to be somewhere else next year. At least we've got the coolest customer in the game keeping the rest of the receiving corps in line.

on December 5th, 2011 at 08:12am

I have been a Packer fan for a long time. I probably have seen more Packer games then anyone on this site. I can remember watching Super Bowl I as a student at UW- Whitewater.....which by the way was not called a "Super Bowl" but an AFL-NFL Championship game in which Bart Starr led the Pack over Kansas City 35-10 and was named the MVP of the game. So....from my lifetime of watching sports never has one player put a team on his back and carried them in a season as Aaron Rodgers has so far this year....not Michael Jordan in basketball, Wayne Gretzky in hockey, anyone you can think of in baseball, Pele in socker. Tiger Woods in his heyday may have dominated golf but that is not a team game. Lets be honest....and this is coming from as passionate a Packer fan as there is: without Aaron Rodgers the Pack at best is a 6-6 team. As much as we say Dom Capers will fine tune the defense....it is what it is....he can not keep pulling out miracles out of his helmet...outside of Claymaker we have absolutely no pass rush and give up too many big plays. The loss of Cullen Jenkins on the front and Nick Collins on the back of the defense can not be replaced. So....all of this being said....lets be honest....the Pack will go as far a Rodgers can carry them. His offensive line is average at best and he makes them look better with his skills at passing and running. His receivers are excellent ....but he makes them so.....would they be as great with some other NFL QB's ??? The Giant game was a perfect example....Rodgers put the team on his back and led them to victory. It was not the defense....it was not Michael Finley dropping passess....it was Rodgers. So....lets enjoy greatness with number 12 and keep it going......GO PACK GO !!

on December 5th, 2011 at 09:19am

To rant a little.... So Finley was targeted 11 times, he had six catches and two drops. Last time I checked 6 plus 2 isn't eleven. I suppose they are calling the other balls defended or uncatchable. I don't recall Finley getting thrown over and I believe Rodgers' one bounce pass was to Saine. I have two phrases I say all the time in football. One is , "Run Forward!" the other is, " If you touch with two hands, your suppose to catch it." It is true on Saturday, Friday, Tuesday, and yes, especially if you have the privilege to play on SUNDAY! Love him, hate him, I don't care. Just don't baby him!

on December 5th, 2011 at 09:55pm

So.. Coughlin is looking still photos and saying his tight end was in for the TD. I don't even think the refs should be able to watch plays in Slow motion. I say if you can't see it in real time, then it isn't really there. What do you think?

on December 5th, 2011 at 10:03pm

I have told many of my Viking friends that they need to watch the Packer game because if they don't they're going to miss history in the making. I've said 19-0 since the beginning of the season because of the leaders and management support. We had some key injuries last year which most people couldn't believe we could overcome but we did. Now we are missing even more with a rag-tag D which is at the breaking point with Woodson out, but they WILL continue the bend don't break and AR and company will continue to outscore the last 4 opponents we have. As the playoffs begin we should have Clifton, Sitton, Woodson, Hawk, Bishop, all of our injured key players back to run the table. We will get healthier over the next few weeks and playing teams not at the top of their game I still say we go undefeated into the playoffs and finish at 19-0. Go Pack!

on December 5th, 2011 at 10:08am

ossg, couldn't have said it better. if u look at previous blog, i said we lose 34-31 if bradshaw plays, and win 38-28 if he doesn't the champs and 12 proved me wrong, but i was sure close. collins is really hurting them. told everyone after that n.o game the giants will not play like that against the pack. bradshaw gives them toughness and swagger. he is along way from 100%. great win. i also said now we get oakland, and i bet mcfadden will be back and this will be a tough game. they just got killed yesterday. but this will be close like tampa bay was. u have to remember though ossg. they were w/o bishop, hawk, and woodson for 1/3 of the game. depth can only go so far. mathews had is best game of the year. but 12 is everything u said. enjoy this, it may never come again. go world champs

on December 5th, 2011 at 12:11pm

OSSG, you made some very good points about Aaron Rodgers. Paul from Eau Claire, I hope you are right, it would be awesome to see the Packers go 19-0 & win the Super Bowl. If the defense does not improve, the Packers will be bounced from the playoffs & Aaron Rodgers remarkable play will be for naught. I really hope that Aaron & the offense can continue to put up the points, the special teams don't break down & the defense learns how to stop somebody! Go Pack!

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on June 30th, 2012 at 08:09am

BUCKFROMDACHI- Usually you and I are on the same page, not this time. I was being a bit sarcastic with the post anskig would anybody beat them? I also know that their defense took a week off when they played the Vikings this past weekend, and for obvious reason. But, I don't see how you can say their defense is not Good with Woodson, Raji, Matthews, Bush, and Hawk. Two of these players I just named you could make a strong case for that they are the best at their position in Raji and Matthews, and let's not forgot about Woodson who has been around for 14 years and still is a top 5 corner in the league. Literally half of their defense got selected to the PRO BOWL last year, and could not make it because of the Super Bowl. The patriots defense was not beating people it was Brady and Moss scoring 30 points week in and week out. Tedy Bruschi and Mike Vrabel are better than Hawk and Matthews? Merriweather and whoever the Pats other corner was that year are better than Woodson and Bush? Raji and Seymour is splitting hairs but I think the obvious nod goes to the Pack for comparing defenses. They may lose, but it won't be to the Bears! Maybe the Giants, but if you get in Eli's face he makes some of the worst decisions in the league, you don't lead the league in INT's by accident. We will see my friend!

on May 18th, 2012 at 07:28am

Aaron Rodgers is bound to have a bad game. San Diego can put up numbers just like Gb and they can when in a shoot out. Bears norlmlay split wins and can keep Rodgers off the field with a good running game. Giants also have a good running game and have a good defense. Im not saying that Gb is going to lose all three of these games but they are capable of losing to any of these team in second half of the season. GB defense hasnt showed me that they are dominant this season. Its all fun now but they will not go undefeated this season. Please dont compare them to when Patriots because the Patriots had a much better defense.

on May 18th, 2012 at 12:22pm

I don't see how you can see anybody betiang the Packers right now. The closest team is the saints and if they go out and play the way they did against the bucs they wont stand a chance. With Aaron Rodgers playing the way he is and barely throwing any incompletions they might 16-0.

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