Pack's Comeback Win Comes in the Nick of Time (out)Posted:Sep 15th, 2014 1:16 am
If they're all going to be like this, I'm going to need to stock up on Prilosic. Yes, the Packers dug themselves out of a 21-3 hole, but if not for a very fortuitous time out call, who knows how this crazy game might have ended.
Thank goodness for Marty Mornhinweg. After helping Brett Favre and the Pack capture Super Bowl XXXI, he continued to help the Pack during his disastrous two year stint as Lions coach. But never has he been more helpful than he was on this Sunday. When he frantically asked Rex Ryan to call timeout before the big fourth down play, the side judge blew his whistle, nullifying what would have been the game-tying play and giving the Packers defense a much needed, if undeserved mulligan.
So where do we start? On the Pack's first play, which Rodgers fumbled after not cleanly receiving the snap? On the defense's first quarter ineptitude where they couldn't get off the field on third down? On the Pack's inability to match the Jets with touchdowns early, settling for three field goals to answer the Jets three touchdowns?
Or should we pick things up on the last drive of the first half, when Rodgers and company executed a pitch perfect 97 yard drive that cut the lead to 21-16 at the half, providing momentum as they headed into the locker room?
At that point we started to believe the team was settling down from its disastrous start, which included an inexplicable challenge by McCarthy on a sideline catch by Eric Decker, which was completely, obviously a catch (and a great one, at that).
The Packers should ultimately be credited for getting their act together and keeping the team in the game. The run defense was vastly improved, holding the two headed team of Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory to 64 yards on 25 carries. And after allowing the Jets to convert five of its first six first downs, they stiffened in the second half, holding Geno Smith and company to just 2-8 on third downs the rest of the way.
Meanwhile, Jordy Nelson was brilliant and the team needed nearly every one of his career high 209 yards to secure the win. Randall Cobb's numbers were more ordinary, but he found paydirt twice. It was also nice to see rookie Davante Adams contribute with five catches--including a couple of key third down receptions. Rodgers is developing some trust with his young receiver. He has yet to develop that with his tight ends--Andrew Quarless caught one pass for eight yards. Let's hope Brandon Bostick is ready to go as the Pack heads into a key stretch with three straight division games.
It was too close for comfort and there was a lot not to like, but the Packers didn't panic, settled down on both sides of the ball and got a little lucky at the end. On a weekend when the rest of the division came up short, we'll take it. Safe to say, the Packers don't have to be concerned with peaking too early, at this point.
But they'll need to be a lot sharper as they head to Motown. Splitting the next two division road games would be acceptable. But they'll need to be a lot sharper from the start if they expect to make an early NFC North statement over the next couple of weeks.