Pack Wins on Crosby FG; Rodgers Sharp, Clifton NotPosted:Aug 27th, 2011 3:31 am
Like many of you, my eyebrows were raised when Mike McCarthy decided to go for two to tie the game in the closing seconds at Indianapolis. After all, it's the preseason, where OT is to be avoided at all costs. No one wants to see an injury happen in overtime. But McCarthy had something up his sleeve. He tried an onside kick after the successful conversion, the Pack recovered and Graham Harrell moved the team enough to let Crosby win it at the gun with a 50-yard field goal, 24-21.
After the game McCarthy said that kicking the extra point would have sent a terrible message to the team, so he went for two and the onside kick. You gotta love that.
Aaron Rodgers was razor sharp, the only negative that he was sacked as many times as he three incomplete passes: 4. That's too many times on the ground in a make-believe game. But when he was vertical, he was terrific: 19-23 for 204 yards and a touchdown to Jermichael Finley. The running game was mediocre and the eyesore on the line was Chad Clifton, who was abused by Dwight Freeney all night.
Once again, the no huddle was very effective and after the game Rodgers said he's trying to get the mechanics of the no huddle down in the preseason and he expects the team to use it in the regular season. Allowing Rodgers to call plays is a natural evolution of his game and will only make the Pack more dangerous.
Defensively, the #1 unit kept the Manning-less Colts in check until the final five minutes of the first half. Soon after Woodson and Matthews exited, Curtis Painter found a rhythm and Indy scored twice to go ahead at halftime. In the second half the two guys I noticed the most were the young backup linebackers: Jamari Lattimore and D.J. Smith.
One more dress rehearsal before the opener on September 8th. Coming Monday, my 2011 playoff predictions.