Packers Give Fans One More Thing To Be Thankful ForPosted:Nov 24th, 2011 8:58 pm
It wasn't the shootout most predicted, but the Packers had more than enough ammunition to quiet the kitties, avenging their only loss in 1962. For the first time in the team's 90+ year history, they are 11-0 and for all intents and purposes have wrapped up the NFC North before the turkey was carved.
Huge props to the Packer defense. Following a familiar script, they surrendered big chunks of yards, but kept the Lions off the scoreboard and made big plays--with interceptions by Matthews, Francois and Woodson. Once Kevin Smith went out in the first half with a knee injury, the running game disappeared and Stafford was out of his comfort zone.
Meanwhile, after a slow start, the Packers offense took over in the third quarter. Rodgers was his usual stealthy self, leading a precision-laced drive culminating in a Greg Jennings score and following it up hitting James Jones on a post route that went 65 yards for a score. A 7-0 halftime lead was now 21-0 and there would be no Komeback Kitties on this day against this defense.
The most resonant moment came when thug Ndamukong Suh forgot all about his pow-wow with the Commish a couple of weeks ago and tried to stomp Evan Dietrich-Smith's arm off. He was immediately tossed and will likely be told to stay in street clothes for the Lions' next game. For a guy with a world of talent, he will not be regarded a superstar in this league until he learns what sportsmanship is. Someone forgot to tell him the Lions are featured in the new "Play 60" commercial. He thought it was called "Play 33."
The victory did not come without a cost. We'll find out the severity of the various injuries in the coming days, but Desmond Bishop left early, as did Josh Sitton. Next to leave was A.J. Hawk with a calf injury and Erik Walden got knocked out, but was able to return. Rookie DJ Smith looked good, replacing Bishop--and Francois got his pick shortly after coming in to replace Hawk. James Starks started the game but did not play in the second half--hopefully the 10 days rest before the Giants game will allow most, if not all to return to action.
As we sit down to our Thanksgiving dinners with family and friends, we'll be talking about our 11-0 Packers. The classic sports cliche says that Super Bowl champs have a target on their backs--that you get everybody's best shot. Well everybody's best shot has come up short 11 times in 11 tries and the Packers are five wins away from a perfect regular season.
The pecan pie will taste extra sweet tonight. Happy Thanksgiving one and all and Go Pack!