Packers XLV

Sweet 16: Packers Streak Rolls On, Thanks to Full Nelson

Posted November 20th, 2011 @ 11:11pm

We hoped to see a second consecutive defensive masterpiece within a week at Lambeau. Instead, we saw a mediocre Tampa Bay offense carve them up, not to mention the most embarrassing play of the season. LaGarrette Blount's 54 yard touchdown run featured more missed tackles than Rodgers throws incompletions in a game. It evoked memories of Marshawn Lynch's run against the Saints in the playoffs last season.

But despite the defensive lapses, Aaron Rodgers and the passing game delivered once again, with Rodgers and Jordy Nelson proving too lethal a combination for the Bucs to handle. Their final hookup, a 40 yard beauty on third down with the score a precarious 28-26, was a thing of beauty. And the hundreds of us packed into the Park Tavern could finally exhale. The Pack had its 16th straight win and are 10-0 heading into Detroit on Thanksgiving Day.

There were some joyous moments. We saw the Pack unveil the Freezer, as B.J. Raji scored his first career touchdown, a la the Fridge. in the first half. We saw Tramon Williams have another two interception day and we saw Randall Cobb with another nice return that got the Lambeau faithful off their feet.

But what we take away from the game was a James Starks knee injury that looked really bad, though he was seen smiling in the locker room. We'll know more about his status when Mike McCarthy meets the media on Monday. We saw Rodgers take a couple of big shots and Jermichael Finley land awkwardly on his elbow. We saw Mason Crosby miss his first field goal of the year, a chip shot. With a huge divisional road game coming up in four days, we'll see how quickly everyone can recover.

Rodgers finished with three more touchdown passes and missed a 300 yard day on a one yard loss by John Kuhn. It wasn't his best day, but the weather was a bit of a factor and he missed a few throw he typically makes. His chemistry with Jordy Nelson is a thing of beauty. It was also nice to see Donald Driver get a few more passes go his way--he grabbed four for 72 yards.

Giving up 455 yards to a pedestrian offense at Lambeau in November is a concern. With hot QBs in front of them the next two games (Matthew Stafford and Eli Manning), the defense will need to be much sharper, or we will be in for some pinball type scores at Detroit and New York. Nice to see Mike Neal out there for the first time this season. Hopefully he will add some punch to the D-line.

The Packers get set to enter the Lions den on Thanksgiving. I'm glad the kitties came from way back to fend off the Panthers. A loss at home to Carolina would have had that Detroit team out for blood. Instead, they enter the game at 7-3 and in the playoffs as of now. Like the Packers, they're a one-dimensional offense. Stafford threw five touchdown passes on Sunday--none of them to Megatron, Calvin Johnson. The scoreboard will be poppin' on Turkey Day.

A franchise record 16 straight wins and counting. Number 17 would make the turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and my brother's nachos taste sooo much better.

Since there's no "Packer Preview" before the Lions game, I'll do a podcast that will be available here on Thursday morning. Please leave your comments/questions in the comments section or via email and I'll read them during the podcast.

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on May 18th, 2012 at 04:39pm

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They are up by 9, they've got the ball at midfield, and there is five and a half minutes on the clock. Why on Earth would you do anything to make this game interesting? Well they won, but not before unveiling a healthy complement of "knucklehead" today. Get your act together boys, it shouldn't always need to be such an adventure...

on November 20th, 2011 at 07:48pm

My comment: offensive coordinators always seem able to exploit the middle of the field short passing game. how many tight-end shallow-crosses can we see before shutting it down?? My question: how much action will Saine see if/when starks cant go?? or will it be grant/kuhn?

on November 20th, 2011 at 10:21pm

Seriously, Fox rubes, I can understand the "not showing a game instead o' a *quality* MN placeholder game, but all you have is an English Premier League game? Go, Green Bay United, go!

on November 20th, 2011 at 10:44pm

NFL rules do not allow another game on another network during during the home market broadcast. Fox has no choice on showing the packers today in MN.

on November 20th, 2011 at 11:24pm

Didn't Raji score a touchdown on an interception return against Chicago in January? I think you mean first career offensive touchdown (or first career Lambeau Field touchdown).

on November 21st, 2011 at 01:33pm

Isn't giving up the middle part of Capers "Bend don't break" philosophy? Good news, just read the Vikes Dec. 4 game has been rescheduled for Noon on Fox, so that should be a Double-Header and we'll get to see the Pack on TV in the Metro.

on November 21st, 2011 at 04:33pm

ThePack has been frustrating but always seems to pick it up virtually as-needed. Maybe they are simply so good they can do that? Idunno. No doubt, its much nicer to watch them dominate from beginning to end, but in the NFL in 2011, is that possible? Instead, maybe the best we can hope for is a TEAM that is able to dominate as much of the game as they need to, and that is what we got, and its sweeeeeeeeet.

on November 21st, 2011 at 07:50pm

First, The "spam" comment from ugg3161 is hilarious. Second, We've been waiting for it and it came. This is what a bad game from Rodgers looks like. Rodgers was not nearly as sharp as usual and the game plan resulted in... Davey, can you get the number of how many third and longs? We've come to just expect the Pack to convert, this was a bit insane. So a bad day for Rodgers is ..... a 112 passer rating. Stafford must have been more accurate yesterday then last week when he was horrible. Let's hope we rattle him before the turkey gets cold.

on November 21st, 2011 at 08:33am

As the weather gets colder these are the type of games we will see. This is why it is important we establish a running game to complement Rodgers. Concern on Sundays game why Jennings only had 2 catches for 6 yards....but there were a number of Tampa pass interferences and maybe this is why Nelson is putting up big numbers. I hope Claymaker is not having hamstring issues as he was not close to Freeman all day and I noticed him on the sidelines for a few snaps. Still....concerns on our pass rush and we need more pressure on Stafford and Manning in the next two games. GO PACK GO !!

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on November 21st, 2011 at 10:04am

Looks like the good defensive game against Minnesota was a fluke, helped by having a second look at a rookie QB. There may not be any quick fixes this year. Spencer is right about the linebackers getting destroyed by shallow crossing routes. And Tramon and Shields are surprisingly getting beat deep, 1 on 1, a lot more this year. Let's just hope we've already seen Rodgers' worst game this season otherwise, there could be an upset or two in the Pack's future.

on November 21st, 2011 at 12:40pm

OMG...people are really uptight, aren't they? Sure, this may have been a "bad game", but these are they kind of "bad games" I can live with. At the end of the day, it's another "W". Life is still good. The offense is still rolling. I have no doubt Capers will put the screws down as the post season approaches. Everybody take a deep let it out slowly. Feel better now? Good.

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