The Green Bay Packers picked up their first division win yesterday and in doing so moved back into a tie for first place in the NFC North. The Packers’ 20th straight win over Detroit in Wisconsin was anything but easy but like the Bears last week, the Packers won’t be turning down any wins anytime soon.
At 3-1 the Packers are where I thought they would be, I just had them losing at Philly and winning in Chicago, oh well, the win at Philly may turn out to be bigger than the loss in Chicago.
The Detroit Lions may be 0-4 but they are only about half-dozen plays away from being 3-1, for sure an official’s call away from 1-3. The Lions are on the right track and when you are constantly asked about losing 19 straight games to an opponent like the Lions have in Wisconsin, you get sick of it and want to do your best to put an end to it. The Lions damn near did just that.
The Packers needed to gut out a crucial time-killing drive after a Lions punt with 6:32 left and they did just that. John Kuhn of all people led the way and the Lions never touched the ball again. I don’t think the Packers will all of sudden turn into a grind-out offense, but the players and coaches said all week, “we can run the ball if we have to,” well, they had to and they did.
I know it was only the Lions but the only strength the Lions have is their defensive line and the Packers took it to them on that final drive. Prior to that the Packers didn’t really try to run the ball again, much like last week in Chicago, and Aaron Rodgers had three first-half touchdown passes as a result. Very questionable play-calling in the second half led to the Packers doing absolutely nothing on offense until that final drive.
Charles Woodson and the defense saved the day by not allowing the Lions to score a TD in the second half. Some big turnovers and stops were just enough to get the job done, but that defense is going to need it’s day off tomorrow, they must be one tired group.
Rodgers didn’t appear to be too pleased with the play-calling either. I mean, come on, what happend to the West Coast Offense? This trying to run on third-and-two or throwing late over the deep middle on first down when you should be trying to run the clock and give your defense a rest is mind-boggling.
Rodgers is right, you have to do what you do best and not try to be something you aren’t. Right now the Packers are a passing offense that should be spreading it out. The running game will evolve over time. It better or the Packers will be in trouble come December and bad weather, but for now, take advantage of good weather, spread it out and light it up.
Where was the little dump off to a wide open Brandon Jackson or the unstoppable buttonhook to Donald Driver? Do what you do best. Joh Kuhn is not Jim Taylor, don’t try to make him be, although did do a pretty good imitation on that last drive. Throwing the ball is what the Packers do, they should be more worried about doing that better than trying to establish a running game right now.
The Washington Redskins will be a good test for the Packers’ on both sides of the ball. But more on the Skins later, we have to enjoy this one for a day or two.