Well, we can all feel real good about ourselves and our football team for another week at least. The Green Bay Packers beat the Dallas Cowboys 26-21 in the divisional round, their first such win since 2011.
It wasn’t exactly the whitewashing that I predicted and that says a lot about the Cowboys. Despite their lack of playoff experience, they still played a hell of a game. There is, unfortunately for those of us who hate the Cowboys, a lot of talent there. Of course, they have a buffoon for a general manager, so maybe he can screw it all up this offseason.
At any rate, here are five more thoughts about the game.
Man, it feels good not to be talking about offseason crap for a change
Usually around this time of year, we’re bitching about the Packers defense, people are calling for Dom Capers to be fired and there are discussions about the team’s pending free agents. So, thanks Packers, for putting all of that off for another week.
Oh, about that defense
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. The Packers, once again, do not have a championship-caliber defense. You could plainly see that on Sunday. No, they didn’t get totally blown off the field. They did make plays here and there. The secondary played great. All of that being said, they couldn’t stop DeMarco Murray, who ran for 123 yards on 25 carries. And guess what? They get Marshawn Lynch next week. The 2010 Packers defense was by no means great either, but they did one thing that this year’s defense doesn’t do. They created a lot of turnovers. That masked their deficiencies in other areas. This year’s defense gets a turnover here and there, but they aren’t taking the ball away two and three times a game. Unfortunately, that’s probably exactly what they’re going to need to do next week to win. Otherwise, we’re just going to watch them get run over by Lynch and Badger great Russell Wilson. On the bright side, if the Packers somehow beat Seattle, neither of the AFC teams have a running game to speak of. So basically, the Super Bowl is being played in Seattle on Sunday.
Rodgers vs. Romo
This one was no contest. Toward the end of the season, it looked like Tony Romo would challenge Aaron Rodgers for the MVP. He did somehow finish with a higher passer rating (by one point) than Rodgers. Now, you don’t win the league MVP for your playoff performance, but on Sunday Rodgers demonstrated how wide the gap is between him and Romo. On one leg, Rodgers threw for 316 yards, three TDs and no picks. Romo was efficient (15-of-19), but only went for 191 yards, two touchdowns and no picks. Not a bad day by Romo by any stretch of the imagination. Rodgers put da team on his back doe. An MVP performance.
In the pocket
You probably noticed this, but in the first half, Rodgers moved around about as much as Drew Bledsoe used to move around in the pocket. In other words, he looked like a damn statue back there. He and the Packers weren’t able to get much going. In the second half, when the game was on the line, Rodgers clearly said fuck it. He didn’t run the ball, but he moved outside the pocket on a regular basis, extended plays and turned them into first downs. Night and day from the first half. If you want to pinpoint one thing in the game that was the difference, it was that. Rodgers’ ability or willingness or what have you to move outside the pocket despite having a torn calf. Gritty and effective. Hats off.
Stepping up their game
Despite being unimpressed with the defense as a whole, the Packers’ pass rush was impressive against Dallas. The reason for that appears to be that certain guys have decided to step the hell up. Early in the game, Julius Peppers looked like a beast. He likes to disappear for long stretches, but he was dominant for at least a quarter against Dallas. And hey, who put a quarter in Mike Neal? Maybe the Packers were just saving him for the playoffs. Neal showed up with six tackles, which tied for the team lead, and a half a sack on Sunday. The same goes for Nick Perry, who turned in four tackles and 1.5 sacks. These two guys have done next to nothing all season and they’re suddenly tearing shit up? Okay. Lastly, a shout out goes to Mike Daniels. Although he only recorded a half sack and three tackles, he was the guy we noticed in Romo’s face the most. We suspect Matt Millen would call that “motor.” Now, if this would just continue AND we could get Clay Matthews to actually show up (four tackles, no sacks), we might have something here.
The Packer’s Defense had to step up in the 4th Q for the Packers to win the game. They did, Like Big Time. That back to back sack on Romo to force the punt and the sack on Romo to make it 3rd and 11, those were the best plays from the defense during the 4th Q. That was clutch time right there.
Completely agree. I had a Cowboy buddy of mine telling me that the Packers were hoping the Boys would mess up their final drives, and that they gave up the game. I had to remind him that the Cowboys didn’t sack themselves during those drives.
Nick Perry. A lot of folks are on him, but he does occasionally come up big.
I don’t know much, but i do know, that in the 1st half, Rodgers was a sitting duck in the pocket. This 0 line looks good when Rodgers can slide and buy time out of the pocket. Which was clearly evident in the 2nd half. I don’t know if Rodgers got shot up at 1/2 time, or he just said fuck it. But i know, if Green Bay stands any kind of chance at Seattle, Rodgers is gonna have to be able to move for 4 quarters.
Can we please keep bad Jones off the field,I seen him twice and both times he made stupid mistakes
Rest easy…Both Jones and Tramon will be out of Green Bay after this season.
That’s not soon enough for Jones. The guys shouldn’t even be on the active roster for the game at Seattle. Can’t afford his third and long penalties in this one. I’d rather watch Barrington hit guys and make mistakes in coverage than constant penalties…..
Mike Fucking Daniels, Ill just leave this here…
I just wish I would hear or read once from a Cowboy fan or writer the absolute truth that if Rodgers was healthy, this game would not even have been close.
Yes, for sure. Game would have been over early In the 3rd quarter if he could flush out.
With the way their defense was schemed, yes, you’re probably right. But I also have to assume that they knew he couldn’t run and played in a manner that they didn’t need to worry about it. If he could have run I think they would have schemed to stop that. With that said, I think said scheme would have made it easier for him to find open receivers. Either way, we’ll never know. In the end we won, and that’s all that matters.
Wow, no mention of Davante Adams? Talk about stepping it up. Great to see three rookies on the offense play big in their first playoff game.
I know, right. Without him the Packers don’t win. They’re going to need him next week too.
Thanks for bringing that up. At one point during the game I mentioned it was his second coming-out party. He had a great game. As did RichRod and Mr. Linsley. But a great point there that this was their first playoff game. I can’t imagine the nerves those dudes must have had. Exciting to see!
Richard Rodgers catch was awesome. That was a bullet and the door was closing in front of him and he hung on to that ball. Really a great catch. And that guy is still looking for his wears and Adams put that move on him……
Will need Adams again next week for sure as I do believe that the winner of that game will be the SB Champion.
I think hats off to the offensive line who gave Rodgers ample time in the pocket, and provided nice holes for Lacy during the first drive.
Mike Neal had over thirty tackles and 5 sacks this year and he’s rarely on the field.
I wouldn’t consider that “next to nothing”
He makes the most of his limited opportunities
I love guys that don’t wear gloves. He just looks so badass out there with some tape on his fingers. Like he’s going to rip somebody’s head off… Kind of like what I thought Datone Jones was going to be like
Give Jones time, he’s a lot better this year than he was last year.
Neal is a fucking beast, the guy just looks intimidating, gym rat, hard worker, glad we got something out of drafting him
Don’t remember getting mad at Hawk…I wonder how many snaps he had… and if that low number has anything to do with the victory.
Like to bitch about Quarless’s lame 2 false starts…. but Gods Gifts were the ones around Cobb’s lost fumble on the kickoff. If we don’t recover that… likely game over.
All of these comments, and not a single fucking mention of Jeff Janis. Thank God.
the weather could have a lot to do with nullifying the home field advantage. Seattle in Jan. is consistently:
Temp: at or just below 50 deg.
Precip: 2 out of 3 days are rainy, and the rain is moderate to heavy 1/3 of the time.
Wind: calm to slight breeze almost 100% of the time.
Seattle is a mediterranean climate, not a temperate one like GB. so expect the conditions next weekend to be well within the weather parameters i just listed above. Conclusion: there is a good chance that AR will be physically and mentally in more accomodating conditions than when he played in the season opener. also, if it is raining, it could insulate or dampen the crowd noise effect.
in a nutshell: the Jan. conditions are much more likely to level the visitor v. home field “effect” as compared to their opener road game. [another plus: the seattle sky is 95% of the time o/c which will also nullify any “sun” effect as the game will be a day game [starts at noon PST]. looks like AR is looking forward to getting back to his “native W Coast” for this one! GO PACK GO!
GO PACK GO!
Good points, we’ll take anything at this point