The Green Bay Packers have been a team expected to repeat its historical offensive performance of 2011, but that has been a far cry from reality, but maybe it’s for the better.
The Packers came away with a 24-20 win in Detroit against the Lions to improve their record to 7-3, winning five straight.
Was it a pretty win? No, far from actually. In honesty, it would be an understatement to say the Packers offense played horrid against the Lions, who were in a patch work secondary. I’m not saying injuries cannot be overcame, as seen with this years Packers team, but the Lions do not have a General Manager like Ted Thompson running the show.
While it does not always look the best on the field, it is working. This Packers team is drawing comparisons to the team which won the Super Bowl in 2010.
Yes, I hate drawing comparisons, but it’s hard to deny this one. The team depleted with injuries, struggling early and often in the season and trying to find any rhythm, but has yet to play their best football. Scary isn’t it? Exciting isn’t it? I would have to agree, but let’s not get caught up in these comparisons, cause that’s all it is.
The best part about the win Sunday, the defense, which I am going to toot my own horn here, had five sacks, including two by linebacker Erik Walden. Yes, my bold prediction was spot on, but the three biggest plays of the game for the defense are the exciting part for Packers Nation.
The three biggest plays were made by three first or second year players, two of which were undrafted. The list includes second round defensive back Casey Hayward, who is making a strong case for defensive rookie of the year, linebacker Dezman Moses and defensive back M.D. Jennings.
Hayward was all over the field racking up one interception as well as five pass defensed, which is more then the rest of the team combined. Then “The Doctor” Jennings recorded the biggest play of the game with a 72-yard pick six to give the momentum to the Packers.
Moses earlier had made a huge play forcing a fumble on quarterback Matt Stafford after he avoided the rush of linebacker Brad Jones. The ball was then recovered another rookie in defensive lineman Mike Daniels.
All three of these plays were huge because they came when the Lions were in Packers territory and a threat to put up at least a field goal. When the offense has looked shaky, the defense has came through for the Packers so far this season, which is something about last years team you would not have been able to see.
The thing which I am going to remind you about is the Packers did not have linebacker Clay Matthews or defensive backs Charles Woodson and Sam Shields and guess what guys? You could barely noticed the difference. The Packers defense is getting better each week and once Matthews, Woodson and Shields come back, they will only get better.
While the offense struggled, the critics can once again, “Shhhhhh…” when it comes to quarterback Aaron Rodgers and not being clutch in crunch time.
First off, the man has a Super Bowl, a Super Bowl MVP and a regular season MVP, so the thought of this being brought up is flat out preposterous, but it has been. Rodgers does not have the fourth quarter comebacks on his resume, so what, the guy wins. It is not his fault he has the lead in the fourth quarter, that he wins the first three quarters and only needs to hold on in the fourth quarter.
He’s not Eli Manning, he does not need to clean up his own mess, Rodgers is the best in the NFL, he showed it last year. No quarterback has put the ball in the endzone like Rodgers and it’ll be hard pressed to find anyone else who does it the way he does. Rodgers is a once in a life time athlete at the quarterback position and we continue to watch greatness grow from the large shadow of Brett Favre.
So enjoy watching the guy, he’s having as much fun as the old gunslinger and is just as fun to watch, because the last drives to put the Packers in the lead and give them breathing room is something Rodgers could do from day one.
A few other notes, it’s hard to imagine the Packers offense being scarier then last seasons, but they have a shot to be even more terrifying when wide receiver Greg Jennings comes back.
Wide receiver Randall Cobb has been a stud this season and continues to do it all, with Jennings, Jordy Nelson and James Jones on the outsides and the potentially reemerging tight end Jermichael Finley all clicking; the NFL’s defenses better start worrying.
So as it stands this Packers team is comparing to the 2010 Super Bowl winners, but they are not that team, they’re better. They are more explosive on offense and have a better defense. It is up to them to get healthy and on the same page. Once that happens, they may be headed for a Super Bowl run.
About the Author
Written by Noah Hanstedt
Born and raised in the small town of Neenah, WI. Grew up watching Green Bay Packers football with my late father. Been writing about sports for 5 years now and hope to continue becoming a stronger writer and an even better man.