Tuesday, October 30, 2007


All you can say is, "wow, that ruled." The defense bent, and bent and bent all game, was gifted a fumble at their own one, had the altitude forcing them to suck wind, gave up a game tying 95 yard drive in the last two minutes, and made it rain yellow handkerchiefs. But they only gave up 13 points, and the Packers won the game. And the offense actually ran the ball, but then made bizarre calls like a no back shotgun formation from the three-yard line. (Hello! The team was actually running the ball! Run it some more!) Or got boneheaded penalties that shot them in the foot. Or was totally on the wrong page-- remember that play when Favre thought it was a run to the right, and everyone else blocked and moved left, or the play from the five when Favre badly missed an open Donald Driver? Or moved the ball until they were just out of field goal range, then stalled, and punted the ball into the end zone? (That had to have happened at least three times.) Or got completely shut out for the entire second half? Yeesh. And still, they won.

Man, two touchdown bombs will change a game. Those throws were excellent, and the two young wideouts, one a rookie, and another a second-year guy, made great plays. Could anyone believe that Jones ran past the Champ Bailey on that first one? Especially when his after-the-catch moves showed his pretty average speed? How long did it take him to get to the end zone after he caught the ball? It felt like five minutes. And Jennings made a wonderful play to get open. He was even with Bly, then leaned inside, taking Bly with him toward the middle of the field, then saw the ball headed toward the sidelines, and because he had led Bly inside, had enough room to go back wide and make the catch. It was a wonderfully run route by Jennings. And folks should recognize that the game-winner doesn't happen unless the running game is working. The Bronco safeties were playing run, and the fake prevented them from getting back to help deep.

The most important plays in that game were clearly the two bombs, the Bronco's fumble at the goal line, and Jennings' call of heads at the start of overtime. He calls tails, the Packers lose that game. Hell, we all thought they were going to lose it anyway. They had been shut out in the second half, and Denver was rolling. But then that beautiful play-action fake, and the bomb. So pretty. Jennings, with the coin toss call and the catch, is my game MVP.

I don't know what this game means going forward. It might mean nothing. The penalties, even though several seemed ticky-tacky, were disturbing, especially the false starts on the goal line. Bigby's ball kicking was unacceptable. The defense didn't get much direct pressure-- all of Kampman's sacks were "coverage sacks"-- even though they blitzed more than usual. Al didn't have a particularly good game, it seemed. Besides the goal line fumble, the D didn't create any turnovers. A replacement back ran pretty successfully on us. Javon Walker didn't play, and Cutler still looked pretty good. The Packers' D was clearly gassed by the end. Maybe this game is a sign the D is plateauing. Or maybe it was just the pressure from the big game and the altitude.

The offensive bombs were great, and were derived from a successful running game. But who knows if they'll be able to run on anyone else? I guess it's good that Packers were successfully running with subs in at center and right guard. But the Broncos' run D is terrible, and they had injury problems of their own. And what happened to Deshawn Wynn? How many hits did he take before he whacked his shoulder and left the game? Will he ever be able to stay healthy?
The end of that game was wonderful, and I appreciate that that was the first time the team's ever won in Denver. But the Packers remain an enigma.


Papa Sal said...

Don't underestimate the quality of Denver's rushing attack, even with a backup. Denver has had some ridiculous string of like 10 consecutive years of 1,000 yard rushers, and the last 5 or so have been a different guy every year. Two yers ago they came 50 yards short of having two 1000 yard rushers in the same season.

Also, Selvin Young is a stud. He was great in Texas, and he will likely be the starter as soon as Travis "Bong Rip" Henry is suspended. And was likely the starter next year anyway.

Papa Sal said...

I was also shocked that Jones beat Champ. But Champ is coming off a quad injury and probably isn't 100%. That said, it was still awesome.

Which took longer: Jones 79-yard TD on Monday or Darrell Bevel's 21-yard TD run in the 94 Rose Bowl?

Anonymous said...

great post thanks