Sunday, November 12, 2006

Packers Win! Packers Win!! Packers Win!!!

The Packers beat the ViQueens in the Humpty Dump Dome today, 23-16. In doing so, they beat my pre-game prognostication by 3 points. But at least I was closer than the spreadmakers who had the 'Queens winning by 5. NOT!

The Packers really dominated on both sides of the ball. Still, it wasn't until former Packer kicker, Ryan Longwell, booted a second attempt at an on-side kick out of bounds with about 57 seconds to go that the game was decided. The 'Queens helped the Packers with two turnovers, a fumble by Brand Johnson and an interception thrown by him as well. The Packers were also helped by two special teams' penalties -- on the same player. One cancelled out a 102-yard kickoff return and the other, in the closing minute, negated the first of the onside kicks, which had been recovered by the 'Queens. Just as the Pack can attribute at least three out of five of its losses to miscues, the 'Queens returned the favor today. The Packers had no turnovers today, although there was again one blown pass coverage in the first half which allowed a 'Queens touchdown.

Brett Favre was outstanding, throwing for over 300 yards, the 48th 300+-yard passing game of his career. Donald Driver was also exceptional, with 191 receiving yards, including an 82-yard touchdown scamper coming out of a slant route. Receiver Ruvell Martin, getting the start for Greg Jennings who played in a limited capacity today, also made some great catches, including one on the closing drive leading to the final field goal.

While not perfect, especially given the blown pass coverage yet again, this was the kind of game that the Packers are capable of playing each and every week. They are clearly demonstrating that they are not getting beat in their losses, they are beating themselves. As they learn how to win, this game gives hope for the rest of the season. There were no sacks on Brett, while the Packers' defense pressured Johnson all day, got a few sacks and caused a fumble.

The only possible injury of note coming out of the game, according to Coach McCarthy in a post-game radio interview, was a groin injury to right tackle Mark Tauscher. Rookie Tony Moll replaced Tauscher for most of the fourth quarter and acquitted himself well.

It's great to get a win. And it's especially great to get a win against the ViQueens in the Humpty Dump. It's even better when that win puts you into a tie for second place in the NFC North with the tiebreaker in your favor. Savor this one, Packer fans!