Sunday, September 23, 2007

2nd quarter: Packers 17 - Chargers 14

A tale of two quarterbacks. We know the one -- that would be Brett -- will dissect a defense when there is no pressure. Turns out the other guy -- Rivers -- also is pretty good when there is no pressure. And there wasn't. Rivers at one point was 15 for 15. His first and only incompletion of the half came on the one occasion where he was forced from the pocket and just threw the ball out of the end zone.

At the start of the quarter, the Pack continued where they left off, taking the ball down to the 5-yard line, from which Brett threw a beautiful pass to Donald Driver who stretched out in the end zone for the catch. That made the score 10-7.

The Pack got their lone sack of the half via KGB, to make 3rd and 23 situation for the Chargers. They managed to pick up 14 yards, but still had to punt.

On the next series, the Packers had 3rd and 10. Brett threw a short 10-yard pass to Driver, who proceeded to turn it into a 46-yard gain, breaking tackles and refusing to get knocked out of bounds. This play was followed by another quick pass to Greg Jennings bringing up a 2nd and inches. With just under 3 minutes to go in the half, the Pack again found themselves at the Chargers 5-yard line with a first and goal. Brett was in shotgun formation and, whether it was a called draw (they had already run one earlier) or Brett improvising, he began to run. As usual, he faked a throw. Only problem was, the ball came out and San Diego recovered. Immediately, former QB and current CBS announcer Phil Simms, said that it was clearly a "tuck rule" situation. Replays did show that Brett's arm was clearly coming forward when he lost the, of course, Brett was going to just fake it and pull it back in...but this is what the tuck rule is about. The Packers challenged the call by the refs and -- with those words Packer fans love to hear, "Upon further review..." -- the ruling on the field was overturned and the play was ruled an incomplete pass. The very next play saw Brett passing to Bubba over the middle for a TD. Packers go up 17-7. And Brett closed to within one pass of tying Dan Marino's all-time TD pass record.

Unfortunately, it took the Chargers less than 2 minutes to march 80 yards for a score of their own before half, on a TD pass to Buster Davis.

As noted earlier, the concerning trends for the Packers defense are that they are getting no pressure on Rivers, despite a supposed weak right tackle situation. Also, Antonio Gates is running free, accounting for about 9 catches and roughly 100 yards receiving in the first half. The defense has been able to contain LaDainian Tomlinson fairly well. But with Rivers getting no pressure and getting into rhythm, the game could be shoot out...much like the first half has turned into.