Friday, November 30, 2007

The morning after: ouch

Yes, fellow Packer fans, it was not a bad dream. It was real. Our Pack getting beat yet again in Dallas. Brett looking like more the QB of the 90's losing in Dallas rather than the QB of 2007 winning anywhere and everywhere.

But the big ouch was Brett getting knocked out of the game in the second quarter. Initially it was diagnosed as an elbow injury. Later on it was stated as an elbow sprain and funny bone injury affecting the nerve more than the bone. We awake this morning, though, to also learn that Brett suffered a partial separation of his left shoulder on that same play. What is amazing, though, was that Brett addressed the media after the game and about the only mention he made of the shoulder was that it was hurt but if need be they'd just "shoot it up" and he'd be ready to go in the game against the Raiders on Dec. 9 at Lambeau. As some of the radio folks were saying this morning, how do you not know you've separated your shoulder? To which one of the other radio folks replied, "He's a freak of nature...but in a good way." Ya think???

Other than Brett's injuries, Coach McCarthy last evening indicated that there were no other injuries he was a aware of coming out of the game. That's good. Because, as noted here and elsewhere, there were certainly enough going into the game. And, it could be argued, those injuries certainly did have an impact on the outcome of the game. The loss of Charles Woodson in the secondary was huge. Jarrett Bush was burned repeatedly, eventually being replaced by Tramon Williams. Players looked out of position and confused. Al Harris admitted afterward that there were "communication problems" in the secondary. But Harris also admitted that there should be no excuses and that the Pack just got beat. The injuries on the defensive line -- Johnny Jolly, Colin Cole, and KGB -- also showed up in the total lack of pressure on Tony Romo all night long. The Pack did not get any sacks, and rarely pressured Romo. Combined with the lack of pressure on the QB and the lack of communication in the secondary, it set things up for a big night for the kid from Burlington, WI.

With that said, as noted in the last post of last evening, backup QB Aaron Rodgers brought the Pack back, leading the team back from a 27-10 deficit to make it 27-24 late in the game. He spearheaded drives leading to two touchdowns and a field goal and kept the Pack in the game right up until the last minute. He looked very sharp on his throws and very poised. If for some reason Brett were unable to go against the Raiders, or could not go all the way, fans should feel much more comfortable with the guy filling the shoes. As Wayne Larrivee, the radio voice of the Packers, said during a radio interview this morning, Rodgers can beat the Raiders. This is not hype from a Packers mouthpiece. Larrivee is a seasoned sportscaster and, in fact, noted that he has watched Rodgers play since his first game at California. Larrivee did and still does college play-by-play announcing and thus had a chance to see Rodgers on more than a few occasions during his college career. Larrivee liked him then and indicated that, unlike many top college QBs who have come into the league and got thrown into play and "get beat up", as Larrivee expressed it, with bad teams, Rodgers -- in his third year -- has had a chance to mature and watch one of the game's best. As Larrivee noted, that will serve both Rodgers and the Packers well whenever Brett decides to finally...well, you know...

If you want to read more about Brett's injuries and related matters, check out this story.

As noted in the final post of last evening, there's a lot to digest about this game. Perhaps there will be more here later today. Thanks for reading.