Sunday, October 19, 2008

Final: Packers 34 - Colts 14

Wow! Wait...I said that in my halftime report, didn't I? 'bout, YOWZA!

The Packers -- in their finest game this season -- dominated the Colts on both sides of the ball. The defense controlled the Colts' vaunted offense. The D-line put enough pressure on QB Peyton Manning to force him into getting intercepted twice for Packers' touchdowns in the second half. Part of that credit also, of course, goes to the linebackers and defensive backs who covered the Colts' receivers like glue.

On the first Colts' possession of the second half, a short third-down pass was tipped by the receiver into the hands of Nick Collins who returned it 62 yards for a score. That made it 24-7. The Pack added another field goal to go up 27-7 in the third quarter. Somewhere along the way, Colts K Adam Vinatieri -- who had never kicked at Lambeau Field -- missed a field goal.

With just under 5 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Colts drove down to the Packers 6-yard line, aided by several Packer penalties. Aaron Rouse stepped in front of a Manning pass and returned it 99 yards for another Packers TD, to go up 34-7. It was Rouse's first NFL touchdown.

In the Colts' final possession of the game, inside 2 minutes, they had a TD pass reviewed by the booth. It was reversed, as the receiver did not have full possession of the ball when he hit the ground. The Colts went for it on 4th and 7 from the 15 and it appeared the receiver was tackled out of bounds before the ball crossed the plane of the pylon. The refs on the field called it a TD, however. The play was again reviewed by the booth. Upon review, it was determined he fumbled the ball at the 1 before it went out of bounds. The Colts finally scored on the ensuing play to make it 34-14. Yawn.

This was the kind of game we've been waiting to see all season long, Packer fans! It was nice to see, and especially nice going into the bye week where players will have time to reflect on really how good this team could be, as well as give players time to heal.

As I said in the game preview, at 6:30 p.m. today we'd know if we were still atop the division or a game behind. Glad to report we're still atop the NFC North, along with Da Bearz who beat the ViQueens today.

I'm glad my gut about this game was wrong. And as my preseason predictions noted, there would be at least one game the Pack should win that they'd lose and vice versa. They lost the Tampa Bay game, a game I'd thought the Pack would win. Conversely, they beat the Colts, a game I had thought would probably go the other way. So, we have a wash at this point and are apparently where we should be right now: 4-3 heading to a week off.

We have much to look forward to in the second half of the season as players get healthy and return to play. The fact that backups have performed so well in many spots -- especially on the defense -- can only lead to better things down the road.

Go Pack Go!!!