Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halftime: Packers 21 - Cleveland 3

Coming out of the 1st quarter break, the Browns kicked a short field goal to take a 3-0 lead. The Packers responded by executing their own scoring drive, finished off with a 41-yard TD pass (mostly on yards after catch) to TE Spencer Havner...the first TD of his career. 7-3 Packers.

The Packers defense then held Cleveland and forced a punt; however, the Packers punt return unit had 12 men on the field. As TV commentator and former DB John Lynch said, "Inexcusable." Yup.

But, the Packers "D" held yet again and the Packers got the ball back. It didn't take long for Aaron Rodgers to connect with Donald Driver on a 71-yard TD play, to go up 14-3. It was the Packers' longest TD pass play of the year, although about 60 of those yards were on a great run-after-catch by Driver.

On the Browns' next series, the Packers' defense began turning up the pressure -- finally -- on QB Derrick Anderson, with good results: Charles Woodson got another interception and took the ball down to the Browns' 15-yard line. From there, the Pack took it down to have 1st and goal from about the 3-yard line. A pass interference call in the endzone gave the Packers the ball at the 1 with 1st and goal. Two runs failed to advance the ball. Finally, Ryan Grant was able -- just able -- to get the ball across the goal line. The ball came out but Grant was judged to have possession when he crossed into the endzone. There was no challenge. Packers 21 - Browns 3.

With time running down in the half, the Browns were able to get to about midfield and tossed a Hail Mary pass that was knocked down in the endzone.

So, the Packers look to be well in control of this game on both sides of the ball. And one very nice stat from the 1st half -- something I don't think we've seen all year -- is that Aaron Rodgers was not sacked once. Penalties on the offense have also been minimal.

The Packers outgained the Browns 236 yards to 82 in the half. There is no reason they shouldn't be able to continue this in the second half. Let's not put it in cruise control just yet though. There's another 30 minutes to go.