Sunday, November 15, 2009

Final: Packers 17 - Cowboys 7

The game strategy recommended in the preview here earlier today was one that the Packers apparently wound up using: the "opposite George/Packers" scheme. That's the one where the team does the exact opposite of everything they've done before to finally achieve success. For the most part, that's what they did. The defense played out of their minds, the offense didn't turn the ball over or allow wholesale sacks, and the special teams were adequate, not giving up the big play.

I was not optimistic about the prospects for this game. My prediction was that it would be too close to call. And well into the second half, it was.

Ya know, when you have low expectations you are rarely disappointed.

This was a game the Packers had to have, and they got it. Great individual performances from Johnny Jolly, Cullen Jenkins, Clay Matthews (who had 2 fumble recoveries) and especially Charles Woodson who had 9 tackles, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles and a key interception at the goal line. The defense got 5 sacks on QB Tony Romo and held the Cowboys out of the endzone until there was less than a minute remaining in the game.

The offense played a controlled game, no big yardage plays and no turnovers, either. They went to a short drop formula a lot today and as a result QB Aaron Rodgers was only sacked once on the day. Rodgers had a 1-yard rushing TD to put the Pack up 10-0 and then threw a roughly 3-yard TD pass to Spencer Havner to put the Pack up 17-0 in the 4th quarter.

If the Packers had played with this intensity last week they'd be sitting at 6-3 instead of 5-4 right now. Philadelphia, the Giants and Atlanta are also 5-4 and the competition for the wild card at this point. Still a long way to go. But this was a good, solid win and shows what the team is capable of when they want it. They need to keep that attitude the rest of the season to have a chance at the playoffs.

The "Opposite Packers"...that's the winning strategy, kids. Better hope they keep that in mind as they prepare for next week's game against San Francisco.

More game details and analysis will come later. But for now, you just have to savor this win. It's a team we haven't seen much of yet this season. But it is the one most of us expected to see much sooner. Glad it finally showed up. Very glad.