Pack Continues to Fly Like an Eagle at LambeauPosted:Nov 17th, 2014 3:05 am
It's not supposed to be this easy. You're not supposed to outscore your opponent 128-9 in the first half of your last four home games. Yes, 128-9. You're not supposed to win the turnover battle 4-0. You' not supposed to have a near perfect quarterback and the hottest WR duo in the NFL. But that's where we are.
The Packers served notice to the rest of the NFC that you better get them on the road come playoff time, because the Lambeau mystique is back in full force. Some NFL talking heads weren't ready to take the Pack seriously since they'd only beaten one team with a winning record (Miami). But the 53 point explosion against one of the NFC's elite will change all that.
You like offense? The Pack put up 30 in the first half scoring in every way possible. Rodgers found Nelson and Cobb early and often. Looking for a big special teams play? Micah Hyde took a punt return to the house. Want to see the defense get into the act? Julius Peppers notched his second pick six of the season and Casey Hayward scooped up a Mark Sanchez fumble and took another one to the house.
We've never seen a Packer team on a roll like this. Never in their 90+ seasons have they served up back to back 50 burgers. You can almost hear Mark Trestman saying, 'See? We're not the only team that turns into a quivering bowl of jello when we step between the lines at Lambeau.'
It begins with Rodgers who is playing at a level even Brett Favre never approached. That's 29 touchdown passes at Lambeau with out a pick and 288 overall without giving one away. And he's converting on third downs with ease. On the second drive of the game he did it three times, on third and nine, 18 and ten yards, punctuated by a touchdown to Davante Adams.
The only negative was some shaky special teams play, with a blocked punt, a blocked extra point and a muffed extra point. But when you build a 30-6 lead at the half you can overlook a few miscues.
Defensively, the Packers dominated the previously high flying Eagles. As expected, Sanchez was picked twice and they hassled him into a fumble and sacked him three times. They made a statement early, letting LeSean McCoy know that he would not find the open lanes and generous running room he found at Lambeau a year ago. With the running game grounded, Sanchez found himself in unfriendly down and distance situations all day--that allowed the pass rush to tee off, forcing him into quick passes and keeping him off balance.
The next order of business for the Pack is to establish the same kind of dominance on the road. We saw it in Chicago in the first game after "Relax," which started this 6-1 roll the team is on. A similar performance in Minnesota would set up the Pack to have a chance to control their own destiny, with two more home games to follow.
The Lions' loss in Arizona lifts the Pack into a tie for the North lead--and Detroit has a tough test in New England in Week 12. Things are beginning to fall the Packers' way but we all know much can change from week to week. But Rodgers may have moved to the top of the MVP conversation, the defense is improving and taking the ball away in bunches. If they can stay healthy, they're looking like the kind of team that could take its fans on a Super ride come playoff time.