Packers Make Statement in Rout of 'SkinsPosted:Sep 16th, 2013 1:23 am
Every now and then you get to put your feet up at halftime. Every now and then you get to witness a completely dominant performance, giving you a glimpse of how good your team can be when it's firing on all cylinders.
Such was the case for the Pack in their home opener as Aaron Rodgers was as sharp as he's ever been and the defense was in shutdown mode until, at 31-0, they backed off the pressure and played a bit more conservatively--easing to a 38-20 win and a 1-1 record.
Missing three of the top six guys in the secondary? No sweat. The Packers dialed up pressure on a maybe 60% healthy RGIII and it was no contest most of the day. They only sacked him once, but he was never really comfortable back there until the game was well out of reach.
But this victory was defined by the Packers offense, which put on its most dominant performance since the year I was born, 1962. Rodgers was merely brilliant, toying with the Skins' secondary, and torching the outside corners--James Jones went from an afterthought in week one (just two targets), to go-to guy in week two: catching virtually everything that was thrown his way. Randall Cobb was also pretty much unstoppable, with his second 100 yard game in as many weeks.
But as perfect as Rodgers was (146 passer rating), what everyone will be talking about is the ground game, which finally shed its 44 game drought without a 100 yard rusher. Going into the game, Eddie Lacy seemed poised to announce his presence to the NFL. His first carry was a nice one, until his helmet met the helmet of notorious headhunter Brandon Meriweather. He was knocked into next week and was done with a concussion. It's unlikely he'll be cleared to play next week and will be given the the bye week to get right. Let's hope he's ready to return by then. Karma paid Meriweather back a bit later when he suffered a concussion of his own after trying to go helmet to helmet on James Starks.
Ah, Mr. Starks. A month ago he appeared headed out of town, a victim of a suddenly deep running back corps. But he beat out Alex Green and when DuJuan Harris wrecked his knee he was suddenly the backup to Lacy. Presented with an opportunity on Sunday, Starks grabbed it with both hands, rumbling for 132 yards on 20 carries, a robust 6.6 yards per carry average. Needless to say, when the Pack can run like that they are very tough to beat.
This game was exactly what the doctor ordered. After acquitting themselves well in a narrow loss in San Francisco, the Pack opened their home slate with a dominant performance on both sides of the ball. Next up, the Cincinnati Bengals who will be playing on a short week, following the Monday night division game with the Steelers. It's likely that the team will still be shorthanded in the secondary again (with the bye week next) and AJ Green will be the primary concern for the defense. For now, let's soak in a fun laugher at Lambeau, a game that reminded everyone that the Pack remains a member of the NFC elite.