Rodgers, Schmodgers. Who Needs Rodgers? Wait, We Do.Posted:Dec 9th, 2013 3:49 am
A thing of beauty it wasn't. But with the Pack making just enough plays to eke out a win over the Falcons, we can continue to dream about an NFC North division title, at least for one more week.
It was a strange viewing day for me. I was at Eden Prairie High School for most of the game, watching my ten year old son's hoops tournament (they took home third place, for those who were wondering). You've gotta love 21st century technology. I handed off my scorekeeping duties and kept one eye on the game and one eye on my Droid Maxx, where the Sunday Ticket app allowed me to watch the game from my seat in the bleachers.
I wasn't able to give the game my complete attention of course, but I saw Matt Flynn play a much more solid game, completing 75% of his passes and engineering a number of long drives on a very cold day--it definitely took something out of the Falcons defense in the second half, when the Pack moved the ball fairly easily and completed its comeback.
I got home in time for the fourth quarter pass that Jarrett Bush intercepted to put an exclamation point on things. After a very shaky second quarter that had the Packers reeling and trailing by double digits, the defense came on strong in the second half. I'm still not crazy about the run defense--Steven Jackson shouldn't average give yards a carry against anyone these days.
But they made plays on this day when they had to. And then Mike Neal made the biggest one of the day, forcing the fumble that put the Pack in position for the go ahead score. It made up for the fluky pick six that ended a promising Packer drive before halftime and gave the Birds an 11 point lead at intermission.
It was nice to see Flynn get production out of the tight end position. Andrew Quarless had a career day and Brandon Bostick caught a couple. They combined for eight catches and nearly 100 yards--along with Quarless' TD pass that put the Pack ahead to stay.
It was 42 days between victories for the Packers and at 6-6-1 they're still on life support, when it comes to the playoffs. But the Lions did their part, blowing a two touchdown lead in the snow in Philly. They channeled the Packers run defense and allowed LeSean McCoy to run them off the field. The loss pulls the Pack to within a half game of the division lead. The Kitties need to lose one more time if the Pack is to steal the division by winning its next three.
Which brings us to Aaron Rodgers. Let's not kid ourselves. The Packers aren't winning in Dallas without him. Tony Romo is in a dogfight for the East division and can't afford to slip up at home. They'll be coming off a short week, after the Monday night game in Chicago--that benefits the Pack. But Rodgers needs to be out there.
The Packers passed their first playoff test on Sunday. If Rodgers returns to the stage where he orchestrated his greatest victory at the house that Jerry built, they'll have a good opportunity to pass their next one. One week at a time, and hopefully with #12 at the wheel.