Packers XLV

Rodgers Hushes Critics; Defense Crushes Foster and Texans

Posted October 15th, 2012 @ 03:10am

.500 never felt so good. With an opportunity to make a statement on the road against an unbeaten team, the Pack did just that behind the golden arm of Aaron Rodgers and a stout run defense that completely bottled up Arian Foster and the Texans offense. The Pack played like a team that had chip on its shoulder and was playing with urgency. The result: 42-24.

When asked by Michelle Tafoya what he had to say to his critics, who were wondering what was wrong with him and the offense, Rodgers said, "Shhhhh."

Suddenly all seems right with the world. There were heroes and good signs all over the board. Let's start with the offense, which started out hot and stayed that way. Rodgers and Nelson found a rhythm early, and with the offensive line doing its job, Rodgers had time to find Nelson, Cobb, Jones and Finley all night long. It was made possible by a strong night running the football by Alex Green. He only averaged three yards per carry, but he got 22 carries and that was huge.

This was a game for Rodgers to let his performance do the talking, after answering questions day after day from folks wondering what was wrong with the Packers' offense. Six touchdowns later against the mighty Texans defense was his exclamation point. Clearly they're not the same without linebacker Brian Cushing, but the Pack's defense was even more short-handed.

Ultimately it's that side of the ball that had to make you feel really good. Holding Arian Foster to 1.7 yards per carry on 17 carries, without BJ Raji, was a thing of beauty. Pickett played very well in Raji's spot, and youngsters like Worthy and Neal stepped up big. When Nick Perry and DJ Smith went down with injuries the depth was tested. But the defense didn't miss a beat. When Sam Shields got kicked in the shin, rookie Casey Hayward came in and got two late picks--on very acrobatic plays. I'd like to see more of him, hopefully not at the expense of a Shields injury though.

They cleaned up the penalties--had no pre-snap problems in a loud environment--and forced some turnovers. Two elements that needed to change after what we witnessed last week. We saw precisely what we needed to see in Houston: a dominant 'don't forget about us' game that brought some sanity back to the world. They'll be favored to win the next three games before the bye against teams that will have a hard time keeping up on the scoreboard.

It's been an often frustrating first six weeks to the NFL season. But for one night we were reminded what this team can do. When Rodgers and company are playing at that level, there's no team they should fear.


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Comments (14):

I love that they played w/a chip on their shoulder and 12 thrived while playing like that. I was very happy with the effort their D as well.

on October 15th, 2012 at 03:47pm

With Rodgers playing with such a hot hand and being so close with 6 td passes last night I was a little disappointed Mike McCarthy didn't try to get him at least a share of the NFL record of 7 in a game. There's been some 30 6 td passing games in pro football history but only 5 have thrown 7 in a single game. The last to do it was Joe Kapp of the Vikings against the Baltimore Colts in 1969. The others in this unique fraternity are Sid Luckman (Bears vs. NY Giants in 1943), Adrian Burke (Eagles vs. Wash. Redskins in 1954), George Blanda (AFL Houston Oilers vs. NY Titans-present day Jets- in 1961), and Y.A. Tittle (Giants vs. Redskins in 1962.) Tittle and Kapp also threw for over 500 yds in their 7 td games. Kapp was 36 of 56 for 538 in his but was also intercepted twice. There's a few defenses coming up where Aaron Rodgers could move up in history with a 7 or maybe even an 8 td game; if McCarthy will let him.

on October 15th, 2012 at 04:21pm

Hey folks, went to Lombardi yesterday at the History Theatre and was really entertaining. The man playing Vince is short, loud...OK, exactly what you'd expect Vince to be like. The theatre is small and intimate making it easy to hear without mics. Good time, and glad we went.

on October 15th, 2012 at 04:30pm

I just hope this doesn't turn out to be something of a pyrrhic victory, depending on the seriousness of the injuries to Nick Perry, DJ Smith, Brandon Saine and Sam Shields. It has to be reassuring about this season the way the Packers have stepped up and showed up in the critical games they had to have against quality opponents Chicago, New Orleans and Houston. Now it's time to avoid a letdown against upcoming weaker opponents St. Louis, Jacksonville and Arizona before the bye. We don't need any more Seattle or Indianapolis games happening; although New England going to Seattle and losing, this time apparently without officiating aid, does put the Packers' stolen win there in a little different perspective.

on October 15th, 2012 at 05:44am

RANDALL COBB....I told you so three weeks ago...

on October 15th, 2012 at 06:14am

I think they should fear every team and play with the urgency and energy they brought to this one. Mind set and preparation are crucial in a league where the difference between winning and losing is the smallest of margins. That said, I think I'll stay negative and hope to continue to be wrong. I still don't think anyone wants Alex Green to be a starting running back (he did play much better, and I thank him), but he's the best option we have. Starks looked useless, but he may not be ready. Hayward definitely looks promising, although the second pick should have caught by the safety. Shields shine bruise (if that is what it is) should keep him out, but they can be very very tender. I think I shall smile all week and predict another loss on Friday. ;)

on October 15th, 2012 at 08:35am

All is right in the universe again, Packers win, Vikings lose...the way it's suppose to be. Rodgers was playing like he always plays, it's just that now the WRs are hanging onto the ball. We must also lock up Cobb as soon as possible, he is now one of our key players. The team really did play with urgency, even Hawk, who I've been a little down on, was making tackles behind the line of scrimmage. lynndickeyfan- I'm sorry you have the need to feel negative because positive is so much more fun, enjoy the wins and the season. Hey, where's Cane this morning, licking his wounds after yesterdays whoopin'.

on October 15th, 2012 at 09:05am

"PLAYING FAST "!! These are the two words that described this victory and the way the Pack needs to play. Yes....the two words could be Aaron Rodgers and who can argue that but as a team this is the first time this season they have played fast. From starting with the no huddle (it helps having real refs placing the ball quickly rather than the repo's) and MM staying with receivers playing fast off the ball rather than being intimidated by the bump and run like in earlier a running back that while not getting big runs does not slow dance but hits the holes an OL showing quicker feet in blocking both off the ball and in pass Rodgers making his quickest decisions of the season rather than holding the a defense that played quicker to the ball rather than the loose zone using the quick elusive Randall Cobb with more seeing Dbacks react to the ball rather than sit back(think Sam Shield's interception) Capers and MM to stay on top of this mentality....this is Packer football. Hopefully Greg Jennings is back soon to add more "Playing Fast" Let's hope the injuries are not serious and we keep this positive"Playing Fast" style going!! GO PACK GO !!

on October 15th, 2012 at 09:41am

I wouldn't worry too much about missing out on 7 TD passes. This team has bigger fish to fry than to worry about style points. This may have been a statement game, but it'll mean nothing if they don't follow up on it. Good job guys...keep it going.

on October 15th, 2012 at 11:26pm

well Davey, did they show u enough? i told u i had a feeling about this on my last blog. it just seemed right to call a upset. they played far better then i thought they would. but they did what i said, played man to man on the wr's and zone behind them. i know tramon gave up some catches to johnson, BUT, no big plays as we need to do. NO BIG PLAYS TO FOSTER, as i said. good call on cobb Ray. he is great as long as he doesn't fumble like he was in pre season. he helps with some quickness. But Davey, come on in your entire post not one word about james jones? how many times did i read on this blog that we should trade him. he has been fantastic. the more confidence he gets and 12 gets in him the better for the the packers. i'm with u Paul from Eagan, enjoy what ever we have this season, we are getting a little spoiled around here. look around at some other teams. the rams have a good D, but we should get by if they play with urgency as lynndickey fan said. I would like to see them look at lance ball or moreno, from the broncos as help at rb. they need some backups now that saine is hurt again. they have same blocking scheme over there. nice week se ya boys

on October 15th, 2012 at 11:29am

Wow! I was nervous about this game. It sure was fun watching the Pack beat up on the Texans with 42 points & only 17 allowed on defense. I agree with Paul from Egan I too attended "Lombardi" at this History Theatre Saturday night & it was a great production. I also agree we need to enjoy these kinds of victories & seeing the team play so well. Lynndickeyfan & OSSG you both are correct, the Packers need to play with this kind of energy & urgency for every game. I was very impressed despite the injuries how the Packers were able to shut down Foster & the Texans ground game. I hope this game indicates the kind of team the Packers have this season, something much better than a .500 club. Cane, I'm glad we don't have to play the NFC east this year otherwise we too would have to face RGIII. He made your team look silly & he will probably make other teams silly. Go Pack!

on October 15th, 2012 at 11:52pm

Man I'd rather play the Giants than RG3. Your team may have caught a break by finishing 1st last year and being matched up with NY. RG3 is like AR if he ran a 4.2 Never seen anything like him in 25 years of watching football......

on October 15th, 2012 at 12:22pm bring up a good point. From an NFC North perspective, RG3 would send chills down the spine of every D coordinator in the division, let alone any other division for that matter. But it's sort of a case of be careful of what you ask for, because you might get it. AS impressive as the beatdown the Vikes administered to the 49ers a few weeks back, look what the Giants did to them this weekend. If Coughlin's boys can keep this up, they will be scary good come playoff time....REALLY scary. It's a long season, and anything can happen, but after this weekend's thrashing by the Giants, I'm more than a little concerned about the Pack's visit to NJ later on. But first things first - the most important game for the Pack right now is the Rams, and not just because it's the next one on the schedule. The Texans game was one thing, but the Rams game is the real statement game. Fischer is well on his way to turning this club around, and with all those draft choices they got from the Redskins (another RG3 tie-in), they will be a force in years to come. The Rams will put up a good struggle, but the Pack should prevail. If they have a letdown, and we all know that's a possibility, all bets are off.

on October 16th, 2012 at 01:18pm

Just enjoying that feeling that I got used to last year but has been missing this year: love livin' in Mpls the day after the Pack win and Queens lose! McCarthy will need to be sure we don't have a letdown aginst a Rams team that we SHOULD beat but that plays pretty well at home having already beaten Wash, Seat & Arz to be a perfect 3-0 in the Edward Jones Dome. Amendola was their biggest offensive weapon and now that he is out for the season, all we have to do is stop the running tandem of Jackson and their young, big-play Richardson. Hopefully, we can get that done even without Raji if he is still out and a reworked linebacking corps. GO PACK!

on October 16th, 2012 at 08:45am

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