Packers XLV

Win Over Lions Puts Division Title Within Reach Next Week

Posted December 10th, 2012 @ 04:12am

After spotting the Lions a 14-0 lead, the Pack woke up with a strong running game and good third down defense to outscore Detroit 27-6 the rest of the way and make it 22 straight over the Kitties in Wisconsin--and 11 straight wins in the division.

In the process they took a one game lead over the Bears in the NFC North. A win at Soldier Field next Sunday would give the Pack the division title and a home playoff game.

The first half was marred by penalties by the Pack: three off sides calls, a couple of untimely holding penalties in a half dominated by the Lions, who controlled the ball, allowing Green Bay to run only 16 offensive plays. The Pack only trailed 14-10 at intermission, just like last week against the Vikings. The defensive score by Mike Daniels was huge, getting the team within striking distance.

The winning drive in the fourth quarter was a thing of beauty: seven plays, 59 yards, all on the ground, with Alex Green, DuJuan Harris and Ryan Grant all getting involved. I really like the way Harris runs: he's only 5'7", but he runs hard and doesn't go down easily. The Packers ran for 142 yards, after putting up 150 last week against the Purple. The offense is evolving as teams sit back and dare them to run. They've shown the past two weeks that they can run and that will serve them well as teams game plan against them.

Once again, Randall Cobb was the main weapon in the passing game, catching 7 for over 100 yards, including a couple of gorgeous catches in the fourth quarter that extended drives.

For the first time in his last 36 home games, Aaron Rodgers failed to throw a touchdown pass, falling a few games short of Dan Marino's record. But I doubt it will keep him up at night. The team ground out a win on a night the offense wasn't really in synch and has won seven of eight, with re-enforcements set to return to the lineup. Hopefully we'll see Matthews and Woodson return to the defense next week, as well as Lang and Nelson on the offense.

Finally, hats off to Mason Crosby, who missed a 53 yarder (a sack on third down made it just beyond the dreaded 50 yard mark which spells trouble for #2), but he made a 49 yarder in the second quarter and a 41 yarder in the fourth and seems to have steadied himself just in the nick of time.

And so we move on to Bears week, where we'll monitor the health of Jay Cutler, who left the Vikings game late with a neck injury. Early reports say it doesn't appear serous, but the Bears are in trouble, losers of two straight and their defense is fading, clearly missing Brian Urlacher and Tim Jennings.

A win on Sunday will give the Pack the North title. Believe it or not, a first round bye would also be within reach, since the 49ers play at New England and Seattle next two weeks. With a division title on the line, I invite you to join me at the Park Tavern for the big game at noon on Sunday. Bring an unopened toy or a donation for Toys for Tots and you'll have a chance at a great Packers prize.


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Comments (14):

It's a joy to find somnoee who can think like that

on April 15th, 2013 at 04:52pm

Early in the first quarter both the Packers and the Bears trailed by 14 points yesterday. One team had what it takes to withstand and overcome that. Kudos to Dainels for a nice scoop and run for the game changer. Kudos to the whole team, including the coaching staff, for being able to adjust and persevere.

on December 10th, 2012 at 09:10am

Nice win with our "B "game. With the injured guys coming back we need to get our "A" game back with momentum for the playoffs. Would like to see us use more "no huddle" hurry up like at Houston. But....with wide receiver injuries MM just does not trust it yet. Hopefully with Nelson back and Jennings healthy and added to Cobb he will start unleashing it. Can not understand why we have not seen Jennings on quick slants over the middle with these Tampa 2 deep defenses they have seen. I feel MM is holding back and waiting to unleash. Nice play by the young Dbacks again and like Davy I liked DJ Harris...small, quick guy with body type of a Darren Sproles of New Orleans. Let's get a big crowd at the Park Tavern for the Bear game. It would be nice to meet some of you regulars from this site !! GO PACK GO !!

on December 10th, 2012 at 09:42am

nice call Davey on harris, I thought mm would trust 25 more, but they both looked quick with fresh legs, I'm with u ossg. u can tell 12 is frustrated by now being able to pass. I asked for the slants last week and so did Dave. they have seen this coverage with the vikings and bears for 5 years, now we can't pass, all we can do is run? I'm lost. If we can't pass, it shortens the game for the other team, and we don't get explosive plays. that helps the other team and it kills 12. we need to figure out something. but we keep winning somehow, 52 is scaring me, those darn hamstrings u never know. thanks to the vikings for beating the bears . I didn't think they could do it passing for 90 yards again. !st team to 20 wins next week, we will see, go pack.

on December 10th, 2012 at 12:05pm

I wouldn't worry too much about missing out on quick slants over the middle against the cover two, because in that defense the middle is clogged up with linebackers waiting to pick off an easy one or decapitate a receiver. Slants won't work against a rush 4/cover 7 D. C'mon guys, quit sweating over the small stuff! If they can get defenses to respect the run early in the game, and keep at least one more in the box, you'll start to see the middle open up. And we should be glad the running game is starting to come together, even if it is by committee. The injured guys are starting to trickle back into the fold, so things are looking up. Nice job by everyone, with a shout out to the O-line for keeping it together the way they did.

on December 11th, 2012 at 06:09pm

The important thing was getting the win but we must acknowledge we got some help from the Lions' trademark sloppiness and ineptitude. If not for that the Packers could have been buried too deep at the beginning of the game to pound their way back. Fortunately the dice seem to be rolling the Packers' way now. The Bears losing two in a row puts Green Bay firmly in the driver's seat in the division with a chance to clinch this Sunday. But we can't get too elated about beating teams like Detroit and Chicago any more than we could be making Super Bowl reservations after St.Louis, Jacksonville and Arizona. There's still 3 teams in the NFC we don't know if the Packers can beat in the playoffs: San Francisco, New York and Atlanta. And those will be the ones waiting in January in the way to New Orleans.

on December 11th, 2012 at 07:00pm

Can't ask for much more than a Pack win and a Bear loss (Miami beating SF would have been nice but can't always get what you want). It was hard to cheer for the Viks Sunday but nice to have a little breathing room. Let's just win Sunday against the Bears and wrap this up. Don't want to "need" that game at the dome; too many weird things happen there. Great to see the running game going again. And how about our secondary? Tramon singled up on the #1 WR, Shields back strong, Hayward looking like a true playmaker, Davion seems to be real. Can't wait to get Woodson back but will be very curious to see where and how Capers uses him. Would think we would have to keep Hayward as slot cover so does Woodson just play safety at the line in run support and on blitz or ?? I love Charles but we was a bit of a liability in coverage earlier this year if I am remembering correctly. Regardless, the emotional spark we will get on Def when Charles and Clay come back is going to be huge. Getting better as we head into the playoffs? That's what we want to see!

on December 11th, 2012 at 08:42am

Woodson did have some trouble earlier this year in coverage, but he still has a couple of things over Hayward (who I do like). Woodson is taller, he's a better run stopper and blitzer. He's just more versatile inside the box and covering tight ends. Choosing when to play Woodson vs. Hayard, that's the kind of problem you like to have. Play calling wise, I think MM is walking a fine line figuring out what his personnel can do and still trying to hold something back. A run game is how you beat two deep coverage. I think we are trying to figure out what we can do to beat the Giants if or when we face them again (I think we will).

on December 11th, 2012 at 10:12am

What have I been saying all years Packer Fans?! Randall Cobb! I'm not going to say I told you so....BUT, the more MM finds ways to be creative with RC, the longer we play into the post season.

on December 12th, 2012 at 07:39pm

One thing that worries me about this game is the point spread. The Pack are 3 point favorites on the Bear's turf. Statitics will tell you the home underdog covers this spread 80% of the time. So...for the Pack to win and the Bears to cover the Pack would need to win by 1 or 2 points. So....either hope we get the 20% trend in a victory or a close win. Bill..the Voice of Reason may think this is a foolish point....but a Voice of Reason is a logical thinker who can't buck a trend. GO PACK GO !!

on December 13th, 2012 at 01:28pm

One important point I missed on the point spread theory is the 80% success rate is only on 3 or 31/2 spreads....not all home underdogs....important point.

on December 13th, 2012 at 01:31pm long as there is a minimum of 1 point more on the Packers side of the scoreboard, it's all good. As you can probably tell, I'm not much of a point spread guy, but I do enjoy looking them up (strictly for entertainment and informational purposes only). :-) Aside from all that, I'm thinking it'll be a low scoring game like the majority of Packer/Bear contests. So having said that, Pack 20, Bears 13. I guess that means they'll cover!! :-)

on December 13th, 2012 at 04:28pm

Forget about Brandon Marshall. He may be a very good receiver, but some one has to throw him the ball. If we can harass Cutler (and then his backup), Marshall won't get that many good balls thrown his way. As per usually it all starts up front and with the return of Matthews, the entire defensive (especially the line) gets better. Stop Forte, pick off Cutler, Packers win. If Forte goes runs for 150, then the Bears will have a good chance of beating us. No rain 27-17 pack. Rain 20-10 Pack.

on December 14th, 2012 at 08:58am

hey guys, good to see a lot of u making predictions with the score also. i love it. this is the hardest game I have had to pick this year. the bears have to win, but do have 2 easy games left, az. and lions. I think the rams will beat vikes 23-17 so if we win it, it's over, I know if we win we have the division, but s.f. should lose to N.E. sunday so we have to look at #2 seed too. 52 will be the key tonite, he had 3.5 sacks the 1st time. and here u go davey, I predicted tramon would stop marshal and have 2 picks the 1st time they played, come on, that is pretty hard to predict and be right Davey. he will have him again, with help again from burnett. if we stop forte from draws and swing passes, we win 24-21, gould is out also. go packers.,

on December 14th, 2012 at 10:50am

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