The real refs came back to a heroes welcome. Hats were tipped to the crowd and everyone cheered until the first bad call of the game and the chorus of boos could be heard resonating all the way to the Fox River. Thankfully neither one of the questionable decisions made by the refs had a direct outcome on the game and the match-up between these two high powered offenses was settled on the field of play. Time to move on to what I liked and didn’t from yesterday’s game.
- Offense- The Packers found their rhythm against a defense that was 32nd against the run and 25th against the pass. Yes these ratings aren’t great but signs are pointing to the Pack’s offense struggling because of their first three opponents and not a problem within itself. Cedric Benson ran the ball hard and averaged over four yards a carry for the second time this season. Besides a Rodgers interception he looked like his 2011 form throwing for over 300 yards and four touchdowns. It was also great to see the no huddle offense come out for a few drives yesterday.
- Offensive line- I think the offensive line realized they took a huge crap on Monday against the Seahawks. New Orleans doesn’t have the greatest pass rush in the world but Rodgers got sacked a grand total of zero times and opened enough holes for Cedric Benson to pick up chunks of yards on early downs.
- Guts- Mike McCarthy has a huge pair of stones on him. After shocking everyone (including himself) by running a fake field goal against the Bears in week 2, Mike ran a fake punt on a 4th and short inside their own 20! The play worked beautifully with a direct snap to John Kuhn who picked up a crucial first down. The look on Mike’s face after the play was priceless.
- Run defense- The defense gave up a grand total 45 yards on 19 carries with a long of nine. There were absolutely no holes to run through and the Pack made tackles in space.
- Pass defense- After surrendering 376 yards against their first three opponents, Drew Brees torched the Pack’s defense for 446 yards and three touchdowns. Receivers were running free through the Packers zone defense which boggles my mind why they aren’t playing more bump and run. A good portion of it was because Brees is just a damn good quarterback. Either way, you can’t let anyone throw for that many yards.
- Pass Rush- After seeing what the Chiefs did to Brees and the Saints last week I thought the Packers were going to have a field day getting to the QB. I was wrong. While they did record two sacks Brees had way too much time to throw.
- Missed opportunities- The biggest one that sticks out in my mind is the goal line play where Graham Harrell tripped over I believe Jeff Saturday’s legs which resulted in a fumble and the Saints recovering. The other big one that sticks out in my mind is the Burnett-Williams collision which should have been a pick for Tramon. Communication is key gentlemen.
Overall I am happy with how the Pack played. I am hoping the pass defense that we saw yesterday doesn’t stick but after coming off a Monday night game which featured as bad a call as you will ever see, the Pack came out firing and earned a victory to get to 2-2.