Sunday, September 16, 2007

Pack vs Giants recap

The Pack is now 2-0 for the first time since 2001. Brett was lighting it up. In fact, he started the second half 14 for 14. Finished the day 29 for 28 with 3 TDs and 1 INT. Not bad for an ol' gunslinger who is just supposed to "manage the game." R-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-ght.

Due to some technical difficulties on this end, I wasn't able to provide the 3rd and 4th quarter wrap ups that I try to do when possible. So, let me just provide a few observations about the second half, where the Packers broke the game wide open. You can obviously find more game detail and stats elsewhere. This is just one fan's take on a few of the key moments, along with some comments.

3rd quarter...a 2-yard TD pass to Bubba Franks put the Pack ahead 14-10 The Giants eventually kicked another field goal to make the score 14-13. At this point, it still looked like it might be a close game.

Brett opened the 4th quarter going 9 for 9 for nearly 80 yards and a TD pass to Donald Lee in the corner of the end zone to put the Pack up 21-10. The ensuing kickoff return was fumbled by the Giants and recovered by special teams demon Tracey White at the Giants 22. The Packers were soon up 28-10 on a TD pass to Donald Driver at the back of the end zone. With about 6-1/2 minutes to go in the game, Eli Manning was pressured out of the pocket, panicked, and instead of throwing the ball out of bounds threw it back into the field directly into the arms of lineman Corey White at the Packers 47-yard line. A few plays later, rookie RB DeShawn Wynn bounced a run to the outside and turned what probably should have been a 4-yard gain into a 38-yard touchdown run. Packers 35-Giants 13. Manning was replaced by the Giants' back up QB with a little more than 4 minutes left in the game. He was injured not long thereafter, but stayed in as long as he could before giving way to the Giants emergency QB with a little more than 2 minutes to go. The Giants did mount a little drive, and threw to the end zone on 4th down. DB Jared Bush broke up what would have been a sure TD, preserving the margin of victory. Game over.

A few reflections

Brett looked great, and it looked like he was having a lot of fun both on the field and on the sideline. He might be gaining confidence in some of the kids around him. And that's a very good thing. In addition to becoming the winningest (is that a word?) QB of all time, he is now only 4 TD passes away from setting the all time TD pass record. And, oh yeah, his teammates gave him the game ball.

The offensive line...still needs dramatic improvement. Better than last week, but still not anywhere close to creating a sufficient running game. Pass protection was better, but on the other hand, the Giants defensive line was patchwork...which also makes the line's inability to generate a rushing game disappointing. Although they did go from 47 yards rushing last week to 83 today...yeah, you're right, it still sucks. And even that figure is misleading because Wynn's TD run accounted for 38 of the, yeah, sucky.

Speaking of Wynn, his two TD runs -- one for 6 and and the other for 38 -- both demonstrated why the Packers picked him. They may have gotten a diamond in the rough. His "issues" caused him to drop to the 7th round where the Packers decided to take a shot on him. After missing a lot of training camp with injury, he's only now actually getting back into playing form. If he continues to work hard, he could wind up being a key factor in the Pack's backfield this year. He has speed, he can cut with the best of them, and he has power. The jury is still out, but you have to like these little flashes you see.

Special teams continues to make a difference. And Tracey White is really excelling in this area. So is returner Tramon Williams, who had a couple nice returns today, including a 42-yarder.

Charles Woodson missed more than a handful of tackles today. It reminds one of what we saw out of him early in the season last year. He has to do a better job. Pride and experience indicate he will.

The Giants helped the Packers a great deal today. Not only with the turnovers, but with several key penalties that stopped their own drives or kept Packers drives going. That's part of the game too. We'll take it.

The Pack returns to Lambeau next week to take on the Chargers, who smacked Da Bearz around in week #1 and are, as I write this, trailing the New England Pilferers, er, Patriots, 17-0 in the first half. The Packers have shown that they are a team with a good defense, a good special teams unit, and an offense that maybe is coming together. There are no easy games. And given that the Bolts are expected by some to go to and perhaps win the Super Bowl this season, this will be a tough game. But one which maybe will show whether the Packers are for real this season.

But hey, we're 2-0. And Da Bearz aren't. That still feels mighty fine! So does winning 6 in a row going back to last year. Not bad. Not bad at all.