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Zero2Cool  
#1 Posted : Monday, September 15, 2008 12:18:18 PM(UTC)
Quote:
[img_r]http://graphics.jsonline.com/graphics/packer/img/news/sep08/xaaron14b.jpg[/img_r]Detroit - The Green Bay Packers won 13 games a year ago, crushed Seattle in the playoffs and were an overtime away from making the Super Bowl.

Not exactly chopped liver, if you get the drift.

But now, based on their hard-won victory over rugged Minnesota and a fourth-quarter uprising of seismic proportion Sunday at Ford Field that put away the hopeless Detroit Lions, this question begged to be asked: Do the Packers think they're as good as they were in 2007?

"I do. Seriously, I really do," defensive tackle Ryan Pickett said after the 48-25 triumph. "He (Brett Favre) was a great player and all that stuff, but I just think as a team we're a year older, a little more experienced and a little better than we were.

"On defense, we are. Offensively, I think we are. And (Aaron) Rodgers . . . I mean, dude, he's calm under pressure and he's right on the money. He's definitely impressed me."

Already the Packers are alone atop the NFC North, just as they were last year after two weeks before running away with the division.

Since divisional play originated in 1967, this season and 1998 are the only times the Packers have opened 2-0 against divisional foes.

But what bodes so well for the Packers is they're winning with exhilarating feats made by players who are so fresh and so talented.

"I feel 2-0," said coach Mike McCarthy, who is 5-0 against Detroit's Rod Marinelli, 11-3 against the NFC North, 12-5 on the road and 20-4 in his last 24 games.

"It's an excellent win. We won by over three touchdowns but we made some big mistakes."

On Sunday, the Lions probably played as hard as they will all season after being pilloried all week after a humiliating defeat in Atlanta. They bowed their necks and stymied Ryan Grant eight times for 1 yard or less, they pressured Rodgers with minimal blitzing and they got a gutsy game for 3 quarters from their mediocre old quarterback, Jon Kitna.

But in the end, after the Packers had overcome a 25-24 deficit by amassing 24 points in the span of 3 minutes 10 seconds, what remained was the sense that Green Bay is just immensely superior to Detroit.

Not only is Rodgers far better than the other quarterbacks in the NFC North, his performance in two games is commensurate with quarterbacks who make the Pro Bowl. From the pocket or on the dead run, he just keeps putting tight spirals right on his receivers. For two games he hasn't even come close to throwing an interception.

His leading receiver, Greg Jennings, is a positively electrifying performer. His 60-yard burst on a short slant with his team trailing by a point was a game-changing play by a player who has achieved game-changing status.

Another third-year player, Will Blackmon, almost broke two or three kickoffs. Granted, Blackmon is really fast, but his ability to withstand frontal hits and not go down was astonishing.

And then there was Nick Collins slicing up from the deep hash to return an interception for a 42-yard touchdown, A.J. Hawk vaulting over running back Kevin Smith for a sack and Cullen Jenkins forging another monster game.

All those players are 27 or younger, the norm for the youngest team in the league for the third straight year.

Not to be outdone, old pro Charles Woodson made two brilliant interceptions in the fourth quarter, setting up a clinching touchdown with the first and returning the other 41 yards for a score.

"We've got a great group of guys, great head coach and a great organization," Woodson said. "But when you're winning everybody looks good."

The Packers will know where they stand next Sunday night against Dallas. As usual, it wasn't hard for general manager Ted Thompson to hide his enthusiasm.

"We're just getting started here," Thompson said. "I hope we can keep it going. It's a good start, though."

Soon-to-be 69-year-old special-teams coach Mike Stock was without opinion when asked if this team was better than last year.

"We've got to earn our way," Stock said. "I won't have any opinions on that until the end of the season."

The Packers let Detroit back into the game when two of their young players, Tramon Williams and Aaron Rouse, let down in the secondary.

Calvin Johnson, the Lions' one shining hope on offense, beat Woodson inside on a slant. When Rouse took a poor angle on the ball, Johnson had a 38-yard touchdown.

After punter Derrick Frost misplayed a snap and yielded a safety, Johnson beat Williams on a slant and made Rouse miss in the open field. The 47-yard score put the Lions up, 25-24.

At least Williams (25) and Rouse (24) are young and talented. The Packers were able to take a 21-0 lead largely because Brian Kelly, the 32-year-old cornerback to whom the Lions paid big money in March, was made to look as if he were 50 by Jennings on a 62-yard stutter-and-go route and by rookie Jordy Nelson on a 29-yard touchdown off a post-corner move.

Not only do the Lions take on seemingly every retread President Matt Millen can find from Marinelli's days in Tampa Bay, their quarterback will be 36 in two weeks and there's no passer of worth behind him.

Despite the Lions' high defensive intensity, Rodgers cut up Marinelli's "Tampa-2" scheme as if he had played against it for a decade.

Looking one way and throwing a dart the other. Seeing four passes dropped (and two more glance off fingertips) but going on to the next play without showing up teammates.

Accelerating out of harm's way and thinking on his feet. Not throwing into crowds.

"Aaron's got a good arm and the guy knows how to throw a football," offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said. "Sometimes the protection's not there but he can get out. Pretty good pocket awareness so far."

With chants of "Fire Millen" clearly audible in the third quarter from the early-to-exit crowd of 60,285, the Packers came back to earth.

Rodgers held the ball too long, fumbled and the Lions kicked a field goal. Donald Driver failed to make a tough catch at the goal line and they had to settle for a field goal. The offense went three-and-out three times in a row.

Suddenly, Green Bay found itself starting from the 20 down by a point. For 16 years, Favre had been there to lean on.

"We were behind but he's a cool guy and he can probably do anything," Woodson said. "We knew he would be all right."

Rodgers also is a smart guy who knows getting the ball to Jennings never is a bad idea. On second and 13, he pitched it to him on a quick slant. Sixty smashing yards later, the jig was up. The Lions essentially were done.

"Man, you know what?" linebacker Nick Barnett said, recalling the moment of decision. "They awoke the beast."

The beast better be awake for 60 minutes against Dallas. If it is, and if that's good enough, 2008 really will start looking a lot like 2007.
walleye  
#2 Posted : Monday, September 15, 2008 12:30:42 PM(UTC)
yes it will i think OL needs to some minor improvements!
DarkaneRules  
#3 Posted : Monday, September 15, 2008 12:48:17 PM(UTC)
That was a really good freaking article.
bozz_2006  
#4 Posted : Monday, September 15, 2008 12:57:58 PM(UTC)
I won't say that this article gave me wood. I wouldn't say that.
gbpfan  
#5 Posted : Monday, September 15, 2008 1:49:35 PM(UTC)
it was a good article feel the team is strong o-line needs to do better on peanilties
Packers_Finland  
#6 Posted : Monday, September 15, 2008 2:36:17 PM(UTC)
"Retard President Matt Millen"

I know it doesn't actually say that, but I refuse to acknowledge any other truth.
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beast (7m) : Darn, and I was already worried about Spriggs possibly vs Peppers
Zero2Cool (1h) : Jason Spriggs added to the injury report
Zero2Cool (1h) : whoa
beast (2h) : Packers are the only team to have less only 1 top 20 draft pick in the last decade... all other teams had more.
Zero2Cool (6h) : McCarthy's last two conferences ... much more jovial than last two months, huge difference.
Zero2Cool (6h) : If you picked Home for every NFL game, you'd have 115 correct picks. 55% success
Zero2Cool (7h) : Cincinnati Bengals co-founder Pete Brown dies
Zero2Cool (13-Dec) : Rodgers says he doesn't expect to adjust way he plays: "I wouldn’t be playing if I didn’t feel confident playing the way that I played my en
Zero2Cool (13-Dec) : Panthers Trai Turner enters concussion protocol
Zero2Cool (13-Dec) : Great stat from Mike Zimmer just now at his presser. No team has beaten three above .500 teams on the road in a row since 1967.
Zero2Cool (13-Dec) : Brett Hundley or Blake Bortles if you're the Jaguars?
Zero2Cool (13-Dec) : @ESPNStatsInfo Last season, Aaron Rodgers threw 13 TD and 0 Int while going 5-0 in Dec./Jan. regular season games
FLORIDA PACKER88 (13-Dec) : 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12
buckeyepackfan (13-Dec) : THAT BAAAAAAAAD MAN IS BACK!!!!!
cheeseheads123 (13-Dec) : 12 is back baby lets go!!!
Zero2Cool (12-Dec) : WR Davante Adams nominated for Clutch Performer of the Week
Zero2Cool (11-Dec) : lol coach with jokes MM: "If i don't know tomorrow, they'll be putting Pat McKenzie on IR."
Zero2Cool (11-Dec) : Rod of Airs here to fook you up!
Zero2Cool (11-Dec) : Packers gonna play coy until Saturday night and go SURPRISE BITCHES
Zero2Cool (11-Dec) : Mike McCarthy on Rodgers timetable: "This is in the hands of the experts. ... Let's just wait until the experts make their decision."
Zero2Cool (11-Dec) : You can freaking localize ads too to region. This is NOT hard. Lazy asses.
Zero2Cool (11-Dec) : I think so too, but it's time they get with it. You can have ads in streaming too.
Nonstopdrivel (11-Dec) : You've been able to stream postseason games for a few years now, I think.
Zero2Cool (11-Dec) : last 4 games played, Packers have worst pass efficency, Browns 2nd worst
Zero2Cool (11-Dec) : On @oath @YahooSports and @NFL Apps
Zero2Cool (11-Dec) : Good news for NFL fans: starting with this season’s playoffs you can stream games on your phone. All phones. All carriers. For free. On
Zero2Cool (11-Dec) : Verizon to pay NFL $500 million a year to stream games
beast (11-Dec) : Packers can't catch Eagles so it doesn't directly effect our playoff chances.
Nonstopdrivel (11-Dec) : yoffs?
Nonstopdrivel (11-Dec) : So . . . could in theory be a severe sprain. Which might still sideline him for the rest of the season, but perhaps he'd be back for the pla
Zero2Cool (11-Dec) : That's regarding Carson Wentz
Zero2Cool (11-Dec) : @AlbertBreer Doctors determined with manual test there was damage to ACL, extent unknown until MRI tomorrow.
Zero2Cool (11-Dec) : Read reports that's what is feared and yes, you're right, usually if that's the fear = done
Nonstopdrivel (11-Dec) : MRI would me mostly a formality. He walked off on his own power, so possibly just a sprain? But I doubt it.
Nonstopdrivel (11-Dec) : Provocative tests on scene are pretty sensitive. If they fear his ACL is torn, it probably is.
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