I'm sitting in a very quiet Packers press box, moments after a heart-stopping Packer victory over the Vikings, willing my heart rate to slow down. The Packers finally defeated Favre and the Vkings and in the process saved their season.
Amazing as it sounds, the Pack finds itself in a virtual tie for first place in the North, where 9 wins might be enough to win the division. The Packers were forced to play most of the game defensively in a package with just two d-linemen. Cullen Jenkins aggravated a hamstring in pregame warmups and couldn't go. Then Ryan Pickett re-injured his ankle and was forced to leave the game early. Credit Capers and the D with doing just enough with a unit missing four opening game starters (Barnett, Burnett, Pickett and Jenkins).
Favre was abysmal, with a passer rating around 50 and three second half picks. He tweaked his ankle in the second half--but it only seemed to bother him after a pick or an imcompletion. Seriously, did he act this way when he played with the Pack? The pick by Bishop was a gift after a good hit by rookie C.J. Wilson. Collins' pick was the defensive play of the game.
On a night when Aaron Rodgers threw the first red zone interception of his career and continually missed on back shoulder throws, the offense did enough at key moments to earn the win. The 200 yards in the first quarter came so easily it looked like the Pack would move the ball at will. But two interceptions and a really strange deep pass on a third and two stalled a couple of drives that could have extended the lead.
The reviews went the Pack's way on this night. McCarthy's two first half challenges both overturned plays, in the second one, reversing a Shiancoe TD and forcing the Purple to settle for 3. Then the late near TD to Harvin was reviewed, showing the electric second year man came down out of bounds. How does the official, who's standing right there, miss that call?
Call it a season saving victory for the Pack, who will ride a little momentum into their Halloween matchup with the Jets. And for those of us here at Lambeau, an opportunity to soak this in for a while in the parking lot.
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