Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams (38) ICON Sports Media
It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get back up.-Vince Lombardi
By Travis Duncan
Philip Rivers in one corner and the Packers secondary in the other. It was a heavy-weight fight, just as one delivered a crushing blow, the other came back and did the same. In the end, the Packers secondary threw the knockout punch.
Rivers began the game with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson on San Diego's opening drive. We have a game here, in the rain no less.
The Packers secondary gets back up and intercepts him twice on consecutive drives first an interception by the opportunist that is Charlie Peprah, who takes it into the endzone for six points.
Rivers tries again, but this time Tramon Williams delivers the blow, another interception. He takes the errant pass 43-yards and into the endzone for six.
But Rivers is scrappy. He throws three more TDs against the Packers secondary. With less than a minute remaining in the game, Rivers is on the ropes. He's attempting to send the game into overtime. He takes a shot deep for his best wide receiver Vincent Jackson, but there is Peprah again for the interception. It's over, the secondary gets its third pick of the game. The Packers are 8-0.
When a team gets to 8-0 there is a lot more unknowns than there is knowns at this point. A team which is 5-3 or 3-5 it's hard to really know what they can or will do. But the 8-0 Green Bay Packers have Aaron Rodgers who will will put up tremendous stats and make all the right plays at the right time.
The defense keeps things interesting. But this team will be in the NFC playoffs and likely with a first-round bye, needing eight quarters of precise football to get back to the Super Bowl.
Playing for the first time in his home state as an NFL quarterback, Rodgers finished with 4 TDs on 21 of 26 passing for 247 yards, his QB rating was again stellar 145.8. He leads the NFL in TDs thrown with 24, there is little doubt he is having an MVP year and by most standards he's having one of the finest ever by an NFL quarterback.
James Starks took the majority of carries and did very well against a Chargers defense which is good against the run. He finished with 66 yards on 13 carries. Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings, Jermichael Finley and James Jones each caught a touchdown.
Rodgers was sacked four times, and said after the game that he held onto the ball "a little longer" than he ought to in those situations.
Do the Packers hold out for a perfect record once they clinch home-field advantage? Do they rest their starters? How realistic is 16-0?
McCarthy says "We don’t talk big picture until we get to double-digit wins. The big goal is to win the division, get into the big dance and win the Super Bowl"
"The way we played defense today was disappointing," said Charles Woodson. "It was just a lot of bad football."
-Rodgers who lives in the San Diego area in the off season said, via the AP, that he was encouraged to see so many Packers fans at Qualcomm Stadium.
Occupy Qualcomm as it were.
"When you’re on the road and up by seven and it’s late in the game and they have to go on a silent count, that’s pretty impressive," said Rodgers I have to give a lot of credit to our fans the way they travel. It says a lot about the kind of fans we have."
Clay Matthews said "they come to expect" seeing Packer fans in the stands wherever they play.
-McCarthy said Frank Zambo left the game with a hamstring injury and did not return.
-The Packers are the third defending Super Bowl champion to start the following season 8-0, joining the 1990 San Francisco 49ers and 1998 Denver Broncos.
-The 1962 Packers began the season 10-0 and many consider that team the most dominant team in Pro Football History. Bob Berghaus has written a book about that team titled The First America's Team: The 1962 Green Bay Packers. It was released in October by Clerisy Press.
-Aaron Rodgers says he's not satisfied with an 8-0 record.
"No, I don’t think we’re ever satisfied. We’ve got a coaching staff that is definitely going to pick out the mistakes we’ve made. Not being able to finish the game with the ball is something that we’re frustrated with. At 3rdand two, we’d like to convert there. They get paid too. They’re defense did some nice things out there."
Up next a Monday Night game at Lambeau against the Vikings.
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