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"the drive"

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by FrankRizzo, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. FrankRizzo

    FrankRizzo Cheesehead

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    Great piece by Seifert
    A (forgotten) drive for the ages - NFC North Blog - ESPN

    Sixteen plays.

    Ninety yards.


    The touchdown on fourth-and-goal with 56 seconds remaining.

    Had the Green Bay Packers won Sunday's game at the Georgia Dome, we would still be discussing the absolutely epic drive that pulled them into a tie with the Atlanta Falcons in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers masterfully guided the Packers downfield, earning the highest praise imaginable from his coach. He bought himself seven seconds on the final play before firing toward receiver Jordy Nelson in the end zone.

    "I have never seen a quarterback in my time here play to that level in the passing game," said coach Mike McCarthy, who employed Brett Favre for his first two seasons in Green Bay.

    The drive was soon rendered moot by Atlanta place-kicker Matt Bryant's 47-yard field goal. But while we have a break in the action this week, let's take a moment to relive each play and record it for posterity.

    Down and distance: First-and-10 from the GB 10-yard line
    Packers personnel set: 3 WR, 1 TE (in backfield), 1 RB
    Falcons rush: Four pass-rushers
    The play: Packers tailback Brandon Jackson takes a shotgun handoff and follows tight end Andrew Quarless through the left side of the line for a 5-yard gain. A run play to start it off is smart not only because of field position, but also to remind the Falcons' defense that another could come at any time.

    Down and distance: Second-and-5 from the GB 15
    Packers personnel set: 3 WR, 1 TE (in slot), 1 RB
    Falcons rush: Four
    The play: Rodgers throws 11 yards to Quarless.

    Down and distance: First-and-10 from GB 26
    Packers personnel set: 3 WR, 1 TE (in slot), 1 RB
    Falcons rush: Four
    The play: Jackson catches a screen pass but is tackled for no gain by Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson, whom Packers receiver James Jones failed to block.

    Down and distance: Second-and-15 from GB 21 (after a false start on left guard Daryn Colledge)
    Packers personnel set: 3 WR, 1 TE (in slot), 1 RB
    Falcons rush: Five, including blitzing safety William Moore
    The play: Rodgers hits Quarless in the seam for 19 yards. Falcons left end Kroy Biermann broke free on the pass rush, but Jackson nudged him just as Rodgers released the ball.

    Down and distance: First-and-10 from GB 40
    Packers personnel set: 3 WR, 1 TE (as an H-back), 1 RB
    Falcons rush: Four
    The play: Jackson takes another shotgun handoff and finds an 8-yard crease after right guard Josh Sitton turns out Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux.

    [+] Enlarge[​IMG]AP Photo/Paul AbellAaron Rodgers was 7-of-12 on the drive and he ran for a first down.


    Down and distance: Second-and-2 from GB 48
    Packers personnel set: 3 WR, 1 TE (in slot), 1 RB
    Falcons rush: Four
    The play: Rodgers scrambles around right end for 7 yards and a first down.

    Down and distance: First-and-10 from ATL 45
    Packers personnel set: 3 WR, 1 TE (Tom Crabtree on the line), 1 RB
    Falcons rush: Three
    The play: With eight men in coverage, Rodgers tries to thread a needle to receiver Greg Jennings. Falcons cornerback Thomas DeCoud nearly intercepts.

    Down and distance: Second-and-10 from ATL 45
    Packers personnel set: 3 WR (Jordy Nelson replaces Donald Driver), 1 TE (Crabtree in slot), 1 RB
    Falcons rush: Four (after bluffing a blitz)
    The play: Rodgers throws 15 yards to Jennings on the right sideline.

    Down and distance: First-and-10 from ATL 30
    Packers personnel set: 3 WR, 1 TE (Quarless back in slot), 1 RB
    Falcons rush: Three
    The play: Rodgers dumps off the ball to Jackson for a 9-yard reception.

    Down and distance: Second-and-1 from ATL 21
    Packers personnel set: 3 WR, 1 TE (in slot), 1 RB
    Falcons rush: Three
    The play: Rodgers escapes pressure and throws to Jones in the corner of the end zone, but DeCoud pushes him out of bounds. It's Rodgers' longest attempt of the drive.

    Down and distance: Third-and-1 from ATL 21
    Packers personnel set: 3 WR, 1 TE (in slot), 1 RB
    Falcons rush: Five on a zone blitz
    The play: Center Scott Wells appears to snap the ball before Rodgers is ready. Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon comes free up the middle, and Rodgers basically throws the ball away. Jackson's back is turned when the ball hits the turf.

    Down and distance: Fourth-and-1 from ATL 21
    Packers personnel set: Empty (5 WR)
    Falcons rush: Three
    The play: Rodgers can't find an open receiver at first. He buys more time and eventually improvises a shovel pass to Jones, who turns it into a 18-yard play.

    Down and distance: First-and-goal from ATL 3
    Packers personnel set: Empty
    Falcons rush: Three
    The play: Rodgers holds the ball for six seconds, looking for a receiver. Falcons defensive lineman John Abraham strip-sacks him, but Rodgers recovers the fumble.

    Down and distance: Second-and-goal from ATL 6 (after the two-minute warning)
    Packers personnel set: 4 WR, 1 RB
    Falcons rush: Seven on a heavy blitz.
    The play: Rodgers throws quickly and incomplete toward Jones.

    Down and distance: Third-and-goal from ATL 6
    Packers personnel set: 4 WR, 1 RB
    Falcons rush: Three
    The play: Weatherspoon sniffs out a screen pass to Jackson, limiting it to a 1-yard gain.

    Down and distance: Fourth-and-goal from ATL 10 (After a Bryan Bulaga false start)
    Packers personnel set: Empty
    Falcons rush: Three
    The play: Rodgers buys himself seven seconds by drifting toward the left sideline. Nelson, who began the play in the left slot, streaks to the sideline. Rodgers later said he kept his eyes off Nelson for as long as possible to prevent a second Falcons defender from chasing him. As it was, Nelson had a step on DeCoud and got both feet in bounds before falling to the ground.

    Rodgers operated out of the no-huddle throughout the drive, calling many of the plays and benefiting from McCarthy's personnel usage. For 10 of the 16 plays, McCarthy used three receivers, one tight end and one running back. That ambiguous set, which offers opportunities to run or pass, kept the Falcons off balance.

    The Falcons also played back in coverage for most of the series, sending four or fewer pass-rushers on 14 of the 16 plays. But Rodgers refused to force anything downfield, and all eight of his completions went for fewer than 20 yards. He scrambled for one first down, bought himself as much time as possible in the red zone and made a safe but creative play to convert the first fourth down.

    "We enjoyed the heck out of that drive," Rodgers said. "It was nice. Mike [McCarthy] gave me some freedom in that drive and we made some good plays. We were all tired. I think every person on the field was tired, both sides of the ball, but to get that in for a touchdown and have that high of tying it up was pretty special. But we lost the game."

    Yes, they did. And that's the only reason we haven't spent more time discussing that drive. So let's put it in our back pocket and see whether the Packers can build from it as they attempt to catch the Chicago Bears in a five-week race for the NFC North title.
     
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  2. A-Rod_is_God

    A-Rod_is_God Cheesehead

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    Great, great post. I was crushed when we weren't able to take the game to overtime after that brilliant effort. Reminds me that we always have a chance when Rodgers is the quarterback.
     
  3. Kitten

    Kitten Feline Cheesehead Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Great post!!! Some love for our QB!!!
     
  4. Incubes12

    Incubes12 Bay Harbor Butcher?

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  5. SpartaChris

    SpartaChris Cheesehead

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    Oh yeah. When that drive happened, I told my buddy that he was literally growing up right before our very eyes. That was a stud drive, the kind that legends can be made. There aren't many QB's in the league capable of putting together a drive like that one.

    In fact, he led several nice, long drives vs. Atlanta. He's had several this season. Seriously, the guy is coming on at the right time.
     
  6. DergaSmash

    DergaSmash Cheesehead

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    Yeah, that entire game was great, aside from the final score of course. I watched it while on CQ duty at the hospital I work at. I seriously thought that the Pack had a huge momentum swing after that drive. If you look again, most of the Falcons on the sideline looked absolutely dejected. Matt Ryan, Turner, White, and couple others kept their cool, but the rest of the team looked shell-shocked. I think it would have went into overtime, even with the big return. It was the free 15 yards we gave them that sealed our fate I think. Yet I do feel there are a lot of positives to be taken from this game. Aside from a red-zone turnover and a late game penalty, the Pack was kickin *** all game long. its hard to overcome a 14 point swing on the road, even harder against a team like Atlanta. Had Rodgers scored instead of fumbled, Green bay goes into halftime with a 10-3 lead, maybe 10-6. With the rest of the scoring unchanged, Green Bay would have won 24-13. I doubt the second half would have played out the way it did, had Green bay scored instead of fumbled during the second quarter. Green Bay out-gained Atlanta in total yards. They had more first downs than Atlanta. They had better third down efficiency than Atlanta. It all came down to one turnover, and one penalty. I can't really find too much fault in either. Rodgers took a helmet on the funny bone and it numbed his arm. That stuff happens, especially in the middle of the line at the center of all the chaos. As for the penalty, Wilhelm was trying to make a play. Weems was having a good return and Wilhelm dove to tackle him. He ended up grabbing the facemask. Yeah it sucks and I really hope he learns from it, but you can't fault his effort. He didn't do the really stupid thing like taunt after the tackle, or make a late hit. I think Green Bay showed that they can hang with the best of the NFC, and the best part is that no one is really talking about it. It is bigger news that the Falcons are 9-2, or that the Bears beat Philly. This works in the Pack's favor. I think if they can regroup, fix the few things that they need to fix, and keep sharp on what they do well, they can win their next two games. Then they will have some more swagger and confidence rolling when they hit home stretch of the schedule. Getting home field advantage is not impossible, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Philly, Tampa, and New New Orleans all have some tough games ahead. I think if the Pack can regroup and either win out or go 4-1 over the last 5 games, they have a legitimate shot at home field. I don't think the Bears can keep winning with Cutler getting hammered every game. I think the NFC East is too close, and none of the teams will come out of there with a better record than 11-5. If Tampa and New Orleans can beat Atlanta, then Green Bay is right in the mix for home field. I think the bottom line is to not get too down about the Atlanta game. There were way too many positives, one of which was how ARod showed the entire world that he can make plays with the game on the line to put the Packers in a position to win.
     
  7. Mr. StyleZ

    Mr. StyleZ Banned Banned

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    All this does is make me upset all over again. As awesome as it was, this drive will be forgotten, since there was no W to go with it.. Sigh..

    .. and "great piece" and "Seifert" in the same sentence is usually an oxymoron, but in this case, it was pretty good.
     
  8. Crazy Packers Fan

    Crazy Packers Fan Cheesehead

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    Rodgers led a number of drives in 2008 that were forgotten because of the defense's numerous collapses. This time it was the special teams collapse that allowed Atlanta to need only about 20 yards for the game-winning kick.

    I went nuts after he threw that game-tying TD. I was ignored because I was at a Pittsburgh bar, and the play occurred as the Steelers converted a third down.
     
  9. Rodgers2Finley4TDs

    Rodgers2Finley4TDs Cheesehead

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    Swain could have easily tackled the returner but just watched him run by
     
  10. DergaSmash

    DergaSmash Cheesehead

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    Thats part of the reason why I wasn't mad at Wilhelm. Yeah penalties suck, but he was making an effort to help his team like any player should. I hope they went over this very thing in the film room.
     
  11. FrankRizzo

    FrankRizzo Cheesehead

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    Rodgers just won a lot of faith though. There should be no more questions about his guts.
    I have a good feeling about this team.
     
  12. packerfan4ever

    packerfan4ever Cheesehead

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    It was upsetting,to see special teams give up but that play from A-Rod was great,and I can see more great plays coming,I feel a win this week 49ers may have a bad o-line but their d-line isn't but I think A-rod and company will put up lots of points.
     
  13. DevilDon

    DevilDon Inclement Weather Fan

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    My son in law (a Brown's fan) was even excited by this drive. I sure would like to see a dominant performance against the 49ers to get us back on track.
     
  14. FrankRizzo

    FrankRizzo Cheesehead

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    Priceless.
    We know Rodgers can do it in the clutch.
    But I still prefer to blow these teams out.
    Either-or, let's just win baby.
    But this was THE drive of his career.
     
  15. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    Has realpackerfan seen this? Doubt he wants to
     
  16. SpartaChris

    SpartaChris Cheesehead

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    Doubt it. It wasn't Favre who led the drive, so it couldn't possibly have happened.
     

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