Monday, October 13, 2008

Packers Win Despite No Running Game

Despite the lack of open holes for running back Ryan Grant, the Green Bay Packers were effective in the other aspects of the game and left Seattle with a win. Of course the fact that Seattle was without their starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and is now a weak 1-4 might lend one to keep the win in perspective, Green Bay nonetheless played pretty solid football.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, playing with a continued shoulder injury, showed images of Favre-like toughness. His short-yardage throws throughout the first half, as well as some selfless plays where he subjected his body to the Seahawks' defenders, were enough to keep the Packers in the game.

But the game-changing play happened in the third quarter when Rodgers hit a streaking Greg Jennings in a rare down field attempt. Rodger's sore-shoulder pass hit Jennings on the numbers and the Packers grabbed the lead.

From there it was mostly down hill for the Packers except for Grant who couldn't buy a hole and had to smash his way for any gain. Most of the fourth quarter was spent with Grant getting two or three yards, Rodgers throwing for a first down, and back to the clock-killing running game. Grant played as courageously as Rodgers but does not have the blocking he needs to open things up.

On defense, Aaron Kampman had several sacks on Seattle's backup quarterback, Charlie Frye, who was under pressure all day by the Green Bay pass rush. The Pack also shut down Seattle's running game and played good defense.

Charles Woodson, looking once again like a Heisman Trophy winner, out-smarted Frye and came up with an obligatory pick. Woodson should be put into this year's Pro Bowl right now. He stalks and strikes like a cat, and his seasoned experience makes him look like a man among Seattle's receiving boys; this guy is good (and he's doing all of this on a broken toe.)

So it appears that Green Bay found a way to win when they really had to to pull into a tie for first place in the NFC North division with the hated Bears. But they will be tested severely next week as they will have to face the underachieving Indianapolis Colts.

Game Ball: Aaron Rodgers.

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