Monday, November 24, 2008

Don't Blame Aaron

Photo by Reuters

I don't know how bad the Saints beat the Packers; I turned the game off after the third interception. I am guessing that it never got close again. Not with the formula that the Packers were held up to most of the second half, which was pass, pass, pass. Oh, and don't play defense.

This basically meant that a successful running game and Ryan Grant got to sit next to the water boy for most of the final 30 minutes. It also put an unrealistic load on quarterback Aaron Rodgers who was left to produce large gains on every play. That wasn't football; it was being on the wrong side of a rout.

Broken down, it was karma and Drew Brees's night. With little or no defensive pressure on the Saints quarterback, he was safer than an al-Sadr insurgent in a mosque. Brees is far too dangerous of a quarterback, having an epic year, to allow him time in the pocket to pick apart the normally-solid Packers defensive backfield.

So before you knew it, with the Packers playing solid, balanced football and successive, methodical drives, like you are supposed to do, in a few blurry flashes New Orleans took a lead into halftime. And when they came out Ryan Grant and a solid offensive football team had precious few opportunities to establish themselves before the Saints were nearly out of sight.

Yes, Aaron Rodgers missed a few open receivers; but a balanced offensive attack that can push the ball down field allows some room for error. But when your team is forced to score on every drive to keep pace, unless your name is in or sure to be in the Hall of Fame, other interceptions are likely to follow because you have had to completely abandon your running game and everybody is playing the pass.

And even some other certain future Hall of Famers have had their share of three-interception games, haven't they?

The Green Bay Packers played very good, punishing offensive football in the first half. Aaron Rodgers had a solid first half. Who knew the sky was going to fall in on them in the third quarter?

And in the larger picture, watching good things happen to the folks in New Orleans in flood-like proportions like happened tonight, it's hard to have many bad feelings about karma. Don't blame Aaron.

Besides, we're still five games up on the Lions...

Game Ball: karma

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