Was I surprised at the outcome? No, not really because the Packers used the formula they will need to use all season, if they plan on winning more than they lose. Anytime you win in the National Football League some good things had to happen. Sometimes you get lucky, but either way a win is a win. So let's look at what happened. So let's start with the positives!!!!!
The Packers did what I expected them to do and that's get after the Eagles in every way possible. I was a little worried, I will admit, because I didn't think Bob Sanders called an aggressive enough game. All preseason he had been aggressive sending safeties, linebackers, and never letting any quarterback get comfortable. For some reason, he started the game more conservatively, which I thought went against what this defense does best and that's get after people.
On defense that's probably the only compliant I have. This defense, like I have said, should finish in the top five in defense in the NFL. Last week I said I was looking for that leader and we might have found him in Nick Barnett. I saw something different in him, or at least he played that way. Nick was all over the place filling the holes with intensity and just playing smart like he did on the interception he got from Donovan McNabb. He bluffed like he was going after McNabb then at the last second dropped back and picked off the ball.
On the defensive line it was nice to see Aaron Kampman and Cullen Jenkins show up when it really counted because early on they weren't winning the one-on-one battles. Then there was Johnny Jolly knocking down three balls, and showing excellent timing and awareness. Even Atari Bigby played very well even though he didn't do anything spectacular except knock the crap out of his own man when he almost crippled Al Harris. You wouldn't have known he was a first-time starter.
Remember last year will all this missed communication that happened early in the season? I don't think there was one mental mistake against the Eagles between the corners and safeties. The defense still has a long way to go, but we all have to like what we saw because they can be just that good!!!!
What a way to start the season! They helped this team more in one game than they did all of last year. Think about it, the special teams accounted for all the points and the Packers won. Mason Crosby made Ted Thompson look like a genius for keeping him over Dave Rayner. The hit made by Jarrett Bush on the Eagles punt returner Greg Lewis set the tempo for the game as Tracy White recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.
With the defense playing as good as it was, this was like a shot in the arm because every point was truly welcomed.
Brett Favre tried to put this team on his back and he did his best, but he was like a man fighting with one hand tied behind his back. He hit the ground more than any other time I could remember. Besides an occasional Donald Driver catch and run, this offense looked horrible, especially the running game.
It's not just the running backs, either, it starts up front. Everyone knows how I feel about the zone blocking scheme, and if you were paying attention you saw why. Like everything it all starts up front with the linemen and none of them did anything to open up a hole. They all looked as if they had no clue how to run block, and for that matter, pass block. To be honest, I don't think Chad Clifton likes it much, either, because I think the coaches are asking him to do something he can't which is execute a cut block.
Everyone on the offensive line got beat at different times causing Brett to run for his life and they were getting knocked back into the backfield when it came to the running game. Any and every scheme requires some form of toughness by their linemen and I saw none in the game.
Sometimes someone on the line needs to just get nasty. They can't play soft all the time or someone just might get killed. If they don't do something soon Brett might be the one. As bad as the offense is, they can't afford to let that happen.
Daryn Colledge needs to worry more about getting his job done and less about trying to draw people offsides, and maybe Jason Spitz will stop his calf from being fatigued. Talk about a new injury. What the heck is a fatigued calf? Even Mike McCarthy hadn't heard about that one.
I would talk about the running game, if there was one, and I would talk about the backs if they had one to talk about, but it's not their fault because they are what they are.
I mentioned Driver because he deserved mentioning, but besides him, who did something worthy of being mentioned? Well, OK, Bubba Franks did catch two balls and Brandon Jackson did catch four, but the offense accounted for no points and they weren't even close to scoring.
Remember these games about winning and losing, and against the Eagles, they won. In the large scheme of things, that's all that matters. So in other words, it's all about the SCOREBOARD!!!!!!
Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. E-mail him at email@example.com.