Sydney Speaks! Off to a great start

Harry Sydney provides an analysis of the Packers' offense, defense and special teams in the wake of their victory over the New York Giants on Sunday.

Nothing like winning on the road which, believe it or not, is very hard to do regardless of how good you are or who you are playing. Make no mistake about it, this was a very good win, which might pay off later in the year if the Packers are fortunate to somehow get in the playoff chase.

Remember last year after they went 8-8? Everyone was trying to figure out the tie-breakers and all that crap. If the Packers keep doing what they are doing and continue to beat the NFC teams, they won't have to worry about any of that stuff. Let's take a look at what we saw on Sunday!!!!!!

Who said Brett Favre can't manage a game and play under control? I know I was wondering just how he would do it because to him managing might be another word for playing safe, and that's not what he is known for. But isn't that what he did all game long? What I witnessed on Sunday reminded me of the mid 1990's as he ran the West Coast offense to perfection. He took what they gave him. He dissected the defense yard by yard. Even though his passing average was very good, what he did with the ball was even better.

Mike McCarthy did a great job trusting Brett by letting him orchestrate the passing game, but he called the plays that took advantage of what the defense was giving the Packers which was holes in the Giants' zone defense. That's why you saw the tight ends getting involved so much. They caught eight passes between them with most of them being timing throws or passes as the balls hit them right between the numbers.

And since we are talking about numbers how about the offense going 4 for 4 in the red zone - wasn't that a thing of beauty! Wasn't it nice to see Bubba Franks showing up again for a touchdown? Talk about a flash from the past? Brett controlled the tempo and just kept the chains moving by getting everyone the ball. Of course his favorite receiver Donald Driver was his main target, but he included Korey Hall for two key catches as he contributed picking up valuable yardage. Also, I like the way Brett, under McCarthy, finally stretched the field as James Jones caught a long pass, showing that he can get deep.

I know that many people will think that DeShawn Wynn should be the starting running back, taking Brandon Jackson's place as the starter, and I would agree with that because he does seem to have a better feel for the game. He runs with more confidence, especially after he scored twice and had a 38-yard run, but take away that long run and combined they would have had together 26 carries for 47 yards and that's not good enough.

But the Packers won the game which was the most important thing and they did it without much help in the running game. The million dollar question is what's wrong with the running game? Is it the offensive line, or the running back? My answer is this: How can you blame the running back when about five times during the game he's getting hit in the backfield right when he's taking the handoff? Either way they have to get it fixed because Brett can help the pass protection by getting rid of the ball, but he doesn't block anyone and this offense can't continue to be one dimensional.

This defense can be as good as it wants to be, but it has to play every play and that means being aggressive every play. Aainst the Giants I don't think they were aggressive. This defense needs to develop a swagger. It looked as if the Packers were playing too cautious and I don't know why? They must learn to not overly respect their opponent until they earn it. With Eli Manning having a hurt shoulder I couldn't believe they didn't go after him. They allowed him to get some sense of comfort, but besides that the defense played very well.

Nick Barnett is stepping up to assume the leadership role, and I liked how Brady Poppinga protected A.J. Hawk when a Giants receiver hit him with a cheap shot. No, I didn't want him to get a penalty, but as a teammate it's nice to know that he has your back, which he did. Also, when the Packers needed a pass rush, they got it from Aaron Kampman and Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila. Charles Woodson and Al Harris are still one of the better pair of corners in the league.

Except for not getting a consistent pass rush and missing some tackles this defense can still be one of the best in the league because I know it will only get better.

They have contributed more in two games than they have in the last two years. Even though Mason Crosby missed a chip shot because of a bad snap, he will win more games than he will lose. Either way the Packers are OFF TO A GREAT START.

Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. E-mail him at

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