Sydney Speaks! Respect

PackerReport.com's Harry Sydney breaks down the offensive and defensive performances of the Green Bay Packers in their huge win over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.

This game was about taking a step that nobody, including myself, expected them to be able to do this soon in the year. This step wasn't about winning, it was about what happened in the process. Everyone will get excited and rightfully so about this team beating the Chargers, but the growth that happened with the players and between the players was the thing that most impressed me. Please let me explain!!!!!

OFFENSE
As usual it starts with Brett Favre and congratulations to him as he tied the NFL record with Dan Marino for most touchdowns, but there isn't any need to celebrate because he will beat it the next time he steps on the field.

Let's not make any mistake, the Green Bay Packers beat the Chargers and they did it by putting on a clinic in how to pass protect because that's where it starts. The offensive line did an outstanding job giving Brett time to throw. Last week I talked about protecting against the "BEAST" Shawne Merriman and how would they handle him? In my opinion, Clifton basically shut him down.

But this day was all about the offensive weapons showing up in the passing game. Brett Favre was in control of his game as he has ever been. The way he is getting everyone involved - from the tight ends in the middle of the field as well as the red zone or the backs out the backfield to the receivers in the second window of the slant pass plays are a thing of beauty.

On the touchdown pass to Greg Jennings, Brett took advantage of a lazy linebacker not getting in his spot and that's how he's playing lately. He is making the defense pay for every mistake. Just like he has raised his level of play, so has the wide receivers he's throwing to.

Every time you see Donald Driver play all he does is make some of the better defensive backs in the league look like they don't belong on the same field. I think the receivers grew up in this game and proved that this isn't just Donald Driver and a bunch of no names. James Jones has proven to me that he can play, and Donald Lee is making me want to believe he can be that tight end and Mike McCarthy has shown, at least me, that even though he wants to run, he realizes he can't so as I see it he's making the right choice.

The only question anyone has to ask themselves is this: At this time is who do you want with the ball in their hands? Brett Favre or Brandon Jackson? Mike McCarthy is making the necessary adjustments, and who can question a thing he is doing? I do want to see more running, or at least more attempts, especially on the goal line but even Jim Croce stopped spitting in the wind

Besides that the only problem I had with anything McCarthy did was I didn't want him to call a timeout when Donald Lee didn't score near the goal line. I thought the Packers might have given the Chargers a chance to regroup as well as I wasn't sure what he was trying to accomplish before half. That's still part of the learning process that so far if you aren't giving him a winning grade I don't know what you are looking at. Remember there weren't any turnovers so the Packers looked one of the best teams in the league in the eye and didn't blink, and neither did the defense, did it?

DEFENSE
The important thing is that the Packers are 3-0 and are improving every week. This was a good test for this defense because it was facing last year's MVP, but the Packers put him in handcuffs not allowing him to beat them. Sure, Antonio Gates had a good day, but most of it wasn't because he was just running free. He is one of the best tight ends in the game. Green Bay's linebackers - Hawk, Poppinga and Barnett - can't take personal because he's that good. I think they did as good of a job as anyone could expect.

When the defense needed to make a stand it did, not letting the Chargers eat up the clock. Also, lately I have talked about whom is going to step up and become that leader. Based on production Nick Barnett is taking that lead role. His interception and physical play seems to have become contagious.

I know when you see the score being 31-24 you don't think of a field position or a defensive game, but this was. Not only that, but it might have been one of the best games I have seen in years. The win was huge for the Packers. After beating the Eagles and Giants, the win over the Chargers finally gives this team RESPECT!!!!!

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


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