Mike McCarthy talked about having figured out some of the problems they had with running the ball during this time. McCarthy talked about having better fits when it comes to the offensive linemen, and that means not allowing penetration and sliding and stepping at the same time, using their hands and technique at the same time. Think of a wave in the ocean and how it hits the beach. Now imagine five offensive linemen working just like that. Whether it was Denver or not, the results were that they won the game and had their best running performance of the year.
The Packers were able to run the ball with their new starter, Ryan Grant, who was very productive rushing for more than 100 yards. Because of that they were able to throw that play action on the first play of overtime clinching the victory. The Broncos had to respect the run and Brett caught them paying attention to the backfield action as Greg Jennings ran by Bly on the way to the 82-yard throw and catch for the touchdown.
As much as Mike McCarthy has talked about establishing home field advantage, he has done a better job of having his team become "Road Warriors" and that's a sign of a team's preparation and quality coaching. When I played in the late 80s with the San Francisco 49ers that's one of the things we excelled in and that was going into another teams house and making their fans turn on them. Even though Monday wasn't a thing of real beauty, the Packers had enough big plays to take their record to 6-1, which was exactly what they wanted to do, and that was walk off the field in Denver with a victory.
The Packers won the game because they made more big plays and took advantage of the Broncos' mistakes and that is what they are going to have to do Sunday against the Chiefs. I expect the Packers to win, but it won't be a walk in the park. Then again, what game ever is a walk in the park? They are facing another team that is hungry and trying to prove something with more talent than the Broncos.
Defensively, they will be tested because they will face the best tight end in the game in Tony Gonzalez. If we look at what tight ends have done against the Packers it will be necessary for Aaron Kampman to have the game he had last week and any help Cullen Jenkins or Kabeer want to give him and the rest of the defense will gladly be accepted.
Kansas City still has an impact running back in Larry Johnson, and defensively they can't let him get rolling. If they do the use of play-action could be a killer, so the linebackers have to be patient and, unfortunately, that hasn't been one of the strengths of Brady Poppinga and A.J. Hawk, especially in pass coverage. I should include Atari Bigby in that category as well, especially after last week. I don't want him thinking about his stupid penalties last week or playing too cautious because Gonzalez will eat his lunch if he does. That's why this game is scary. It shouldn't be but it is.
Before this season when you saw the Chiefs on the schedule, especially following Denver, you had to think about the history of these places to play. When I say that, it isn't any disrespect to Lambeau and THE FROZEN TUNDRA, but playing at Kansas City over the years has been one of the toughest places to play for opponents because the fans are just as loyal and crazy as the Cheesehead Nation.
When the schedule came out and I saw Denver and Kansas City back-to-back on the road, I thought it was an evil joke, or a misprint, but it isn't. As good or as bad as this team has played, if the Packers can go out and beat Kansas City I believe that they will finally get the respect that they deserve and their name will be mentioned along with the other elite teams because ONE OUT OF TWO AIN'T BAD, BUT TWO OUT OF TWO WOULD BE AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!
Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.