First off, hats off to Mike McCarthy for becoming the head coach to have the most wins in his first 25 games. Think about that and think about how much many of you love the accomplishments of Lombardi, Holmgren and yes-even Mike Sherman.
I know Mike McCarthy hasn't gotten there yet, but ask yourself what's stopping him and this team? My answer to that question would be nothing but themselves, and I don't see any signs of that happening. What I see is a coach that has his team focused and I see it all coming together. It's not just the players playing.
Against the Vikings I saw a team that offensively couldn't be stopped because of how it came out attacking and counteracting everything the Vikes did on defense. McCarthy used so many different passing sets to spread the Vikings defenders out, then had Brett Favre do what he does best, especially when he's on, and that's carve up teams. Then just when the Vikes thought they had it figured it out, McCarthy would run the ball allowing for Grant to have a big day. Not only that he would also attack the edges with the running game staying away from the Williams boys. He called the kind of game the players played. What I mean is that he called a smart, aggressive game. He let all the players get involved. This is an athletic team and he is finally letting it be that and that's why this team is playing with a confidence that I haven't seen around here in a while.
Are there things that they still need work on? Sure there is, like the clock management before half, but that's always a work in progress. To have this team playing this well this year is outstanding.
All the pieces of the puzzle fell into place against Minnesota. Brett, after starting slow, finished with three touchdowns, one caused because Darren Sharper got greedy knocking the ball from one of his teammates into the waiting hands of Ruvell Martin. Talk about poetic justice.
Besides that Brett Favre looked like a surgeon standing over a turkey on Thanksgiving Day with all day to perform his operation because the offensive line gave him all day to throw. I saw a defense playing truly on its heals, totally confused. It didn't know what to stop nor who to stop.
I saw the Packers receiving group Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, James Jones, Koren Robinson and Ruvell Martin say to the rest of the world: ‘Try to stop us if you can!!!!' This group of receivers might be the most athletic in the NFL, and Brett Favre just might feel like the mad scientist having in every receiver someone that if he catches it can take it to the house. Then as soon as the Vikes thought they had that figured out, along came Ryan Grant for a total of 25 carries for 119 yards averaging 4.8 a carry. Now that the Packers have developed a running game, the only way that teams can stick with the Packers is if they can outscore them, and there lays the problem. Most teams can't because of Green Bay's defense.
I have been saying it for a long time and now they are playing like it, and it's a thing of beauty to witness. This defense should be one of the best in the league this year because it has no weakness and we saw that on Sunday. We saw tempo-setting big plays being made by the athletes on the defense. That started early in the game on the first series when the Vikings had the ball on third and short and Brady Poppinga put the hit on Adrian Peterson, stopping him short of a first down making the Vikings punt. They put the heat on them and never let up.
Kabeer showed that the best thing for him is to be able to get after the passer and leave the run stopping to Corey Williams, Cullen Jenkins, Ryan Pickett and Johnny Jolly. If Kabeer can keep this up and meet at the quarterback with Aaron Kampman this defensive line could be a force to be reckoned with. Let's just say if they can play like the rest of the groups, the sky is the limit.
The linebacker play has gotten better and better. Nick Barnett is playing at a Pro Bowl level, but the greatest thing he is doing is just doing his job. He does it with more of a flare. A.J. Hawk is just as consistent, but does it quietly.
Now to the secondary, Charles Woodson is playing at a Pro Bowl level. Soon we will find out just how good Al Harris is because he will get all the attention, because only a fool is going to challenge Woodson. Also, let's just say I was pleasantly surprised in the ability of Aaron Rouse's play. He wasn't scared, and the game didn't seem too big for him.
I've been wondering just how this team is winning. I have been wondering if it is coaching, attitude, players, or divine intervention. Well, that was before I saw what they did to the Vikings. Like I said last week, this wasn't an accident. This team is just that good and it had a coming out party against the Vikings.
So Packer fans it's time to start thinking ahead and look deep into the playoffs because you're not a player or coach, and you don't have to say all the right things because "IT'S TIME TO BELIEVE"!!!!
Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.