I don't know what Mike McCarthy was thinking for most of the game. I loved the way he started the game, though, with the five wideout set on the first drive as the offense moved down the field for a field goal. After that, things just started to fall apart. After that drive things went crazy and I thought I was watching some form of the old bombs away - Oakland Raiders or something - because the offense totally forgot how it got to be 10-1.
It was as if this game was too big or something. This offense has been clicking because it's been about putting the ball in the hands of the receivers, then letting them be athletes by running after the catch, not trying to out-jump or out-muscle defenders. That's not what it does best. That's not why the Packers have been winning, and that has a lot to do with why they lost.
I couldn't understand on defense why the Packers played out of character as well. This team is best when it plays man-to-man in the secondary, not the zone stuff we saw. I believe if you are going to get beat get beat doing what you do best, and they didn't. I thought I was watching last year's team as there were mental breakdowns or guys running free in the secondary like on the third-and-19 that they completed for 30 yards when Harris was waiting at the line of scrimmage - and for who or what I don't know - to come into the flat. I'm not sure someone reminded him that the Cowboys needed 19 yards, not three
I thought that once they realized that Romo wasn't even getting touched they might try and blitz him to make him feel uncomfortable, like they did to Brett, but I was wrong. But with all that said I do like Mike McCarthy giving the OK to change the momentum by trying that onside kick. It was a great call but it just didn't work out.
This is one of those games where the players got out-played, and the coaches got out-coached. Now to the players!!!!!
Who is the real Brett Favre? In the last seven weeks the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers understood that he didn't have to win the game by himself. He seemed OK with just distributing the ball to his playmakers and letting them show their athletic ability, but for some reason it seemed against the Cowboys that wasn't good enough. For some reason he felt the need to make the big play and that hurt the team, but, trust me, he didn't do it by himself.
All week I have been saying this game is about what happens in the trenches and whoever wins that battle will win the game. Unfortunately, we all saw what happened. Brett Favre is lucky it's only his elbow because it could have been a lot worse. The offensive line got its butts kicked. Hopefully Brett will be all right. Brett and Aaron were running for their lives way more than they should have been.
Also, how about Ryan Grant? Do you realize he's the leading rusher in the NFC since Week Eight?
As bad as some played on the offensive side of the ball, like Daryn Colledge - he played so bad he got benched - I think many questions about Aaron Rodgers were answered. I think he showed that he can be a player in the NFL. I saw a quarterback that played Tony Romo all week on the scout team come into the biggest game of the year in the NFC and under all kinds of pressure relax and look better than anyone could imagine. I think Aaron Rodgers earned my respect and should have earned yours. He played outstanding which was one of only bright spots for the Packers on offense.
All week long everyone wanted to talk about the Al Harris and T.O. matchup, and guess what the world saw? Why Al Harris will probably never make the Pro Bowl, and that's because he struggles with finding the ball in the air. I know that Al didn't have T.O. the whole game and wasn't solely responsible for what happened to the defense, but if he's going to consider himself deserving of being considered one of the best then when the stage it set to shine you can't get abused like he did.
But it wasn't just Harris. Others in the secondary, like Jarrett Bush and Atari Bigby also share some of the blame, but they are only part of the problem. The major problem was that Tony Romo had all day to throw. The only time I saw him get touched was that every now and then I would see Aaron Kampman hit him just after he would release the ball, but besides that no one got close.
I know that the Cowboys' offensive line are big men but I didn't think that Jenkins, Williams would be stopped in their tracks. The Packers paid Cullen a bunch of money last year and so far this year they have gotten nothing from him in return. Even as much as I saw sub-par play I will say that on this side of the ball at least A. J. Hawk showed up and probably played his best all around game.
Don't get me all wrong. This team is still 10-2 and it should meet up with Dallas again in the NFC Championship Game that will now be played in Dallas. I guess I'm somewhat disappointed because even though this team has played very well when it came time to really show what they were made of they got EXPOSED IN DALLAS.
Harry Sydney is a former fullback and assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. E-mail him at email@example.com.