Well, they didn't get the W - the W. We have all been looking at this game for some time since it became apparent that Dallas and our Pack were the elite teams in the NFC. This game was for all the marbles, bragging rights, home field advantage everything else darn near but worth 2 wins. I was disappointed that they let certain aspects of the game get out of hand early on and had to play catch up. They never did but a few thoughts on why this game will help this team not only this year, but for years to come.
If the nucleus of this team stays intact for even two more years, they are now much more poised heading into games like this one and have a great chance to be playing deep into January and even February. Remember that the Pack fields the league's youngest team at just over 26 years of age, I believe. To have this kind of success is a surprise to many and this team is overachieving what anyone thought they would before the season started. For a young team, having success creates an energy that is fun to watch and when they are rolling, this team is as unstoppable as that team in the AFC Northeast that everyone is all but handing the Lombardi Trophy to this year. Now I'm not comparing these two teams at face value, but it's obvious this Packer team is good and not a flash in the pan.
Handling this success comes with experience and exposure to winning. Many of these guys are in their first and second years and have seen 10 wins come their way and may, to an extent, believe that they will always be able to pull it out in the end. Whether it's Brett with a great throw, a great catch or a defensive play, this team has pulled out many of their wins with big or highlight plays. The younger guys need to learn that they have to work hard and focus for 60 minutes every week. They also have to want to improve, regardless of how well they play. Losing this game should put into perspective what this team needs to do to get past Dallas, should we meet them again in the post season. If they have to return to Dallas in January, they have already been there once. They have now been through the hype, the media, the crowd and the Cowboys themselves. Next time, I have to think that the outcome is much different.
As far as moving on from Dallas for the rest of this season and into the next few, this team has been humbled. They know that if they are not tight in any area of their game, the result may not be favorable. In this way, they have to play together and communicate to help each other out. Chemistry, to me, is knowing that the guy next to you will be there and you can almost read each other's minds during play. It's believing in the team as a whole. The chemistry seems to be there and that is directly attributed to coach McCarthy and his staff. Their no-nonsense and matter-of-fact style of coaching has kept the players in check and doing the things they need to stay out of trouble and prepare each week. One thing that was consistent heading into this game was the fact that coach Mac did not do anything differently and kept reminding his players that this is one game, against one team, on the road.
Many teams in the past have been overwhelmed by big games and came out flat. The Pack were within 3 into the fourth quarter and without several of their starters, including No. 4. They showed up. And I see building on what they have learned here and continuing to improve into next week and over the next several years.
Jason, firstname.lastname@example.org, Chandler, AZ
Why go away from what works?
Good article on Rodgers. I agree with you...he did look good and played well. Once we went back to the basics in the second half, I actually thought he had a chance to win this game for us. Then the defense took a break and we had some major penalties that knocked us down. I'm curious why McCarthy tried to fix what wasn't broken. We have our strengths and that's what got us to 10-1....why deviate from that? I think the 1st quarter was a killer.
The long bomb wasn't working and they kept trying it. I didn't get why they didn't go with what worked for them and got them to the 10-1 mark. Second half MM's play calling was much better.
Ingrid Adams, email@example.com, Jefferson, WI
Can't wait for the rematch against Cowboys
Somebody needs to shut up all these Cowboy fans and sportscasters hanging on their jocks like they are the best in the NFC. Yes, they won the game, but we had two of our starting defensive players who did not play, and when Favre got hurt they let an almost rookie backup come in and bring the Pack back. Dallas is not as good as they think they are, and I am looking forward to the rematch when we are at full strength.
Peter Schwind, firstname.lastname@example.org, Lima, OH
A lot of good can come from showdown loss
I guess I am the crazy old uncle that people keep locked in the attic, but I thought a lot of positive things came from the Cowboys game.
1) The Cowboys were crowing like they were the best team that ever walked on a football field. They will be so overconfident when the Packers play them for the NFC Championship that they will be ripe for the picking.
3) The Packers since the bye have had a killer schedule. Denver on Monday night, six days later KC, a home game, then three games in 12 days and two on the road and now that the smoke and dust have cleared they are 10-2 and two-and-a-half games up in the division. I can live with that. They need two more victories to have a first round bye.
4) I hope McCarthy sits Favre for the next game. I want a well rested and healthy Favre going into the Playoffs. He has 10 days and give him one more week two if necessary and then let him get ready for the Playoffs. The streak does not mean anything to me, but watching the Packers go to the Super Bowl now that means something.
Like I said the crazy old uncle in the attic.
John F. King, email@example.com, Roanoke, VA
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