Third and one: Packers

November, 16, 2009
11/16/09
1:10
PM ET
After Green Bay’s 17-7 victory over Dallas, here are three (mostly) indisputable facts I feel relatively sure about:

  1. I really liked the Packers’ game plan on both sides of the ball. More important, of course, was the execution. Holding a slim 3-0 lead at halftime, the Packers had an almost 50-50 run-pass split in the second half. That’s pretty big for a Mike McCarthy offense. The end result is the Packers held possession for nearly 36 minutes and played the kind of traditional NFC North game we haven’t seen in a while -- dominated by an aggressive defense and an offense that didn’t commit a turnover. I know the Packers have one of the best big-play passing games in the NFL, but their mantra for the rest of the season should be: “Whatever it takes.” Sunday, that meant keeping things tight. In fact, they had only two plays longer than 14 yards.
  2. There’s a much better chance that rookie T.J. Lang will stick at right tackle than at left tackle. Lang had a decent day Sunday and helped the Packers “limit” Dallas to four sacks. (Everything is relative for the Packers’ pass protection this season.) Way back in the spring, there were some people who thought Lang had a good chance to beat out Allen Barbre for the starting job. Who knows how the beginning of the season might have changed, if at all, had that happened. But it’s been clear for some time that McCarthy was looking for a way, and a place, to get Lang into the starting lineup full-time.
  3. No one is giving any thought to rookie Brad Jones replacing Aaron Kampman on more than a part-time basis. Are they? Jones is much more suited to playing the position than Kampman and had seven tackles in his debut. No one is really sure how long Kampman (concussion) will be out, but let’s face it: The Packers really need to tweak their scheme to make best use of his skills. I’m not saying anything. I’m just saying.

And here is one question I’m still asking:
Anyone else see Charles Woodson whooping it up after his sack/forced fumble of Dallas quarterback Tony Romo? Woodson obviously didn’t know that rookie linebacker Clay Matthews was still chasing a live ball at the time. All’s well that ends well, and overall Woodson had a season-changing performance Sunday. I actually thought it was a revealing bit of catharsis for Woodson given the Packers’ struggles at various times this season.

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