Sunday, November 7, 2010
Wrap-up: Packers 45, Cowboys 7
By Kevin Seifert
Hitting a few points after watching a massacre at Lambeau Field:
What it means: The Green Bay Packers improved to 6-3 by playing the best game of any NFC North team this season. I realize the Dallas Cowboys are a mess, but the Packers dominated this game from the start. Early in the fourth quarter, it looked like a preseason game. I saw a few numbers I didn't recognize out there.
What I liked: Well, pretty much everything. But I think we have to make first mention of the Packers' defense, which followed up last weekend's shutout of the New York Jets by holding the Cowboys to one touchdown and 205 total yards. Linebacker Clay Matthews broke double digit in sacks for the season (10.5) and also scored on a 62-yard interception return. It was a premier performance made even more impressive by the players who remain sidelined by injury.
What I liked II: Receiver James Jones filled in well for the injured Donald Driver (quadriceps), catching a career-high eight passes for 123 yards. Even without Driver, Packers wide receivers caught 20 of Aaron Rodgers' 27 completions.
What I liked III: As the Packers head into their bye, Brandon Jackson looks much more comfortable as a starting tailback. It's also important to note that Packers coach Mike McCarthy has found ways to put him in comfortable situations, most notably as a receiver out of the backfield. Jackson had 68 total offensive yards Sunday night, including two touchdowns.
Hold your breath: You wonder what the NFL will do about safety Nick Collins' unnecessary roughness penalty in the third quarter. His helmet-to-helmet hit on receiver Roy Williams cost the Packers 15 yards and probably will result in a big fine this week. But ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted during the game that the NFL has been waiting to suspend a player since declaring a new emphasis on the helmet-to-helmet rule earlier this season. Would the NFL really suspend Collins for the Packers' next game, Nov. 22 against the Minnesota Vikings? It would be harsh and somewhat random, but we'll find out soon enough.
What's next: The Packers have their bye and, as we noted, return to the field in two weeks at the Vikings. The Packers also must make decisions on cornerback Al Harris and running back James Starks by Monday. Both are at the end of their three-week window to practice after being activated from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. If not added to the 53-man roster on Monday, neither will be eligible to play this season.