Review~ Green Bay was the better team on Sunday Night. It prevailed as well. Not always does the Best Team win – however, in this case there was enough time to prove so. The Packers had more yards (353 – 298), won the turnover battle (1 – 0), more sacks (4 – 1), and generally won the line of scrimmage. Aside from QB-play, winning the line of scrimmage is the best determining factor in which team will win. Winning the LOS battle does make it easier for the QB, so there’s that…
While I hate bitching about the refs, that’s the one area where San Francisco “won,” penalties. There were ticky-tack upon ticky-tack calls – let’s not discuss Jaire Alexander’s “roughing” call…the Packers overcame the officials. About as impressive a regular season win since their 9-0 shutout victory over the New York Jets in week 8 of the 2010 season.
Preview~ speaking of that 2010 season, it culminated against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV. Aaron Rodgers hasn’t played the Steelers since that game, having missed both matchups due to breaking his collarbone in the 2013 and 2017 seasons. Another storyline that Packer fans will over-focus on is the drafting of Kevin King over T.J. Watt. While that’s an egregious miss (newsflash, every team has multiple of every draft), it’s mainly news because Watt is a local boy that went to UW. It’s time to move on, and since QB is essentially all that matters, the Packers have the better (that’s what I’m told) and are at home with what I believe is the better roster.
These teams boast 2 of the 3 worst rushing offenses in the entire league (Green Bay 30th and Pittsburgh 32nd). The Packers are frustrating in that department as when they commit to the run, it really opens the entire offense up and makes Rodgers an MVP-caliber player – i.e., 2020’s season. Get Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon going early and often, and the Packers can pretty much do whatever they want, when they want. Just stick with it. Even if punting early in the game due to drives shorting out, running wears on the opposing D line, which opens everything up in the 2nd half and especially crunch time in the 4th quarter.
In the grander scheme, while non-conference games are least important, winning home games is always a statement that adds to the mentality of a team (and imposes onto other teams coming to Lambeau) – win this game to add to LaFleur’s early, yet impressive, home record (16-3 including postseason) because the schedule toughens up in the coming weeks. Beginning Oct. 24th there are six games vs. 2020 postseason teams in the next 9, which one of those “non-playoff” teams from a year ago is 3-0 Arizona, which will be a Thursday night road game…win this, get to 3-1 and focus on finally winning IN Cincinnati!