It is amazing what effect a sound Packer victory can have in Cheeseland. After a month of well deserved criticism and scrutiny, the Packers regrouped Sunday and dominated the Detroit Lions. Cheeseheads were treated to a taste of what they expected going into the season as the Packers ate up the Lions by a score of 38 - 10.
This game started just like it finished, with the Packers driving right down the field and moving the ball at will against the Lions in their home den of Ford Field. Brett Favre had a big day throwing the ball as did Donald Driver catching it. The Packer running game got high marks too as the offensive linemen finished off their blocks much better than the last couple weeks. Ahman Green and Najeh Davenport ran over and around the Lion defenders. The Packers committed no turnovers and generally moved the chains at will. What a refreshing change from the fumbling and stumbling of the past four games.
The Packer defense played a tough, impressive game, although they were aided by an inexplicably inaccurate Lion quarterback and a couple key injuries to some of the Lions better players. Darren Sharper and Nick Barnett have not had a stellar season thus far, but both stepped up their game on Sunday with nice performances. Sharper, a big-time playmaker when he is on his game, took control of this game in the 3rd quarter with an interception and runback for a touchdown. Cornerback Batman Carroll got his first start as a Packer and held up pretty well.
The only sore spot came on the special teams. A couple of the Packer contain guys weren't doing their job on kick-off and punt returns and likely will get some special tutoring during practice this week.
So now things don't look nearly as bleak as they did last week. The Lion game certainly reminded Cheeseheads that the Packers still have the talent pool to dominate a game. The Packers ran up 434 yards of total offense while the defense held the Lions to only 125. It was a game that the Pack desperately needed to win. Not only did they win it but how they won gives Cheeseheads hope for some degree of salvation this season. What an amazing swing.
Next week the hated Dallas Cowboys visit Lambeau. The Cowboys have a pretty decent defense but can't score many points. Their running game is a joke and Vinny Testaverde is a 40 something-year-old quarterback long past his prime. This is another must game for the Packers, and they should win decisively if they can to put together another performance like they did against the Lions. A win against the Cowboys and another against the struggling Redskins the week after would give the Pack a 4 - 4 record going into the bye. Hmmmmmm" my visit to the Optimist Club meeting last week must be having an effect!
D H D