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Ugly Wins Still Count (12/20/2006)
By Dave DeLano

The Green Bay Packers' fate on the fabled frozen tundra thus far this year has been down right awful. Thankfully, the Detroit Lions were scheduled this week... a welcome tonic, indeed. The Lions, having lost all of their previous 15 visits to Lambeau, didn't disappoint the Cheesehead faithful Sunday, as the Pack came away with a 17 - 9 victory.

It was an ugly affair though for the Packer offense. Brett Favre had a bad day throwing the football. During the course of this game Favre set an all-time NFL record for pass completions... 4974. Incredible as that record is, too many of Favre's throws Sunday were thrown into coverage situations where they should not have been. When Favre did throw accurately, there were too many dropped passes. Add too many penalties, too many missed blocks by the offensive line and too many fumbles.... it was a hard game to watch. Had the Packers' opponent been any team other than the hapless Lions, this game likely would have had a different outcome.

The Packer's defense was exactly opposite of the offense this week... the defense was outstanding, holding the Lions to only 142 net yards on the day and zero explosion plays. The Packers started Cullen Jenkins this week at defensive end in place of Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, and Jenkins responded with a great game. Look for Jenkins to continue a starting role at left defensive end with KGB reverting to pass-rushing specialist. Cornerback Al Harris played another outstanding game, blanketing the Lions' all-pro wide receiver, Roy Williams. Harris should be an all-pro cornerback this year.

The difference in this game turned out to be two nice touchdown scampers by reserve running back Vernand Morency. Morency offers a nice change-of-style running to that of Ahman Green. Ted Thompson made a good decision when Morency was acquired in the trade for Samkon Gado earlier this season.

The forthcoming week is a weird one as that Packers play the Vikings on Thursday night on cable TV. Cable or pay-for-view TV coverage is probably a thing of the future for NFL games, like it or not.

The Vikings are an under-performing lot this year. In last week's loss to the Jets, the fair-weather Queen fans in the Humptydump mercilessly booed veteran quarterback Brad Johnson until he was eventually replaced with rookie Tarvaris Jackson. The Packers' emerging defense seems to match up well against whomever the Vikes choose to start at quarterback on Thursday.

On defense, the Vikings are one dimensional... very good against the run and very poor against the pass. The Packers need to do what every other team has done this year to be successful against the Vikings... throw the ball. If Favre can refrain from throwing into double coverage, the Pack has a very good chance to get win number 7 next week. Getting a sweep on the rival Viqueens in this rebuilding year would be a swell early Christmas present for Cheeseheads. 


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