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Packer Partisan (12/19/2007)
By Dave DeLano


     
Packers Knock off Rams, Secure First Round Play-off Bye

The Green Bay Packers' amazing run this year was extended again Sunday as the Pack beat the St Louis Rams by a score of 33 - 14. The win gives the Pack a record of 12 - 2 on the season and ensures a bye in the first round of the play-offs and at least one play-off game in Lambeau.

Favre and company came out on the opening drive showing all kinds of offensive sets. The Big Five (5 wide receivers), the Jumbo (2 tight ends), the inverted wishbone (two fullbacks), and the convention "I" set the tone as the Pack marched right down the field culminating in a Ryan Grant touchdown run. The wide assortment of sets has been highly effective this year and must drive opposing defensive coordinators nuts.

By halftime the Pack had a 17 - 14 lead, but their normally reliable stout defense got riddled by the running of the Rams' talented running back, Steven Jackson. Jackson had over 100 yards in the first half. Mike McCarthy and staff were quick to react and have really grown in their ability to make adjustments to the game plan. Sunday was a classic example as the defense not only shut Jackson down in the second half; they held the Rams scoreless.

Even though the Rams game was not Favre's finest performance in 2007, another monumental record fell in the second half when Favre's accumulated career passing yardage eclipsed the previous record held by Dan Marino. The new record tally at the end of the day was 61,405 yards. With the latest accomplishment, there are no more major records for Favre to achieve this year; he holds them all.

The Packer special teams excelled versus the Rams. Kicker Mason Crosby rebounded nicely after a shaky performance last week by kicking four field goals. Will Blackmon did not break a punt return like he did last week, but one gets the impression that he has electricity running through his veins and can explode at any time. Kick returner/wide receiver Koren Robinson had a pair of long kick-off returns which set up excellent field position. I admit I was skeptical about Ted Thompson's decision to bring Robinson into Green Bay last year. Robinson had a ton of bad baggage. But Robinson rode out his one-year league suspension and has rebounded nicely. Thompson's decision to give Robinson one more chance is one of many sound personnel moves which has contributed to the NFL's youngest team's 12 - 2 record.

Next week the Packers travel to Chicago and will attempt to avenge their loss in the fifth week of this season. Cheeseheads will recall that the Bears came out on top of that game in Lambeau because of many mistakes made by the Packers. The Packers/Bears match ups are always unpredictable but the Packers have a huge talent advantage, especially at the quarterback position, which likely will spell the difference. 

 

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