The Buffalo Bills came into Sunday’s game at Lambeau as 13-point underdogs, but the oddsmakers grossly underestimated the Packers’ ability to put up points as the good guys pummeled the Bills by a score of 34 – 7.
If ever there was a contrast in quarterbacks, this was the game. Aaron Rodgers is one of the NFL’s premier players. The Bills’ guy isn’t. Quarterbacks in the NFL do make a difference. Rodgers’ debut at Lambeau in 2010 brought into focus once again just how fortunate Cheeseheads are to have him under contract for many seasons to come. Rodgers threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third while his counterpart was being devoured by Clay Matthews III and company. The Bills’ quarterback was clueless and does not have the surrounding cast to consistently win in the NFL. It was a mismatch from the get-go.
It was interesting to see how the Packers would react after losing running back Ryan Grant last week to an injury that ended his season. Those who stepped in to replace Grant didn’t do much in this game, but when the Packers’ pass-prone offense gets in motion, the Packer running game needs only to occasionally wiggle a bit to keep the defense honest. Packer rushing numbers totaled only about 100 yards while Rodgers’ passing netted about 250… a ratio Cheeseheads can expect to enjoy for the balance of this season. Grant was a good player but methinks those who will replace him in this offense will suffice just fine.
Two rookies elevated their status against the Bills. Strong safety Morgan Burnett got his first professional interception on an exceptional play and Bryan Bulaga got extensive time at left tackle. Bulaga replaced Chad Clifton in the second quarter, although Clifton was not injured, and played the balance of the game. Cheeseheads expected Bulaga to eventually replace the aging and oft-injured Clifton, but could it be that such has already happened? I thought Bulaga played exactly as he was billed when projected as a top-ten collegiate player last spring; he’s a big, strong tough-guy with quick feet. Barring injury, the 21-year-old will be a cornerstone in the Packers’ offensive line for the next decade.
For the second week in a row, outside linebacker Clay Matthews III had an absolutely awesome game. Three more quarterback sacks to add to the three he had in week one and a bunch more tackles in this game and this guy is off-the-charts. CM III has the exceptional combination of strength and closing speed. I don’t know how a football player can play better than he has the last two games.
Next week the Packers travel to Chicago to play the Bears on Monday Night Football. I can’t remember when undefeated Packers and Bears teams played for sole possession of the North Division. The Bears have a quarterback who is capable of putting points on the board and new Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz has apparently reinvigorated their offense. Look for the Bears to test the Packers’ defense with their aerial attack and let them beware of CM III.