With their backs against the wall, the Green Bay Packers turned in an incredibly impressive performance and thoroughly destroyed the New York Giants Sunday by a score of 45 – 17. The win means that the Packers will have another “playoff-atmosphere” game when the Chicago Bears invade Lambeau next week. The Bears have already secured their post-season playoff position and the Packers can do the same as a wildcard with a win next week.
Aaron Rodgers missed playing last week because of a concussion but he came back with a vengeance, passing for a career high 404 yards and 4 touchdowns. Greg Jennings put on an exhibition showcasing the circle route as he combined with Rodgers and the other Packer receivers to execute an awesome aerial assault. Prior to this game the Giants held the distinction of having the second stingiest defense (yards per game) in the NFL, but the potent Packer offense shredded them Sunday.
The Packers’ offensive line has been subject to some well-deserved criticism this year but against the Giants they played great. Scott Wells in particular played well. I saw one play in which Wells de-cleated a Giant lineman. The tempo for this game was established early when the Packers’ offensive line started moving the battle into their opponent’s backfield. The intensity from the big guys up front allowed Packer running backs to gain almost 100 yards and gave Rodgers and company time to work the aerial magic.
Packer running back John Kuhn has really come on lately. Kuhn ended the day with two touchdowns rushing and a third on a pass play. He is a big, strong, guy who just powers his way through piles of humanity. He has become a crowd favorite in Lambeau as the cries of “KUUUUHN” attest.
The Packer defense really stepped it up a notch too. The two touchdowns the Giants scored came on plays where our cornerbacks slipped. With those exceptions, Dom Capers’ crew played a whale of a game. The inside linebacking duo of Desmond Bishop and A. J. Hawk are making tons of plays this year. The Giants have a history of turning the ball over and most of their six turnovers in this game were self inflicted gaffs, but at least one was caused when Clay Matthews III punched the ball out of the back’s hands with an uppercut. Considering all the injuries the Packers’ defense has incurred this year, it is absolutely amazing how well they have performed.
The 2010 Packers have been a hard team to comprehend because of Jekyll and Hyde characteristics. The debacle against Detroit two weeks ago was in total contrast to what they accomplished against the Giants. If the Packers continue to play like they did against the Giants, we very well could be in for a deep playoff run. Next week the Packers have a “win and they are in” date with the Bears. It will be interesting to see if Mike McCarthy can keep the intensity level in high gear to advance this team into the playoffs.