The Green Bay Packers became the NFL’s lone undefeated team Sunday after running their 2011 season record to 6 – 0 by defeating the St. Louis Rams 24 – 3. The last time a Packer team started a season 6 – 0 was in 1965, a year in which the Packers went on to win the NFL championship. Back in the Lombardi heyday the Packers went on to also dominate the NFL in 1966 and 1967, winning NFL championships three years in a row. Three-peats are infinitely harder to accomplish now than back in the sixties. Nonetheless, the 2011 Packer team looks mighty good at this stage of the season.
Mason Crosby started the scoring in this contest by kicking a 32-yard field goal. The Packers rewarded Crosby with a hefty contract in the off season and he has responded appropriately. Last week Crosby kicked a 56-yard field goal to tie the all-time Packer record. Thus far this year he is a perfect ten field goals made in ten attempts. Going back to last year, he has now booted 17 regular-season field goals in a row, tying another franchise record. Crosby has also booted most of his kickoffs deep into the end zone for touchbacks which is a huge boost for the special teams.
But once again it was Aaron Rodgers who took center stage and put on the show. In the second quarter Rodgers tossed three touchdown passes that in essence put this game on ice by halftime. Rodgers makes it look so easy. He helped himself on several occasions with his quick feet that allowed him to dodge pass rushers to gain additional time to execute passes.
Packer receivers dropped too many passes Sunday. One of those drops was by Donald Driver who also had a bad drop last week. Although Driver remains the titular starter, his production this year is way down. Now 36 years old, Father Time has caught up with this valiant warrior and that creates a touchy issue for Mike McCarthy to deal with. When asked about Driver’s decreasing production last week, McCarthy bristled. DD is such a great guy and a positive influence on young players, the coach has a tough decision on whether to take more snaps away from Driver and give them to younger, more explosive talents in the deep Packer receiving corps.
Not a single point was scored by either team during the second half. It seemed as though the Packers played down to the level of competition as the game wore on. It wasn’t an exceptionally exciting game to watch but the defense did what they had to do and a win is a win.
Next week the Pack hits the road to play the late game in Minneapolis against the Vikings. The Vikings are struggling again this year with a 1 – 5 record. They have a new coach, problems along the offensive line, an unsettled quarterback situation and a defensive unit that gave up a whole bunch of points against the offensively-challenged Chicago Bears last week. The intense Packer/Viking rivalry usually produces a good game but Rodgers should make the Packers the prohibitive favorite.