It wasn’t very pretty at times, but the Green Bay Packers ran their season record to 8 – 0 with a 45 – 38 win over the San Diego Chargers Sunday. The win gives the Packers a new franchise record of 14 victories in a row, breaking a record that dates back to the golden days of the Lombardi era.
The Chargers took their opening drive right down the field for a touchdown, and the track meet was on. Aaron Rodgers and Company came storming back with a scoring drive of their own to tie the score at 7 – 7. A pair of pick sixes by Packer defensive backs Charlie Peprah and Tramon Williams put the Packers up 21 – 7 as the first quarter ended.
In the second quarter the Packers ran their lead to 28 – 17, but the Packer defense was showing problematic tendencies. Lack of a tenacious pass rush and inexplicable confusion amongst the defensive backs allowed the Chargers to run up way too many explosive plays. The 2011 Packer defense has allowed opponents to rack up too many yards too many times this year and Sunday was no exception. I can’t put a finger on what ails the Packer defense but Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers better get that problem figured out soon. It is hard to be critical of a team that has just set an all-time record for consecutive wins, but there are defensive miscommunications going on now that hopefully will get corrected soon.
Fortunately, the Packers have a quarterback who has been playing at a level that I have never seen before in all the many years I have been observing professional football. Aaron Rodgers is in a zone. Pinpoint passing led to four touchdown passes on the day including some awesome throws and catches to Greg Jennings, James Jones and Jordy Nelson. At the end of the day, Rodgers’ four touchdown passes eclipsed the Packer defense’s deficiencies. He is an incredible football player playing at a level right now that is reserved for Hall of Fame players.
The Chargers made things “interesting” in the fourth quarter but track meets with the 2011 Packer offense are most likely going to be won by the Green and Gold and that is the way this one finished. Charlie Peprah intercepted his second pass in the waning seconds of this game to cement the victory, and so the Packers enter the second half of the season with a perfect record.
The Minnesota Vikings are next up in a Monday night matchup at Lambeau. The Vikings’ season is in the tank but the outcome of next week’s game may contribute to the future of that franchise. The Vikings’ lease is up at the Humpty Dump this year and this franchise might just hit the road for Los Angeles, following the path of the basketball Lakers many years ago.
The Packers are playing this year with a target on their back. All the teams they play want to beat the Super Bowl Champs. The Chargers took their best shot and came up short. The Vikings came up short in the Humpty Dump a couple weeks ago; let’s see how they fare in Lambeau Field.