Andrew Luck, the first player chosen in this yearís collegiate draft, and now the quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, put on an aerial show Sunday as he led the Colts to a second-half comeback, and the Colts defeated the Green Bay Packers 30 -27. It was a bitter game to watch for Cheeseheads as the Packers have now lost three games this year, two more than all of last year.
The Packers rolled up a 21 Ė 3 lead by halftime with two touchdown passes by Aaron Rodgers. The defense played well and it looked like the Packers were on course for a big win. Then everything that went well for them in the first half didnít in the second half. Rodgers threw an interception at the beginning of the third quarter which seemed to change the momentum. Luck converted that turnover into a Colt touchdown. It was the beginning of a remarkable comeback which Luck and all-pro wide receiver Reggie Wayne perpetrated on the Packer defense.
The Colts played an emotionally charged game which was dedicated to their head coach, who was diagnosed earlier last week with leukemia. The Packer defense seemed to have no clue as to how to slow down the Luck/Wayne connection. Wayne corralled 13 receptions for over 200 yards and the winning touchdown. No solution is not the answer especially when the Packers have two all-pro players roaming their defensive backfield. Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers may have to take a long look at this game film to figure out why this debacle happened.
The defense was not solely to blame for this loss, for sure. Mason Crosby missed both of his two field goal attempts including one that would have tied the game as time ran out. The once mighty Packer aerial assault disappeared in the second half as Rodgers just couldnít get things going. Also to blame were several horrible officiating calls (Sam Shieldsí phantom pass interference, for instance). The Packers have had very little luck getting calls to go their way thus far this year.
The problems donít stop here. The injury bug bit the Packers hard in this game with Cedric Benson, B. J. Raji and Jermichael Finlay all leaving the game. Greg Jennings did not suit up due to injury as well. Nonetheless, the Packers have the talent to get the job done. The problem is, for whatever reason, the Packers are not making big plays this year.
Professional football games are won or lost on emotion and big plays. Superior talent can be overcome by a healthy dose of the aforementioned, and that is exactly what happened in this game. But, Cheeseheads should tip their cheese-wedge hats collectively to Luck and the Colts, as they deserved to win this game and the Packers did not.
Mike McCarthy needs to light a fire under the Packers. They are out of sync right now and not nearly playing up to their abilities. That wonít be easy because next Sunday night the Packers travel to Houston to play the Texans, one of the hottest teams in the NFL this year. The Texans have parlayed a bunch of high draft picks into a talented roster and they will be tough at home.
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