Cheeseheads got another dose of what they expected from the 2004 Green Bay Packers as they witnessed a lopsided 41 - 20 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. Sunday marked the second week in a row that Coach Mike Sherman has been calling the offensive plays in place of ailing Offensive Coordinator Tom Rossley. Given the offensive explosion of the past two weeks, it now may be difficult to turn the reigns back to Rossley as he regains his health.
The Packers' offensive juggernaut was on display from the get-go. They scored seemingly at will on their first seven possessions. Brett Favre was classic Favrian, passing the ball to a host of receivers and making it look easy. Wide receiver Javon Walker is really starting to distinguish himself this year, even though he is often drawing double coverage. Ahman Green, befuddled with injuries and fumbles the past few weeks, had a big day too scampering for 163 yards. The offensive line seemed to dominate the Cowboy defense both in opening up holes for the running game and in pass protection when # 4 put it in the air.
Other than the Vikings, there is no NFL team with a more obnoxious owner than the Cowboys, so it was quite satisfying to see Jerry Jones sulking off the frozen tundra as the loser. The Cowboys' defense seemed to get frustrated by the pounding they were receiving and turned to their dirty tricks bag. Out-of- bounds tackling, facemask twisting, eye gouging etc. all had to be dealt with this in this game. Not much class from Jones and the Cowboys.
The prettiest play came in the third quarter when Ahman Green ran through a hole and galloped 90 yards for a touchdown. Green is a fast running back, but he needed help from wide receiver Robert Ferguson to interrupt a defensive back who seemed to have an angle on him. Ferguson laid him out with a picture-perfect block, and Green ran it in for a score.
The Packer defense completely shut down the Cowboys' running game. The return of defensive tackle Grady Jackson cannot be overstated. Though still a little gimpy, Jackson has incredible quickness for a man of his size. A gimpy Jackson is better than the other options the Packers have tried at nose tackle the previous month. Batman Carroll seems to have taken over ownership at left cornerback. The Packers' other highly prized rookie defensive back, Joey Thomas, somehow crawled out of the coach's doghouse and finally got some extended playing time.
Next week could be the biggest game of the 2004 season when the Pack travels to Washington, D.C., to take on the Redskins. The Redskins aren't a great football team, but they do have decent talent, they will be coming off their bye week, and they have a very good running back in Clinton Portis. If the Packers win, they will be back to 4 - 4 on the season and will have a bye week of their own to regroup for the second half of the season to get ready for the Vikings. If they lose"¦ well, I won't go there, but it could be a long season if they do. Mike Sherman coached teams tend to save their best football for the second half of the season"¦ let's hope that remains true this year.
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