On Twitter, during bars and in homes via Wisconsin, and positively inside Dallas’ ATT Stadium on Sunday evening, Aaron Rodgers’ game-winning touchdown pass elicited dual simultaneous, customarily unrelated-but-increasingly common reactions: “wow” and “yep.”
The Packers’ final drive, and utterly a chuck to Davante Adams, was both unimaginable and unsurprising, Rodgers’ mass during once startling and expected. Pressured all day, trailing many of a game, staring into a object and, nonetheless his favorite target, going to a receiver who roughly didn’t play Sunday given of a concussion, Rodgers pennyless a Cowboys’ hearts on a same field, and in many a same way, that he did in final year’s local playoff victory.
He connected with Adams – on a accurate play that had catastrophic one snap progressing – for a 12-yard touchdown with 11 seconds remaining, giving Green Bay an refreshing 35-31 win over Dallas that left Packers fans shrieking, Cowboys fans jolt their heads and everybody else in awe. The 75-minute drive, that took usually 1:02, was Rodgers during his forlorn best: autocratic a offense, completing accurate passes, scrambling 18 yards on a essential third-and-8 and, of course, throwing for a winning score. Rodgers finished 19 of 29 for 221 yards with 3 touchdowns and 0 turnovers.
We’ve come to entirely expect Rodgers’ unavoidable particular value – and indeed, a Packers substantially rest too heavily on it each week – nonetheless it felt generally apparent opposite a Cowboys.
In a diversion where he didn’t play ideally – he missed a few throws, including a two-point acclimatisation try to Jordy Nelson and a initial end-zone try to Adams; he was sacked 4 times, mostly due to bad protection; a effective regulating diversion meant he didn’t have to do all – there was still clearly no doubt that it would finish like it did: Rodgers marching a Packers down a margin and afterwards eviscerating a competition with some supernatural purchase play during a end. Call a Lions to commiserate, Jerry Jones; they can positively relate.
In a thrilling, back-and-forth, mega-hyped and ultra-dramatic nationally televised adversary game, one group had Aaron Rodgers and a other group didn’t. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was unequivocally good, throwing for 251 yards and 3 touchdowns and regulating for a go-ahead measure late; regulating behind Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 116 yards; a invulnerability put Rodgers underneath consistent pressure.
Even a two-time MVP’s teammates done it formidable on him – Mason Crosby missed dual additional points, mixed defensive players left a diversion with injuries, Nelson was on a sideline for Green Bay’s final series. None of it mattered. Rodgers – with vicious assistance from Adams and rookie regulating behind Aaron Jones – was, once again, a magical, dictatorial white horseman we all waited for him to be.
That was football during a finest, sports during a many fun. The fourth entertain alone contained 5 lead changes, and even after a Packers scored to take a lead with 11 seconds left, Dallas’ multi-lateral final play was enormously exciting.
There are positively some slow issues left to work out, a invulnerability still couldn’t get a stop when it had to and – stop me if you’ve listened this before – Green Bay desperately needs to get healthier, nonetheless Sunday night’s feat was simply a romantic peak of this immature season. It was good for a standings too, as a Packers changed into their informed first-place roost in a NFC North, with Detroit’s loss, streamer into a widen of 3 local games and a bye in their subsequent 5 weeks.
I’m not always a Packers’ biggest cheerleader in this space, nonetheless we can’t stop smiling about that game. So, while we’re still happy and before some inevitable bad damage news about Nelson bums us approach out, let’s examination Green Bay’s 35-31 win over Dallas on Sunday.
I contend this all a time here – and we could positively spend a subsequent 800 difference essay about how smashing Rodgers was – nonetheless let’s go with someone besides No. 12. With that qualifier in mind, let’s double down and indeed sidestep a bets again by selecting co-stars. Adams and Jones were positively vicious for a Packers offense, that – as remarkable above and oft-mentioned – was hampered by injuries to a descent line.
Jones looked like a genuine understanding in Green Bay’s backfield, carrying 19 times for 125 yards and a touchdown, apropos a initial Packers rookie to benefit some-more than 100 yards in his initial start given Samkon Gado in 2005. He showed good quickness, footwork, prophesy and decisiveness, conflict holes tough and anticipating cutback lanes. Jones not usually gave a offense a much-needed balance, nonetheless he was a yard-gaining item for a Packers, who were nonetheless Ty Montgomery given of a starter’s damaged ribs.
As for Adams, after pang a horrific-looking concussion on a heartless strike opposite a Bears 10 days ago, he was behind and shining on Sunday. Targeted 11 times, Adams had team-highs of 7 catches for 66 yards and dual touchdowns, including, obviously, a game-winning score. Since a commencement of final season, he’s turn one of a NFL’s best far-reaching receivers, and a Packers will need to compensate handsomely – and substantially shortly – to keep him in Green Bay. After a crushing, resigned view of examination him be stretchered off a margin opposite Chicago, it felt good to hearten for Adams as a hero.
This mark is typically indifferent for a cornerback, and some of a common suspects were unequivocally authorised again this week. Damarious Randall partially redeemed himself with a vicious pick-six in a fourth quarter, nonetheless a puzzling third year was fundamentally handed a interception on Dallas receiver Terrence Williams’ drop, afterwards managed to dedicate an unsportsmanlike control chastisement in his celebration, and he also was beaten regularly in coverage, including for a Dez Bryant touchdown progressing in a game. Quinten Rollins wasn’t many better, nonetheless he done a pivotal third-down tackle and didn’t do anything terribly egregious. Rookie Kevin King postulated a concussion and had to leave a diversion in a initial half. And, generally, giving adult 31 points and 408 sum yards isn’t good for a defense, nonetheless it resembled a bend-don’t-break, turnover-producing section of past years.
No, this week, even nonetheless we don’t wish to, it has to be Mason Crosby. The maestro kicker missed dual additional points, one that clanged off a right honest and another that seemed to be a product of a bad snap and hold. Still, a franchise’s all-time heading scorer was obliged for a initial skip and still should have been means to modify a second, notwithstanding a messy process. Throughout a second half, and generally in a fourth quarter, those dual missed points – that also stirred a Packers to try an eventually catastrophic two-point acclimatisation – loomed large.
Martellus Bennett hasn’t remade a Packers’ offense – or even only been a Jared Cook-like hazard we approaching by now – and a maestro parsimonious finish doesn’t seem to be on a same page with Rodgers utterly yet, nonetheless he was subtly constituent to a win in Dallas.
Because of a temporary descent line – Green Bay hasn’t had both of a starting tackles, David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga, play together nonetheless this season, and lined adult ensure Lane Taylor during left tackle, with underwhelming Justin McCray during left ensure on Sunday – Bennett has had to do a lot of pass insurance so far. He’s a unequivocally good restraint parsimonious end, and his earthy participation was desperately indispensable opposite a Cowboys. Bennett also held all 3 passes thrown to him, for 53 yards, including a large 14-yard benefit on a second play of a final scoring drive. Presumably, Bennett’s playmaking purpose will continue to grow, and eventually he will give Green Bay that combined descent dimension, nonetheless for now he’s doing a tiny things to assistance a Packers win.
(Mike McCarthy isn’t eminent for his play-calling, carrying dismissed and afterwards rehired himself for that purpose in a past, nonetheless he does still call a plays. Here we rate his coaching performance, on a measure from one to 10 McCarthy heads.)
Give credit when it’s due. McCarthy coached a good game, and a common complaints don’t request in this case. His offense came out strong, executing a well-designed gameplan and scoring an opening-series touchdown; he was prudent with his timeouts, regulating them when he indispensable to nonetheless smartly saving one for a final possession; he leaned on a regulating diversion and used Jones to open adult Rodgers’ flitting conflict (though a second Jones run on a final expostulate was substantially unwise); a Packers gained an considerable 5.9 yards per play, and well scored 4 descent touchdowns with only 24:54 time of possession.
Indeed, you’ll find no McCarthy critique here tonight. The 12th-year conduct coach, one of a longest-tenured and winningest (.653 percentage) in a league, brought his guys into a antagonistic highway sourroundings opposite an amped-up competition – Green Bay has won 7 of a final 8 meetings with Dallas – and found a approach to kick one of a NFC’s best teams. Mostly given of Rodgers. Just kidding! Sort of. Not really, though. Seven McCarthy heads this week.
“I was going to call another play, nonetheless (Adams) came behind and pronounced ‘call it again.’ With his eyes, he said, ‘just chuck a improved ball.'” – Rodgers on job a same end-zone pass play to Adams back-to-back.
At halftime, a Packers were down 21-12, carrying been entirely outplayed and looking as nonetheless they had few answers for Prescott, Elliott and their possess insurance problems a rest of a game. But they dug deep, done adjustments, played hard, overcame adversity and several other sports clichés, and honestly were a different, better, some-more rarely encouraged group in a second half.
Particularly now given their damage situation, nonetheless looking forward to (presumably) a playoffs, Green Bay is going to be in other formidable games opposite tough opponents and will have to throw and scratch to win games it substantially should lose; this showed a Packers can do that.
King went down with a concussion and reserve Morgan Burnett left a diversion with (what else?) a hamstring injury. That’s dual starters from a defensive backfield who could potentially skip time, as nonetheless a delegate indispensable any some-more reasons to struggle. It’s uninteresting to ceaselessly speak and write and review and hear about injuries with a Packers, nonetheless unfortunately it continues to be their biggest concern.
The offense was only starting to get improved – Montgomery and Bahktiari should lapse this week – nonetheless a invulnerability needs all a help, and healthy bodies, it can get.
Now during 4-1 and in initial place in a division, a Packers transport to Minnesota subsequent Sunday to take on a 2-2 Vikings (who play on Monday night this week) during 12 p.m. Then, Green Bay earnings home to horde a New Orleans Saints during noon on Oct. 22, before a team’s Week 8 bye.