Monday, November 15, 2004

First Place!

Packers 34 - Vikings 31

Now if we could only stop the other team from scoring...! Within 93 seconds near the end of this game, the Vikings erased a 14-point defecit to tie the game. Luckily, they left enough time on the clock for us to do something. Brett Favre did his thing and we won because of it. We did get lucky, though, too. A fumbled kickoff return could really have gone either way, but it went to us. That allowed Brett time to haul off a big rainbow to Fisher (who had a pretty good game all around) to get us in field goal range, and the rest is history.

Overall, it was just a great football fan's football game. It was fairly even in the first several series -- Packers TD, Vikings TD, Packers punt, Vikings punt -- but then we really started to outplay them. We scored 17 points in the 2nd quarter and held them to a field goal. In the second half, we came out playing our game, but didn't score at all in the third quarter. Unfortunately, in the fourth, we started getting a little too comfortable and falling back into a quasi-prevent defense. We were good at stuffing the run, but that led to forcing them into a passing game, and our defenders weren't up to the task as well as they should have been.

In the end, a win is a win, and this was a helluva' fun game to watch (apart from some profanity-filled moments in the last half of the last quarter). I thought Al Harris had another noteworthy day (although -- again -- he wasn't totally mistake-free), and Green ran extremely well without fumbling. I still worry, though, about third-and-long and fourth-and-long plays... especially when we blitz and it gets picked up. There still seem to be too many plays reminiscent of 4th-and-26 in every game this year. It may just be that wound hasn't healed yet. If we can continue to stuff Grady Jackson into the run holes, though, and then improve all of our backers' play, we will really be much harder to stop. Those are not insignificant "ifs," though.

Best of all, this win puts us -- at least temporarily -- into first place outright in the North division. We have the same record as Minnesota, but we beat 'em. The Bears and Lions are both just one game out, so it's tight. It feels good, though, after a 1-4 start. Four wins in a row almost makes those four consecutive losses tolerable. I guess we'll see as the season plays itself out.


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