Packers fans have been calling for a more “balanced offensive attack” for several years now, and rightly so. But the thought struck me this week…”What does that mean?” Most of the time when you hear of a balanced attack people mean they want more of a 50/50 split between the run and the pass. And when NFL announcers talk about the new Packers run game they often mention that we hadn’t had a 100 yard rusher in 44 games before this season, but is this really a good way to look at it? I think not. Continue reading
The Packers entered this game with a depleted wide receiver corps and missing key players on defense. Still, they emerged with a win that is even more sweet in light of the losses by the Bears and Lions this week. Who gets the ring and who gets the finger for this game? What were the key stats? What were our reactions to the game?
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Though they were favored by ten whole points, the banged-up Packers faced anything but a walk in the park against the Browns. And while the game was much closer than the score would suggest, Green Bay’s fast-improving defense helped pull out a solid win at home. After giving up 27 points to the Bengals in Week 3, the defense has since allowed an average of 13 points per game without the services of Clay Matthews.
Sam Shields was nothing short of spectacular against Josh Gordon for four quarters, holding Cleveland’s star receiver to 21 yards on two catches. Equally impressive was third-year cornerback Davon House, who made two key pass breakups deep in Packers territory. With Casey Hayward expected to return from a hamstring injury next month and a host of young cornerbacks playing at a high level, one must think Tramon Williams’ days in Green Bay are numbered.
As every NFL head coach will tell you, it is difficult to win on the road when committing mistakes in all three phases of the game. And despite a number of dropped passes by the wide receiver corps and a bonehead play by John Kuhn on a blocked punt, the Packers managed to pull out a win over the defending Super Bowl champs. Most impressive was the defense’s ability to play three quarters of lights-out football in Clay Matthews’s absence.
Lacy was the primary provider of offensive rhythm on a day in which James Jones and Randall Cobb both left the game early with injuries. The blocking in front of Lacy was less than impressive for the Packers, a trend that has managed to continue since the beginning of the season. And still, the running game has quickly become a bright spot for the offense as a whole, helping bail out an abnormally shaking passing attack.