GreenBay Packer Nation

There Are No Moral Victories…However…

There is a saying in the NFL that there are no moral victories and that is true. A win is a win is a win and a loss the same. The Packers were unable to get a “W” yesterday and that is disappointing, especially as it pertains to the NFC North race. The Packers, with the loss against the Falcons, put themselves behind the 8-ball in the North and Packers fans find themselves hoping for a Jay Cutler (brief) resurgence tonight as the Bears take on the Vikings on MNF.

There are no moral victories…however….

The Packers had to make last minute adjustments to the absence of three key players in this game. Clay Matthews, Randall Cobb, and Ty Montgomery were all late scratches, placing the Packers’ coaching staff in a very precarious position against an Atlanta team capable of scoring points in bunches. There are no moral victories….however…

The young receivers really stepped up in this game, particularly Trevor Davis and Geronimo Allison, but also Jeff Janis picked up a TD in this game and that diversity of options and the way the Packers spread the ball around kept the team in the game all the way until the end. Going forward, Aaron Rodgers must have gained some faith in the young ones and the offense for most of this game (barring the 3rd quarter and the last 30 seconds) was hitting on all cylinders. This is really quite a feat when you consider not just the loss of Montgomery and Cobb, but also the fill in running backs, one a rookie UDFA and one who had only been with the team a little over a week. The one thing the Packers knew about this offense going into the Falcons game was that its success or failure would largely be upon the shoulders…right shoulder and arm in fact…of Aaron Rodgers, and to a great extent, he succeeded, with 28 completions for 246 yards and four touchdowns and 3rd down efficiency that was a full 16 percentage points better than the Atlanta Falcons. But there are no moral victories…however…

The defense dealt with its share of injuries as well though only Clay Matthews’ unavailability got any press since the Packers defense has been dealing with the other injuries for weeks. Ladarious Gunter turned in a performance that will make the Packers unafraid to match him up one-on-one against just about anyone in the league and the d-line, while only getting Matt Ryan to the ground twice, did make things uncomfortable at a regular clip. The defense gave up too many points in the end (33) just one too many for a tie and two too many for a win. The last offensive series for the Falcons was to their credit and Packers fans had to hope for a missed PAT, which, while not so unlikely any more…was not forthcoming. There are no moral victories…however…

The Packers drop another game back in the North, making tonight’s Vikings versus Bears game all the more exciting, but even in the event that the Packers cannot recover the North for a second year in a row, they are still right in the thick of things in any presumable Wild Card race that could develop. Both the East and the South are looking more sealed each week and the Packers will have their chance to play spoiler to Washington and Philadelphia while maintaining their own record here in November. The Seahawks seem to command the West but are by no means a foregone conclusion and both they and the Cards have a tie on their record that they may come to regret. The Packers play the Seahawks December 11th and once again, have their destiny in their own hands. Then with a December finale of NFC North rivalry games, the Packers may very well be playing for the NFC North Championship once again. There are no moral victories…however…

This Packers team, while taking a loss, may very well have gained confidence in this game. And keep in mind, there are plenty of starters who are projected to be back eventually and the Packers can choose one returner off the I.R. list as well. There are no moral victories, however this is a team that is still very much in the thick of things in the NFC and may very well, in spite of a loss, have seen the beginnings of an offense that is hitting its stride. If it isn’t hitting its stride, it certainly is performing admirably in the face of such discontinuity.

Go Pack!