The Packers 27-23 win over the Jags yesterday opens the door for a week two divisional rivalry game against the Vikes that will knock one of the two teams off the top spot in the NFC North (though perhaps still tied with the Lions if they beat the Titans). The Packers’ offense took a little time to get going but one thing became abundantly clear. Jordy Nelson is back.
Some games have been called “a tale of two halves” and this was certain not one of them. The Packers offense started off looking like last year’s offense, then turned it on and was surgical from the time Aaron threw the touchdown pass to Davante Adams all the way through until they stalled a drive with an appalling play in which the line thought a pass was on and everybody else thought it was a run and had an even worse final series of the game. So this game was weak on ends but pretty good in the middle. The score could have been much more favorable to the Packers and the game once again ended with a defensive stand.
Speaking of the defense. If I had to use one word to describe what Blake Bortels and the Jaguar offense did to the Packers defense…the word that comes to mind is “gashed”. The Jags operated at will both down the sidelines and in the middle of the field. The Packers defense was missing tackles left and right early on and thankfully gang tackled on the final play of the game as that tackle was missed initially too. A lot of room to grow there. But I have to give credit to a defense that had to basically play four down defense in 100 degree heat for a full quarter and found a way to dig deep and come up with a big play when the game is on the line. Again…it should have been a two score game at least.
The offense frankly was scary in the first quarter. Aaron couldn’t hit Jordy on passes that they have always made in the past and the run game was on again-off again just like last year. Davante Adams once again made himself the Pariah early, high pointing a contested ball beautifully, getting his hands clear of the defender, and failing to make the big catch. But as soon as Jordy got involved in the game, the offense turned around. It was as if the clouds parted and Saint Vincent himself nodded in approval that the Packers offense was back. Of course, the snaffoos of the final couple of drives were hard to watch, but those were early season mistakes that can be ironed out on an offense that was driving and wreaking havoc on a very good Jags defense, so I can live with that for one game.
The Packers have some work to do. But this Jaguars team was a very good team and I think they may go undefeated at home the rest of the year. They looked like a double digit win team and frankly no one can take away the fact that they pushed the Packers to the limit. However, there are no moral victories in the NFL. The Packers go to Minnesota 1-0 and tied with Detroit and Minnesota for the lead in the division. Next week’s matchup will be fascinating. But for today, Packer Nation revels in a win, plain and simple. And I will be bringing analysis from the game that we can take into Minnesota all day long with closer looks at the Packers play and some reading between the lines of the interviews that have come out.
For now…we are 1 and 0 baby, and Packers football is back!