I’m sure you are wondering about the “Three Goal Line Stands!” First, on Saturday the Wisconsin Badgers defense stopped the Iowa Hawkeyes on a goal line attempt of a two point conversion to preserve their victory. I would have been remiss if I didn’t mention an important victory for our Home State Badgers, who were coming off consecutive losses. Second, on Sunday, the end of the first half saw the Panthers stop the Packer’s Jamal Williams at the goal line. Third, and most importantly, the Packer’s defense made a game ending stop of Christian McCaffrey at the goal line to preserve the victory. To every Packer’s fan’s delight, the defense held McCaffrey to 108 rushing on 20 attempts. The Packers also were able to limit the Panthers to two touchdowns, one on the final drive.
The weather Sunday was the “perfect storm,” for the Packers. At the outset, the weather was just cold, as the game progressed the snow began to fall and was quite heavy by the fourth quarter. It’s these types of games which have earned Lambeau Field, it’s “Frozen Tundra,” nickname. Coach Matt LaFleur had the foresight to have his team practice outside during the week to acclimate to the weather. Obviously the Panthers were not able to enjoy this same advantage. I believe this became evident as the footing declined with each passing moment of snowfall.
Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams took the game over in the 4th quarter and exerted their will on the Panthers defense. Blocking was a key, both by the Offensive Line, which had their best performance of the season and the wide receivers. On one particular play, Jake Kumerow blew up a Panther LB behind the line, allowing Jones to cut up the field for a big gainer. QB Aaron Rodgers has to feel a sense of relief, that he no longer needs to carry this team, the running game is his best friend. Having a strong rushing attack will preserve his career and possibly get he and the Packers another Lombardi Trophy.
This week the Packers are enjoying their Bye Week, sitting in first place in the North, with an 8-2 record. Looming next on the Packers schedule are the 8-1 San Francisco 49ers. Most of us saw the Seattle Seahawks hand the 49ers their first defeat later Sunday night. The Seahawks accomplished this with an opportunistic offense and a stiff, swarming defense. The Packers will need to be on attack defensively, when facing the 49ers. They can accomplish this by pressuring Jimmy Garoppolo and forcing him out of the pocket. The Packers secondary had a decent game against the Panthers, with an end zone INT, preventing a score. It will take even a better effort against the 49ers, more so, if TE George Kittle returns.
Let’s hope the Packer players heal up, and stay healthy, out of trouble and prepare mentally for the 49ers. A prediction? Packers 24, 49ers 23.
As Always, Go Pack Go!
PackerGregPackerGreg Veteran/Go Army @DrGTP on Twitter