Friday, August 27, 2010

Most Points Since . . . When?

The Packers, in beating the Colts last night 59-24, scored the most points they have scored in a single game since they beat the Cedar Rapids Crush, 75-0, in the 1938 pre-season. (The guys on TV said it was the most points "in a league game" since the victory over the Crush, but I think that was a mistake since the Crush never made it to the NFL.)

I wasn't happy to see 3 fumbles in the game (by Ryan Grant, Brandon Jackson, and Will Blackmon), and I wasn't happy to see Peyton Manning carve up the Packers' defense in the first few possessions. But this game answered a lot of questions for me.

Yes, the Packers are capable of putting some pressure on a quality NFL quarterback. Even though they were still not playing this as a regular season game, Dom Capers at least gave us some indication that he is willing to bring some pressure against a quality QB. The result was an interception and a strip of Peyton Manning.

Yes, the Packers offensive line looks like it is still capable of giving Rodgers the kind of protection he got toward the end of last year. Rodgers was never sacked, and this was without rookie Bryan Bulaga even dressing for the game.

Yes, the Packers continue to look very sharp on offense, even though Greg Jennings did not play last night. But Finley, Driver and James Jones picked up the slack and gained 195 yards in passing offense in the first half.

Yes, it looks like the Packers got some good players in the draft or as free agents. Although, again, Bryan Bulaga did not play, safety Morgan Burnett had a good showing. After struggling early on in the pre-season, he made some plays, most impressively including one interception he made and another that got away. Free agent linebacker Frank Zombo (why do I keep thinking of Frank Zappa?) made a bunch of tackles and stripped the ball out of Manning's hand. I would not want to be the person charged with cutting down the roster, as there are going to be some tough decisions here.

And yes, the special teams are capable of making some positive plays. While they gave up one kick return that was way too long, they also scored two touchdowns, one on a muffed punt recovered in the end zone, and another on a punt return. That is not a bad night's work, and it helps to relieve the sick feeling I have been getting whenever the special teams are on the field.

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