Well, the latest Game of the Century has come and gone, with the Packers falling to Dallas (*sigh* again), this time 37-27. They “fall” to 10-2, while Dallas remains 11-1 and in command of the NFC. While it’s disappointing, it should ease the sting to imagine that few could’ve envisioned the Packers being 10-2 at this point in the season.
The Packers were without an injured Charles Woodson, an outstanding cover corner, and situational pass-rush specialist Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (as well as a couple of defensive linemen who make up a very deep rotation).
But you can’t commit 9 penalties for 142 yards (!) and expect to be considered a serious Super Bowl contender.
Yes, the Packers got jobbed on what should’ve been an interception when Al Harris stripped Terrell Owens, but Harris also grabbed a gift INT in the end zone later in the game when Owens went butterfingers on a pass. The O did nothing with it.
And I lost track of all the pass interference penalties they got nailed for, as well as the 15-yard facemasks.
That was just plain stupid, undisciplined football. Not the stuff of a 10-1 team.
The game could mark the end of an era, as Brett Favre left the game (his 249th consecutive regular-season start) in the second quarter with an elbow injury. He got sacked by backup CB Nathan Jones, who blitzed off the Packers’ slot and had a clear shot at Favre, who whacked his elbow on Jones’ helmet. Favre admitted in his presser that he’d also separated his left (non-throwing) shoulder on the play. It’s similar to an injury he suffered last season, from which he returned in a week, but nerves are funny things, so we’ll have to see. Nerve problems ended Dan Marino’s career. At least Favre has 10 days before getting another crack at embarrassing the Oakland Raiders, a game I’ll be attending with Bubba.
The most competitive atmosphere of the night may not have been in Dallas but in Wausau as people scrambled to find someplace that was A.) showing the game and B.) not so jampacked with people that it was exceeding fire-code capacity up to two hours before kickoff.
It was another NFL Network game, which means real fans couldn’t watch it on Charter because the cable system and the NFL can’t decide whose greed should override the other’s. (NFLN wants it on Charter’s basic tier, while Charter wants to put it on a special pay tier.)