Super Bowl caliber teams can win on the road, no matter what type of environment they play in.
Super Bowl caliber teams play defense, especially late in the fourth quarter.
Super Bowl caliber teams can run the ball.
Super Bowl caliber teams have quarterbacks that make plays when opportunities present themselves.
If you can’t see where I’m going with this, then you’ve probably been drunk since about 3:00 in the afternoon and if that’s the case then I applaud you, my friend. Because everyone should crack open a cold one on the first NFL Sunday of the year. (Thank God football is back.)
The Packers are a Super Bowl caliber team and they proved it today. Philadelphia is not an easy place to win on the road, yet Green Bay went into the “City of Brotherly Love,” built a 20-3 lead and then made plays late in the fourth quarter to earn a hard-fought win. The biggest play they made came on a 4th and 1 when they stoned Michael Vick on a rush attempt to seal the win.
Aaron Rodgers wasn’t particularly sharp (he only threw for 188 yards and tossed two interceptions), but his touchdown throws to Donald Driver (1:48 left before halftime) and Greg Jennings (1:56 remaining in the third quarter) were a thing of beauty and like he proved so many times before, he was resilient under pressure. He was also aided by a running game that churned out 132 yards, including 63 from Brandon Jackson (3.5 YPC) and 45 from Ryan Grant (5.6 YPC).
Defensively, Clay Matthews was practically a one-man wrecking crew. He lead the team in solo tackles (7), sacks (2), tackles for loss (2) and hits on the quarterback (2). For as good as Michael Vick looked at times running the ball, he’s going to have nightmares of Matthews chasing him out of the pocket when he goes to sleep tonight.
Had the Packers played well and lost a tight game, the people that picked them to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl wouldn’t have wanted to change their pick. Again, Philly is a tough environment to play in – especially on opening day.
But the fact that they won only cemented the belief that this team has what it takes to play for a championship this season. They have a long way to go, but they’re off to a perfect start.
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