As the Green Bay Packers knocked the stuffing out of the turkeys known as the Detroit Lions, Packer fans everywhere were surely in a thankful mood. After watching the game, here are five things this Packer fan and writer is thankful for. Feel free to add your own in the comments section.
Thank you for the 2009 NFL Draft
Clay Matthews, BJ Raji, T.J. Lang, Brad Jones, Quinn Johnson, Brandon Underwood. Six Packer draft picks have made significant contributions in just their first year in the NFL. Clay Matthews has shown he can be a star in this league. Watching him beat two players easily in a three-man rush and then chase down a scrambling Stafford for a sack showed me the kind of will he has to be successful. I have no doubts that he will. BJ Raji, has been coming on strong and making an impact as his ankle injury has healed and his play count has increased. Today he crushed a Lion running back in the backfield, knocked down a pass, and was a force in the short yardage defense. T.J. Lang once again stepped in at left tackle today when Chad Clifton pulled a hamstring. The line did not miss a beat and Mike McCarthy called lang's play, "impressive." Lang, Jones and Johnson are all potential starters next season.
Thank you for making it through a game with Jarret Bush as the nickel back
I've never seen a defensive back look more confused in coverage than Jarret Bush. Now, this is his fourth season with the Packers, shouldn't he know who to cover by now? On the Tramon Williams interception, he first ran at the receiver Williams was covering, turned and ran at another receiver, turned again and realized he was covering nobody. Fortunately, Williams stuck with his man and Stafford made a poor decision to throw it to the wrong receiver. Had he looked down-field, he would have seen the receiver Bush should have been covering wide open. Did I forget to mention that a punt hit Bush in the back?
Thank you for Jermichael Finley still having a head
Finley took a vicious hit after an incomplete pass, as Lions rookie Louis Delmas took a run at him in what was very nearly a direct helmet-to-helmet hit. Only a slight turn of the head at the last minute prevented what could have been a serious injury. Finley did stay on the ground for a while holding his head, causing me to fear a possible concussion, but luckily, he just had the wind knocked out of him. Regardless, it was a scary hit that is sure to draw Delmas a fine from the league office.
Thank you for Donald Driver
Like Old Man River, Donald Driver just keeps rolling along. Driver caught seven passes today for 142 yards and a touchdown, For the season, that gives him 53 catches for 845 yards and five touchdowns. With 5 games to play, Driver is sure to reach the 1000 yard mark for the sixth straight season. Driver is on a mission to disprove the perception that he is getting old. After the game, as he was awarded the "Golden Gobbler" as player of the game from Fox, Driver commented, "I may be old in age, but I still play young." Yes you do Donald, and thank you for that.
Thank you for Charles Woodson
A multi-dimensional player like Woodson, who can do so many things, and all in an outstanding manner, is a rarity. It was just another day at the office for Woodson, with 7 tackles, 1 sack, 2 interceptions, 1 touchdown, 1 forced fumble and fumble recovery, 4 passes defended and he also returned a kickoff. Even more significantly, it was announced before the game that Woodson has donated two million dollars to a new children's hospital at his Alma mater, the University of Michigan. Clearly, Charles Woodson doesn't do anything in a half-hearted manner. Hopefully, other multi-millionaire players will be inspired to follow his example. After all, how many millions does one need to be able to live a good life?
So those are the five things from the Packers Thanksgiving Day victory that this writer is thankful for. I'd like to hear yours...
You can find more of Jersey Al Bracco’s articles on several sports websites: Jersey Al’s Blog, Packers Lounge, NFL Touchdown and Bleacher Report. Jersey Al is the Green Bay Packers Draft Correspondent for Drafttek.com.