Game Recap: Packers Improve to 4-1, Top Cowboys 34-24

No Davante? No problem. The Green Bay Packers (4-1, 2-0 NFC North) topped the Dallas Cowboys (3-2, 2-0 NFC East) 34-24 at Jerry’s World Sunday, in America’s Game of the Week. It was not the prettiest win, but the result itself was massive. The Packers sit atop their division undefeated and have still yet to lose a game on the road this season.

To put it in perspective, the Packers only had one road win all last season. Now in week five, they already have two.

The Packers started off dominant in the first half of this game, with the Aarons leading the way. Running back Aaron Jones put on a stellar performance with 2 touchdowns in the first half and quarterback Aaron Rodgers looked sharp too, hitting his receivers and making us wonder, “how the hell did he just make that throw?” a couple different times.

Cornerback Jaire Alexander was able to make the first big play of the game, which was a gifted interception off the hands of Cowboys’ receiver Amari Cooper. The Packers for once executed after a turnover, and Jones was able to open the scoring for Green Bay with an 18-yard rush to put the Packers up 7-0.

The defense came up big again on the next drive, with Packers’ captain (looking at you, Ray Lewis) and linebacker  Za’Darius Smith coming up with a perfectly executed sack that eventually lead to a Dallas punt.

From there, Jones followed up with another rushing touchdown, this time for 3-yards into the endzone to put the Packers up 14-0.

“Our defense came up big, especially in that first half, in those critical moments, just to keep points off the scoreboard,” head coach Matt LaFleur said at the post-game press conference. “It allowed us to get a little bit of a lead, but again, there’s a lot to improve upon. Way too many big plays and just, you never wanna give up those big plays that allow a team to come back so quickly and that’s what happened there in that fourth quarter.”

Those “big plays” LaFleur is referring to in the fourth quarter came a little too close for comfort for the Packers in a game that seemed like it was practically over in the third quarter when they had a 31-3 lead.

The Cowboys quickly creeped back into the game with three touchdowns that the Packers could only respond to with a field goal. With about three minutes left in the game, Dallas was approaching Green Bay territory to try and make it a one score game with a field goal. However, the Kicking Gods were on the Packers side Sunday, and the Cowboys’ 33-yard field goal was no-good, sealing the deal for the Green Bay in Dallas.

With a record-breaking performance by Aaron Jones, statement plays by the Packers’ defense and an ~almost~ blown lead for Green Bay, there was plenty to take away from this always exciting NFC showdown.

 

What we learned: Za’Darius Smith is the leader this team needs

Earlier this week, former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis sparked a bit of controversy after saying that the Packers’ front seven on defense doesn’t “have that dictator” on the field anymore.  Packers’ captain Za’Darius Smith had something to say about this, taking to Twitter to express his shock towards the statement.

Clearly, this only added fuel to Smith’s already full tank, sparking a strong performance from him Sunday. Smith had 3 tackles, all of which were solo, 2 sacks, 2 tackles for loss and 4 quarterback hits (ESPN stats) and did not let his performance go unnoticed. After his first sack of the game, Smith made sure to celebrate with Lewis’ iconic dance, letting him know his message was absolutely received.

Smith fought through injury last Thursday to be on the field against Philadelphia and Sunday’s game was no different. Smith went down three separate times with an injury Sunday but returned to the game and continued to make plays every single time. His heart was on full display, and despite a couple of penalties that could have been avoided, played at the level any team would want their defensive leader to perform at.

His presence on this Packers’ defense has been significant and I only see that building even more as the season goes on.

 

What went right: The run game

Going into this game, many thought it would be all about the Cowboys’ run game, but it was the Packers’ run game that really stole the show. Aaron Jones put on a clinic Sunday, with four rushing touchdowns and 107 rushing yards.  

The Cowboys could not seem to find answers for Jones, and much credit goes to LaFleur and his staff for taking advantage of what they had seen from Dallas so far and being able to exploit that on offense.

 

What went wrong: Almost blowing the lead

Even though the Packers were able to hold on and win by ten, late in the fourth quarter things were starting to get scary. At one point in the second half the Packers were winning 31-3. The fact that the Cowboys were able to bring it as close as they did could be an issue later in the season if guys continue to get banged up.

A win is a win, so I am not complaining, but this certainly could have been better.

 

Offensive Standouts: Aaron Jones and Aaron Rodgers

I already touched on it earlier in this recap, but Aaron Jones was absolutely an offensive standout for the Packers Sunday. His four rushing touchdowns tied the franchise record for rushing touchdowns in a single game and his eight rushing touchdowns through five games are the most in team history (Packers Twitter).  According to ESPN stats and info, his four-touchdown performance also makes him the first player to ever rush for four touchdowns against the Cowboys. In addition to his rushing performance, Jones also led the team in receiving with 7 receptions for 75 yards (ESPN Stats).

According to fellow CheeseheadTV writer Zach Jacobson, Aaron Rodgers has started 163 games for the Packers and Sunday was just the fifth time he has won without throwing a single touchdown pass. However, that does not mean he did not perform at a high level. Rodgers was 22/34 for 238 yards (ESPN stats) and seemed to hang in there without his number one wide receiver. In the first quarter, Rodgers had an unreal throw to tight end Bob Tonyan that turned heads everywhere.

 

Defensive Standouts: Za’Darius Smith and Will Redmond

I have talked plenty about Smith and his standout performance Sunday, but safety Will Redmond was really able to make an impact as well. A lot of the Packers’ defense was able to make plays Sunday. Jaire, King, and Chandon Sullivan all came up with interceptions, but Redmond was really consistent throughout the day. He started off the game with a great tackle on special teams to pin the Cowboys deep back in their own territory and that may have been the spark he needed. He led the team with 9 tackles, all of which were solo and 1 tackle for a loss (ESPN stats).

 

Up next, the Packers get a visit from NFC North rival, the Detroit Lions, at Lambeau Field for Monday night football. Kickoff is set for 8 PM EST.

Sarah Kelliher is a contributor for CheeseheadTV. She can be found via Twitter @sarahkelliher4

 

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Comments (40)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
GBPDAN1's picture

October 06, 2019 at 11:38 pm

Having a 28 point lead in the 3rd quarter was Amazing. The come back by Dallas wasn't desirable (obviously) -, 563 yards, 24pts- not sure if it was just prevent D, getting a little laxed on D, Injuries, conservativiness, or whatever, but I hope we can avoid giving up that many yards and points in the last 25 minutes of a game moving forward as it sure is nerve wracking.

No matter what, a great victory on the road against the hated Cowgirls. This team has progressively scored more points each week, which is a good sign (and without Adams this week). Building up the huge lead that the Packers did in the first 2/3rds of the game bought them this huge victory.

I hope our injured players heal quickly as the Lions have a bye to rest up before our meeting next Monday night. Losing to the Lions the last few years hasn't been pleasant. That being said, we will beat them at Lambeau go 5-1. This season is going to be fun.

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sonomaca's picture

October 06, 2019 at 09:27 pm

Notice that Pettine wasn’t blitzing much in the second half. They correctly calculated that if they kept the clock running, Dallas wouldn’t have enough time to make up the deficit. That’s exactly what happened.

It’s the football equivalent of giving up a run to get an out. Well done by LaFleur and Pettine.

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Turophile's picture

October 07, 2019 at 04:59 am

When you can give shoutouts to players like Sullivan, Redmond, Carson and Patrick, to go with an overall dominating performance against a formidable team, then you have a lot of things going right for the team.

The injuries sucked, but this was a game that absolutely needed to be celebrated by the alcoholic beverage of your choice. Rock solid team performance.

This years Lindy's Pro Preview magazine had only 5 teams in the whole league ranked worse than the Packers, and they were rated last in the NFC North............Yeah, right............ Are the editors Bears supporters or something ?

Dallas was ranked as significantly better than the Packers, the Vikings were meant to be even better than the Cowboys and Chicago was ranked best of all. Well, the lowly Pack beat two of them on the road and the third at home. Time to sack the Lindy's analyst, I think.

PS As for the Ray Lewis comment on the Packers having no leaders on defense, well, he needs to do his homework better as well.

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PackfanNY's picture

October 06, 2019 at 08:40 pm

Great win by the Packers. Everyone should please stop with all the nonsensical it got close comments. If anyone would have told you that the Packers had a 31-3 lead and won by 10 everyone and I mean everyone would have signed up for it before the game. The old win an advance mentality is all that matters. This is a HUGE win that this team gutted out, against an old rival. This win is a future tie breaker in the Packer advantage down the road. Now I get to listen to the Cowboy whiners all day tomorrow and all the so called experts justifying their failed guaranteed Cowboy wins and why it DIDN’T happen. Who cares, Go Pack Go.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

October 06, 2019 at 08:41 pm

I'm worried about Savage and Z. We need those guys healthy.

That penalty on Gary was absolutely idiotic.

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I bleed green more's picture

October 06, 2019 at 08:53 pm

Next man up seems to be working very well.

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sam1's picture

October 06, 2019 at 08:59 pm

Well we did find out during the game that both Aikman and Garrett are coaching high school teams!

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dblbogey's picture

October 06, 2019 at 09:46 pm

Aikman is such an obvious Cowboy fan.

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CoachJV's picture

October 06, 2019 at 08:59 pm

I have said it since he was drafted... Jones is going to be a superstar.
Jaire will be a superstar too.
I have most happily eaten my words regarding King... and I might even be starting to like him.
And the Smiths are just a badass duo...

We beat a high quality team, and we turned in a full performance on both sides of the ball... even if it slipped a bit in the 4th.

It's a good day to be a Packer fan!!!

GPG

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PackersWinning's picture

October 06, 2019 at 09:01 pm

I was confused watching the game on FOX...thought is was the local Dallas broadcast. Gee It was about as Pro Cowboy as any broadcast I can Remember. Kind the like Silverstein at the MJS

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Cubbygold's picture

October 07, 2019 at 06:03 am

For sure. Aikman's "unfortunately" comment had to be mopped up quickly... Clear fandom showing through, and his commentary flowed with the game. He'd go silent after any big packer play

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cheesehead1's picture

October 06, 2019 at 09:14 pm

Kudos to LaFleur, his coaches and players. In all honesty if I were to bet $ on this game (and many others in Vegas etc), I would have picked Dallas. Glad I was wrong. We showed up with another road win which is huge. Hoping our injuries aren’t too severe. Never heard much about Savage as the game went on. On to Detroit and a relatively healthy lineup. Go Pack!

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4thand1's picture

October 06, 2019 at 09:25 pm

Watching all the pregame BS Sundays shows, I didn't see one so called expert pick the Pack. The Pack is 4-1 and still hasn't put together a complete game. We can run and pass, look out.............GOPACKGO. M. Adams needs to get back in the middle glogging shit up.

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Since'61's picture

October 06, 2019 at 09:53 pm

4th - I haven’t watched any of those shows since the 90s. They are all about ratings, they could care less about accurate analysis. It seems like the louder they shout at the audience the more attention they will get.

They are doing a terrible disservice to the game and the fans. They are a big reason why there is a generation of fans that don’t know what they are watching because they have only had air heads to listen to. Madden was the last guy worth listening to on TV. The rest turn off or turn down during the game. Thanks, Since ‘61

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Tarynfor12's picture

October 06, 2019 at 09:39 pm

This was a good win.
Still need some things corrected but It erased the bad loss taste from last week.
9 wins is back in lock mode.

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murf7777's picture

October 06, 2019 at 10:09 pm

10 wins is a lock! Better be I bet it.

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SterlingSharpe's picture

October 06, 2019 at 09:40 pm

I was at the game. Along with about 20,000 other Cheeseheads. We were row 2 in the end zone Jones scored all 4 touchdowns into. I recorded 3 of them but I thought I got all 4.

We all know the good stuff.
We all should know the bad stuff.

Game Balls
1 Aaron Jones (took a beating)
2 The whole OLine
3 ZaDarius (did not want to stay out!)

Won "despite"
1 Jaire Alexander
2 Backup center had 2 bad snaps that we got lucky weren't turnovers
3 Tramon Williams

Jaire, I love. But I don't like his talking all the time "we're All-Pro" "Nobody's better" etc. Marshon Lattimore is better. He shut down Cooper.
Jaire tried to get Cooper enshrined into the HOF today.
He reminded me of Terrell Buckley, another talented little CB with a big mouth. Even had flashes of Ahmad Carroll.

Tramon cannot bite on the stop & go in that situation. Big lead, make them earn their yards & points. That's a mental error you don't expect from our veteran. Plus a physical error as he still could have made a play. That was Michael Gallop, not Michael Thomas or Irvin.

Onto Detroit, a huge game again.

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CAG123's picture

October 06, 2019 at 10:12 pm

Lattimore is better from one performance? He’s the ultimate boom or bust DB besides Marcus Peters knock it off. JA can give you lockdown performances over more games than Lattimore can.

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CAG123's picture

October 06, 2019 at 10:13 pm

Also why does someone else’s confidence bother you? How that man carries himself does absolutely nothing to you.

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SterlingSharpe's picture

October 06, 2019 at 10:43 pm

Actions speak louder than words.
Jaire needs to let his play do the talking.
You don't tell the media you're playing like an All-Pro.

It wasn't just one play today. He was beaten all day long, like a drum. He has big time talent & the confidence is important. Just shut up. I guarantee his coaches have told him to zip that.

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Jaylee's picture

October 06, 2019 at 11:52 pm

He got beat on a handful of plays. It was one game and one receiver, and on at least one of the big receptions, there was clearly a blown coverage or miscommunication.

His actions do speak plenty loud. He's playing at an all-pro level, was the top rated coverage CB in the league going into this game (and will still easily be top 5 leaving it).

Your knee-jerk reactionary take is a little half-baked.

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Old School's picture

October 07, 2019 at 09:46 am

Amari Cooper had the best day of his career. That's not something that a WR accomplishes against an "all-pro".

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CAG123's picture

October 07, 2019 at 12:13 am

I didn’t say it was one play I said one performance once again his talk isn’t doing anything to you let him carry himself the way he wants.

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Nick Perry's picture

October 07, 2019 at 04:07 am

He's had better games BUT don't ya think perhaps LOSING Savage had something to do with the Cowboys success?

Losing Savage WAS/IS HUGE in this game and moving forward. He looked to be moving around on the sideline alright so I'd imagine he's just sore as hell. Hopefully a week of treatment and he's back out there next Monday.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

October 06, 2019 at 10:40 pm

Tramon Williams also made some great plays during this game. Way to focus on the one bad one. I'm glad we have Tramon there as depth. He made a great breakup on Cobb halfway through the game that broke up a big play.

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SterlingSharpe's picture

October 06, 2019 at 11:35 pm

Well u pick 3 then...go ahead...we allowed 600 yards. Not all was great.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

October 07, 2019 at 12:08 pm

Good thing the Scoreboard determines who wins not yards gained. We won the SB in 2010 with a bend don't break defense that generated turnovers. We were up 31-3 Dallas put up their points in garbage time. Unlike you I'm thrilled by this defense.

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Cubbygold's picture

October 07, 2019 at 06:08 am

I don't like the arrogance mid game. Good players need to have confidence, but to act like your elite and then give up multiple huge plays is embarrassing. There's nothing wrong with keeping your mouth shut until after you've accomplished something.

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Barazinho's picture

October 07, 2019 at 02:12 pm

Tramon beat his receiver on his route on that TD play - he did not get beat downfield. The only reason it was completed is that the ball was underthrown (because of the pressure on the QB), and the receiver adjusted. Just bad luck, and that happens. Compare to Jaire's play - he fell for the double move.

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Since'61's picture

October 06, 2019 at 09:43 pm

I thought the Packers played great football for the first 40 minutes of the game. Then they got sloppy or tired or both with penalties and poor play.

The OL was solid and did a great job blocking for A. Jones who had a great game and his best as a Packer, IIRC. Patrick did well filling in for Linsley. Carson was a pleasant surprise at RB.

Our defense was dominant until the last 20 minutes of the game. For the second week in a row Lowry was carried into the end zone by a RB. Not a good look. Z Smith played great but also took a couple of bad penalties. In the meantime there were the usual bad calls by the officials such as the roughing call onGary.

The defense creates turnovers and makes stops but they have given up a ton of yardage in the last 2 games. They need to tackle better and tighten up their pass coverage. Savage was missed when he went out of the game, hopefully his injury is not serious.

JK Scott made some big punts yet again. Big win on the road. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ‘61

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Wilment's picture

October 06, 2019 at 09:52 pm

Several things came to light in this game, first, AR is starting to buy into LaFleurs scheme. He doesn't have to beat every team single handedly anymore. The offense is scoring more each week, and the defense is much improved. Second, Lane Taylor is out of a job, that kid Jenkins is a beast. Did everyone see the pancake blocks he dropped on several guys?? He is going to be very very good. Kicking game continues to be a strength, but our kickoff return team needs to turn it up a bit. Two weeks in a row Mason Crosby had to make a saving tackle, this time getting banged up in the process. Defense....three picks, a fourth that was overturned, and a fumble off RCs backside that was blown dead. All in all though, a great road win. GO PACK GO!!

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Jonathan Spader's picture

October 06, 2019 at 10:56 pm

Where is the love for Preston Smith and Sullivan? Preston had just as bog of a game as Zadarius without all of the penalties. Redmond wouldn't of had his interception without the play on the ball by Sullivan who also had his own interception. Goodson also made some decent plays on Elliot.

Once again terrible refereeing. 2 bad calls early on in the Cowgirl's favor. There wasn't pass interference and Gareet should have won that challenge. Then the Packers had a clearly inbound ball called out of bounds which caused Garett to use his last challegene. Cowgirls were gifted out of 2 turnovers. The call on Rashan Gary for roughing the passer. Without those bogus calls in the 4th quarter they wouldn't have gotten back into the game. Let the boys play.

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fastmoving's picture

October 07, 2019 at 01:45 am

Dont know about the refs. If they were that bad, why do the Cowboys and "the Joneses" complaining even more????
Hardest job on the field and they just cant do it right for most of the people. But people today like to cry out about everything, even the conspiracy theory (beting, big owner...whatever) is dumb like hell. Thats us in 2019. nice.
I never would want their jobs.
Maybe they should let decide the fans the calls, with all that camera ankles. they just vote online/realtime. guess that would be a much better outcome?????

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Nick Perry's picture

October 07, 2019 at 04:41 am

"But people today like to cry out about everything, even the conspiracy theory (beting, big owner...whatever)"

I was with you 100% believing the NFL is pure and the words "rigged" or "fixed" had NO PLACE in the NFL...Up until today, that is.

Some of the calls today in that game which did nothing but help the powerful owner against the team without one were so blatant, so obvious I can't help but wonder now. Looking back over the last few seasons, last years NFC Championship, EVERYTHING Patriots, and my thoughts of the NFL being pure as the winter snow is making that snow look like slush after a 40 degree day.

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Nick Perry's picture

October 07, 2019 at 04:32 am

THIS team is really good and if they can get and stay healthy they can really do some damage even a year earlier than I thought they would.

Losing Savage was HUGE. That kid along with Amos is really the glue that holds the backend all together. He SHOULD be a favorite to win DROY. They showed a shot of him on the sideline walking around so I'd imagine he'll be good to go soon...

Congrats to MLF for putting together a game plan despite the WR's he's working with.

PLEASE, Mr. Gutekunst PLEASE... Go trade for a WR... Sanders from Denver? Parker from Miami? Hell, even Diggs from those purple hags next door (And I hate Diggs sniveling ass) though I'm sure the Vikings wouldn't consider that no matter what the offer was. But if you just look at the combined WR stat line from the Dallas game you'll get EXACTLY what I'm talking about.

GET er done Gute!

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Cubbygold's picture

October 07, 2019 at 06:14 am

Diggs should be the last player on Gutes list. Complains and no-shows to practice because he doesn't like his stat line? Takes a me-first attitude and draws a critical 15 yard penalty in GB week 2. Huge pass on that one.

Rookie HC implementing a new offense, averaging 28 points per game the last 4 weeks against some elite defenses. If Gutes spending money, it should be on a big body that can help the run defense in the playoffs

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Coldworld's picture

October 07, 2019 at 08:50 am

It was good to see Redmond and Sullivan have good games. There is more depth than I had anticipated at safety.

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Old School's picture

October 07, 2019 at 09:58 am

We just scored 30+ on the road against a team WITHOUT ADAMS. Why on Earth would we need to mortgage our future to get another WR? It was just a month ago that we wanted to keep 7 WRs because anybody we would try to put on the practice squad would be snatched up.

This is the WR group that Gutekunst has assembled. He inherited Adams, Nelson, Cobb, Allison......he chose to resign Allison. He chose to part company with Cobb. He chose to draft MSV. You don't get to praise Gutekunst while simultaneously crapping on the players he has on the team.

We obsess on the passing game and overvalue our WRs. We won this game because of a good defense and an excellent performance by Jones. Our special teams are not hurting us (unlike Dallas, who repeatedly tried to return kicks and got stopped inside the 25.)

One more thing; People say "game manager" like it's a dirty word or something. It's not. I'd rather have Rodgers manage a win than make plays in a loss. Managing a game is hard and requires a smart QB who understands the score, the field position, the time remaining, etc. Bart Starr was the best game manager ever and we won a lot of titles with him.

Rodgers has managed four wins and made a bunch of plays in one loss. I'd rather have the wins.

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buddrow53's picture

October 07, 2019 at 06:05 am

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Demon's picture

October 07, 2019 at 12:21 pm

Where are all the people that like to bag on AR these days? All the guys who have repeatedly said AR was the problem, not MM, not the talent he had to work with.

The packers record is about what I thought it would be after 5 games. Although I did not expect the Smith bros to have that huge of an impact.

Yesterdays game told you all you need to know about the Packs stable of receivers. Beyond Adams, they dont have one. I pray Gute is burning up the phone lines today trying to secure anyone that can get open.

Great game pack GTG.

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