Letting veteran Drew Brees amass 400-plus yards is one thing, but giving up nearly 500 yards of offense to rookie Cam Newton is either a huge red flag for the Packers defense or a message to the rest of the league that this guy is the real deal.
I tend to lean toward the latter.
Newton got the opportunity to show off immediately when the Packers won the opening kickoff and deferred. He didn’t disappoint the home crowd as he led his team to a long opening drive for a TD.
When Randall Cobb fumbled on the ensuing kickoff, it didn’t look good for the world champs.
In fact, the entire first quarter was nothing but a nightmare for the Packers, but like all good teams, they find ways to win.
For the Packers, it again was timely defense and a little luck that helped them come from behind, eventually take the lead, and give the offense enough time to come up with a game clinching big play.
It also took a boneheaded play by the league’s biggest hot dog, Steve Smith, that led to a Packers fumble recovery to help turn the tide in this one.
So, when the day was done it was again the Packers’ turnovers against the rookie and the huge tackle by Clay Matthews in bringing Newton down two yards short of the sticks on fourth and four from the six yard line that made the difference today.
Throw in Aaron Rodgers’ “quiet” performance and long TD passes to Gregg Jennings (49 yards) and Jordy Nelson (84 yards), as well as James Starks’ 85 rushing yards, and you’ve got statistics good enough for a win.
Is it time to raise the red flag on the Packers defense? I’m not sure, still too early to tell. Yes, the defense has bent, but in two games hasn’t broken. In fact, it has been the big plays by the D at the big time that have made the difference in the first two weeks.
Can they continue this way? Absolutely not. WILL they continue this way? I highly doubt it.
The win by the Packers, though not overwhelming, sets up a huge matchup at Chicago next week against a Bears team that was smoked today by the Saints.
That doesn’t matter. Throw out the records and stats. Anyone remember last year? This will be a typical bloodbath.
Tags: Aaron Rodgers B.J. Raji Cam Newton Carolina Panthers Charles Woodson Donald Driver Green Bay Packers Greg Jennings James Jones Jordy Nelson Mike McCarthy New Orleans Saints NFC NFL Nick Collins Ryan Grant Winning Isn't Everything, It's The Only Thing