The Packers have their detractors … i.e., Skip Bayless among them. But screw them – the Green Bay Packers are, despite their glaring foibles, undefeated for many reasons, one of which is depth.
On Thursday, the Packers and the Lions were hit with injuries … injuries to important players at key positions.
But because of Mike McCarthy’s luxury to plug in players that simply step in and continue to carry out the game plan, the Packers don’t seem to miss a beat.
Consider Evan Dietrich-Smith, who took over at right guard when Josh Sitton went down in the first half with a knee injury. Not only did he have the unenviable task of matching up with Ndamukong Suh, but he had to hold his own in a complex offense in which he has had no snaps with the first team at that position in game situations. Sitton didn’t miss a snap in 2009 or 2010.
Not only did he frustrate Suh enough to cause the all-pro to lose his head and get thrown out of the game, but he played well enough to help the Packers move on to 11-0.
As did D.J. Smith and Robert Francois as the Packers lost both inside linebackers, A.J. Hawk an Desmond Bishop. Both Smith and Francois made contributions on defense – Smith for his bone-jarring hits and Francois for his efforts against the pass and his huge interception of Matthew Stafford where he reached as high as he could to pull down a pass over the middle.
These players demonstrate why the Packers won last year’s Super Bowl and are unbeaten to date. This team has been surgically assembled through the acumen of one of the best GMs in the league – Ted Thompson.
And it doesn’t look like they will be faltering any time soon … not with the proven depth they have on their roster.