The Green Bay Packers are 12-0 for many reasons – most notably because of a guy by the name of Aaron Rodgers.
But after today’s heart-stopping 38-35 win, it became clear that it was the team concept that won the day.
Coach Mike McCarthy’s mantra is focused on overcoming adversity and today’s win illustrates the importance of coming together as a team.
Despite a defensive effort that was shredded without AJ Hawk and Desmond Bishop, the Packers also had to battle through the loss of Charles Woodson, who left with a head injury.
The Giants’ running game was dominant up the middle as both substitute linebackers DJ Smith and Robert Francois got swallowed by blocks.
However, it didn’t seem the Giants went to the run game enough … especially Brandon Jacobs who had just 8 touches for 59 yards, much of it right up the middle.
The Giants, who were embarrassed last week by Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, came out sky-high and ready to do what the could to knock off the unbeaten champions. They started strong and scored on an impressive first drive.
It was a shootout and a track meet much of the afternoon as the Giants gave the Packers their biggest challenge.
But the win by the Packers came down to Rodgers’ arm, an old pro (Donald Driver, 2 touchdowns), an interception returned for a score by Clay Matthews, and two huge catches from Jermichael Finley and Jordy Nelson on the Packers final drive that started on their own 20 yard line an ended 55 seconds later with Mason Crosby kicking a chip shot for the win on the game’s final play.
Rodgers was 28-46 for 369 yards and 4 touchdowns and one interception.
Eli Manning was as effective, hitting 23-40 for 347 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception.
Greg Jennings caught 7 balls for 94 yards and Nelson matched Jennings’ 94 yards on 4 catches. Finley also had 87 yards on six catches. Driver came up with huge catches today including 2 touchdowns for the franchise’s leading all-time receiver. His second touchdown came on a toe-tapping catch in the fourth quarter.
Had the Packers not have had at least five drops, who knows what kind of difference it would have made.
But that’s what makes this team great …and also 12-0.
It’s the ability to overcome the biggest challenges … Like scoring points with just 58 seconds remaining in the game.