Sep 28, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb (18) scores a touchdown as Kansas City Chiefs corner-back Marcus Peters (22) defends during the fourth quarter at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 38-28. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
So much for the traditional slow start for Mike McCarthy’s Green Bay Packers.
The 2015 Packers have shown that past seasons are just that – in the past. McCarthy’s Packers have been known for showing a little rust early on, but not this year.
The old slow start gave way to a few errors early Monday night, then faded and made for a well-groomed crew, ready to dominate.
After a tight first-half with Seattle at Green Bay, they gave the lead away in the third quarter and saw the Seahawks score two touchdowns for a one-point lead. It looked as if it was a Seahawks victory that third quarter.
But the Packers showed maturity, poise, and preparation paying off for them in the final 15 minutes.
The most difficult thing for a professional football club to do is come back from a change of momentum that gives the lead away. That particular loss of momentum caused only a one-point deficit, but slowed the Aaron Rodgers quick yardage game down to 3 downs and punt, while the Seattle offense scored. That was the low point of the start of this season in Green Bay.
Sep 28, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws a pass during the second quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Coming back from that slowdown against a good team is a true measure of this team’s composition. The makeup of this 53-man squad being all drafted players the Packers picked gives an all-for-one, and one-for-all attitude. The recipe for success has been the spice of good, sound, dedicated coaching, scouting, and the dozens of support crew money cannot buy.
No longer matched with the tired teams without luster, we can see clearly in what now is the team to beat in all of the NFL. That says something historic.
No story on this third game of the season is complete without looking at the defensive unit that held KC in check when it counted. And even if they bent over the last quarter on a night the Kansas City Chiefs fought even when down by 20-some points, they still were in command.
The Chiefs have made strides over the past few seasons in returning to the top end of league teams, with high hopes. The only thing holding them down last night was the Packers on a roll once again in midseason form. Most years we’ve heard, “off to a slow start” when that sharp edge was kind of dull, and not really executing in high gear.
Looking at the Packers from head to toe, the softest area is still special teams. An effort was made by Mike McCarthy to improve in this area, and there still have been a few not-so-perfect plays, but in comparison to total breakdown, the job we see the specials doing is OK.
Then there’s the hot-dog style Clay Matthews generates for the defense. That improvement is hard not to notice. Things are in place now. The Green Bay Packers can go from here to there, working their way through the “downs” every team must face without losing a whole lot of momentum.
Winning is all we have to say for Green Bay, a team that just keeps on winning.
This team is good enough to continue winning right down to and through the playoffs. That is a mighty tall statement, but that says it all, for just how good this team is. First cleaning up on Seattle, then squashing KC in three quarters, but not running up the score. This showing on Monday Night Football puts this team a step ahead of the competition, no matter who they play.
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There is a long way to go to Super Sunday yet, but preparation has been outstanding in just the ways they needed.
During the final two minutes, KC showed the defense needs work on the preventive stance they went into. It almost seemed too soon to back off when they ran softer, giving up the short gains, and the mid-range gains.
It made the Packers look human again. Once up by nearly 30 points, and then only 10 down with 1:25 remaining.
Still, we knew they wouldn’t let this one slide away. In that old-fashioned but not out of style way, Green Bay finished the game strong. They just beat beat the opponent, but did not pile it on.
The fourth quarter points were a testament to the Chiefs having a top-ranked team. With the final score 38-28, it looks like a hard fought bout, but in reality the Packers were in control the entire way.
Congratulations to this Packers team, starting a season in top form, undefeated and heading into game four at San Francisco next Sunday. This year we can say they started the season without needing to make very many corrections.