Never was anything great achieved without danger is an old Machiavellian phrase that best describes Green Bay’s heart-pounding 27-24 overtime victory over the Bengals, as the home team worked its way out of seemingly insurmountable obstacles to conquer a downtrodden opponent desperate to claim its first win of the season.
A physically decimated, albeit heavily favored, Packers squad was chasing points from the 9:40 mark of the first quarter, as the defense struggled to contain the Andy Dalton-to-A.J. Green battery and the offense stumbled with its pass protection throughout the contest.
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Circumstances seemed especially dire at halftime with a feeble Packers attack being held to 78 yards of offense in the first half that saw Aaron Rodgers get sacked five times in the process.
No, the team’s widespread ineffectiveness was enough to make even the most optimistic of Packer backers wallow in a pool of self-pity.
Against all odds, however, the boys from Packers News refused to accept defeat and heroically kept Cincinnati out of the end zone in the second half.
Offensively, Green Bay had to come to terms with the fact that they couldn’t block the opposition and had to at all costs stay out of third down and long by de-emphasizing the running game.
Luck was part of the winning formula as well, but all the good fortune of the world wouldn’t have amounted to much without the unrelenting spirit of the men sporting the green and gold.
So, with a hard-earned second victory in the annals, it’s a perfect opportunity to assess the top five lessons learned ahead of a short week of preparation with the division-rival Bears descending onto Lambeau Field on Thursday night.