Fully Flynntertained - Packers: 37 Cowboys: 36
Outside Wisconsin, the narrative for Sunday's game is this: Tony Romo does it again. And it's true, I suppose, if you subscribe to the "Tony Romo throws big interceptions late" narrative. He did do whatever it is that he supposedly does...again. But that's beside the point.
I don't want to talk about Tony Romo. Sure, the two interceptions were horrible, but you know what wasn't awful? Not one, not two, but THREE 80-yard touchdown drives led by Matt Flynn in the second half. He got major help from Eddie Lacy, but Flynn was absolutely on his game after the break.
It's hard to talk about this game without being afraid of leaving people out, so here's a random list of people I was impressed with in the second half:
- Jordy Nelson, for his multiple ridiculous catches, including the touchdown he took away from Orlando Scandrick and the one handed snag he made in front of Orlando Scandrick.
- Sam Shields, for his leaping, diving, interception of Tony Romo
- My mom, for always believing in me
- Mike Daniels, for continuing his impressive season and even earing some spot duty as not-all-that-undersized fullback
And many more. I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around this win. Let's just get to the groups of three.
Matt Flynn (26/39, 299 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT) - For the second consecutive week, Flynn came up big. Even if he still doesn't have that much in the way of pocket presence or arm strength, he seems to have greater command of the offense when the chips are down than Scott Tolzien. It showed during the Packers' second half rally.
Eddie Lacy (21 rushes, 141 yards, 1 TD; 4 catches, 30 yards) - Find a superlative and apply it to Eddie Lacy; it's probably accurate. He's been everything the Packers could have hoped for when they picked him in the second round this spring and much, much more. With 141 yards this week, Lacy broke the 1000 yard barrier for the year, the first Packers running back to do so since 2009.
Tramon Williams (8 tackles, 1 INT) - Williams makes this week's list for bouncing back after the half. He didn't seem to be fully on his game during the first two quarters, but his tackling was solid throughout and he came up with the game ending pick (and another that was inexplicably overturned). It's not quite 2010, but I think Tramon Williams has been one of the Packers better defenders this year.
1,027 - Eddie Lacy's total rushing yardage after Sunday's game. Again, he's the first Packers running back to hit the 1000 yard mark since Ryan Grant in 2009.
12 - Receptions by Andrew Quarless over the last two weeks. He's had six catches, 66 yards, and one touchdown in each of the last two games and is clearly establishing himself as a viable receiving option as he continues his recovery from the ACL tear that put his career in jeopardy two years ago.
10 - Passes defensed by the Packers secondary, meaning that of Tony Romo's 19 incompletions on Sunday, 10 were swatted away by Packers defenders. As badly as the Packers played at times, this is a good thing.
Never Say Die - It's never easy to win in the NFL. It's especially difficult to do it when you give your opponent a lead of more than 20 points and you're playing on the road. Nevertheless, the Packers managed to do it, defying the odds and making history with the win. No seriously, this has never happened to the Dallas Cowboys before.
Mason Machine - Mason Crosby is back. As thoroughly disappointed as I was with him last year, I'm equally excited about him this year. He's been lights out from all over the field, but especially from long range:
He's back, baby! Or, as my coworker Gene Mueller puts it:
Interceptions - Though there are many valid criticisms of Dom Capers' defense this year, the biggest problem seems to be that they aren't forcing turnovers. Like, not at all, pretty much. Of course, that was all different this week, especially when the game was on the line. And boy, were the interceptions the defense forced spectacular or what? There was the amazing...
...and the head-scratching...
...but they were both tremendous and both changed the game.
Three One Bad
The first half - A day after a historic comeback, I don't want to throw too much of a wet blanket on everything, but I feel like I must. It's probably an overused piece of hyperbole, but it's true in this case: the Packers did not look like an NFL football team in the first half. They were not creative on offense, ineffective on defense, and basically exemplified every reason why I think it's not that great of an idea for the Packers to be in the playoffs this year. Do you want to see those kind of deficiencies exposed by a team that won't collapse on itself like wet cardboard when the Packers start to push back? I don't think so. As fun as this win was, the Packers are still a very flawed team in need of a serious re-tool before they can make a serious run at another championship. The team we saw in the first half was much more likely to be the team we'd see exposed in the crucible of playoff football.
Up Next - The Packers return to Lambeau Field for their final home game of the season: a 3:25 afternoon meeting with the Steelers.