Green Bay's trouncing of Dallas on home turf was only one of the many "surprises" (as you may call it) that were relevant in this weekend's handful of games.
The red-hot Raiders (that's right, I said it) gave Kansas City everything it could handle on Sunday afternoon, eventually ending up in a 23-20 OT Oakland victory.
With breakout stud Jacoby Ford accounting for 306 total yards Sunday evening, the Raiders finally have that elusive "playmaker" for their offense.
Brett Favre performed yet another work of magic towards the end of the Vikings' matchup with the Cardinals, potentially "saving" their season.
Meanwhile, the Browns (yes, the Cleveland Browns) manhandled the NFL-best Patriots, and the Chargers got their first road win, all while Eli Manning and the Giants proved they are truly a force to be dealt with come January.
But enough about NFL headlines. Let's get to the game Packers fans really care about.
It's one thing to be bombarded with injuries, but it's another thing to completely overcome those self-doubts and criticism from the media. "Why is that relevant?" you might ask. Well, for a team that is three field goals away from being 9-0, that is extremely relevant.
Coach Mike McCarthy has not been credited the amount of respect he deserves.
All-Pro tight end, All-Pro linebacker, All-Pro cornerback, All-Pro running back—these are the pieces the Packers have lost this season due to injury. Yet we still find ourselves atop the NFC North, with Aaron Rodgers now playing like the MVP we all expected him to someday become. Let's hope that continues.
Heading into the bye week, the Packers are feeling better than ever, and not enough can be said about the pure talent and growth from this Green Bay squad.
A 45-7 home demolition of the Dallas Cowboys is just what the doctor ordered for Rodgers and company.
Looking towards Week 11's matchup against the "rejuvenated" Minnesota Vikings, the Packers will be well rested and capable.
Last night's embarrassment of Jerry's Boys was one of the most well put-together football games this Packers team has ever played in recent years. Nevertheless, it was against Dallas at home. But the development of Green Bay's young talent has shined through the toughest of times this season—and don't expect that to change one bit.
Last night Rodgers accounted for 289 yards on 27 completions, complemented by three TD passes. Along with achieving his season-best 131.5 passer rating, Rodgers seems to be hitting the best stride of his young career.
With Jermichael Finley and third-string TE Andrew Quarless inactive, fourth-string TE Tom Crabtree stepped in and (though not statistically contributing) made the best of his situation. What's in store for Crabtree? We, my friends, will find out very soon.
With All-Pro veteran WR Donald Driver inactive in last night's victory, surprise man James Jones really stepped up—lending a helping hand to Rodgers (and also serving as his go-to guy while under pressure) by leading the team with eight receptions for 123 yards and one touchdown.
Jones' development and on-field achievements have really shown this season, as he's now second on the team with 407 yards receiving on the season. Along with a 15.1-yard average per catch, Jones' offensive role will escalate in the next few weeks.
John Kuhn lead the focused running attack of Mike McCarthy Sunday night, rushing for 50 yards on 13 attempts.
Critics notoriously center the criticism on the lack of a rushing attack. However, against Dallas, Kuhn, Brandon Jackson and Rodgers combined for 133 yards on the ground.
The Green Bay offense eliminated turnovers while producing turnovers on the defensive side of the ball. With two INT total from Sam Shields and Clay Matthews, the Packers' defensive squad is keeping this Green Bay offense in check.
Play from Charles Woodson, Sam Shields, Tramon Williams, Atari Bigby (fresh off the PUP list) and Nick Collins has absolutely electrified us all. Maybe this secondary isn't so bad after all.
Should the defensive production continue, Green Bay may soon find itself in the midst of Super Bowl conversation. Allowing seven total points combined in two games will earn you the respect you deserve.
All in all, the Packers put on a fantastic show for the hometown faithful Sunday night, along with igniting the hopes and dreams of all Packers fans more than ever before.
Young talent, mixed with an MVP-caliber coaching staff, is just what the Packers have managed to put together this season, and we should thank no one other than Ted Thompson for the great job he has done with this team.
Dear Ted Thompson,
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