Getting a win going into the bye week is always good. It’s even better when you dominate your opponent in all aspects of the game and return to a game over .500.
On paper, the Colts looked like a very formidable opponent. They have been up and down this year, but they still have QB Peyton Manning and were coming off a huge offensive explosion against a very good Baltimore Ravens defense.
Nonetheless, the Packers' defense stepped up to the challenge and had, what I believe, was their best performance to date.
Now they need to continue their solid play and focus on stopping Tennessee’s two-headed monster of Chris Johnson and LenDale White. The bye week allows the Packers to heal up and be back to full strength, minus DE Cullen Jenkins, who is out for the season.
S Atari Bigby should be back, along with CB Al Harris and DT Justin Harrell. Hopefully Harrell can come in and shore up the run game, taking on two blockers and allowing Hawk and Barnett to chase down the Tennessee running backs.
While the loss of Harris and Bigby had a big impact, it also gave CB Tramon Williams and S Aaron Rouse the chance to shine and gain experience as starters. Williams moving back to the nickel cornerback makes the secondary look very strong. I fully expect Bigby to show just how important his aggressive playing style meant to stopping the opposing teams' running game.
With a 4-3 record, the Packers are in a good spot. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see the Packers go into Tennessee and hand the Titans their second straight loss of the season (assuming the Colts' beat them the Monday before).
The key will be putting eight men in the box and making QB Kerry Collins try and win the game. With the Packers' secondary clicking on all cylinders (leading the league in interceptions and defensive touchdowns), they should be up to the test.
Stopping the run has been the defense’s biggest weakness this year. They must do whatever it takes to keep the thunder and lightning backfield from winning the game, like it did against the Kansas City Chiefs this past weekend with over 300 yards rushing.
The team would sure like to be 5-2 or 6-1, but they are still tied for first in the NFC North and still have the opportunity to play the Bears twice. With a two-game winning streak, and solid play on both sides of the ball, the Green Bay Packers are primed to make a convincing run at the division title.