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Recap: Games 5-8 in 2008

The 2-2 start wasn't inspiring. The next four games started with a very disappointing loss, but ended with 2 wins and a well played road loss against the last unbeaten team in the NFL. After 8 games, it looked like the Packers were playing the best of all the NFC North teams.

vs. Atlanta at Seattle vs. Indy at Tennessee
Rushing Yards Gained 104 113 116 102
Rushing Yards Allowed 176 113 73 178
Passing Yards Gained 304 200 186 288
Passing Yards Allowed 194 64 229 169
Penalty Yards on Packers 97 45 70 41
Turnovers by Opponent 1 2 2 0
Turnovers by Packers 1 1 0 2
Green Bay 24 27 34 16
Opponent 27 17 14 19

It was possible to believe the Packers would lose at home to Dallas, then on the road in Tampa. But to lose to Atlanta? At Lambeau? After Atlanta finished up an 11 win season, it doesn't look so bad. Atlanta got just enough offense from WR Roddy White in the first half (over 100 yards), and from RB Michael Turner in the 2nd half, to lead them to victory. One week after his serious shoulder injury in Tampa, Rodgers threw for over 300 yards. Again the run defense collapsed late in the game, and, again, another poor game for RB Ryan Grant.

Due to injuries, Seattle was forced to start QB Charlie Frye against one of the best pass defenses in the NFL. Somehow he managed to throw two TDs, but he was so awful. He had no accuracy past 10 yards. It was like they played a team without a QB. Seattle would have been better playing RB Julius Jones in the wildcat all game.

Hope sprang eternal after the big win over Indianapolis. The pass defense owned MVP QB Peyton Manning, he threw two pick 6s, and even the run defense showed up. It was a bad statistical game for Grant, but he started to show some signs of life in this game. WR Greg Jennings started to slow down at this point; this was the first of four games in 2008 when he was held for under 40 yards receiving.

If you can have a good loss, losing at unbeaten Tennessee in overtime was a good loss. Rodgers took some heat in the papers after this game for throwing one INT in the endzone, and having two drives stall near the goal line. K Mason Crosby was forced to kick two short (23 and 25 yard) FGs instead. I thought that was a load of c*&p because he had also managed to throw for over 300 yards against the best pass defense in the NFL. The Packers' run defense, again, collapsed at the end. Tennessee got the ball to start OT and their last 6 plays were all running plays to set up the game winning FG.