We at Acme Packing Company have finally caught up on some sleep and caught our breath after last night's incredible Green Bay Packers win. Now that we are more than 12 hours removed from Aaron Rodgers' heave to Richard Rodgers, we can look back at the game and react.
But let's face it - most of us are too busy having fun thinking about the final play to be overly concerned with the issues that forced a hail mary attempt in the first place. That analysis will be done in the coming days, so the overarching message is to enjoy the moment now while we can.
Here are our impressions of last night's win.
In my book, this game will go right up there with "HE DID WHAT?!," Favre-to-Sterling Sharpe, and Rodgers-to-Cobb in the annals of the Packers' most thrilling victories. Just about every part of the final two plays of the game were awe-inducing, and I'm still getting chills thinking about the hail mary throw.
I, for one, refuse to focus on the dumpster fires that were the Packers' offense in the first half and the Packers' defense in the first quarter. I'm not going to worry about Eddie Lacy's vanishing act or the M*A*S*H unit that is the offensive line.
I'm going to bask in the glow of a ridiculous and unlikely win that has the Packers right back in the driver's seat for a playoff berth and featured flashes of the potential that the offense possesses. The screens to Starks, the production of Richard Rodgers, and the phenomenal throw-and-catch from Aaron Rodgers to Davante Adams for Green Bay's second touchdown are all things that this team can build on.
Sometimes when you play the Lions you win a game you have absolutely no business winning. I mean, this almost happened last time with the missed extra points and onside kick. A lot of their fundamental problems were still on full display, especially in the WR corps, but the defense played a great game, Richard Rodgers was fantastic even before the final play, and John Crockett put together some exciting, shifty runs. Most encouraging though, was the 2nd half play-calling which showed creativity we haven't seen all season. Yes, they scored on a fumble, and yes, Davante Adams actually made a nice play on his touchdown catch, and yes, some of it was just Aaron running for his life, but they scored on four of five possessions, and they, for once, didn't just rely on penalties for cheap yards.
I suspect that in the grand scheme of things it's better to just bask in the warm glow of sweet, sweet victory than to think about this one too much. That's my plan.
You know how when you're sick and you end up falling asleep for a long time and by the time you wake up, you're not sure if it's day or night out? Yeah, that basically happened to me with this game. Right around the time the Lions had the Packers dead to rights, I dozed off. When I woke up and saw the score, I thought I had drifted into another dimension.
Then I saw the highlights and although I knew I hadn't been sucked into some space-time continuum, things were no less confusing. This Packers season is basically a weekly 60-minute long Old Spice commercial. Sure the names and faces are recognizable, but by the end, you have no idea what the hell just happened.
But that's what makes sports fun. I don't think last night's win will suddenly solve all the Packers' problems, but those are problems that don't always matter. At least not when you're still playing for something. I tweeted last night that I thought the Packers had quit on Mike McCarthy and while I'm still not sure he inspires much confidence in this group, it's clear they still believe they can win.
If they didn't, I would've woken up to their 5th defeat in 6 games and most likely, Packers Twitter in full-on meltdown. Instead, we're talking about a team that obviously has flaws, but still has one very crucial thing still intact:
Most of it rests on what we've now seen is a very capable right shoulder of Aaron Rodgers. And while you can argue that a Hail Mary win is as much luck as anything, an improbable win sure beats an unexpected loss. I'm still kicking myself that I slept through last night's ending and who knows what - if anything - it'll lead to the rest of the way. But with an emotional win like that, it's worth considering that maybe, just maybe, we're seeing this team wake up just in time.
In typical Detroit fashion, the Lions found a way to lose a game that they were mostly in control of. They tried to blow it a few weeks ago in Lambeau too, but the Packers wouldn't let them. My first thought when waking up this morning was that only Detroit would let that happen. Maybe Cleveland, but the Lions are really the NFC version of the Browns.
Although you wouldn't believe it if you watched the game with me, I saw a lot of reason for optimism in that game. Green Bay got punched in the face early and often, but the defense never backed down and found a way to fight back. I think Jake Ryan just earned himself a starting spot alongside Clay Matthews. He led the team in tackles and was seen next to the ball throughout the night.
The offense finally made some adjustments and found alternative success. They realized Lacy was not being effective, so they gave the rookie Crockett a chance. They couldn't get Starks any open space on stretch runs so they utilized some screen plays to get him the ball with room to run.
It was refreshing to see this team respond to adversity and fight to come back. It was far from pretty, but it is the most resiliency they have shown all year. Don't get me wrong, a lot of issues remain moving forward. Better teams will not blow a 20-point lead in the second half. The offense still has a long list of issues to figure out, a severely banged-up line now adding to it. I am choosing to enjoy this victory while I can, but remain fully aware that one win does not solve all the issues.