A little boring goes a long way in a convincing Packers win
James Jones. Photo: Image by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Let's be honest.
Before the bye week, the Green Bay Packers played one of the zaniest games we've ever been witness to.
Electrifying plays, two huge come-from-behind rallies, improbable turnovers, and crazy decisions that just go against the common sense of the game.
Alas, the Packers lost to the Cincinnati Bengals that day.
Like many of you, I'm sure you turned off the television after that game and felt like you had run a marathon.
It was almost exhausting to watch, exhilarating and heartbreaking at the same time.
Coming out of the bye, we weren't quite sure what to expect from the Packers as they teed it up against the 3-1 Detroit Lions.
We hedged our bets, hoping for a win, but acknowledging that the Packers' gunslinging, ball-dropping ways weren't quite behind them.
What we got on Sunday, though, was something else altogether.
It was ball-control. It was safe play-calling.
It was a balanced attack with only a small handful of exciting plays.
It was a illustration of proper execution of a gameplan. It was also a little boring.
But, it was also a win, and a convincing one at that.
The Packers were methodical in their approach. Knowing that Calvin Johnson was out, they focused on containing Reggie Bush and kept the ball in Matt Stafford's hands.
They played a strong, physcial defense that kept the plays in front of them and forced errors by the receivers.
Aaron Rodgers kept feeding Eddie Lacy and passing for short gains, wearing down the defense so that it was exhausted by the end of the third quarter.
Sure, Randall Cobb's 67-yard scamper was thrilling, as was James Jones' brilliant 83-yard touchdown reception.
In the end, those weren't the important numbers:
Packers' time of possession advantage: 32:19 - 27:41
Packers run-pass playcalls: 33/35
Packers' turnovers: 0
Look, Aaron Rodgers is perfectly capable of playing the gunslinger.
He has amazing accuracy and the arm to put it virtually anywhere, but in a crazy game, he's also capable of taking unnecessary sacks and throwing interceptions.
Our defense is capable of taking huge risks and coming up with big hits and big turnovers, but in a crazy game, they can also give up huge swaths of yardage to running backs and wide receivers alike.
The Packers didn't just beat the Lions. They wore them down, frustrated them, never let them get in the game.
They didn't grandstand, rub it in, or make unnecessary hits or make any stupid penalties (okay, maybe one).
It may not be the most exciting of games, but I do know one thing: the road to digging yourself out of a 1-2 hole in your division requires focus and execution.
The now 2-2 Green Bay Packers are one step closer to getting back on top, where they belong.
C.D. Angeli is a lifelong Packer fan and feature writer at CheeseheadTV. He is the co-host of the weekly Packers podcast Cheesehead Radio and is the good cop at PackersTalk.com. Follow him on Twitter at @TundraVision.