There are few words that can properly describe how great the Packers-Cowboys game was last Sunday. The Packers found themselves down 21-6 late in the second half. This team does not have a history of a great comebacks, and usually, when the score reaches that point, Mike McCarthy will “pull the plug sooner” than most coaches. Not this time. The Packers scored a touchdown late in the first half, and just like with their first touchdown, Mason Crosby missed the extra point. Fortunately for the Packers, Crosby was able to work out the issues with his replacement holder in the second half. We will see how this may come into play, long term.
The second half of that game was spectacular. Back and forth they both went. There were five lead changes in the fourth quarter alone. On that final drive, the Cowboys did everything right. They took nine minutes off the clock, methodically moved the ball down the field, and scored the go-ahead touchdown on the drive’s 17th play. There’s just one little problem. They left Aaron Rodgers with 73 seconds and a timeout, going up against rookie corners, and needing just a field goal to tie, or a touchdown to win. With Rodgers having to shield his eyes from the sun during those first few plays, Cowboys fans surely felt confident that a home team victory was in the bag, over, done.
To say Aaron Rodgers was magnificent on that final drive would be a serious understatement. Rodgers was “perfect.” The final 73 seconds of that game shows the vast difference between a team with an elite franchise quarterback, and a team without one. In 73 seconds, Aaron Rodgers took the Packers from what was surely to be a 3-2 record to 4-1. With complete control over the offense, as he has had for almost a decade, Rodgers made one perfect decision after another. This includes a gutsy call to run the ball on second and ten from the 45, which resulted in a 15-yard gain. What about the final two plays Aaron Rodgers made on that drive? Watch the replay and you will call it “The Miracle Escape” that resulted in an 18-yard gain. Watch him take a second shot at the same play that failed on the first try, this time tossing a back shoulder fade “on a frozen rope.” It was a perfect throw to Davante Adams, and it was the game winning touchdown. Could any other quarterback put that combination of plays together, with the game on the line?
Now the team moves onto the Vikings. At this point in time, we have no clue as to who is going to start at quarterback for Minnesota (or even finish the game for that matter.) Sam Bradford’s knee won’t quit flaring up. Casey Keenum has been pulled and reinserted several times over. It is almost that time to make way for the “Teddy Train,” as Bridgewater is about to come off the PUP. Then there is also the un-drafted, free agent rookie Kyle Sloter who spent training camp with the Broncos. All three, Sloter, Keenum, or Bradford, could come into play on Sunday. In future games, Bridgewater will make it four, after he is ready to go. We could preview the game, but nobody really has any clue how this game is going to unfold. For now, Packers fans hope that the spark that turned to flame in Dallas, still burns in Minnesota this Sunday.