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Friday, October 29, 2004
Off The Mat And Throwing Punches
What a difference a couple of weeks makes.......
Two weeks ago, the Packers had turned in one of their poorest showings ever at Lambeau field, sinking to 1-4 after losing to the Titans. The 48 points surrendered were a Lambeau record; the six turnovers were the most for a Packer team in over 20 years. The team looked bad....bad.....bad.
At the time, I said that if Sherman was the incompetent boob that many of his detractors portrayed him as, then the Packers would continue to slump, the team would finish 5-11, and a change would be in order. But that if Sherman got this deal turned around, he needed to be given some credit.
Currently, Sherman is facing the greatest challenge of his coaching career. Although it is too early to say, the results of the past two weeks indicate that perhaps this team has found its stride and is ready to make a run.
The only real personnel change that Sherman has made is to replace struggling Hawthorne with Carroll at corner. Davenport and Jackson have returned from injury to give the team a lift....but now Sharper and Harris are out, and Favre has a bad wrist.
A bigger change was Sherman taking over the play calling responsibilities. Favre has responded with two near flawless performances and the offense has racked up big points two weeks in a row.
This week, the Packers play one of the higher ranked defenses in the league, although they'll be without two of their better players, Lavar Arrington and Sean Taylor. If the Packers continue their ways of the past two weeks, it is well possible that they could reach the break at 4-4. They then would have a two week break to heal up and prepare for the game against Minnesota. Truthfully, if the Packers have any hope of winning the division, they almost HAVE to win that game. If they do, they could be 5-4 and in the hunt. Even if they don't, they could be 4-5....exactly like they were last year.....and still in the running for a wild card.
But a stumble against Washington is probably a fatal blow to the season. And what could cause the Packers to lose to Washington?
Plain and simple, the only scenario that I see which results in a Washington victory is if Favre has a bad game. If he plays only average, the Packers should win this handily. The Packers are 32-3 under Sherman when they have one or zero turnovers; they'll be 33-3 if they manage that on Sunday.