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The Packers and other NFL Wild Card weekend thoughts

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional football Updated: January 11, 2010 - 2:30 PM

We watched a ton of football over the weekend, which is to say we watched a lot of mediocre/blowout football and one glorious game.

Before we get neck-deep in Division Round analysis (line play will tell the story in Vikings vs. Dallas is our instant reaction, and ultimately we like the Vikings 27-20), let's take a look back at a few things learned from the weekend:

*Let's start at the top. We're not here to throw sand on the Packers or their fans. It was an epic game, a great comeback and a crazy finish. It will probably sting for a while. But the one play that will probably haunt Aaron Rodgers until ... well ... he gets another crack at the playoffs was the first play of OT. Plenty of protection. Greg Jennings absolutely wide open on a home run ball. And Rodgers didn't put enough air under the ball. It whizzes a couple yards too long, incomplete instead of game over. Two plays later, it's game over in the other direction. Rodgers is a nice QB. He's flawed, but he's talented. Until he makes the transcendent play, he doesn't jump into the absolute upper echelon in our book.

*Also, the Packers had one of the best defenses in the NFL statistically this season. But that is not a defense suited to playing good teams; it's one better suited for feasting on bad teams. And that will be a problem for the Green and Gold as long as they're running it.

*Drew nailed the Kurt Warner game.

*Is this the end of the Patriots? In a sense, yes. In a sense, no. As long as Brady is around, there's a chance. But the arrogance of Bill Belichick and his belief in the system over players has caught up to New England.

*1,800 yards and 12 TDs next year: Ray Rice.

*1,000 yards next year: Shonn Greene.

*Momentum is overrated. The NFL playoffs these days are all about matchups, QB pressure and turnovers.

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