Week 13 three-and-out
- Article by: DAN WIEDERER
- Star Tribune
- November 28, 2012 - 8:16 PM
1. Brian Robison and T.J. Lang will be reunited Sunday. And, as the old Peaches and Herb song claims, it'll feel so good.
Or, maybe it won't.
Robison was asked Wednesday what word popped to mind when he heard the name T.J. Lang.
"T.J. Lang," he responded with a smirk. "That's it."
No "Oops"? No "Sorry"?
"Bygones are bygones," Robison added.
There's a reason for Robison's desire to distance himself from one of the more regretful plays of his career. During a Green Bay field goal attempt in Week 7 last season, Lang aggressively threw Robison to the turf. And the Vikings defensive end retaliated by forcefully planting his right foot in Lang's crotch.
"I'm sure most guys are going to remember something like that," Robison said. "But I think we're all good. It's an incident I wish hadn't happened."
Robison issued a sincere apology after that game and figured that would be that with Lang. But now, with Green Bay in the middle of an offensive line reshuffling, those two will go head-to-head for most of Sunday.
After the Packers lost starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga to a season-ending hip injury in Week 9, they were forced to move Lang from left guard to right tackle. Lang had been becoming a standout at guard but is now a work in progress outside.
His ability to control Robison on Sunday will be key.
The Giants defensive line had success last weekend flustering Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who was sacked five times as the Packers sputtered to a season-low 10 points.
Robison said he believes New York's 17 first-quarter points made the biggest difference.
"That's what this league is about," Robison said. "You've got to build a lead in order to create passing situations where you can get after teams. The Giants did."
2. Ten weeks ago, the Packers were on the wrong end of the "Fail Mary" in Seattle, which at the time was framed by hyperventilating fans and reporters as the largest travesty in sports history.
Yet Green Bay bounced back and won six of the next seven.
"It's never fun to be in those types of situations," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "[But] a lot of people have been in a lot worse situations. ... We had to turn the page."
Among the Packers who stood up to speak in the days after the Seattle loss was Charles Woodson, no stranger to high-profile blown calls after being robbed of a forced fumble in the 2001 playoffs by a pesky provision known as "The Tuck Rule."
Woodson told his teammates there was no time to gripe or sulk after such a frustrating loss.
Said Rodgers: "It was about our leadership stepping up and re-instilling the sense of urgency in the team."
3. Rodgers seems to have a new favorite target.
Randall Cobb has a team-best 58 catches for 613 yards with seven touchdowns. He came to Green Bay as a second-round pick last season, praised for his quickness and versatility. But Cobb's 2012 breakthrough, Rodgers believes, has been catalyzed by ingenuity.
"Especially young players, they can really make a jump early in their career when they can take the offense that's on paper and add their own little creativity as they play it out on the field in live time," Rodgers said. "A lot of guys can be experts at an offense on paper. But we all know, when you get on the field, you're not going to see the looks you're seeing on paper. Guys are moving around. You're seeing different coverages. And the ability to react very quickly and also add your own flavor to the routes and the releases like he does has made him much more difficult to guard."
Added McCarthy: "You have your route-running trees that you teach. And the adjustments off of that based on coverage. But it goes to a different level when the player can also recognize a defense, anticipate adjustments from the defense ahead of time, and maybe break things off to take advantage of a situation."
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