Games at Lambeau Field feel as though you have stumbled into a college game, with tailgating and chanting fans and a very Saturday atmosphere.
I love Lambeau.
About the only thing I do not love is where Lambeau is located.
After two trips, I have pretty much determined Green Bay is only slightly easier to reach than Tibet. And definitely harder than Bolivia. You have to fly to Milwaukee, except nobody flies to Milwaukee so you have to fly somewhere to fly to Milwaukee, then you have to rent a car and drive two hours, which is more of a problem after a night game. Just hypothetically speaking, it would put you back in your hotel at 3 a.m. or about three hours before your flight to the place you have to fly to before you can fly to Dallas.
Never miss a local story.
So I think NFL commish Roger Goodell needs to look into moving Lambeau to LA. Or at least Milwaukee.
So consider these musings from a very tired mind:
1. Quit judging Adam Jones on your typical produce-now-or-be-deemed-a-failure scale. Pacman has taken a little beating through two weeks, from media and a few scouts noting he seems to be late to plays. And he has been picked on and was again Sunday night. This is hardly surprising considering the length of his self-induced layoff.
A little rust was to be expected, not to mention he had yet to register breakout year in Tennessee before being suspended for a season by Goodell.
What Adam Jones also does is make plays, including forcing a fumble, then recovering and returning said fumble on the second Packers’ play from scrimmage. He has game-changing ability, as well as explosive potential on kick returns.
Bumpy probably best describes his game at Lambeau. And patience is needed.
2. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made a really interesting statement about quarterback Tony Romo afterward, noting the QB barely resembled the player many in Wisconsin had watched for years.
His point was the old Romo, the one who came to Lambeau as a holder and backup QB a couple of years ago, would have probably lost Sunday’s game by trying to win it. He would have kept trying to take what the Packers defense was not giving.
Not Sunday. Green Bay obviously decided not to let Romo beat them.
“They set out to make him have a tough night, which is a good strategy,” Jones said. “It’s a credit to everybody that the running game really stepped up.”
It is also a credit to Romo. After a somewhat bumpy start, he recognized the limitations of the game, handed off and waited for the defense to finally have to account for what Marion Barber was doing to them. He did, and Romo found Miles Austin for two big strikes.
“That was as difficult of a game to throw the ball since Philly (last year),” Romo said. “The defensive line was outstanding against the pass. Any time you make a play fake there was a defender right in your face. They got a lot of pressure.”
3. And, yes, that was a lot of Cowboys defensive pressure as well. Much maligned for lack of pressure early, this defense had Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers scrambling all evening.
Give credit to defensive coordinator Brian Stewart for blitzing his corners and credit to Anthony Henry for getting there. And for all of you Terence Newman doubters — you know who you are — watch Sunday’s film and repeat after me: He’s back.
4. File this under not good: Kyle Kosier re-sprained his sprained foot. This Cowboys offensive line has been good this season, dominating and punishing and pretty good with protection. About the only worry is age — age mostly as it relates to injury. Older players are more likely to get hurt. It is a statistical fact. And we have seen line injuries decimate this offense before, so Kosier so quickly reinjuring his foot has to go down as a huge concern.
Especially since the Cowboys do not seem to love their backups.
5. What they are saying about us: The big theme in Wisconsin papers on Monday morning, as I type this, is that this is just like last season. Or in other words, it means nothing. The thinking goes that the Cowboys smacked Green Bay around in the regular season a year ago, and it meant nothing by the playoffs.
An enterprising Cowboy may want to clip and save a reminder for his teammates that playoff wins are what matters.
6. Hey, Coach Wade, Jason Witten is not OK.
He is not injured, which is very different from not being hurt. His shoulder, which was separated less than a week ago, hurt plenty on Sunday in Green Bay.
“It’s pretty sore” was all Witten allowed.
A huge pack of ice strapped to his shoulder revealed how “pretty sore” that is. And while I understand that Coach Wade wants to keep this a secret, Green Bay had a hunch. So will Washington. And Witten will power through. He always does.
Luckily he has not had to take on fullback duties, including a heavy dose of blocking. I mean, imagine how that would feel on an already achy shoulder.
“Yeah, imagine that, right?” he said.
7. Just because kickers rarely get love, I thought this would be a good time to mention that Nick Folk has been unbelievable for the Cowboys.
When Sunday’s game looked to be developing into a battle of field goals, never once did have you wonder if Folk was going to come through. He has become automatic, which is funny only because of how unknown he was when the Cowboys first drafted him. “How can you possibly trust a rookie kicker?” was the question.
Not any longer.
8. Big props to all you crazy, drunk Kentuckians.
OK, so this is not Cowboys, but Team USA winning a Ryder Cup certainly has been on my mind. What an amazing upset for captain Paul Azinger’s group, considering everybody expected them to be trounced by the Euros again.
Instead, Anthony Kim and Justin Leonard, et al., came through with a huge victory. I feel a little credit needs to go to very partisan, very loud crowds in Kentucky. Well done, folks.
9. Coach Wade must have really cracked down on penalties. Or else he said pretty please when asking his players to reduce silly mistakes. Whatever. Dallas had only seven penalties for 54 yards. This hardly qualifies as exceptional except when considering they had been averaging double digits.
So this qualifies as progress.
And Coach Wade gets a little credit.
10. Your turn: Describe Marion Barber in four adjectives or less.