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Packers' 60-second rant: Not much to complain about

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Dan Arkush

darkush@pfwmedia.com
Executive editor

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Posted Sept. 27, 2011 @ 4:52 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

Negative rants on the Packers? Sorry, my Packer app amigos. At the moment, there just doesn't seem much worth kvetching about.

Yes, Clay Matthews has only sack through three games, compared to a whopping six through three games a year ago. But he's still playing his butt off, having set the tone for a spirited effort by the Packers' run defense against the Bears last Sunday when he smothered RB Matt Forté for a one-yard loss on Forté's first carry of the game.

Yes, Charlie Peprah did not add much pep at all after being inserted into the starting lineup as a result of Nick Collins' season-ending neck injury. But against the Bears, second-year pro Morgan Burnett switched from strong safety to free safety, the position Collins had so effectively handled before going down for the count, and looked fantastic, coming up with a couple of huge picks.

Yes, James Sparks had about as much spark as a cigarette lighter in a monsoon in Soldier Field, managing only five yards on 11 carries. But Ryan Grant, Sparks' partner in crime in the Green Bay backfield, was a frickin' animal in the second half on his way to an eye-opening 92-yard output on 17 carries.

Yes, the Packers' special teams were almost totally embarrassed on a trick punt return for a TD by Johnny Knox. But they caught a break when the score was nullified by a questionable penalty — sweet irony, I have to say, considering the franchise-record 18 penalties that led to the Packers' Week Three loss to the Bears last season.

There were also a couple more injuries to contend with in the Bear game, the most notable being the bruised knee suffered by starting ORT Bryan Bulaga. But true to recent form, Bulaga was very effectively replaced by Marshall Newhouse, who one team insider/close buddy considers "a real dancing bear."

As I indicated last Sunday morning in my incorrect prediction on the Bears-Packers game, the Packers are not going to go undefeated this season. But after doing a number on a Bears team that I thought would give them a much tougher battle — on both sides of the ball, it should be noted — and looking like a lock to bury the Broncos into submission at Lambeau this Sunday, it couldn't be any groovier in Packerland right now.

And nobody is complaining about that.   

 

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