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Wednesday, September 29, 2004 

Passing Fancy

Some games deserve a second look, and Sunday's Green Bay-Indy game qualifies. I wrote last Sunday that the defenses would decide the game, and in a sense they did, as Jason David's strip of Javon Walker stalled a late Packer drive and led to the clinching touchdown for the Colts. There were several fascinating aspects to this game:

1. I can remember games where one team barely got on the field for an entire quarter (normally due to turnovers), but I can't recall one team throwing 22 times in a quarter and not running at all. The one handoff to Edgerrin James doesn't count - it was done simply to draw a 12 men on the field penalty.

2. Indy led 38-17 at the half and dominated most of the first half stats, yet the final stats were eerily similar. A few highlights:


GBay Indy
First downs 24 26
Total yards 457 453
Gross passing yards 392 393


3. The fumble/strip gets most of the attention, but penalties killed 2 other Green Bay drives. Late in the third quarter, with the score 35-24, Green Bay forced Indy to go 3-and-out. The Packers drove from their 16 to the Indy 44, then got a 5 yard illegal contact penalty call on the Colts to get to the Indy 39. But an offensive holding call brought the ball back to the 49, and set up a 1st-and-20 they couldn't covert. Indy ended up running out the final five minutes of the quarter, then kicked a 45-yard FG early in the fourth to make it 38-24. But Green Bay wasn't done. It took just 2 plays and an 80-yd TD pass to Donald Driver to cut the deficit to 38-31. Another 3-and-out by the Colts gave the Packers the ball at their 16 with 11:48 left. After one first down, a false start penalty turned a 3rd-and-9 into a 3rd-and-14, Green Bay didn't make it, and had to punt again. The defense rose to the occasion with another 3-and-out, but David's strip ended the ensuing drive.

Green Bay is going to be kicking themselves for this one.

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