Green Bay's 30-24 win over San Francisco was a prime example of why it is so tough to win in the NFL. In the first half the Packers were nearly flawless, moving the ball at will in the second quarter to build a 23-3 halftime lead. Defensively the Packers had neutralized Frank Gore and Vernon Davis was a non-factor.
But the 49ers play in the NFC West, not the Mountain West. It's easy to pile on points in college football, not so easy in the NFL. It's so tough to keep a team down, even when you did everything right for the first 30 minutes. San Francisco played with much more fire in the third quarter and produced more offense on a scoring drive midway through the quarter than they seemed to have in the first half. Despite that the Packers led 30-10 early in the fourth quarter. But then the 49ers got a big kick return. Then Al Harris went down. Then after a San Francisco touchdown the Packers went three-and-out. Then another 49ers touchdown.
Just like that as little things snowballed into big things, the Packers were in danger of blowing this game. It took a well-executed drive to end the game with the victory formation. There was a lot of good to take away from the first half but unfortunately a lot of bad to take away from the second half. Yes, the Packers again had trouble finishing a game strong but more importantly the injuries to Harris and Aaron Kampman would prove to be real killers. Harris is lost for the year, Kampman is too.
So here is another reason why the NFL is tough: injuries happen. The really good teams have the depth to overcome the injuries. Arizona and Pittsburgh both had injuries last year and survived. The Packers may not be a Super Bowl team but at 6-4 they are very much in the playoff race and as the Cardinals proved last year once you get in anything can happen. The question now, do the Packers have what it takes to keep playing after Week 17?