Larrivee: Packers getting better, refs got better despite missed calls

CREATED Oct 1, 2012

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GREEN BAY - It was a better day for the guys wearing green and gold, and the guys wearing black and white stripes, during Sunday's 28-27 Packers win over the New Orleans Saints.

Not that there was perfection on both ends.

When it comes to the Packers, Newsradio 620 WTMJ's voice of the team, Wayne Larrivee, says is room for improvement.

"I see this team getting better as we go along," said Larrivee on Monday.  He joined both Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News" and TODAY'S TMJ4's "Live at Daybreak."

"The Packers aren't the best team in football right now.  That's a good thing.  You don't want to be the best team in the NFL at this stage of the season.  The Packers are a team that are starting to put things together."

He admitted there are a smattering of areas that need work - particularly a defense that gave up more than a quarter of a mile in passing yards to Drew Brees.

"There were some receivers open.  They've got to tighten up those zones and get that middle taken care of.

The Packers' offense?  Despite two turnovers, they seemed to tighten up things well enough for Aaron Rodgers to toss four touchdown passes.

Pass protection was excellent during the game, and with the help of a productive running game and Cedric Benson, it was just enough to pull out the victory.

"No sacks, and I thought the running game was productive.  The Packers getting Cedric Benson lathered up...he was effective in running the football, especially late in the game.  I've got to give a lot of kudos to the offensive line."

What was also tightened up was the pace of the game, with the regular NFL referees keeping a faster tempo to the game than the replacement referees who failed at that task in their three weeks on the regular season job.

"I think the way the game was administrated was much better.  You had a little more flow to this game.  This felt like an NFL game.  They weren't conferring on every single call to spot the ball after a two-yard run.  That helped both offenses."

Though it's not like the Packers didn't suffer from referee malfeasance.

A Marquis Colston touchdown reception came when he pushed off on a Packers defender, and a fumble by Darren Sproles on a kickoff return was denied when an official ruled him down by contact, an un-reviewable call.

Still, those officials' mistakes - and their own - did not stop the Packers from rising to 2-2 during a murderous September.

"I thought if they got through the gauntlet of September 2-2, they would be fine.  Actually, they went 3-1, but they didn't get one of the W's awarded to them."