GREEN BAY – The big question will be answered on Sunday.
Have the Packers fixed their passing attack?
“We’re still trying to get better each week. We have our moments when we do a lot of good things,” play-caller Tom Clements said.
The Packers did a lot of good things in the second half of their win in Detroit. The best of those good things was the game-winning, 61-yard, Hail Mary touchdown pass Aaron Rodgers threw on the final play of the game.
“It was a great win for us. What you do in the past doesn’t have a lot of bearing on what you do now,” Clements said.
The Hail Mary was the crowning play of a second-half rally from a 17-0, first-quarter deficit. In the process of amassing 193 yards passing in the second half, the Packers’ passing attack looked like the Packers’ passing attack of old.
Permanent fix or merely a respite?
Sunday’s game against the visiting Cowboys will help answer that question. The Packers will be facing the league’s No. 5 pass defense.
“They have very good players. They play very hard. They get after you. They’re very good tacklers. They’re a very good football team,” Clements added.
The mood of the Packers offense for this game?
“They’re upbeat. We’ve always been a confident group. We had a great practice (on Thursday),” Clements said.
Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers is hopeful the development invested in young players will turn dividends in December. Rookie linebacker Jake Ryan is one of those young players. He made his first start in Detroit.
“There were a few bumps in the road but, for his first start, there were three or four plays where you say that’s the way you want it done,” Capers said of Ryan.
“I always hope we’re ascending. If you take the first quarter out of the last game, we were pretty sound. I’m hoping over the next four games you’ll see us do what good defenses do in the month of December,” Capers said. “You work young guys in and they get experience. You expect them to play more like veterans in December.”
The Packers defense is up to No. 19, 20th against the run and the pass.
Special Teams Coordinator Ron Zook wants punter Tim Masthay to relax. Masthay has struggled off and on this season, leaving the Packers at No. 21 in net punting average.
“Net punt is what we’re looking at,” Zook said. “Relax. When he does that, he hits it good.”
The Cowboys appear to have settled on return man Lucky Whitehead, who has a 79-yard kickoff return to his credit.
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