There is no logical explanation for the way the Packers, who looked lost and almost hopeless in losing three in a row, strolled into Monster Park and pounded the favored 49ers, 30-19, in a game that left both teams with 5-8 records and zero playoff hopes.
That’s football. That’s the NFC.
Here are some random thoughts from the safety of the sofa:
- The Packers’ five victories have come against Detroit, Arizona, Miami, Minnesota and San Francisco. None of those teams has a winning record. Another common thread? In each of the games, Favre outplayed his counterpart (Jon Kitna, Matt Leinart, Joey Harrington, Brad Johnson and Alex Smith) and did not throw an interception.
- Favre, who is 11-1 against San Francisco in his career, threw for 292 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and a 111.5 passer rating, a figure he topped only once in his previous 12 outings.
- A lot of talking heads -- locally and nationally – are going to spend a lot of air time discussing whether Favre will return next season.
The guy is coming back. Much like Roger Clemens, Favre simply is playing too well to give up.
- San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith looked reckless at times and tentative at others, much like Favre does on a bad day. It’s too early to tell whether Smith will turn out to be worth the No. 1 pick, but having running back Frank Gore and tight end Vernon Davis on his side certainly won’t hurt the cause. On a field filled with incredible athletes, Davis looks freakishly fast and strong.
- Earlier this year, Packers cornerback Charles Woodson had moments when he looked old, slow, overpaid and disinterested. That wasn’t the case on Sunday. The guy is showing that he can still make plays (like his 40-yard punt return) and Green Bay’s defense, which has been bad enough to endanger the jobs of coordinator Bob Sanders, secondary coach Kurt Schottenheimer and others, would be even uglier without him.
- Speaking of ugly … I’m trying to decide which missed tackle was more heinous. Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila failing to wrap up Frank Gore during a 72-yard run; or, Mark Roman whiffing on Donald Driver’s 68-yard touchdown. I’d call it a draw, but Driver scored and the 49ers settled for a field goal.
- Fox play-by-play man Matt Vasgersian, who is relatively new to NFL football, worked for the first time in a three-man booth as Tim Ryan joined JC Pearson. All things considered, the broadcast was pretty smooth. Vasgersian, who worked five years for the Brewers, slipped in a few Wisconsin references and was chided by his partners for being a “homer.” The irony there is that Vasgersian hails from the Bay Area, but grew up a fan of the Raiders and not the 49ers.
- After the game, the 49ers were moaning about a lack of playmakers, a lack of communication, an inability to limit big plays by the opponent and stupid penalties, such as the 12-men-in-the-huddle call after Gore’s 72-yard scamper.
That probably sounds familiar to Packers fans, who have seen their favorite club victimized by the same problems throughout the season. Could anybody watch Favre’s pass to Ruvell Martin and not think of Buffalo’s Lee Evans or any of the other Green Bay opponents left wide open?
- NFL games are often decided on third down. The Packers were six for 15 in that department.
- A.J. Hawk got his first interception Sunday and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Hawk might not stand out as much as Davis, who was chosen a pick below him at No. 6, or Titans quarterback Vince Young, but he has had a major impact on the defense and seems to be getting better as the weeks pass.
- That play at the end of the first half was a head-scratcher. Favre seemed to fumble, but officials ruled that he was down by contact and time was allowed to expire. Neither the refs nor the TV guys gave us a good idea of what was happening at the time. At the end of the game, the 49ers utilized the “victory formation” and took a knee despite the fact that they were trailing. Plays like that never make the home crowd happy and the 49ers heard their share of boos Sunday, just as the Packers have at their home field.
Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at OnMilwaukee.com. Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.