Ryan Grant: “Scoring 25 straight and our defense shutting them down after the first quarter was pretty special.”October 11, 2011 – 7:00 am by Michael Bean
So much for the so-called Super Bowl hangover. It sure hasn’t afflicted the Green Bay Packers, that’s for sure. The defending champions improved to 5-0 on Sunday night with an impressive all-around performance against the Atlanta Falcons. After falling down 14-0 early on, the Packers did what champions do — they absorbed the opposition’s best shot, weathered the storm, made adjustments and then turned it into high gear at just the right time. The end result was a 25-14 win that shouldn’t leave anybody wondering who the favorite is to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in Indianapolis come February.
Grant joined WSSP in Milwaukee to talk about the solid job Green Bay’s reserve offensive linemen did in relief of injured starters Sunday night, if Green Bay spent much time as a team this past week talking about some of the chippy stuff that Atlanta has been rumored to be engaging in, what the team’s mindset was after following behind by 14 points in the first half, and taking the life out of the Falcons home crowd after absorbing Atlanta’s best shot early.
On the solid play of Marshall Newhouse and Derek Sherrod along the offensive line after Chad Clifton went down win an injury:
“Yeah they did really. Hats off to both of them. Marshall played his butt off from jump street, and Derek being thrown in there and then having to move, he did a phenomenal job. So really I think the guys came together, we rallied behind them and they stepped their game up.”
If the Packers spent much time talking this past week about some of the chippy stuff that Atlanta’s been rumored to be known for:
“We were just made aware, and it was just something we had in the back of our mind. We figured their might be a little talk during the game and maybe a few shots, but just aware and keep your composure throughout the whole game no matter what. So I think what happened during the game and throughout the game, I think that’s evident that we did that, and how we finished the game. I don’t think it was something that was overemphasized, and it definitely wasn’t something that was too much of a…it wasn’t something we were too focused on during the game, but just in the back of our minds to play with composure.”
On what the mindset of the Packers team was after falling down 14-0 early to Atlanta on Sunday night:
“Just stay true, let’s just stay on track. Guys of course will tell you that you never want to go down 14-0 in a game, but like I said, this team, we’re champions and we’re a tough bunch of guys and the character on our squad is phenomenal. So to go down 14-0, you clearly you can see they had the momentum, they had the crowd fired up, but we really just stayed on track and we said ‘ you know what? We’re taking their best shot, we just need to put points on the board.’ And once we put points on the board, we said ‘alright, we need to get touchdowns and we need to convert better in the red zone.’ But we really felt like we had taken their best shot, they had dialed up whatever they had, and we just adjusted. We played our style of football. It definitely wasn’t clean, but I think scoring 25 straight and our defense shutting them down after the first quarter was pretty special.”
On how hard was it to play in front of a home crowd in Atlanta that had very much been looking forward to this game:
“Early. It was loud early. But we knew that. The type of crowd that they have — they’ll be loud early if they have the momentum. I believe after that first quarter, we kind of took that crowd out of it. And even though we were down, we felt we had the momentum at halftime. Being down 14-6, we felt we had the momentum because towards the end of the half we had moved the ball, we just hadn’t converted the way we wanted to. But they had and then they hadn’t — we adjusted to what they brought and we felt that they hadn’t adjusted, so we had the momentum and just had to go out in the second half and put the ball in the end zone as opposed to field goals. But we felt we had taken the crowd out. So in the first quarter, yeah, they were loud. But as the game went on, you could hear more of those ‘Go Pack Go!’s’ come out.”