Once upon a time during my long journalistic career, I came across a Hall of Fame football coach who told me this:
"More times than not, the last two minutes of the first half and the first two minutes of the second half dictate the outcome of the game."
Those words came back to me quickly with less than 2 minutes left in the first half of the Green Bay Packers' victory over the Oakland Raiders at Lambeau Field on Sunday.
At the 1:55 mark of the first half, Raiders' quarterback Derek Carr scrambled around right end from the 2-yard line, but stepped out of bounds while pushing the ball across the goal line pylon. The replay official ruled the ball was fumbled out of bounds in the end zone resulting in a touchback and turned the ball over to the Packers.
Green Bay marched right down the field with quarterback Aaron Rodgers eventually tossing a 37-yard touchdown pass to Jake Kumerow with 20 seconds remaining.
Rather than a possible 14-13 deficit or 17-14 Raiders' lead, the turnaround gave the Packers a 21-10 halftime advantage.
Wait, there's more.
The second half became even more interesting with the Packers extending their lead to 28-10 with 12:04 left in the third quarter.
For all practical purposes, the game was over.
Oh sure, the Raiders counter-punched and cut the deficit to 28-17 in the third quarter, but the Packers responded with another TD for a 35-17 lead.
The end result was a convincing 42-24 victory for the Green and Gold. Next up?
The mighty Chiefs in Kansas City this Sunday. It doesn't get any easier, but who would have thought the Packers would be 6-1 at this point in the season?