- Ugh. So I should never make predictions. Ever. Because I also thought the Raiders game would come down to the final minutes.
- But Packer fans aren’t too upset. Not having the chance to go 16-0 sucks, but it’s no biggie. It was an off-day, a game with a lot of starters out, and it’s better to have an offensive off-day now rather than later, like in the playoffs. The Pack still have the best record in the league, and only need one more win or one more San Fran loss (though the 49ers were uncooperative Monday night) to secure home field through the playoffs.
- There are certainly areas of concern. The defense was very impressive in the redzone, but horrible everywhere else, no more so than on the final KC drive. Absolutely embarrassing to let the Kansas City Chiefs march on you like that. The Packers run defense is terribly overrated, for the same reason their pass defense is underrated: the Packers so often jump out to early leads that opponents are forced to abandon the run and so the Packers’ run defense rarely gets challenged. Add to that the fact that there are fewer and fewer teams who rely on the rushing game for more than short-yardage plays and to set up the pass. The run defense crumbled in crunch time. Even without your best tackler in Desmond Bishop, that last drive was completely unacceptable.
|"Right this way to the endzone, sir."|
- The offensive line wasn’t much more fun to watch. It was terrible to see Derek Sherrod’s brutal injury; Josh Sitton just got back; Bulaga’s out for at least one week; Clifton might start practicing this week, but probably won’t be ready to play; Newhouse got absolutely abused by Tamba Hali; the injuries at right tackle forced the remaining starters out of their natural positions, where they struggled. Depending on Bulaga’s injury, the Packers might need to sign somebody off the street, since they only have one uninjured backup, and he’s a rookie with no game experience. Yikes. Rodgers has been taking far too many hits as it is. This can’t help. An injured line might force a change in personnel (keeping extra blockers on the line of scrimmage) which will hurt the Packers’ strength - receiving threats. Aaron Rodgers might have to reconcile himself to throwing the ball away a lot more frequently if he’s 1) not getting the time he needs from his line, and 2) has fewer people to throw to. The running backs will need to play a big part in the passing game, providing a dependable checkdown for Aaron.
|Ahh! Be careful with him! That's my future husband!|
- On the other side of the ball, the Packers’ defensive line didn’t have a single sack on Orton. Not one!!
- I have absolutely no idea what was going on with those two offensive pass interference calls on Jordy Nelson. Just absurd. Sorry, officials, Jordy’s just that good at creating separation. The first one, he at least touched the guy, even if he didn’t push off. The second one ... I’m at a loss for words … he wasn’t even within arm’s length of the guy!
|Careful, J., don't get too close to that defender.|
- I’m kind of done with Jermichael Finley. The drops are infuriating. Yes, he came back with a strong second half, but his case of the dropsies was not limited to this week - he’s been doing this for a few weeks now. To be honest, I was done with him last week when he allowed the interception in the endzone. Despite my uncertainty of the legality of that interception (doesn’t the interceptor have to have sole possession AND two feet in bounds at the same time??), the point is that Finley let a defender who is way smaller than he take the ball from him. How do you let that happen?? Also, not a big fan of his attitude.
- Aaron Rodgers had his streak of consecutive 100+ passer rating snapped. And his streak of consecutive 2 touchdown games - one game shy of setting the NFL record. I hate this week. I hope the record books have an asterisk and fine print that says: ‘*This is Jermichael Finley’s fault.‘
- For all the miserable things in this game, the most important was no takeaways. You can put up with the Packers’ defense giving up big yards because they offset that weakness by leading the league in takeaways. When your offense isn’t rolling the way you’re used to, and you’re still giving up big plays, you have to force turnovers. It’s the Packers’ first game this season without a takeaway and, not coincidentally, their first loss.
|That's how I feel about that stat, too, Charles.|
- A bright spot for the Packers on Sunday?? Hmmm... Tim Masthay was pretty good! Yay! Go Ginger!
- At least the Bears lost. And the Vikings. And the Steelers. And the Jets. =)
|These pics are way less fun when it's Caleb instead of Jay.|
- Once again, Dan Orlovsky let down a nation by ruining his chance to be the only NFL player to ever go 0-16 twice. We were counting on you, Dan.
- The Patriots’ terrible defense just got even worse with the loss of DE Andre Carter.
- The No Fun League reared it’s ugly no-fun head again, refusing to let Reggie Bush slide into the snow-covered endzone unpenalized. Boo.
- Every time I’m almost close to being sort of ready to jump on the Baltimore Ravens’ bandwagon, they have a deeply concerning loss. San Diego’s playing well, sure, but the Ravens couldn’t even keep it competitive.
- C’mon Giants! Don’t you want to be in the playoffs?! I just don’t understand how a team with this gifted a defense can play so soft at times!
|What's going on, Justin??|
- I like Tim Tebow. I hate the constant Tebow coverage. The coverage is a microcosm of why sports analysts are stupid. They’re forced to come out with definitive declarations every week. Remember when the Broncos got trounced by Detroit and everyone said, ‘See, you can’t win with Tebow at quarterback’? And then they won a bunch of games, and it was all, ‘Tebow’s going to change the future of the game?’ Well, now we’re back to, ‘Tebow can’t play QB in the NFL.’ Why don’t we all just take a deep breath and let the guy get double-digit starts under his belt before we try to define his career, hmm?
- The Patriot receivers are so annoying! Hernandez and Edelman, in particular, feel compelled to run their mouths after every single completion!
|Blah, blah, blah, I'm the greatest.|
- Also, why are Bill Belichick’s shorts so short?
|It's a brilliant coaching tactic, I'm sure.|
- Eli Manning had a 45.5 passer rating Sunday. Tee hee. (I have a split personality when it comes to the Giants - I adore their defense, but hate stupid, little Eli Manning.)
- Drew Brees and the Saints are terrifying. The Packers barely squeaked by them in the opener, the rematch of which could very well be the NFC Championship. They’re shockingly underrated in the Super Bowl conversation, too.
- How awesome is it that Carolina’s trick touchdown play was inspired by a 1990's kids' movie?
- Redskins’ QB Rex Grossman didn’t appreciate Giants’ safety Antrel Rolle saying that the Giants would beat Washington 99 times out of a hundred: “"Ninety-nine out of 100 times they are going to beat us? And we beat them two in a row this year. I am not going to the casino with him anytime soon."
|"Heh. I like our odds, boys."|
- Some sports analysts, desperate to find something to write about, confuse what the MVP award is all about. Don’t worry about what the award is actually called - it’s an award for the best player in the NFL. Barring a 235-interception final two games, that man is Aaron Rodgers. The problem is that some writers mistake the MVP award for the biggest-drop-off-from-starter-to-backup award. Rodgers is no less deserving of the honor because Matt Flynn is a solid backup. That has nothing to do with it. By that logic, the MVP could be a some little-used special teams player who has no backup. HE HAS NO BACKUP! THEREFORE, HE IS THE MOST VALUABLE TO HIS TEAM. Sure. Whatever. So if Matt Flynn suffers a season-ending injury, Rodgers would then be the MVP? Even though Flynn hasn’t played meaningful snaps this season? Makes no sense. Brees and Brady will probably garner a couple of votes, but this award clearly belongs to Rodgers.
|Yes, sir, you put that belt on.|