- Look, I know I’m biased because I’m deeply in love with him, but how amazing is Jordy Nelson?? Seven receptions for 123 yards and two touchdowns, including an absolutely incredible endzone catch early on. Furthermore, Jordy recovered yet another onside kick - he always is in the right place at the right time on onside kicks. He might have the best hands in the league.
|And biceps. And smile. And face.|
- Aaron Rodgers didn’t have a bad night himself, completing 24-of-29 throws, a completion rate of 83%!! Of his five incompletions, two were throwaways and at least one was a drop.
- How do you defend Rodgers-to-Nelson? Since 2009, they’ve averaged 11.4 yards per pass and a 138.5 passer rating - tops in the league in both categories. Note that the 11.4 yards is per pass, not completion.
|Money in the bank.|
- The only reason Rodgers’ numbers weren’t gaudier is because the run game had a productive night, as well. Eddie Lacy and James Starks combined for 151 yards and a touchdown apiece. If Starks can stay healthy for more than 45 minutes at a time, he provides a nice change of pace to Lacy’s bruising, hard-earned yards.
|Plus he's always happy and smiling!|
- The Packers offense was quite efficient, scoring on every single possession except for their final drive, during which they simply knelt to run out the clock. Not a single punt!
- The game didn’t start off in the best way, with Green Bay giving up a touchdown return from Cordarrelle Patterson on the opening kickoff. The rookie gained 228 yards on five kickoff returns.
- Micah Hyde made up for whiffing on a tackle that allowed Patterson’s touchdown return by returning a punt 93 yards for a touchdown himself.
|I love it when rookies get their first NFL touchdown!!|
- What I find most shocking is how Christian Ponder is playing ahead of Matt Cassel -- what is Minnesota thinking?? Cassel is not an elite quarterback, but he’s significantly better than Ponder.
- Minnesota owner Zygi Wilf is wearing one of those Groucho Marx disguises, right?
|He's on the lam.|
- There are those Packer fans who hate GM Ted Thompson for unknown reasons, but I don’t think any other team in the league can say that all but three of their players were their own draft picks, much less a division-leading team.
- The biggest disappointment from the game was that the defense didn’t notch a single turnover -- against Christian Ponder! And how awful was the pass interference call on Tramon Williams right before the half that allowed Minnesota to score a touchdown? Tramon did no more than gently graze the hip of Greg Jennings.
|They're just jealous of your dazzling smile.|
- Speaking of Greg, he had a rough night. Before the game, Jennings offered a more sincere apology to Aaron Rodgers, but when asked (yet again) about Jennings, Rodgers only said, “I don’t have time to think about those things.” In the game, Greg caught just one pass for nine yards, which was greeted with boos from the Packer fans in the crowd. Then he got creamed by his teammate running for the endzone:
- After the game, Jennings shared an incredibly awkward midfield meeting with Rodgers. Aaron seemed desperate to escape, and Greg equally unwilling to release him from his grip. It didn’t look fun for anyone.
|"Pleasepleaseplease take me back!"|
- The rest of the weekend’s games were pretty boring -- except for the Detroit-Dallas game. The Lions finished with 623 yards to the Cowboys’ 268, and 29 first downs to Dallas’ 13. Yet Detroit only won by one. How, you ask? Here’s how six consecutive drives went for Detroit: interception, punt, interception, punt, fumble, fumble. That’s how you completely dominate a team and need a crazy, last-second touchdown to win.
- So here’s how the final minute-and-a-half went: Dallas had a three-point lead and the ball. Detroit had two timeouts. ALL Dallas has to do is run out the clock. They’re on their way to a victory, when they get called for a holding penalty, which stops the clock. Because of the stoppage, Dallas has to kick a field goal to take a six-point lead and Detroit got the ball back with just 1:02 left. A 37-yard pass; spike to stop the clock; then a 40-yard pass; then a 22-yard pass -- Calvin Johnson is stopped right on the goal line! Quarterback Matthew Stafford starts screaming, trying to get his teammates to the line and signalling that he’s going to spike the ball to stop the clock.
- Just before the snap, Stafford sees that Dallas, assuming the spike, is not prepared, so he jumps over his unaware linemen and over the goal line for a touchdown to win!!!!
- Stafford is very, very, very lucky that went well. Could you imagine how much trouble he might have been in if he went for a quarterback sneak without telling his coaches or teammates and didn’t succeed?
- I usually reserve a space each week to laud Calvin Johnson for whatever amazing thing he’s done this time, but this week is particularly incredible: he caught 14 of 16 targets for 329 yards! That’s more than the entire Cowboy’s offense! Seven of his receptions were 20+ yards! He can do anything.
- The one bright spot for Dallas is linebacker Sean Lee. I don’t watch a lot of Cowboys football, but every time I do, Lee is making a big-time play. He had 10 tackles to go with his two interceptions.
|Bonus points for looking nothing like an athlete.|
- Eli Manning and the New York Giants’ offense look incompetent. Luckily for them, they were playing the Philadelphia Eagles.
- Watch out for those Giants -- they’re on a two-game roll!
- I am not a DeAngelo Hall fan, but I love this interception.
- The stupid cannon in Tampa Bay dysfunctioned a few times on Thursday night -- probably from disuse -- and took Carolina quarterback Cam Newton by surprise. In his defense, he is from Atlanta.
- The Jacksonville Jaguars do not have much going for them, but at least their mascot, Jaxson DeVille was able to amuse the London crowd by streaking in Wembley Stadium.
- This is one of the coolest interceptions I’ve ever seen, and great teamwork from the Pats. Dudes have clearly been practicing on the volleyball court.
- Dez Bryant lives up to his reputation by blowing up at his coach, quarterback, and tight end. But don’t worry, Jerry Jones says it’s all cool.
- Okay, maybe I was wrong about Dez. I don't think he should act that way on the sideline, but maybe he really was saying positive things?
- I know Atlanta has a million injuries, but still, how are they this bad?? They were a popular pre-season pick to win it all and are now just 2-5.
|Matty Ice ... Ice Cold! Heh.|
- I have a problem with Brandon Meriweather and his helmet-to-helmet hits. As I feared, the league reduced his two-game suspension to one. But don’t worry, I really think he’s learned his lesson. Here’s what he had to say:
“I guess I just got to take people’s knees out. That’s the only way. I would hate to end a guy’s a career over a rule, but I guess it’s better other people than me getting suspended for longer.
“You just have to go low now, man. You’ve got to end people’s careers. You got to tear people’s ACLs and mess up people’s knees. You can’t hit them high anymore.”
- Meriweather also took issue with Chicago’s Brandon Marshall (who was on the receiving end of a Meriweather illegal hit) saying that people like Meriweather should be kicked out of the league. Said Meriweather of Marshall:
“He feels like I need to be kicked out of the league? I feel like people who beat their girlfriends should be kicked out of the league, too. You tell me -- who you’d rather have? Someone who plays aggressive on the field of someone who beat up their girlfriend?”
- Marshall has had more than few domestic violence arrests, so I have to side with Meriweather on that point. But on the football front, Meriweather needs to stop acting like his only options are to concuss people or take out their knees. There are many, many, many defensive backs in the league who manage to make plays without severely injuring the opponent.
- Hmmmm, why does everyone hate Golden Tate and the Seahawks so much, I wonder??
|At least he got a 15-yard penalty for taunting.|
- Man, how much does it suck to be Beanie Wells? The poor dude was just looking for employment when he tried out for the Baltimore Ravens this week. Unfortunately for him, he injured his Achilles and will not be able to play again this season.
|And his name's Beanie.|
- You know who doesn’t like headsets? That petulant baby with the ridiculous goatee who coaches the Lions.
- Peyton Manning doesn’t have a lot of firsts left to accomplish in his career, but he got his first holding penalty for this funny tackle of the guy who was trying to recover Manning’s fumble.
- Denver still won, of course, thanks in part to Wes Welker, who is, um, really happy to be a Bronco?
- Great news, everybody. Clay Matthews will get the pins taken out of his wrist next week, and, if all goes well, he might be able to play the following week.
|Please hurry, Clay. I miss watching you destroy quarterbacks.|