- Once again, the Green Bay Packers reign supreme in the NFC North after defeating the Detroit Lions 30-20. The victory earned them a bye week, which is just what they need after a scary moment at Lambeau.
- The entire nation fell silent in sickened fear as Aaron Rodgers reaggravated his strained calf on a touchdown pass in the first half of Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions and had to be carted off the field. Third-string quarterback Scott Tolzien was finally activated, which made me happy, but Matt Flynn remained the backup, playing in Rodgers’ stead, which made me not happy. It ended up being all right since Rodgers braved through the pain and led the Green Bay Packers to victory. As Flynn tells it, he was on the sidelines with his coaches when Rodgers came up to him, tapped him on the shoulder, and said, “I’ve got this.”
|I'm sure Jordy was very thankful he didn't have to|
try to catch passes from Flynn all day.
- Despite the injury severely limiting his mobility, Rodgers was 17-of-22 for 226 yards, two touchdowns, and a 139.6 passer rating. It must have been the good-luck beard rub.
- Eddie Lacy came to play! Lacy ran for 100 yards against the league’s best rushing defense, which has not allowed a 100-yard rusher all season.
- The offensive line has been incredibly impressive all season long, but perhaps never more so than on Sunday. Besides leading the strong running game, the offensive line did not allow a single sack on the hobbled Rodgers against a fierce defensive line. Here’s a cool stat I saw on Pro Bowl left guard Josh Sitton, who is considered one of the best guards in the NFL: Sitton has not allowed a sack in the last 1,228 pass plays!!
|Yes, this is the best guard tandem in the NFL.|
- Here’s an indication of why Detroit is the best run defense in the league: on the Packers’ opening drive, the Detroit Lions defense faced seven straight goal-to-go downs and managed to hold Green Bay scoreless on the drive.
- MICAH HYDE!!! Hyde had another punt return for a touchdown, which was huge after the offense had failed to score on their first drive. Only one more punt return for a touchdown for Hyde and he’ll have the franchise record!
- Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is
0-150-16 against winning teams on the road in his career.
- ANOTHER blocked kick!! I know players are banged up, but the Packers have to put their starters back on the unit. Check out this Vine, where you can see both tight end Andrew Quarless and backup offensive linemen JC Tretter completely whiff on the left side.
- As impressive as Rodgers was on Sunday, I was not a fan of him calling his own number on a quarterback sneak for a touchdown. What were you thinking, Aaron?!?!
- Jordy set a franchise record, becoming the first Green Bay receiver to have 1,500 yards receiving in a season.
|A Christmas present from someone who obviously|
knows me well.
- Don’t even try to tell me that Ndamukong Suh stepping on Aaron Rodgers’ injured leg was not intentional. I’m glad the league suspended Suh for next week’s game against the Dallas Cowboys because Suh is a dirty $^#*ing #@$%&, but I’m not really sure if this is good for Green Bay in the long run. If Detroit ends up beating Dallas, the Packers would play the winners of the Arizona-Carolina game at Lambeau and Detroit would go to Seattle. If Dallas wins, the Cowboys would play at Lambeau while the Seahawks destroyed Arizona/Carolina. My preference would be for the Lions to play Seattle since they have a much higher chance of beating the Seahawks than either Arizona or Carolina. Even so, I don't mind seeing Suh get what he deserves.
|If Detroit loses to Dallas, it's likely that Sunday's game was Suh's last|
as a Lion. His suspension seems a fitting end.
- Suh tried to claim he was pushed/blocked into Rodgers. Nice try. Here’s a screenshot TJ Lang posted on Twitter showing him holding Suh up to prevent him from falling backwards.
- No Kansas City Chiefs receiver caught a touchdown pass all season!!!!!!!!!! I’m going to type that again: not a single receiver on the Chiefs caught a touchdown pass in 16 games.
- Oh, Jay Cutler. It the final game of a disastrous season, the Chicago Bears offense failed to score a touchdown in their 13-9 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. I was secretly kind of hoping that, after all the mess of the last few weeks, Cutler would take it out by just spiking the ball after every snap. But it's still Jay's team, and head coach Marc Trestman and general manager Phil Emery were promptly fired on Monday.
|"Whatevs. Don't care."|
- JJ Watt became the only player in NFL history to have 20+ sacks in multiple seasons (he finished the season with 20.5, the same number he had in 2012). Just to spice things up, Watt registered his final sack of the season on a safety.
- Watt also led the league this season in quarterback hits and hurries, tackles for losses, and fumble recoveries.
- I think Aaron Rodgers is the MVP of the league as he is the best player in the league. JJ Watt was mired on a mostly quarterback-less team that missed the playoffs, which hurts his case for MVP. If you put Rodgers on a terrible team like the Jaguars, Rodgers could single-handedly get them to a winning record. A defensive player -- even the best in the league, as Watt is -- can’t do that. That said, the dropoff from Rodgers to the next best quarterback (Brady or Romo or whomever) is very slim, whereas the gap between Watt and the second-best defensive player in the league is chasmic. So in the sense of who is playing his position so far above everyone else at the position, Watt wins. No matter who wins, both Rodgers and Watt are very deserving.
- I love this line from a report on Saturday: “The Atlanta Falcons have hired the search firm Korn Ferry to identify head-coaching candidates in the event the team makes a head-coaching change, league sources told ESPN.” They make it sound like the Atlanta Falcons who hired the firm and the Atlanta Falcons who employ head coach Mike Smith are totally different and have no idea what the other Atlanta Falcons are going to do. If the team is hiring someone to search for a new coach, it’s usually a pretty good indication that the team is going to fire its current coach.
|And yes, Ol' Mike was fired on Monday.|
- The Cleveland Browns suspended receiver Josh Gordon for the final game of the season due to a violation of team rules. Gordon missed the first ten games of the season to suspension, as well, meaning he only played in five games. That’s important because a player must play in six games in a season for the season to count as a full year. Since players become free agents four years after their rookie contracts, this mean that Gordon will be under contract to the Browns for an additional year.
- Gordon’s suspension comes as a result of missing the team walk-through, reportedly the morning after a big shindig at Johnny Manziel’s house. (Rookie cornerback Justin Gilbert -- who has issues of his own -- was also deactivated for the final game for missing a meeting, apparently unrelated to the Manziel drama.) Manziel, who is injured, not only missed treatment, but, when he didn’t answer his phone, the Browns had to send their security team to his house. to find him You have to wonder what the heck Manziel is thinking. He knows everyone is waiting for him to mess up; he knows he’s caused himself a lot of headaches with his off-field reputation. Seriously, you couldn’t wait one week for the season to be over before throwing a party?? Manziel, for his part, denies that there was any party or that he was with Gordon, but does admit to making “mistakes.”
|How could anyone have seen this coming?|
- Apparently, it took till halftime for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to realize they would get the number one draft pick if they lost on Sunday. Despite there being no advantage to winning the game, the Bucs jumped out to a 20-7 lead over the New Orleans Saints, before either a) realizing that losing was a good thing, or b) reverting to form and playing like they have every other game this season.
- How do you only score seven points in a win-and-you’re-in situation?!? All the San Diego Chargers had to do was win against the Kansas City Chiefs (who were without their starting quarterback) to make the playoffs! No relying on other teams to lose or tie, no watching the scoreboard to see if the right teams lost; just win. Yes, Kansas City has a fantastic defense, and yes, the Chargers have a terrible, patchwork offensive line, but, come on! This is for everything! At least make it close!
|You should be mad, Phil.|
- Arizona Cardinals’ third-string quarterback Ryan Lindley finally threw a touchdown pass! He would go on to throw two in Sunday’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers, but the main thing is that he stopped his NFL-record most pass attempts without a touchdown at 228. Congratulations, Ryan!
- The New York Jets defeated the Miami Dolphins this week. Neither team had anything left to play for, so it makes sense that Jets quarterback Geno Smith posted a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating on Sunday.
- There’s drama in Miami with wide receiver Mike Wallace, who is talented but said to have huge attitude issues. Wallace reportedly refused to play the second half of the Jets game, though Wallace says he was benched by his coach. Then things got weird in the postgame, when teammate Brandon Gibson stood next to Wallace and fielded all his questions as if he were Wallace.
- Buffalo Bills quarterback Kyle Orton just pulled off the greatest Irish exit in history! He stopped by the Bills locker room to grab his wallet and told reporters that he had to go to a meeting, but would talk to them afterward. Orton never came back, and next thing you know, he’s announced his retirement, to the apparent shock of the Bills. Orton is a very interesting character. He swindled the Dallas Cowboys last offseason, is Kryptonite to the Packers, wears the creepiest facial hair with impunity, and now this.
|Just try Googling "drunk Kyle Orton" sometime. Trust me.|
- Let's hope the Ann Arbor-area Kmarts have stocked up on extra-pleated khakis, cause Jim Harbaugh is coming to town!