Monday, October 19, 2015

De-fense! De-fense!!

  • Holy cheeseheads, Batman, what a stand by the Green Bay Packers defense against the San Diego Chargers!! With Green Bay up 27-20 and 2:37 left on the clock, the Chargers started their final drive, needing a touchdown to tie the game. They picked up seven (!) first downs with almost no trouble at all, bringing them all the way to Green Bay’s 3-yard line with 33 seconds to go. On first down, Chargers running back Danny Woodhead picked up one yard, bringing up 2nd-and-2. Next, San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers threw an incomplete pass to Antonio Gates. Third down, Datone Jones tackled Woodhead for a loss of one yard. It’s 4th-and-3 with 20 seconds left; San Diego’s last chance to force overtime. Rivers takes the snap, sees Woodhead just inside the endzone on the far right of the field and throws to Woodhead … and rookie cornerback Damarious Randall swoops in and knocks it down! Packers win!! Still undefeated!!

  • I’d had a lot of unflattering comments prepared for the Green Bay Packers defense, but after their game-winning stand, I shall forego my criticisms.

  • Well, most of my criticisms. 503 yards, guys!?! Philip Rivers is a really, really good quarterback, but 503 passing yards for a quarterback in a non-overtime game?! Before this week, the Packers defense was allowing an average of 186 passing yards per game. Now their average is something like 240 -- one game increased their passing yards allowed by 50 yards. Ugh. Rivers threw 65 times! The Chargers had 32 first downs (to Green Bay’s 17)! At one point, my brother texted me that San Diego was 27-for-26 on first downs -- it certainly felt that way. But I’ll stop here because the defense held at the very, very end.

  • Maybe Rivers got some extra tips from the sisters last week about breaking down Green Bay’s defense.
Oddly enough, that's the second nuns-at-a-sporting-event pic I've seen this week.

  • The Packers defense was rough, but the offense wasn’t much to write home about either. After jumping out to an early 17-3 lead, Green Bay had a confidence-shaking three consecutive three-and-outs before scoring a touchdown at the end of the third quarter. (Followed by another three-and-out.) It’s definitely not what fans are used to seeing. As I keep saying, the offense has changed a lot more than many realize without Jordy Nelson. You know what doesn’t help? Losing Nelson’s backup, Davante Adams, to an ankle injury that has kept him out the last three weeks. You know what really doesn’t help? Losing Adams’ backup, Ty Montgomery, to an ankle injury against the Chargers.

  • Montgomery’s injury led to the appearance of perhaps the whitest lineup in the league, with Jeff Janis and Jared Abbrederis stepping in, along with tight end Justin Perillo.

  • I owe some love to James Starks. With Starks playing well and Eddie Lacy banged up, Starks got the start and most of the carries. He took advantage of his opportunities to the tune of 117 yards and two touchdowns. I always have to say nice things about James when he plays well because I’m usually pretty mean to him about his always being injured.
Good job, buddy! Be careful!

  • I do not like these alternate throwbacks. They’re ugly and make me think of Michigan.

  • I don’t understand why, but many people don’t like the Packers usual throwback jerseys. I, for one, love them. They were even cooler when they came with the brown helmets, but the No Fun League put a stop to that a couple of seasons ago.
See? So much cooler.

  • As I’ve said before, I’m never happy when any player gets injured. That said, I sure was relieved when San Diego receiver Keenan Allen left the game with a hip injury, which was apparently the only thing that could stop him, as the Green Bay defense certainly wasn’t able to. His injury came shortly after the half, by which time he had already racked up 157 yards!
He had 14 receptions on 15 targets.

  • I concur with Mike McCarthy’s criticism of the officiating. For being the most flag-happy crew in the league, the officials sure let the Chargers defensive backs get away with some really blatant holds and pass interference.

  • What is there to say about James Jones? Seriously, all he does is catch touchdowns. He has six on the year, tied with Larry Fitzgerald and Tyler Eifert for tops in the league.

  • Jordy Nelson, who tore his ACL in the preseason, has not missed a single meeting or practice all year. Aww, he’s so dedicated and committed and hardworking and perfect in every way! Except that he's decided to grow a beard. Not a fan.
Why would you want to hide this beautiful face?

  • No one wanted to win the Chicago Bears-Detroit Lions game. The Lions had a great drive that ended in a fantastic Calvin Johnson touchdown with 21 seconds left that put them up by three points. What followed was the easiest, most laid-back game-tying drive I’ve ever seen. Chicago didn’t even look like they were trying. And Detroit definitely looked like they weren’t trying. Chicago got a 25-yard completion, then got a pass interference call for 24 yards, then got another pass interference call for 20 yards, and then kicked an easy field goal to tie. They weren't even hurrying!
The most apathetic game-tying drive from the most apathetic athlete in America.

  • Even when the game went into overtime, neither team seemed particularly interested in winning. Here’s the possession chart from overtime. Overtime!

  • Detroit did finally win the game, their first win of the season (we’ll keep an asterisk on their record for the Seattle game). They should have known their fortunes were going to turn when there was a “process of the catch” situation that came up and they weren’t on the losing side. Here’s what happened: Lions receiver Golden Tate caught the ball just outside the goal line, turned, crossed the goal line (taking one step), was hit, the ball flew out and landed in the hands of a waiting Bears defender.

  • Though it looked like Tate did not finish the process of the catch -- going by the way the league has called it in the past -- the refs called it a touchdown and let it stand. I really, really think if the alternative hadn’t been an interception -- if it would have been an incomplete instead of a touchdown -- the refs would have said he didn’t complete the process of the catch. But how do you not only deny a team a touchdown on an iffy, controversial rule (that has screwed that same team over before multiple times in huge, game-deciding moments), but then actually give the ball to the other team? I honestly think the officials just couldn’t bring themselves to do it.

  • Here’s what Dean Blandino, VP of NFL Officiating had to say:

  • A couple of points:
  1. Both Calvin Johnson and Dez Bryant took two steps, so it makes no sense for Dean to say two steps establishes a player as a runner. Also, Tate didn't take two steps, per se; he landed on one foot, and took a step with the other.
  2. That’s what Dean Blandino looks like?!?! I never imagined him so young … or so sleazy-looking. One reddit user perfectly described him, saying he looks like a “struggling club promoter.” Yep, that’s the kind of guy you don’t let buy you a drink.

  • It must be something about Golden Tate that the refs can’t say no to.

  • Football fans everywhere loathe the “process of the catch” rule, and if they’re not going to call it, maybe it’s time the rule is changed. Now, I know this won’t make me popular, but let me say a word in defense of the rule: if a player just needs to have two feet down, just think of situations where a player catches the ball in the air, lands, is immediately hit by a defender, and the ball pops out. That happens usually at least a few times in a game. If the “process of the catch” rule is changed, then all those instances are fumbles, which would be its own controversy. The rule stinks, but I don’t know if I much like the alternative.
"Shut up, you stupid blogger! You know nothing!"

  • Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford, who was benched last week, threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns in the win, thus finally rewarding my steadfast loyalty.

  • This is terrifying. Last week, Jacksonville Jaguars running back Bernard Pierce made an odd play on a punt return: he started blocking for the other team. After the game, Pierce experienced concussion symptoms, which is presumably what led to that play. Pierce himself could offer no explanation as to what happened. You can see him start to block at the very beginning of this video, between the 45- and 50-yard lines.

  • I’m trying to figure out what exactly Directv was thinking with their new ad campaign. The premise is that a horrible, moronic cable company knows it can’t compete with the amazing Directv, so it merges with another horrible, moronic cable company. The thing is that Directv is known for its price gouging and horrible customer service, and it’s in the news for its recent merger with AT&T (another company with dismal customer satisfaction), so every time I see one of those commercials, all it makes me think of is how horrible Directv is. Not sure if that’s what they were going for.

  • Just watch Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker’s plant leg on the turf at the San Francisco 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium. No surprise, Tucker missed the field goal that would have cut a six-point deficit to three.

  • This is the field where the Super Bowl will be played this year, by the way.

  • The Seattle Seahawks have lost four games in which they were leading in the fourth quarter. They won one when the refs robbed the Lions (would have been another loss after leading in the fourth), and then they won one game against the Jimmy Clausen-led Chicago Bears.

  • I was glad to see that the Arizona Cardinals lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers because a) things are more interesting when dominant teams lose, and b) I’m scared of them and it’s reassuring seeing them lose.

  • You have probably seen the Indianapolis Colts’ attempted fake punt against the New England Patriots. It was …. ill-advised. The Colts presented this funky lineup late in the third quarter, with all their players to the right of the ball, hoping to confuse the Patriots into an offsides or encroachment penalty.

  • It, uh, didn’t work.

  • The Atlanta Falcons lost to the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night, which still leaves an incredible five undefeated teams. (That’s a lot for Week 6, isn’t it? It feels like a lot.) Also, they all start with Bs or Ps: Broncos, Bengals, Patriots, Panthers, and Packers. Just so you know. Three of those teams have byes next week, so there will be at least three undefeated teams going into Week 8. Two of those three teams -- the Packers and the Broncos! Eek! -- will play in Week 8.  

  • Peyton Manning’s spiraling play on the field does make me feel a little better about Week 8. (The Denver defense does not.) Peyton has stolen Eli Manning’s familiar throne as the league leader in interceptions, throwing three in a tight, overtime win against the Cleveland Browns.

That definitely calls for the Manning Face.

  • So who exactly is the Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback? Ben Roethlisberger has an MCL sprain, but hasn’t been ruled out for next week; Michael Vick is injured/benched?; and third-year quarterback Landry Jones played in his first NFL game on Sunday after Vick was pulled and led his team to a win over one of the best defenses in the league.
Jones said he wasn't expecting to play, and it showed in the
sartorial choices he made when packing his bag that morning. 

  • I don’t like the Philadelphia Eagles, but I was glad to see them beat the New York Giants because 1) their all-black alternate uniforms looked cool; 2) it’s always good to see Eli lose; and 3) I will NOT have the Giants pull another one of these we-really-stink-but-we’re-in-a-crappy-division-so-we’ll-just-coast-under-the-radar-being-terrible-then-sneak-into-the-playoffs-and-then-something-totally-BS-will-happen-and-we’ll-go-way-too-far-and-maybe-even-win-it-all-in-a-ridiculous-fashion moves that they’re always doing.

This is the face of a man who knows he does not
deserve to have two Super Bowl rings. 

  • Let’s all cleanse our visual palettes as we head into a boring week without Packer football:

Maybe I'll just spend next Sunday watch Jordy clips.


  1. You compose a great blog. You should be paid for it!

    Ps. But is anyone reading it besides me [no relation] and your parents.

  2. I love your blog! And I'm not related.