Monday, December 28, 2015

That Was Very Bad

  • Look, I knew things were going to be ugly when the Green Bay Packers were playing against the number one offense in the league and a top-five defense, but that was way worse than what I was fearing. The Arizona Cardinals had twice as many yards, and the Packers managed just 2.8 yards per play and were a dreadful 5-for-17 on third down conversions. The Arizona defense outscored the Green Bay offense.
You can tell by Aaron's expression that he saw this
coming pre-snap and had just resigned himself to it.

  • Worst of all was the turnovers. Previously one of the best teams in the league at protecting the ball, Green Bay turned it over four times. In the first 14 games of the season, the Packers allowed just 24 points off of their turnovers; on Sunday, they allowed 28 points.

  • Aaron Rodgers took eight sacks in the game behind a woeful offensive line. Green Bay’s line has been dealing with injuries all year. Left tackle David Bakhtiari was out for the game, meaning Don Barclay was in, so Rodgers should have known he was in for a beating. (Barclay was responsible for four of the sacks and God knows how many quarterback hits.)
"Hmm, it's funny that I don't have anyone to block. Maybe they
dropped extra guys into coverage. I'll keep my post, though. After all,
it's my job to protect Aaron, and he's counting on me."

  • Things got a lot worse when right tackle Bryan Bulaga left the game with an injury. Backup/turnstile Josh Walker replaced Bulaga, but he was so bad that they had to play their backup center JC Tretter at right tackle. For 90% of the game, coach Mike McCarthy refused to give his offensive line help. By the time he eventually did put a tight end on the line, it had all the effect of bailing water on the Titanic.
"Heh heh, oops. My bad. Again."

  • In McCarthy’s defense, when much of the problem is your receivers’ inability to get open, I can understand not wanting to take a receiving option out of the field of play.
"Please, Mr. Freeney, sir, don't hurt me. I promise
I won't try to stop you; just don't hurt me!"

  • With the game quickly out of reach and Rodgers was getting assaulted nearly every snap, I kept on praying that McCarthy would pull Rodgers and put in backup Scott Tolzien. It then occurred to me that it must kind of suck to be a backup quarterback: “Hey, our starting quarterback is getting creamed by defenders every single play. He’s too valuable; you go take the hits instead.
"Uhhh, this doesn't seem very fair, guys."

  • James Starks shouldn’t be allowed to touch the ball again, not after he fumbled yet again on Sunday. Davante Adams, too, should be black-balled. I just have no faith left in him. The only thing he’s consistent at is dropping touchdowns.

  • Captains Josh Sitton and Casey Hayward look like they somehow looked into the future and saw exactly how the game was going to go.
They don't seem to have shared their knowledge with Joe Thomas, though.

  • There’s not much to say about the defense. They seemed to have played fairly well against the top offense in the league. You can’t really judge their play when they’re put in a 28-0 hole by turnovers. Right guard Josh Sitton put it best when he said, “I’d be pissed off at us if I was our defense.”

  • I’m worried about cornerback Sam Shields. He was inactive again this week, meaning he still hasn’t recovered from his concussion two weeks ago. It was a nasty concussion -- he slammed his head against the concrete ground on the sidelines -- and it’s always scary when they linger. I hope he’s okay.

  • The best part of the game, by far, was the impressive and impressively loyal Packers fans at the game. Arizona was practicing a silent count at home prior to kickoff because of the amount of Green Bay fans. Even very, very late in the game, you could hear (drunken, I assume) “Go Pack Go” chants. Way to represent, fans.

  • 95% of Joe Buck says, “Hey, I’m super cool. You can tell because I dress just like the super cool kids do.” But then his clear plastic old lady glasses say, “Excuse me, dear, could you read this for me? They make the writing so small on everything nowadays...”

  • The Atlanta Falcons won their first division game of the year on Sunday … against the previously undefeated Carolina Panthers. I’m pleased that Carolina lost. One, because I think it’s always more fun and interesting when the top teams lose. Two, because I hold them responsible for this idiotic dabbing trend that won’t go away.

  • In a 7-7 game against the Carolina Panthers, the Atlanta Falcons got the ball back with 1:38 left before halftime, 99 yards to go, three timeouts. They started with a quick first down to Julio Jones ... and didn’t take a timeout. Then they picked up six yards over the middle ... and didn’t take a timeout. Then they had a three-yard run … and didn’t take a timeout … and let the clock run out. Are we sure Mike Smith isn’t still coaching from the shadows? I mean, isn’t that exactly the situation for which a two-minute drill is designed?

  • I guess those kind of decisions don’t matter much when you have JULIO JONES!!

  • Look at the effort!

  • I’m not really sure how, but the Kansas City Chiefs clinched a playoff berth on Sunday, even though the Denver Broncos -- who had not yet clinched a berth (they played on Monday) -- led the division.
The "x" denotes that the team has made the playoffs. I only
took this screenshot to prove that I'm not crazy.

  • As I’ve mentioned, I’m a big Ryan Fitzpatrick fan, so even though I don’t like the New York Jets, I was really, really pleased to see them defeat the New England Patriots in overtime. (So was Fitzpatrick.) After winning the coin toss to begin overtime, New England chose to kick off rather than receive the ball, and watched the Jets march down field for the game-winning touchdown.

  • Philadelphia Eagles left tackle Jason Peters took himself out of Saturday’s game against the Washington Redskins as soon as it was clear the Eagles were not going to win. While everyone can understand not wanting to get hurt for nothing, this is not a good look. It just seems like a guaranteed way make your teammates hate you.  

  • My sorta-kinda-maybe belief in Kirk Cousins was validated when he threw for 365 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions against the Eagles to secure a spot in the playoffs for the Redskins. My sorta-kinda-maybe faith in him was shaken, however, when, with six seconds left before halftime, up six, on the six-yard line, he knelt down and ran out the clock when Washington could have kicked a gimme field goal. He seems to have thought the clock was still running (it wasn’t) and that he needed to spike the ball (he didn’t), but instead knelt and then tried to spike it after he kneeled. Not his finest moment.
No, no, Kirk! Put your thumb down!

  • In Sunday night’s game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Giants, Minnesota had two more first downs that Giants, five more total yards than the Giants, and one yard fewer per play than the Giants, yet the won 49-17. Three Eli Manning interceptions will do that to you.

  • The Oakland Raiders pulled out an overtime win against the San Diego Chargers on Thursday night, but it was ugly -- barely competent -- all around. This quote from the recap pretty much sums it up: “The Raiders won despite 16 penalties, including five on their overtime drive, and despite getting their only first down of the second half on a 3-yard touchdown drive.” Ew.

  • I didn't watch the Detroit Lions-San Francisco game, so I have absolutely no idea what is going on here, but how did this play even happen? It hasn't even started...

  • Miko Grimes, the, uh, outspoken wife of Miami Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes was, once again, talking a lot of trash on Twitter about her husband’s teammates. Best known for her foul-mouthed Twitter rants and getting arrested before a game for headbutting a police officer, she is not one to shy away from expressing herself. Apparently, she is not a fan of quarterback Ryan Tannehill: “How many people does ryan tannehill have to get fired before you realize he’s the problem,” read one tweet. Another: “yall do realize that no legitimate coach will come here if he’s our qb, right? we’re screwed as long as he’s under center!” I’m sure her husband had a lot of fun walking into the locker room the next day. Thanks, babe!

  • The Arizona Cardinals have a little weekly competition among the quarterbacks each week, and the loser has to wear something ridiculous, and, apparently, Carson Palmer was this week’s loser.

  • The San Diego Chargers and safety Eric Weddle are going to part ways after nine years on a very sour note. Weddle and the Chargers have been unable to come to a contract agreement this season, setting up Weddle’s likely, but not guaranteed, exit. Two weeks ago, however, in San Diego’s final game in their stadium, Weddle skipped halftime (without informing his coaches) to watch his daughter dance in a special halftime performance. Weddle was fined $10,000 for this, but did not say anything because he didn’t want to air dirty laundry in public. This week, the Chargers put Weddle on the injured reserve list against Weddle’s wishes. Not only does that essentially end Weddle’s career with the Chargers, but they then told him there was no room for him on the team plane for next week’s game against the Denver Broncos -- Weddle’s last game with the team he has played with for nine years. It was after that move that Weddle’s agent tweeted about the halftime fine. It’s very sad for Weddle, and kind of ridiculous that the Chargers are ending his time with the team like this.

  • St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long was caught on camera saying what looked to be some naughty words to the Seattle Seahawks crowd.

  • But Long was able to explain what was really going on after the game.

  • Awww here’s a sweet video about James Jones’ journey back to the Packers.  He and Jordy Nelson and their families are such good friends, that Jones’ wife felt bad that Jones was benefiting from Jordy’s injury, and Jordy told her, “If there had to be someone brought in because I’m hurt, who better to bring in than James?”

And he looks very, very good.

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