Monday, September 19, 2016

Packers Score First in New Vikings Stadium

  • Whatever, Minnesota can have silly opener win in their stupid, ugly new stadium. Don’t even care. At least Jordy had the first ever touchdown in the stadium. He’ll always have that.

  • Minnesota pulled out the win 17-14, managing to keep the ball out of Aaron Rodgers’ hands at the end, so there was no chance for a Hail Mary. I’m not sure how likely it would have been; Green Bay struggled mightily in the passing game, averaging just 4.4 yards per pass (yuck) to Minnesota’s 7.3.

  • Okay, so it turns out I was pretty much wrong about everything. I was most concerned about Green Bay’s run defense and felt fairly confident in their secondary and their offense. As it turns out, the run defense was pretty good, holding Minnesota to 30 yards on 22 carries! Meanwhile, the Packers offense, even with Nelson back on the field, looks worryingly similar to last year. They really need a third receiver and/or tight end to step up.
Someone please help them!

  • That receiver will not be Davante Adams, apparently. I’m so done with him (still). Is he really the best third option? Really? Adams fumbled his first reception of the night, and I knew he was going to fumble that as soon as he tried to make a move. Thank God for Randall Cobb, coming up big with the forced fumble. Way to fight for that, Green Eyes.

  • Minnesota’s secondary was struggling quite a bit, which should have meant a big night for the Green Bay passing game. Should have. Two weeks in, the Packers’ offense seems to be heavily reliant on penalties. It seems to be the only way they can move the ball.

  • With five minutes left in the fourth quarter, down 10-7, Green Bay elected to go for it on 4th & 2 on the Minnesota 14. I absolutely love the call! Especially from Mike McCarthy, who has never met a fourth down he didn’t want to punt away. I was so glad -- until I saw James Starks in the backfield. Honestly, can someone tell me why you even bother having Eddie Lacy on your roster if you’re not using him on fourth-and-short? That’s everything he’s designed for!

You don't earn the nickname "The Hulk" to ride the bench in short yardage situations.

  • While we’re on the question, why have James Starks on your roster at all?

  • It can be difficult to determine if the quarterback or receiver’s at fault on an incompletion, but Rodgers sure looked off. A lot of overthrows, it seemed. Fans are just not used to seeing him miss throws that frequently. Plus, his Spidey-sense didn’t seem to be going off against the pressure -- he fumbled three times on Sunday night! I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO IF MY QUARTERBACK ISN’T PERFECT.
Neither does Mike McCarthy, apparently.

  • Speaking of fumbles, how bad are the Vikings at recovering fumbles? In their defense, a lot of luck is involved in recovering fumbles, but of the six fumbles, Minnesota only recovered two, one of which they immediately fumbled back to Green Bay. 

  • The Packers defense really missed Sam Shields, who was out with a concussion. Maybe he could have done something -- anything -- to stop Stefon Diggs, who had nine receptions for 182 yards and a touchdown. That’s two more yards than the Packers’ passing offense.

  • The only thing Diggs wasn’t ready for was his moment in the spotlight after the game.

  • Diggs helped the newly-minted Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford have one of the best games of his career: 71% completion rate, 286 yards, two touchdowns, and a 121.2 passer rating. I still don’t know what to think about Bradford, though. I never know what to think of him. I almost never have to think him because he’s been injured, like, 50% of his career.

  • Already down Shields, the Green Bay defense had a string of injuries: they lost Letroy Guion to a sprained MCL, Morgan Burnett to a hamstring injury (whaaa?!?), and Clay Matthews to an unspecified injury. Ruh roh. 

  • The biggest injury news of the game was Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who was unable to leave the field under his own power after tearing his meniscus. (Get better soon, AD!) Grossest-looking injury goes to Sam Bradford, who banged his non-throwing hand on a defender’s helmet. It looks like a watermark!

  • Our new punter has not been exactly knocking it out of the park. It felt like the Packers were getting absolutely killed on field position. Minnesota downed five of seven punts inside the 20. The Packers did the same on just one of five. Tim Masthay’s still available, right?

"Just waiting, guys. Kept my uniform and everything."

  • The Vikings acquired offensive guard Alex Boone in the offseason, and, boy, he sure knows how to sweet talk his new team’s fans. Regarding the crowd noise in the new stadium, Boone remarked, “We could barely hear the snap count today a couple times -- a couple false starts, because guys wouldn't know when the snap was going. I'm not saying it's the fans' fault, but I'm just saying it would be nice if they would shut the f--- up a little bit."  So glad you’re here, Alex!

  • At least the Chicago Bears are in the basement of the NFC North, so not everything's backward. I am truly sorry that Jay Cutler got hurt, though. I hope he recovers fast.

  • The Cleveland Browns’ luck is just … so … Cleveland Browns-y. After losing Robert Griffin III in his first game as a Brown last week, backup-then-starter-then-backup-now-starter Josh McCown suffered a shoulder injury. When Cleveland starts rookie Cody Kessler next week, they will be starting their fifth quarterback in their last five games.

  • I promised you updates on Calvin Johnson performing on Dancing with the Stars. I love him! And he’s so sweet!

  • No one needed another reason to dislike Tom Brady, but then it comes out that the man has never eaten a strawberry in his life. That means he’s never had a chocolate-covered strawberry. Or strawberry shortcake. Or strawberry jam. What kind of barbarian hasn’t had a strawberry? But then, THEN, Brady doubles-down and gets all defiant, saying he has “no desire” to try a strawberry.

Oh shut up, Tom. Just stop cheating and eat a strawberry.

  • Speaking of the New England Patriots, things went from thin to thinner at quarterback. Handsome Jim suffered a shoulder injury in the first half after leading the Pats to a 24-0 lead over the pitiful Miami Dolphins. In stepped rookie third-stringer Jacoby Brissett. The Pats held off a Miami comeback behind Brissett, but now they’re facing a Thursday night game against the Houston Texans (eek) with one available quarterback.

  • I want to write a weekly NFL Winners & Losers column that's literally just a list of which teams won and which teams lost.

  • This has got to be a terrible feeling for a quarterback: the snap goes over your head, it’s bouncing around and you’re trying to chase it down, and the whole time,  you know that JJ Watt is probably about .002 seconds from destroying you.

  • Brock Osweiler looks like the bland boyfriend/fiance of the heroine at the start of a movie whom we all know she’s not going to end up with.

Spoiler alert: she's going to end up with her best
friend, whom she never noticed before now.

  • The Detroit Lions lost to the Tennessee Titans, 16-15, and they don’t have to look far for the reasons. The Lions racked up 17 penalties, 138 yards’ worth, including THREE touchdowns that were called back. Man, it must be tough to be a Lions fan. After years of embarrassing seasons, they finally get a super talented team that always looks to be on the cusp, but is always characterized by sloppiness, recklessness, and a lack of discipline that keeps them from ever getting to the top.

Oh and their best player in decades decided to retire early,
just like their last franchise player.

  • The good news for the New York Giants is that the got the win over the New Orleans Saints, 16-13. The really distasteful part is that their kicker/wife-beater Josh Brown was the one to score the winning field goal.

"Why, yes, of course I remember the Ray Rice disaster. Why do you ask?"

  • Greg Olsen is such a great weapon for Cam Newton. It always amazes me how the Chicago Bears traded him away. 

  • Phil Simms was in midseason form on Sunday, and I highly recommend you read the Phil Simms Quote newsfeed from this weekend.

  • If you wear this hat and neither tap dance nor sing a few barbershop standards with three other guys, you’re letting everyone down, Cam.

  • The Los Angeles Rams got their first win, which I don’t care about, but it was over the Seattle Seahawks, which I definitely care about. =)

  • Poor, cheating Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had a meltdown.

  • Guess which quarterback has the longest active streak of games with a touchdown? No, no, just guess. C’mon. Fine -- Blaine Gabbert! I would have guessed at least 22 quarterbacks before I guessed Blaine.

  • Ugh I hate the Oakland Raiders’ field! It always looks like they’re playing at the nearest local park they could find that was available.

"Okay guys, we have to be off the field by 5; there's a Little
League tournament tonight."

  • A reporter asked Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams a question that began with how Williams is more than just an insurance policy for the Steelers while starter Le'Veon Bell is out. Williams objected: “No! I am an insurance policy. I'm driving the car till L-Bell gets back. I'm trying to keep us in good position till he gets back. That's good with me. When I came here, I came here to win a Super Bowl. That's the only thing I care about.” Gotta love a teammate with that sort of humility.

  • Jordy Nelson now has his own cereal, Jordy’s Farm Fresh Flakes. All my Wisconsin peeps, go out and buy ALL of these for me! Do I like cereal? No. Do I eat breakfast? No. Does it sound like a box of hay? Yes. Does any of that matter? No.

  •  Next week, the Packers finally get to play at Lambeau. Bring on the Lions!

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