Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Week 7 Pack Fan / Bears Fan

It is DONE! This was an extremely important win. Not only was it a much needed divisional win that kept the Vikings in theNFC North basement with the Lions but it also left the Packers tied for first place in the division. This was also a close one that has eluded this team the last two weeks and eluded Aaron Rodgers far too often in his short career. Hopefully it gave this team some confidence going into a big game against a tough opponent next week, the New York Jets. Remember, the Packers were coming off an embarrassing win (Lions) and two humiliating overtime losses (Redskins and Dolphins). They needed a pick-me-up badly.

Pack Fan
  1. Play-calling: It took guts to call that fake field goal. A play that featured an almost perfect throw by the back-up quarterback to a wide open tight end who got so excited, he tripped over the 10 yard line. There are two things that make that play better; Quarless catches the ball or Flynn hits Mason Crosby for a first down. After seeing the Browns Punter Reggie Hodges run 68 yards against the Saints, seeing Crosby on the receiving end of a fourth-down conversion would have been pretty fantastic and given a maligned special teams unit something to build upon.
  2. Offensive Line: Give Clifton credit, for all the injury problems fans have had to endure and the nightmares from last year's series versus the Vikings, Aaron Rodgers was clean and had that dump-off mis-hap not occured in the first quarter, Jared Allen's name wouldn't even be mentioned...other than people asking where he was. Bulaga had the lone offensive penalty but the more reps he gets, the better he looks. This is a formidable front line for the Vikings so for what it's worth, I applaud the effort.
  3. Defense: Three interceptions, a sack and a handful of quarterback hurries, that's all it took. This unit stepped-up big time considering the injuries coming into Sunday and adding the losses of Jenkins (strained calf) during pre-game warm-ups and Pickett (ankle...again) during the game. Desmond Bishop continues to impress the more he plays and other than a border-line unnecessary roughness call on Nick Collins, they played penalty-free. Clay Matthews was not the only guy pressuring Favre and that really meant a lot. If not for a couple drops and Favre's quick delivery, this team could have had five picks and a few more sacks. This was a statement win for a defense that has been decimated by injuries but should be bolstered by the return of Atari Bigby and Al Harris in the coming weeks. If Jenkin's calf isn't too serious and Pickett's ankle isn't as bad as before, this team might be able to regain some of last year's glory. Also, the image of Clay Matthews slinging Favre down by his shirt was pretty hilarious.
Bears Fan
  1. Play-calling: Does McCarthy have that little confidence in Brandon Jackson that he's not willing to try and establish the run? The way the line was playing, Jackson could have salted away some time instead of giving the Vikings so much at the end. Thirteen carries for the #1 running back? Why not just put Matt Flynn behind Rodgers so there's ALWAYS the pass option? Perhaps the addition of James Starks will help shore up the running game and get Kuhn back into his primary fullback role. Similarly, the fourth-down calls were horrendous at best. Yes, Kuhn did convert the first one (barely) but to run the same play a few plays later suggests that McCarthy's playbook is lacking. Perhaps he's only got those 2 plays; a fake field goal and the fullback dive. If so, then pray like hell the Packers don't encounter any fourth and ten situations for the rest of the season. Obviously, it wasn't all bad but when it counted, it wasn't what it needs to be.
  2. Rodgers and his receivers: The fact that Rodgers and the wide receivers have not been on the same page thus far is disconcerting and this fact was blatantly evident against the Vikings. The "back shoulder" passes and option routes are not being seen the same way by the receiving corps and the quarterback. This is one of the things that made the passing game so deadly last season; everyone thinking the same thing, recognizing the same coverages and that is not happening this year, especially not on Sunday night.
  3. Injuries: This is a reoccuring theme. Add to the list of injured reservists DE Mike Neal and Brady Poppinga. For those keeping score at home, the count is now at 7 players (all starters at one time or another) on IR, Mike Neal, Brady Poppinga, Ryan Grant, Morgan Burnett, Nick Barnett, Justin Harrell and Jermichael Finley. Add to that concerns about Cullen Jenkins (broken hand, strained calf, pissed about contract status), Clay Matthews (hamstring), Donald Driver (quad), Ryan Pickett (ankle), Brandon Chillar (shoulder), Charles Woodson (toe), Chad Clifton (knee), Nick Collins (knee) and Mark Tauscher (shoulder) and this team seems like they are more candidates for the Cowboys record than leading their division. By the way, does Brandon Chillar ever wear a fucking shirt during an interview? Come on dude, shirt it up!
Lasting impression? Favre walking off the field and being showered with boos after a Packers WIN. How many people could have foreseen that 5 years ago?


Nick said...

Good post but I have to point out that "unnecessary roughness" call wasn't borderline; it was flat out wrong.

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