Monday, November 1, 2010

The Bucky Five: Did We Just Shutout the Jets?

1. I Should Have Bet on This One - I have to be honest here, and I'll be alright if you have a hard time believing me, but before the game I told a friend that I was "100% certain" that the Packers would beat the Jets this week. I know the feeling around the league was because of how depleted our defense was and how great the Jets are supposed to be, this was going to be a blowout in favor of New York. But this just struck me as one of those games that the Packers would win. I'm not sure how much of it I attribute to the momentum gained from finally beating Favre and the Vikings last week, but for some reason I was just feeling good about this one.

That shouldn't have been the case either, this game was being playing in New York and the Jets were coming off of a bye. That's two full weeks for them to prepare for the Packers. But, even though it wasn't pretty by any means, the Packers were able to come out the victor by a score of 9-0. As in, the only scoring that occurred in this game came via the foot of Mason Crosby. It's the first time the Packers have won without scoring a touchdown since December of 2006, when the Pack knocked off the Vikings 9-7. I love being right.

2. Z-E-R-O, JETS! JETS! JETS! - If you were going to predict what the first shutout of the 2010 NFL season was going to be, I'm not sure anyone would have guessed it was going to come at the hands of the New York Jets on their home turf. Remember, this Jets team is the best team that LaDainian Tomlinson has ever been on apparently, so for the Packers to shutout an offense with that many weapons is very impressive (the first part of that sentence was sarcasm, the second was not.) Especially when you take in to consideration just what kind of personnel Dom Capers was trotting out there.

Ryan Pickett was a no-go for Sunday's game but his spot was filled in quite nicely by former Jet and new Packer Howard Green. C.J. Wilson followed up last week's showing versus the Vikings with another strong performance. Guys that didn't figure to see much playing time before the start of the season such as Frank Zombo and Charlie Peprah are becoming difference makers. And hell, punter Tim Masthay was probably the MVP of this game for Green Bay.

Call it the Packers JV squad if you'd like, but everyone on that defense and the special teams deserves their share of credit for holding the darling New York Jets to not a single score. Granted, the Jets didn't really help their cause with a missed field goal, tons of dropped balls, and three turnovers. I'm sure the New York papers will say that the Jets beat themselves, but make no mistake, this win was earned by the Packers.

3. Using John Kuhn on a Toss Play Sums Up All You Need to Know About McCarthy's Playcalling - The defensive performance will mask the problems that our offense had, but one issue that is getting hard to ignore is some of the recent playcalling choices by Mike McCarthy. It's not so much the individual calls that he is making as much as it is his personality, and how that is dictating his calls. I think Alex at Packers Lounge said it best when he described McCarthy as having no killer instinct. How often have we seen that to be true?

Anytime this team has a lead McCarthy always seems to reel it in a bit and get more conservative. The close games are entertaining and everything, but we have to start putting teams away early when we win. I don't care if you're trying to protect a lead on the road, you can't be running toss plays to John Kuhn when it's still a one possession ballgame. Run up the score a little bit guys, get aggressive. If you have a lead then run the slants, make some throws, and get Wayne to scream "Dagger!" sometime in the third quarter. Again, this issue is masked because of the victory, but this type of attitude will cost us down the line if it's not changed.

4. More Rodgers Worries - Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady. When you think of elite quarterbacks in this league, those are the top names that come to mind. Aaron Rodgers was fast becoming one of those names, but there seems to be some sort of regression with him this season. I'm probably one of the biggest Rodgers homers around, but even I can see that something still isn't right with this guy and his offense. Too often now in the last few weeks it has seemed like Aaron called one play, but the other ten guys thought they'd be running a different one. There's been plenty of times too when Rodgers and his receivers were on the same page, yet he just flat out overthrew them. On this day, Rodgers only went 15 for 34 and had a passer rating of 59.7. Granted the Jets have a very good defense, but Rodgers is better than this, and he's better than he's been playing the last month or so. He still has shown moments of greatness throughout this so-called slump, but you'd like to see a more consistent, more complete game from him soon.

5. The "Hard Knocks" Honeymoon is Over - Like everyone else, I fell in love with the Jets this summer because of the "Hard Knocks" program on HBO that followed the Jets and their training camp. I used to harbor feelings of ill will towards guys like Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan, but grew to like them after watching the program. Well, that honeymoon is over. The Jets are a good team, and they know they are a good team. Similar to how the hottest chick in high school knows she's the hottest chick in high school. Sometimes, that knowledge can make the Jets a bit cocky, and sometimes that backfires for them.

Steve Weatherford faking a punt and running for the first down deep in their own territory would have been lauded as a great call by Ryan and special teams coach Mike Westhoff, but newly acquired Anthony Smith made a great play by pushing the punter out of bounds just short of a first down. That turnover on downs led to the first, and eventually game-winning field goal by Crosby. But those are the kind of plays the Jets can make because of that cocky demeanor (this is not the kind of aggression I'd like to see from McCarthy though, I'm looking for a pass play late in the game when we have a lead, not ridiculous trick plays near your own end zone).

This kind of mentality was cute during the HBO series, but now it comes off as insulting and annoying. Rex Ryan lives his life as if the cameras are on him at all times, and personally I think Mike Westhoff comes off as a dick. People call the Packers paper champions? Well, according to most analysts the Jets have already won the Superbowl, and we just beat those fuckers on their home turf. Back to the drawing board, assholes.


CC said...

I love that these young guys are stepping up to the plate. The Packers could have easily said fuck it when all these injuries came on them. Peprah had a great game the last 2 weeks. Bishop is playing very very well. Tramon is playing awesome, which is giving all Harris and the highly overrated Bigby time to get healthy. We get a win next week against the Cowgirls and have a bye to get some of these other guys healthy, we could be looking good going into a very tough stretch after are bye. This was a huge win for us, now lets keep the momentum going and get a little bit healthier!

Winks said...

Apparently Weatherford decided to run that fake punt on his own, according to PFT. Even better.

Also, I'm hearing that Randy Moss was waived by the Vikings???? Insane.

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