Monday, December 20, 2010

Week 15 Pack Fan / Bears Fan (The Extra Flynn-y Edition)

So, as was expected, Aaron Rodgers did not play on Sunday night against Tom Terrific and his band of lumpy misfits. Turns out, McCarthy prepared his quarterback and Matt Flynn stepped in admirably. Yes, I hear you, the Packers did lose the game. That wasn't a nightmare...literally speaking of course. As those who watched the game can attest, the end was, figuritively speaking, a definite nightmare. The defense played well aside from a few points which will be made below. Also, we see the return of Pack Fan who abruptly abandoned us last week after that putrid mess of a game in Detroit. Let's just get to it shall we?

Pack Fan
  1. McCarthy Knows What He's Doing: Yes, I'm saying it. This guy knows quarterbacking and Matt Flynn's preparedness and the gameplan formulated by McCarthy and his staff proves it. At times he took overtook the mantle of Captain Check-down from Mark "Dirty" Sanchez and Matt "You Gotta Hit This" Leinart but he was taking what the Patriots were giving him.
  2. The Packers Have a Running Game?: Hell, I don't know. One week they do, the next it's as anemic as any other team in the league. Future Hall of Famer James Starks was inactive apparently due to excessive talent but Dimitri Nance, Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn carried the load exceptionally and exceeded everyone's, YES EVERYONE'S expectations.
  3. Playoffs? Playoffs??!?: Yep...and the Packers are actually in control of their own destiny for once. Due to the EPIC, EPIC collapse of the New York Giants on Sunday and the heroism of former-Packer, current Lion kicker Dave Rayner in nailing the game winner in overtime to beat the Buccaneers, the Packers need to win out to secure a Wild Card spot.
  4. *BONUS* BJ Raji's a BEAST: Two more sacks for this dude. Comparing him with his Patriots counter-part, the two looked similar in pressing the pocket and Raji made Brady uncomfortable a number of other times as well.
Bears Fan
  1. Youth and Inexperience: One of the reasons the game was lost. As was eluded to earlier, the final play of the game was a chaotic mess (no matter what McCarthy says). Flynn looked like he was trying to call a time out, huddle the team and call a quick play all at the same time. It was slightly embarrassing and cringe-worthy. On top of that, the play ended with a strip-sack and a heart-breaking loss. Flynn played extremely well but the inexperience showed at times. Hopefully he came away with a lot of confidence and experience to grow on. He still hasn't learned to slide however.
  2. Missed Opportunities: Here's a list of play that very well could/should have changed the final result:
    - Charles Woodson's dropped interception in the first quarter (Drive resulted in Patriots TD)
    - Sam Shields' dropped interception in the first quarter
    - Poor tackling on Offensive Lineman Dan Connolly's return at the end of the first half (Drive resulted in Patriots TD)
    - James Jones finishing route instead of breaking it off and allowing the interception return for a touchdown
    Also, in general, there was a lot of poor tackling, Flynn held the ball too long on a number of occasions (another outcome of his inexperience) and there were quite a number of dropped balls which is just a lack of focus that the Packers couldn't afford Sunday night.
  3. Mixed-bag Offensive Line Play: Obviously, they did well in the run-blocking area but the pass blocking left a lot to be desired, especially in blitz situations. When the Patriots brought extra heat, Flynn was in trouble and looked a bit lost in those situations. It was an improvement over Week 14 but both the Giants and Bears have good, proven defenses and the Packers will need balanced line play if they want to make the playoffs.
It was quite the entertaining game and proved that this Packers team is not dead. It also showed that the Patriots are not infallible. As was stated previously, the Packers control their destiny and with the New York Giants heading to Lambeau on the 26th, who knows what we'll see.


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