Yeah, this has been absent the last couple weeks but we’ve been busy celebrating around here…we know you understand. THE GREEN BAY PACKERS ARE IN THE SUPER BOWL! How awesome was it to have Willie Davis sitting on the sideline? Cold weather, crappy field, arch-rivals slugging it out...fantastic! Absolutely, it’s exciting but we feel the need to look back at the NFC Championship Game and review it for what it was. There was some good and even great that came out of it but there were also some things that weren’t so stupendous. Indulge us if you will. While we may piss all over your parade (someone has to bring you back to Earth), there will be positives. Let just start off on the good foot.
- We beat Da Bears…AGAIN: Good Lord, what was better? Earning a Super Bowl berth or beating the Bears for that opportunity? This was a close win for the Packers. It doesn’t matter that the differential was 7. This was a touchdown-only game and the Packers won by one score. It should be considered a 3-point win for the purposes of the “Can Rodgers/the Packers win close games?” argument.
- James Starks: This guy came to play. The field conditions dictated that it was going to be a grind it out, slugfest type of game and while it was heavier on the pass than many thought, Starks kept the play-action game in play. On top of that, he gashed the Bear’s Defensive Line and made Ted Thompson look like a genius.
- D-Fence: Did they look terrific or what? Pressuring the eighth dwarf, Mopey, sacking him, perhaps breaking his will and knocking him out of the game, containing Forte, a pick 6 by the NOSE TACKLE, two interceptions by an undrafted free agent… Dom Capers called a hell of a game and really threw a wrench into Mike Martz’s game plan. This was a great way for this unit to head to the Super Bowl.
- Masthay: Yep, it’s a 4-pack this week. We can’t ignore how well this Special-Teams Unit did against super-human, Devin Hester. While he was dancing to Soulja Boy, Slocum’s crew was busy concentrating on lane discipline and making sure he wasn’t a factor. More importantly, Tim Masthay’s phenomenal kicking was the biggest factor. No one was returning the bombs this guy was dropping on the Bears. He really came to play and should be commended for the way he’s played to close out the regular season and through these playoffs.
- Playing to the opponent’s level: The way the game started, it should have been a blow out. Rodgers drove this team with machine precision and determination on the first drive. The second touchdown drive was similar but once it seemed to be in the bag, they kind of stalled out. A freaky interception off Driver’s shoe and a horrible interception by Rodgers in the red zone highlight this point. This is not something the Packers can afford to do in Dallas. The game is not in hand until the clock says 0:00. This team has a habit of letting teams stick around and that is how embarrassing comebacks happen.
- Defensive adjustments: When Caleb Hanie came in for Collins, the Defense seemed a bit lost. While they did a good job and goated him into 2 interceptions, they were completely absent on the Bears touchdown drive after the Raji pick 6. The game was not over yet the players acted like it was. This team has got to do a better job of closing teams out.
After the way this team has played, as tough as they are, there’s no doubt McCarthy will have them ready.