Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Are you ready for some football? My good mate, Stack, is definitely awaiting Sunday with high anticipation. He'll be heading to KC this weekend. Therefore, the G-Force will be alive and well represented at Arrowhead. Quite frankly, we are going to need his passionate Packer energy this weekend.
While I think the Packers are the better team, we do not match up well. The Chiefs greatest strength is one of our biggest weaknesses. Tony Gonzalez vs. Brady Poppinga. Arguably the greatest TE in the history of the NFL against Brady Poppinga. Yikes. Arguably, the Packers greatest struggle is our inability to cover the TE. Yes, I believe that this is as much of a problem as our unstable running game.
The Chiefs have had 2 weeks to prepare. The Packers are working on a short week. The Packers are also coming off of an emotional high from last week's great road win. (Thanks, Brennan, for BRINGING IT against the Donkeys!) A fan never likes the 2nd game of back-to-back road games - especially when they are both against AFC teams. Also, Arrowhead is known to be a difficult place to play regardless of the team that the Chiefs are putting out on the field.
Our D-Line likes to wear down the oppositions O-Line. The Chiefs O-Line and Larry Johnson believe that they can do the same to the oppositions D-Lines. Bowe is a big, aggressive WR who makes plays down the field and he is also a load to bring down. The Chiefs defense, though vulnerable, has big play potential and a knack for making big plays down the stretch, especially Jarrad Page, a safety that most fans do not even know. Additionally, Favre has never beaten the Chiefs. Needless to say, there are a lot of things pointing in favor of the KC Chiefs.
'07 is a new year for the Packers. Not only are we wearing Green, but we seem to be surrounded by Shamrock Green. Belief can create luck. The G-Force has led a belief this year. Thus far, bounces have gone our way. They will continue to do so this weekend. Thanks, Stack. BRING IT, this weekend.
It was exciting to see the Packers get some traction in the running game last week. Potentially, it was a momentum gaining, confidence building running game. Grant ran hard. Grant ran with purpose. Grant ran with his NFL career on the line. Since he played at Notre Dame, he's accustomed to running hard as the weather turns frigid. Last week, he displayed the ability to find the first cut. This brought about 3-5 yards most carries. Hopefully, while watching film this week, he will see the 2nd cut where runs can turn into 10, 15, 20 yards...Defensively, the Chiefs weakness is their DT position. Alfonso Boone and Ron Edwards can be pushed around. The Packers must try to attack the center of the Cheifs defense early in the 1st Quarter. Grant will get his chance to perform once again this Sunday. I expect more success.
Tamba Hali and Jared Allen are more than adequate at rushing the passer. They give 100% each play. Truly dedicated and ambitious football players. However, I believe that Tauscher and Clifton will be able to limit their pressure and provide Favre with ample time to find the open receiver. Speaking of open receivers - Ty Law and Patrick Surtain have had great NFL careers. Both are seasoned. Both are aged. Unlike a fine wine or a sharp cheddar cheese, they are not improving with age. In fact, both can be beaten. I expect Driver, Jones and Jennings to each have solid games. We need to get Driver more involved in the game plan. Early. And often.
I imagine that Donnie Edwards, Derrick Johnson and Napoleon Harris will do a decent job of slowing down our TE's and the screen play/passes in the flat to our RB's. Therefore, the WR's will play an even more important role. Advantage: Green Bay.
Koren Robinson makes his impression felt in the return game. The Packers keep Eddie Drummond in check.
Much like against Denver, the Chiefs jump out to an early lead. But then, it's Favre moving the chains. Nickel and dime. Short change routes to the WR's. Grant pounds away at the center of the Chiefs defense. The Packers are playing ball control. Dominating the line of scrimmage. The Packers hold a 3 point lead at the half.
In the 2nd half, Damon Huard makes the crucial mistake. KGB comes from one side..."A-to-the-K," Aaron Kampman comes from the other side...gets the pressure and the strip. Packers ball. Packers victory. I also expect the Packers secondary to pick off a pass this weekend. Defensively, the big plays are coming. We quiet down Gonzalez in the second half. We limit LJ's carries in the 2nd half.
Green Bay 23. KC 16.
Stack, bring the G-Force. Stack, pump up the volume. This year - we are road warriors. And the crystal ball says that we are soon to be 7-1.
In other news, it feels good that Denver has a MUST win game at Detroit and Philly has the same as they host Dallas.
I'm ready for lift off. I'm ready for takeoff. I'm no longer grounded.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
The man has lost a brother due to a car accident, overcame an alcohol/drug addiction, dealt with the loss of his Father at a young age, watched his wife defeat breast cancer, watched his Mother's house get destroyed by a Hurricane and then tragically loses his brother-in-law.
Meanwhile, Favre became the only player in the history of the NFL to become a 3-time MVP. He's been to two Super Bowls - won one of them. He's thrown more TD's than any other player. He's won more games than any other player. He's the NFL's Iron Man.
Disagree with the comparisons to MJ and Tiger if you wish...I'm not going to take part in that debate. All that I'm going to say is that MJ did things that no man in basketball ever did. Tiger is on his way towards doing the same in golf. Likewise, Favre has statistically accomplished numbers that no player in NFL history has done.
Favre has proven to be a survivor in life - both personally and professionally. He's overcome obstacles via internal strength, emotional belief and a family support system.
This is a story that is too cheesy? This story gets old? This story is over hyped?
On MNF, 331 yards later...I was still craving more...
You can hate. I will relate.
In Brett I Trust,
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
During football season, as a fan, a weekend without the Packers leads to a genuine internal emptiness. For the Packers as an organization, the bye could not have come at a better time. For the last 5.5 quarters, the Packers showed weaknesses. Kinks in the armor. We became an offense that showed an inability to move the football coupled with a propensity to turn the football over. I imagine that Mike McCarthy and Winston Moss were hypothesizing on how to get our team chemistry train back on the tracks.
The solution is simple. Get back to what works. Run the West Coast offense. Short passes to our wide receivers which puts them in position to perform in situations where they will win more than they lose. Typically, Driver, Jennings, and Jones will make the first guy miss or at least fall forward for an extra yard. Favre needs to be put in position to succeed. Or else the devilish gunslinger speaks in his mind.
MNF. ESPN. At Mile High. The young Packers squad could not ask for a bigger stage to show that needed rest and additional preparation will bring back the Green & Gold's momentum.
The Donkeys from Denver are in a must win situation. The AFC West is tight. Denver sits at 3-3. All three wins have come on last second FG's. The once formidable Donkeys are suddenly beatable.
Plus, I will be blessing the West Coast this weekend for my good buddy, Bootsie's wedding. No, I will not be in CO, but I will be in Tucson and in this case, the same time zone will do just fine. I will bring my G-Force to the Mountain Time Zone. Not to brag, but I firmly believe that at times, my will can overpower Travis Henry as he tries to run through a hole. Additionally, my good mate, Brennan, will be bringing his elite G-Force prowess to Mile High.
In '07, the Donkeys have struggled to stop the run. They have good youth on the D-Line, but they have showed their inexperience at times. However, Jarvis Moss has great potential. Elvis Dumervil has 6 sacks in 6 games and has had a knack for the big play. Marcus Thomas had a strong college career at the U of Florida. He dropped to the 4th round only because of personal troubles. These kids have big time potential, but thus far, their performance has not matched their performance. In fact, many times, they have been run over. Literally.
The Donkeys also have a lot of potential on the offensive side of the ball. Jay Cutler is one of the brightest shining young QB's in the league. Travis Henry is a fierce runner. Brandon Marshall is an up and comer. Brandon Stokely is exceptionally reliable. Daniel Graham is a performing TE. Tony Scheffler presents match up problems. Glenn Martinez appears to be able to do just enough.
On Special Teams, Elam and Sauerbrun are among the best in the business. They can swing field position with one swing of the leg.
The Packers must win the battle along the line of scrimmage. We can beat up the Denver defensive line and if we can get to their LB's, we will win that match-up. Ian Gold can play, but he is undersized and can be run over or stiff armed to the floor. D.J. Williams is loaded with potential, but he's still learning to play the MLB position. And he's often times out of position. Moreover, the Packers can take advantage of Nate Webster. Get him in space and plays will be made.
Early in the game, the Packers attack Champ Bailey and Dre Bly with short hitters to the WR's. Jones, Driver, and Jennings all get involved. Franks and Lee expose Denver's weakness at the LB position. And then comes the true surprise. Our RB's are going to win this game for us. Favre - staying patient - holding his composure in the pocket...dumping off to Morency...to Wynn...to Jackson. Each making plays and picking up crucial first downs. Keeping the chains moving and wearing down the Donkey defense.
Lynch slides to the line of scrimmage. The 8th man comes into the box. The pump. Bly bites. Jennings streaks. 6 points for Green Bay.
Defensively, we must keep Cutler in the pocket. He's dangerous when he's on the move. In the pocket, when he's hit, he also holds the ball loosely. We can take advantage of his carelessness and force the turnover. Kampman and KGB complimenting each other on the pass rush. Jenkins, Williams applying pressure up the front. 3rd down - we are coming after you.
On the corners, I like our match-ups. Marshall will try to get deep. Safety help will benefit both Chuckie and Ras Al. Bigby and Collins will both have chances to make big plays on Monday. Stokely is a deceivingly aggressive and physical receiver. And he's great at adjusting on the fly...
Once again, look for the oppositions TE's to create mismatches with our LB's in coverage especially because Poppinga will be on the field due to his run blitzing ability. You know the chop blocks are coming, which makes the LB play even more importantly. Hawk and Barnett must perform. Jolly and Pickett must protect their knees yet win the point of attack.
This game will come down to the 4th Quarter. Shanahan is a good enough coach to keep most games close and the Donkeys are athletic enough to compete against almost everyone in the NFL. Also, the AFC is a much better conference than the NFC. Hopefully, the elevation does not play too much of a factor. Regardless, I believe that the success light will once again shine on Green Bay. I believe that the Packers will be the team that forces the big turnover. I believe that our backs will be open in the flat to convert big first downs. I believe the Packers will outlast the Donkeys. Crosby is going back home to Colorado where he played his college ball and it's Crosby, not Elam, burying the winner.
This week, we are going to watch the Packers grow. This week, we are going to watch Brett Favre shine.
Green Bay 23. Denver 20.
See you at 6-1. I'm off to the Mountain time zone...
Enjoy. Buzz On.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
So we sit. Mentally reclined in first place. First in the NFC North. Tied for first in the NFC. Resting. And the bye could not have come at a better time. For the last 5.5 Quarters of Football, we have been as putrid as any team in the NFL on the offensive side of the ball. However, we stand proud at 5-1. Yet, the possibility exists that our best football is ahead of us. Koren Robinson should be able to help both our offense and our special teams. Field position should start to tilt further in our favor. Remember - pre Devin Hester, K-Rob was the NFC Special Teams Return Representative in the Pro Bowl. K-Rob will also be our best receiver down the field. He'll battle for jump balls. He'll find cracks in the defense. He'll come back to Favre when plays are breaking down. Favre will trust Koren Robinson.
The Packers are still defining their identity. We are not the Packers of the '90's. In fact, we are far from it. We don't know what we are going to bring to the table each week. In fact, each week it has seemed as though the opposition has dictated the tempo.
In Week 1, we beat the Eagles at their game. We were more physical than the Eagles. Additionally, we were the team that was opportunistic after a turnover.
In Week 2, we beat the Giants in a game that required both a finesse and a powerful game plan. We played football the way that the Giants wanted to play. Offensively, both teams kept the field spread out. Defensively, both teams tried to attack the QB with their front 4. Favre had his way. Wynn also got loose. Meanwhile, Manning and Ward also made big plays. The Packers found the end zone. The Giants did not.
In Week 3, we beat the Chargers style of football. We played a fast paced, high scoring game. Favre out-fought LT and Rivers. The Packers were victorious.
In Week 4, the Packers beat the Vikings in a game that was played at Minnesota's tempo. The Vikings make you look out of sync. They force turnovers. A-Peterson hits you with a big play. They bend on defense, but don't break. However, the Packers scored off their turnover. Bigby made the last big play of the game. The Packers left winners.
In Week 5, the Bears slowed the pace down to a Chicago speed. Clock grinding. Wear you out. The Packers beat themselves late.
In Week 6, against the Redskins, we played Washington style of football. An ugly game. They all count the same. And sometimes the ugliest wins are the best ones as they provide the confidence that you can win in the closing moments. Last week - each yard was precious. Each team forced turnovers. However, Chuckie makes the play that is the difference maker.
During the bye week, it's time to see what we can do to develop a running game. And if there is not going to be a running attack in '07, we have to get back to the quick hitters. The WR screen. James Jones over the middle - not on the slant - rather over the middle...you know...three wide...Driver in the slot...Jones to the left of Driver...Driver runs the go...Jones comes underneath him. We have to once again develop passing plays that equal a run. Our running game does not have to become an elite attack. Instead, all we have to do is become respectable. Especially as the weather continues to turn.
The Offensive Report Card at the bye:
QB: Favre: A-. In my mind, until the pick against the Bears, he was the NFL's MVP. 5 poor quarters later and he drops from an A+ to an A-.
RB: Jackson: D. The only thing preventing him from getting an F is that he has not turned the ball over. He was also able to get into the end zone to seal the Chargers game. Other than that, he's been an absolute disappointment.
Morency: D. What a shame. We waited for 8 weeks to see the guy in action. He looks good catching the screen. Provides excitement. The next time he touches the ball, he puts it on the ground. Ever since, he's been a total disappointment. He has not provided the cut back spark that I expected.
Wynn: C+. At times, he's been a pleasant surprise. He made two big plays against the Eagles. He was huge against the Giants. He had a tremendous start to the Bears game. He's been the closest thing to resembling a running game. But, he's been unable to stay healthy. And the dehydration act was beyond frustrating.
Grant: D. He made one great play against the Giants in Week 2 on the screen pass. The fumble against Minnesota was disastrous.
Hall: C-. He's done a decent job of catching screens. He has not done a tremendous job after the catch, but really, what can be expected of him? It's his first year as an offensive player and he's done an admirable job of catching on. I still think that in order for us to develop a running attack, he's going to have to do a better job of leading the way.
WR: Driver: B+. Opportunities limit him from receiving a better grade. He was terrific against the Giants and Chargers. But, where has he gone? Where was he to bail us out against Chicago and Washington while our offense was inept.
Jennings: B-. He was unable to stay healthy at the beginning of the year. His touchdown against the Chargers was the game winner. He got us off on the right foot against the Vikings. 420 & 421 will forever be attached to his name. But, his inability to stay on the field against the Bears was a killer. Moreover, he was unable to keep with Sean Taylor on the jump ball down the field late in the Redskins game. He's appearing to have two routes in his arsenal: The slant and the fly pattern.
Jones: B-. He was off to such a terrific start. And then Charles Tillman showed his youth. And then Sean Taylor made him look amateur twice down the field. Nonetheless, Jones was enormous against the Giants and his TD against the Vikings was the difference.
Martin: C. Ruvell has done everything that he has been asked to do thus far. He got down the field against the Giants and Vikings. Both games he made plays to dig the Packers out of a field position hole.
TE: Lee: B. He has been more than what anyone could have expected. He has caught nearly everything thrown his way. His fumble against the Vikings and his less than adequate blocking prevent him from rising on the report card.
Bubba: C. He is what he is. He's found the end zone a couple of times. He's moved the chains on occasion. But, he'll only be so good.
OL: Tauscher: C. He seems to have aged this year. Though he was remarkable against the Giants and Chargers, we can no longer run right. He's not getting his normal push. He had a big holding penalty against Washington. And he got destroyed in the 2nd half against Chicago.
Clifton: C. He, too, seems to have aged minutely. He, too, had a big penalty against Washington. He got beat badly against Philly late in the game. We've unsuccessfully tried to run behind him. He, too, got beat in the 2nd half against Chicago. However, he was great against the Giants, San Diego and Minnesota.
Wells: C. No glaring weaknesses nor strengths from Wells this year. But, the Packers O-Line took a turn for the worse when he went down against the Bears. We could no longer run the ball up the middle and I would not discount his injury.
Coston/Spitz: Incomplete. Due to rotation, at this stage, I will give them both an incomplete.
Monday, October 15, 2007
The second portion of the Talkin' S-Mac blog debuts today. Sitting pretty at 5-1. Smiling as we head into the bye. I figure that now is an ideal time to launch the portion of the blog that will carry us into the NFL Draft.
What you will find below is not something that I have pulled from a Mel Kiper draft site nor is it something that is snipered from another web site. While in season, I will not comment on a college players draft stock unless I've seen him play. My good buddy, Stack, assists me in my scouring of top collegiate talent.
Below, you will find how I would rank the collegiate players at the respective position. Only Juniors and Seniors will be posted the "Who Are You Watching Now?" portion...after all, this section is designed to assist in the determination of who we want the Packers to select come draft time. These rankings will most likely change as the Draft approaches.
1.) a. ) Brian Brohm, Sr, Louisville
b.) Andre' Woodson, Sr, Kentucky
c.) Matt Ryan, Jr, Boston College
4.) John Booty, Sr, USC
5.) Dennis Dixson, Sr, Oregon
6.) Colt Brennan, Sr, Hawaii
Others: Chad Henne, Sr, Michigan, Erik Ainge, Sr, Tennessee, Patrick White, Jr, WVU, Brandon Cox, Sr, Auburn, Brian Hoyer, Jr, Michigan St., Matt Flynn, Sr, LSU
1.) Darren McFadden, Jr, Arkansas
2.) Steve Slaton, Jr, WVU
3.) Mike Hart, Sr, Michigan
4.) Jonathan Stewart, Jr, Oregon
5.) Tashard Choice, Sr, Georgia Tech
6.) Rashard Mendenhall, Jr, Illinois
7.) Ray Rice, Jr, Rutgers
8.) Felix Jones, Jr, Arkansas
9.) Justin Forsett, Sr, Cal
10.) James Davis, Jr, Clemson
Others: Javon Ringer, Jr, Michigan State, Cory Boyd, Sr, South Carolina, Jacob Hester, Sr, LSU, Kevin Smith, Jr, Central Florida, Chris Johnson, Sr, East Carolina, Thomas Brown, Sr, Georgia
1.) DeSean Jackson, Jr, Cal
2.) Early Doucet, Sr, LSU
3.) Adarius Bowman, Sr, Oklahoma State
4.) Mario Urrutia, Jr, Louisville
5.) Keenan Burton, Jr, Kentucky
6.) Malcolm Kelly, Jr, Oklahoma
7.) Harry Douglass, Sr, Louisville
8.) Mario Manningham, Jr, Michigan
9.) Jordy Nelson, Sr, Kansas State
10.) Devin Thomas, Jr, Michigan State
11.) Aaron Kelly, Jr, Clemson
12.) Jaison Williams, Jr, Oregon
13.) Darius Reynaud, Jr, WVU
14.) Kenneth Moore, Sr, Wake Forest
15.) DJ Hall, Sr, Alabama
Others: Kenny McKinley, Sr, South Carolina, Marcus Monk, Sr, Arkansas, Maurice Purify, Sr, Nebraska, De'Cody Fagg, Sr, FSU, Lavelle Hawkins, Sr, Cal, Robert Jordan, Sr, Cal, Andre Caldwell, Sr, FL, Lance Leggett, Sr, Miami, Eddie Royal, Sr, Virginia Tech, Brandon Tate, Jr, North Carolina.
1.) Fred Davis, Sr, USC
2.) Martin Rucker, Sr, Missouri
3.) Travis Beckum, Jr, Wisconsin
4.) Martellus Bennett, Jr, Texas A&M
5.) Chase Coffman, Jr, Missouri
Others: Jacob Tamme, Sr, Kentucky, Chris Brown, Sr, Tennessee
1.) Owen Schmitt, Sr, WVU
1.) Calais Campbell, Jr, Miami
2.) Derrick Harvey, Jr, Florida
3.) Quentin Groves, Sr, Auburn
4.) Tyson Jackson, Jr, LSU
Others: Wallace Gilberry, DE, Alabama, Johnny Dingle, Sr, WVU, Darrell Robertson, Sr, Georgia Tech
1.) Glenn Dorsey, Sr, LSU
2.) Sedrick Ellis, Sr, USC
3.) Terrence Taylor, Jr, Michigan
4.) Fili Moala, Jr, USC
5.) Marlon Favorite, Jr, LSU
6.) Andre Fluellen, Sr, FSU
Others: Keilen Dykes, Sr, WVU
1.) Geno Hayes, Jr, FSU
2.) Keith Rivers, Sr, USC
3.) Dan Connor, Sr, Penn State
4.) Xavier Adibi, Sr, Virginia Tech
5.) Vince Hall, Sr, Virginia Tech
6.) Rey Maualuga, Jr, USC
7.) Ali Highsmith, Sr, LSU
8.) James Laurinaitis, Jr, Ohio State
9.) Jasper Brinkley, Sr, South Carolina
10.) Darry Beckwith, Jr, LSU
11.) Ben Moffitt, Sr, South Florida
12.) Philip Wheeler, Sr, Georgia Tech
13.) J Leman, Sr, Illinois
14.) Tavares Gooden, Sr, Miami
15.) Darnell Ellerbe, Jr, Georgia
Others: Shawn Crable, Sr, Michigan, Wesley Woodyard, Sr, Kentucky, Jonathan Casillas, Jr, Wisconsin, Deandre Levy, Jr, Wisconsin, Aaron Curry, Sr, Wake Forest, Larry Grant, Sr, Ohio State
1.) Antoine Cason, Sr, Arizona
2.) Aqib Talib, Jr, Kansas
3.) Terrell Thomas, Sr, USC
4.) Malcolm Jenkins, Jr, Ohio State
5.) Chevis Jackson, Sr, LSU
6.) Brandon Flowers, Jr, Virginia Tech
7.) Mike Jenkins, Sr, South Florida
8.) Mike Mickens, Sr, Cincy
Others: Trae Williams, Sr, South Florida, Glenn Sharpe, Sr, Miami, Jonathan Zenon, Sr, LSU
1.) Kenny Phillips, Jr, Miami
2.) Craig Steltz, Sr, LSU
3.) Marcus Griffin, Sr, Texas
4.) Thomas Decoud, Sr, Cal
5.) Tom Zbikowski, Sr, Notre Dame
6.) Michael Hamlin, Jr, Clemson
7.) Bobbie Williams, Sr, Bethune Cookman (OK, I have yet to see him in game film. I've seen his highlights on the news down here. He's been in the paper as well. They say he is much like Nick Collins except he plays the ball better in the air.)
Others: Tony Joiner, Sr, Florida, Roger Williams, Sr, Florida State, Eric Wicks, Sr, WVU
That's all for now. Let me know who I missed. I've yet to see a lot of Ohio State on the offensive side of the ball. They seem to be in run mode when I turn them on. I've yet to see a bunch of Texas and Oklahoma as well. Missouri has also escaped me. OK, I'm light on Big 12, but that is why I've got Stack. I have not seen as much Big 10 as years past either. Michigan has passed by me for the most part as well. I don't know there defense as well as years past. I've only seen portions of the Michigan-Penn State game. I don't know Notre Dame very well. I'm short on UCLA. I don't know Casper Brinkley very well either. Please help with anything else I need to get my hands/eyes around.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
I am not going to lie, the Bear game hurt. In fact, it took me - as a fan - 32 hours to recover from the devastation. Sunday was the most frustrating Packers game since the '04 playoffs when Randy Moss fake mooned the crowd.
The Packers dominated the first half. They were in control. James Jones learned a lifelong lesson. Welcome to the NFL, kid. DeShawn Wynn, drink more fluids during the week. Before the game, DeShawn, rub ice on your wrists, on the back of your neck and behind your knees. We are the youngest team in the league and our youth showed. Furthermore, our youth was exposed from a Coaching Standpoint.
In 1996, I quit my job. I went to watch the Packers practice every morning. Every afternoon. I was convinced that the Packers were going to win the Super Bowl. That year - I went to 16 games (if you include preseason, regular season, playoffs and the Super Bowl). I also wrote my first "My Take" in 1996. In that Take, I nicknamed Favre the "Spirit Sniper." My reasoning was that Favre creates the ultimate Football buzz. Every game he plays in - he will Sniper someone's Spirits. Thankfully, the large majority of the time, Favre has been the Sniper of the oppositions Spirits rather than the Sniper of the Packers Spirits.
Against the Bears, Mike McCarthy was the Packers "Spirit Sniper." In the first half, Favre was impeccable. Unstoppable. If not for two terrific plays by Tillman, the Packers would have led by 20 points. Instead, they led by 10. The game was still in control. On the first Packers possession of the second half, the Packers passed for 13 yards on a screen to Wynn. They followed suit with three run plays for 6 yards and a 37 yard FG.
The defense gets a stop.
First down. The Packers run.
Second down. The Packers run.
Third down. For the first time since the final possession of the first half of Week 2, the Packers run a roll out pass. The last time we ran the roll out was against the Giants. Favre was sacked. This time - against one of the fastest defenses in the NFL - we roll Favre out. We know what happened.
The Bears score.
On the ensuing possession. Three carries. Eight yards. And the Packers are punting.
Mike McCarthy took the air out of the Packers sails. With 6 minutes left in the third quarter, the Packers held a 4 game lead over the Bears through aggressive football. We were attacking McGowan. He did not stand a chance. McGowan was not involved again until the Hail Mary on the last play of the game.
We can make excuses that Jennings was hurt and Jones was benched. Regardless, against the Vikings the week before, Ruvell Martin was running by defenders. Against the Giants, he did the same. Mike McCarthy was the "Spirit Sniper."
Nonetheless, the Packers should stand tall after 5 weeks. We are 4-1. We hold a one game lead in the NFC North. And the Redskins are coming to town in a must win game. Yes, this game is a MUST win. Right now, the vision is winning the Division.
The Redskins will be the best team that the Packers have faced all year. They will also be the most physical team that we faced thus far. We must rebound immediately. We have to bounce back with a vengeance. Energy abound.
The Redskins will bring more pressure than we've seen this year. Andre Carter is a speed rusher. Cornelius Griffin, if healthy, mans the inside of the defensive line. Philip Daniels is playing the best ball of his career at DE. Marcus Washington is one of the most underrated LB in the NFL. London Fletcher and Rocky McIntosh are true professionals, assignment ready and ready to force a mistake. Shawn Springs, Carlos Rogers, and Fred Smoot provide the 'Skins with 3 strong CB's. And LaRon Landry and Sean Taylor makes the best young S core in the NFL. Points will be a premium.
On the other hand, the 'Skins offense is suspect. Yes, they are getting Santana Moss back. Randle El and Portis are always fast and dangerous. Betts is coming off his best year. Cooley is an emerging TE. Sellers is a powerful FB. But, I do not believe in Jason Campbell. I know that he's coming off a big game. But, he's in for a rude awakening this weekend.
This game will be similar to the Eagles game in Week 1. A pound it out game. Each yard will be a struggle. Field position will be crucial.
I fully expect our Defense to play their best game. Soon, we will put 60 minutes together on the defensive side of the ball. Soon, one of our CB's will have their 1st interception of the year. Soon, AJ Hawk will decide to join the '07 Season. Soon, Nick Collins will make a game changing play. Yes, all of these will happen this year. Why wait?
The Redskins will attack Favre with all that they can throw. Gregg Williams, the Defensive Coordinator for the Redskins, does a good job of disguising blitzes. They will get pressure. But, this week, the Packers will protect the football. This week, we win the turnover battle.
Favre snipers the spirits of the Redskins. He relies on Driver. Donald flashes his grin. Beaming with excitement. It's Driver going over 100 yards. It's Donald Driver signaling first down. It's Donald Driver lifting the vibe of Lambeau to monumental heights. It's Donald Driver, the veteran, bringing Momentum back to Green Bay.
Special Teams performs. J-Bush limits Randall El on punt returns. Mason Crosby adds two FG's.
Green Bay 20. Washington 16.
Let's enjoy a bye week and 5-1.
Look good. Feel good. Play good.
P.S. I encourage anyone who believes in the G-Force...anyone who feels that they are a part of Packer Nation....this week, I encourage you to pour yourself a drink before this game...make it Vodka...make it strong...take those happy vibes up a bit...get yourself removed of any remaining negativity. Positive vibrations will lead to positive results.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Green Bay's Robinson could be reinstated next week
Friday, Oct 5, 2007 10:56 am EDT
Citing a league source, Profootballtalk.com reported Green Bay Packers receiver Koren Robinson expects to hear within the week whether he'll be reinstated after a one-year suspension for multiple violations of the league's substance-abuse policy.
Robinson's suspension arose from a DUI arrest that followed a high-speed car chase while Robinson was with the Vikings. According to the source, Robinson is eligible to return as of October 17.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
LAMBEAU FIELD G-FORCE ‘FAN FLURRY’ SET TO WELCOME BEARS SUNDAY NIGHT;
T-SHIRTS AND POMPOMS TO BE DISTRIBUTED
Lambeau Field’s G-Force will add a new element Sunday night as the division rival Bears will be welcomed to an energized crowd donning white G-Force T-shirts distributed at the gates.
G-Force is a new program that recognizes Packers fans for their longtime support and loyalty, and emphasizes the electric gameday atmosphere the fans provide for the players.
More than 72,000 shirts, each with the G-Force logo on the front and the phrase “fan flurry” on the back, will be distributed to each person coming through the gates. White pompoms will be distributed as well. The combined effect of the two items should ensure the crowd will be in a white frenzy.
Fans also are encouraged to wear their own white apparel as well to enhance the effect.
“Our fans are simply the best, so the G-Force ‘Fan Flurry’ T-shirts and pompoms should be an opportunity for everyone to have some fun with it and really energize Lambeau Field,” said Craig Benzel, Packers director of marketing. “There is no doubt the Lambeau Field crowd makes a difference during games, and you can count on them to continue that effort against the on Sunday night.”
Other in-stadium components feature the unveiling of the G-Force banner prior to the player introductions. The team also will show its appreciation for G-Force all season long with gameday giveaways.
A G-Force resource is available online at www.packers.com/fan_zone/Gforce. All aspects of the G-Force program will be posted and updated regularly.
"Word is Ricky Williams, who applied for NFL reinstatement Monday, has been living in Boston the past few months and meeting regularly with a therapist for counseling on life issues. He rejected a proposal to do a reality show but is mulling an offer to do a yoga video. He hopes to generate interest from, in particular, Tampa Bay, Green Bay, Dallas, Houston, or New England, assuming Miami dumps him."
Does anyone know when to expect a decision from Roger Goodell? I have not followed this story as closely as I could have and I'm curious as to when he would be eligible to potentially return. Please inform.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
In the South, we say, "Off yur ass! On yur feet!" This week, Lambeau will follow these sentiments.
Packers 4-0. Bears 1-3. This Sunday, throw the records in the trash. When these two teams battle, records are rubbish. The fans must make a difference. G-Force must rise to heightened levels...in unison!
I equate this weeks importance to that of the MNF thriller vs. the 49ers in '96 and the thrashing of the Cowboys in '97. Lambeau has waited a decade for this game. Sunday signals the opportunity to takeover reign. In '96, the Packers faced the 49ers in a game that pointed towards home field advantage in the '96 playoffs. In '97, the Packers squared off in a battle with the Cowboys that mentally compared to a Super Bowl. This game is more than the Chicago visiting Green Bay. This contest is going to be played under the lights of majesty. Sunday is about taking back what is rightfully ours - the NFC North Crown. If we want it back, we've got to win it back. This battle is about finalizing the Bears season as Road Kill. For two years, the Bears have planted their flag in the hearts of the NFC North. The Bears have walked into Lambeau and came away victorious three years in a row. This Sunday is about punishing revenge. On Sunday, the Packers regain command and ownership of the NFC North.
I imagine a beautiful night on Sunday. An October crispness to the air. It's Fall. It's Football Season. Al Michaels and John Madden providing analysis. It's Lambeau under the lights. The greatest rivalry in all of sports. Once again, we will witness a vintage Brett Favre performance against the Bears. After all, our strength is their weakness. The Bears secondary is beat up as Vasher, Tillman, Brown, Paine and Archuleta are all dinged up.
Not so fast...
This is the Bears at the Packers. Definitely not a smooth victory. In this rivalry, there are no surprises. We know each others strengths. We know each others weaknesses. In recent years, Bernard Berrian has been getting deep on the Packer defense. To Lovie Smith's credit, he has attacked the depth of the Packers' secondary. Smith has achieved great results. He's going to attack J-Bush this weekend. He's going to go after him deep. Frankly, it would not surprise me to see J-Bush be both goat and hero at one point. I can see him getting beat deep. I can also see him grabbing an interception.
This much is for certain - Griese will take his shots deep. The Bears believe that Berrian can create mismatches. J-Bush will be put to the task. Benson will pound away with little success which puts the ball in Griese's hands...advantage - Green Bay.
The Bears get the ball first. The Packers avoid Hester at all costs. Squib kick. Right away, the Bears attack the Packers deep. Benson's stopped at the line. G-Force rises. Bears punt.
Then, it's Favre. Surgical in his approach. Classic #4. Favre to Driver for 10. Favre to Donald Lee over the middle for 14. Favre to James Jones for 6. Favre to Franks for 5 more. Favre to Jennings for 8. The Bears try to counter with the Blitz. The Packers guess right! Over the top of the defense, Favre to Wynn on the screen into the open field...
The Packers strike first.
The Bears battle. In true Bear fashion, they short change the Packers. 4 yards here. 5 yards there. Picking up third and short. The Bears put points on the board.
Favre plays safe. 3rd and long. The Packers play the field position game. Dump the ball. Not forcing anything. Then, we punt the ball out of bounds. Hester will not beat us.
Our defensive front 4 wins the line of scrimmage. Jenkins, Jolly, Pickett, Kampman dominate run downs. Corey Williams and KGB find Griese on pass downs. Hawk, who played his best game of the year last week until the face mask penalty, makes his first play of the season. The defense is flying around the field. Nintendo Nick elevates the crowd. Chuckie has a bounce in his step. The Rastas are hair weaving, face smiling as the Bear offense is stuck in their tracks. Road Kill.
Favre goes back to work. Displaying his entire arsenal in front of the National Audience. The quick hitters to Driver. Like a kid on Christmas, enjoying his new toys he connects with Jennings and Jones multiple times. Morency on the screen. Wynn in the flat. Hall as the safety valve. Each play, it's about positive yards. The Bears bring the pressure. The Packers are in max protect. Single coverage to the outside. The slant to Jennings. 6 points for Green Bay.
In the end, the Packers are the more physical team. The Packers are forcing turnovers. The Packers win the field position battle. The Packers are the better team. Green Bay 27. Chicago 16.
G-Force, this week will take patience. It will not be easy. It'll be frustrating at times. We're anxious. We've been salivating for this one since New Year's Day. Moreover, we've waited 10 years for this one. Pump up the volume. Get "off yur ass! On yur feet!"
I look forward to your thoughts. Please share.
Go Pack Go!
In Favre We Trust,
Shout it with me: BEARS STILL SUCK! BEARS STILL SUCK! BEARS STILL SUCK!
Monday, October 1, 2007
A massive applause is due for McCarthy. The team has a winning attitude. A bounce in their step. And once again, the Packers are playing for the love of the game.
Each week, it's been someone new making the game changing play. Week 1, it's J-Bush forcing a fumble in which Tracy White wrestles the ball for 6 points. It's Barnett picking off a pass. Johnny Jolly knocking down passes. It's J-Bush fighting for the loose ball at the bottom of the pile which sets up Mason Crosby's game winning FG.
Week 2, it's Favre simply being Brett connecting with 8 different receivers. Ryan Grant set's up our first score. DeShawn Wynn finds a seam in the Giants defense. Korey Hall catches two screen passes for first downs that set up a Bubba Franks TD. Donald Lee and Donald Driver find the end zone as well. Tramon Williams shifts field position into the Packers favor. Charlie Peprah causes a fumble, which Tracy White recovers. Corey Williams picks off a pass.
Week 3, it's Favre again being Brett as he connects with 8 receivers again. Pitch and catch with Driver, Franks, and Greg Jennings catching TD passes. Driver tops 100 yards. It's KGB with 1.5 sacks and Nick Barnett sealing the game with the interception that sets up a Brandon Jackson TD.
Week 4, it's Favre, once again, being Brett! #4 finds 10 different receivers. Spreading the defense. Ruvell Martin gets down the field. Jennings finds paydirt for #421. James Jones gets the first TD of his NFL career. Crosby drills 3 FG's. Jon Ryan elusively sidesteps Viking tacklers. Ryan Pickett plays his best game with 5 tackles and his first sack of the season. KGB steps up with 2 more sacks. Kampman makes his presence felt with continuous pressure. He also recorded a sack. Cullen Jenkins knocks down two passes that get us off the field. Atari Bigby forces a fumble that Johnny Jolly picks up. Bigby also clinches the game with an interception.
Each week - it's someone new. It's a different player. It's a team game. We've operated as a team. Our leaders have led. The team has responded.
We are not without weakness. Offensively, we must learn to run the ball. As the weather turns, we'll have to be able to pick up yardage via the ground. I'm not asking for us to become a stellar running team. I'm just looking for us to become average. Why is Michael Turner dying on the SD bench right now? Shouldn't he be running for the Green & Gold right now? What does it cost? We'll give up a 4th rounder and Colin Cole - do we have a deal?
Defensively, the deep ball scares me. Teams are getting us in man-to-man coverage and the safety has been late. We've dodged bullets a couple of times this year and remain vulnerable. We must make this defensive adjustment immediately.
On Special Teams, while Chuckie has done an admirable job of catching the football and running forward without losing possession, I think that Willie B. provides an electric dynamic that we are missing on special teams. He has game breaking potential. We need to get rid of the cast and get the youngster returning punts and changing games for us.
We're 4-0 with room for improvement. My Take comes tomorrow.
Trod On, G-Force!