Amazingly, in life, there are parallels that define the sublimeness of capturing a story's definition. If you look deep enough, you uncover the ultimate reality. To me, sports & music carry a common ground. Last Wednesday, my wife & I went to see Keller Williams perform in a small venue. The room was at half capacity, which provided ample room to Jump Around. Mentally, I took note. Half way through the 2nd set, Keller gave us a classic musical moment, "Breathe->Celebrate Your Youth->Breathe." Captured in the moment, I felt free. And I was bouncing around the room.
On Saturday Night, I saw Bob Weir perform. Much like Favre, a "dinosaur" in his profession. Yet, he was a mastermind on stage as he belted out "Wake Up to Find Out that You are the Eyes of the World."
Come Sunday, 12:40 EST. My good mate, Vargas buzzes me. "McKenna, your Dad is on fire! He just played 'Jump Around' into 'Soulja Boy.' Where else will you hear that?"
During the game, it was Favre. Inspirational as ever. Portraying his youth. Breathing his will upon the youthful Packers team and proving his exuberance is greatest of all. Brett Favre is celebrating his youth. And I like the view through Brett Favre's eyes of the world.
Last Sunday was the 4th of 6 straight STATEMENT games. We came out of the bye week and beat the Broncos on MNF in Mile High. 6 days later, we went to Arrowhead and beat the Chiefs. AP, arguably the hottest name in football, came to town and was held to 45 yards. Then, in a trap game...a sandwich game...the Panthers came to town and we showed that we are bigger the national media thinks. That's OK. We are fine with that. There's a lot of work that needs to be done. But, we're positioned tremendously.
We head to Detroit. Full of hope. Full of promise. A win and the Packers hold a 4 game lead in the NFC North with 5 to go. In the Favre era, the Packers have struggled at Detroit. This year will be different.
I expect the Packers to play a lot of 5 WR. Favre will be the mechanic operating out of the shotgun. While Fernando Bryant is a solid corner, he has been nicked up over the last couple of weeks. His health has to be a concern for the Lions. Other than Bryant, the Lions have a bunch of journey men in their defensive backfield. Stanley Wilson has never picked off a pass in his NFL career. Travis Fisher is a cast off from the St. Louis Rams. Keith Smith is an undersized at corner and can be beaten. Their safeties, Kenoy Kennedy and Idrees Bashir, are journey men who have struggled in coverage.
Koren Robinson will have a big game this weekend. I foresee K-Rob continuing to progress and fit into what we are building. As the #4 WR, he will always create mismatch problems. Favre is well aware of this. It would not surprise me if K-Rob gets a big one in the next two weeks.
Favre should throw the ball another 40-45 times this week. Spread them out. 10 different receivers. The pass will set up the run. Also, at some point, once again, there will be a game in which Favre relies heavily on Driver. Where Driver is the go-to guy in the form of 7-10 catches and moving the sticks on 3rd down. It could be in the next two weeks.
From a running standpoint, I expect the Packers to try to establish the run right up the middle. I do not expect the Packers to attack the perimeter as Ernie Sims and Boss Bailey are fast and can cover an abundance of territory. While Shaun Rogers is a stout run-stopping DT, arguably as good as anyone in the game, and Langston Moore is an aggressive Nose Tackle, Cory Redding has had a down year and Shaun Cody has been a big time disappointment - thus far. Kalimba Edwards is a decent speed pass rusher who could present problems, but he can be slowed by an effective pass rush. Dewayne White is an above average pass rusher who plays with an intense motor. He has a variety of pass rushing moves and will try to beat you with both speed and power. Overall, the depth of the Lions DL is a big question mark and they can be worn down and Ryan Grant will scrap out at least 80 more yards.
At LB, Ernie Sims and Boss Bailey can flat out play. Both will attack the QB with blitzes. Both are solid in pass coverage. However, if you are physical with them, you can push them around. Paris Lenon is a journey man MLB who is better suited on the outside. He'll probably have a chip on his shoulder as the Packers did not offer him an extension. I'd run right at him and punch him in the mouth. He'll fall backwards.
The Detroit Lions should not be able to stop the Green Bay Packers.
The Lions are going to outscore the Packers. They'll attack with the deep ball. Roy Williams, Calvin Johnson, Shaun McDonald, and Mike Furrey provide a wide array of speed, size and power. In fact, the Lions WR depth provides a potential match-up problem. Really, for the first time, we will see a lot of Frank Walker and/or Tramon Williams playing DB. We will see the dime defense. When the Lions come with 4 WR, if we try to stop them with a nickel defense, we will struggle with the speed of McDonald and Furrey in the slot.
It would not surprise me to see the Packers play a 3-2-6 defense on occasion. It would not surprise me to see a mixed concoction of blitzes from the Packers. Barnett and Hawk coming by disguise. A bag of tricks.
Don't get me wrong - the base defense - will be the nickel. But a variety of looks - more than we are accustomed to - will be witnessed this Thursday. We will be creative. We will be descriptive in our desire to secure the NFC North Championship in front of a national audience.
Kevin Jones seems to always be a thorn in the Packers side. He comes on the screen. He comes on the delay. He comes on the sweep. He comes on the draw. Kevin Jones is a dangerous player. He will pick up first downs and provide Turkey Day frustrations.
But, in the end, just as Ice Cube rapped back in the day, the Packers have A to the K. A to the mother f@ck!n' K. Aaron Kampman is 3rd in the NFL with 9 sacks. KGB is 6th in the NFL with 8.5 sacks. This Thursday, they meet at the QB. Corey Williams (CAN WE PLEASE RE-SIGN THIS GUY!!!???!!!) trails them with 6 sacks. Jon Kitna has been drilled all season long. This trend will continue. One of our greatest assets is our ability to sack the QB. One of the Lions greatest weaknesses is their inability to protect the QB. Advantage - Green Bay.
The Lions will attack the Packers deep. J-Bush and "Ras-Atar-I" (thanks, Stack) will be challenged. I expect one of them to make a significant play. After all, as T-Man Williams showed last Sunday - everyone is making game changing plays this year. And each week - it is someone new. J-Bush made a game changer in Game 1. Ras-Atar-I did it in both Vikings games. This week - they will both have opportunities to do it again. So, will Rasta Al. Harris has yet to make the game changing play. He, too, will have his chances this week.
Yes, the Lions will move the ball. Yes, the Lions will score points. G-Force, do not panic. Do not get overly frustrated. Keep the faith. Keep the belief. Give thanks! We are going 10-1.
Green Bay 34. Detroit 23.
Thanks to Mike McCarthy for rejuvenating Brett. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
Enjoy your Turkey. Favre's eating Lion. The Packers are now the King of the Jungle.