A week that includes Tuesday & Wednesday night Widespread Panic shows followed by a Thursday visit from my parents makes a man feel high on life. It also sends Jason Klimek across the country for a mid-week tour stop. "Sooner or later, it all gets real. Walk On." "Aint Life Grand?"
The injury to Tony Romo makes the Packers-Titans match-up the game of the week. The undefeated Tennessee Titans hosting the NFC North leading Green Bay Packers. In the beginning of the year, I had circled this date as one of those dates in which a young QB gets exposed. I did the same with the Tampa and J'ville games. Smart defensive coordinators with aggressive defenses usually makes for a disastrous recipe for a young offensive leader.
The Titans live off of a strong, punishing running game, the use of the TE and a physical, pursuing defense. Chris Johnson and LenDale White make a great running combo. Bo Scaife & Alge Crumpler are productive, chain moving TE's. Kerry Collins is a game managing QB with zip on his fastball. And the Front 4 of the Titans is the best in the league.
My recipe for this Sunday is simple: Let Your Nuts Hang. Every year, you have one of these games. If we play them straight up, Tennessee will beat us by 2 scores. They're too good and Jeff Fisher is too smart. But, if we play with freedom...if we play for the LOVE of the GAME, we can win.
Spread them out. Make them cover us. Out of shotgun. Puma routes. Slants. Hike & throw. Essentially, we're running the ball. When, in actuality, we're throwing it.
While Finnegan and Harper are good corners, they can't run with us and I question the Titans depth at DB. I want to see Reynaldo Hill and Eric King on the field. Also, Tulloch struggles in coverage down the middle of the field.
Early in this game, we must force Bullock and Tulloch to back off the line of scrimmage. This will open up run plays as the game wears on.
On offense, let your nuts hang. 5 wide. It's true that you need to run the football in order to win late in the year, but this week, let's spread 'em out and show how pretty we are.
Kyle Vanden Bosch seems to be playing for the Titans. He presents a mismatch. We must get rid of the ball quickly. He and Kearse are terrific book-ends. Haynesworth is the best DL in the league. Tony Brown is an underappreciated DT who can both stop the run and rush the passer.
Driver, Jennings, Martin, Nelson, Jones. Line 'em up. Let's give UNO-DOS! options. Let's see if the Titans can cover us! This Sunday, I want the Packers to look fancy. Look flashy. Dust ourselves off after picking up 1st downs. I want an offensive swagger.
Defensively, we let our nuts hang as well. Al Harris & Ras-A-tari return. 8 in the box. Stop the run. Make Kerry Collins beat you. Yes, he played well vs Indy. However, I feel an emotional letdown is a possibility. Force Collins to beat us. Pressure the QB.
At some point, Chris Johnson will squirm away from a Nick Barnett tackle and he'll be in our secondary. It's going to happen. But, for the most part, we should be able to bottle him up.
We signed Chillar for games like this. He'll be able to match-up with Scaife and Crumpler. Expect Chillar to make a play this week!
Throughout the game, the Packers show a variety of BLITZ packages. In fact, at times, we will confuse Collins.
We share the wealth on offense. We put points on the board.
Special teams lead to more points.
We hold the Titans to FG's until White pounds one in from the 2. But, the Packers have the lead late & it's Nintendo Nick stepping in front of a crossing route intended for Justin Gage.
Somewhere, the '72 Dolphins pop the champagne as the last of the unbeatens goes down.
Congrats to UNO-DOS! for his contract extension. Look for Driver over the middle. Learn the checkdowns. Get rid of the ball quickly. Stay healthy. Coach him up, Mike McCarthy!
Let your nuts hang,