Friday, October 31, 2008

My Take -> Week 9

Greetings, G-Force.

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.

Packers 23
Titans 19

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,

Talkin' S-Mac.


Stack said...

Week 9.

The Titans are 7-0. The class of the NFL. Still, everyone wonders if they are legitimate. They get little press. Sure they're mentioned, they're talked about, but not like the Giants and not like the Cowboys.

The Pack looked resurgent against the Colts. They looked like the team that went 13-3 last year. Still, we get not press. And that's fine to a degree. It burns me when I tune into NFL Primetime during the week to see Wingo and Schlareth talk about the Giants and the Cowboys for 30 minutes. As though there are no other games being played.

Nonetheless, the story of the showdown in Nashville is not being told, and the version that's been glossed over on the television is that the Packers somehow represent a trap for the Titans, a novel challenge after Tennessee's claim to their division.

I know that the Pack has been up and down. I know that the offensive line has been inconsistent. Suffice to say, I've watched the Pack play.

And I've watched the Titans play. Chris Johnson is one of my favorite young players. I thought a lot of the kid after the very first time I saw him in preseason. My fantasy draft backs this up.

While the Titans have been impressive, I do not think that this game is the gimme that it's being made out to be. Sure traveling will be tough. There's myriad factors standing behind the Titans; at home, great defense, Fisher, Packer run defense struggles.

Still, I see each of these teams as having something to prove, and having a lot in common.

Both are physical, both rely on the men at the line, both like to run the ball.

Tennessee's WR corps does not scare anyone. Our secondary has been playing well to boot. Our receiving corps is among the best in the league.

Let's help the OL out; let's run a number of 3 step drops, let's get the ball out quick and get a rhythm. Spread the ball around the field.

This game is not without substantial challenges, but I think it looks a lot better for the Pack than anyone is giving it credit for...Chuckie knows he's going to be able to peek in the backfield, Tennessee's receivers aren't the best he's had to face this year, and neither is Kerry Collins. Our secondary will be waiting to pounce while theirs will be on it's heels.

Donald Lee will have an impact.

Defense or special teams contributes seven, and it puts us over 30. The dagger!

Pack 34
Titans 24

The Pack: Officially back.

porterbela said...

Sorry Chern but I don't agree with most of what you say to start...

Do you really expect a 4-3 team to get press just because they beat a 3-4 team? Why do they talk about the Cowboys and Giants? Two big markets and the Super Bowl Champs along with the other team they expected to make it to the Super Bowl this year. It is what it is.

How is this a trap game for the Titans? Because they play the Bears next week? The Titans are not looking ahead to next week.

On the Rodgers front.
He is now the 11th highest paid football player in the NFL. Good for him but I'm surprised the Packers were willing to negotiate and give him that large of a contract for playing 7 games.

On the Jennings front.
Rumor is that he doesn't want to play in Green Bay...he doesn't dislike the city or the organization, he just wants to play in a big I think it'll be interesting to see what happens with him when the time comes.

The Packers beat the Colts, great win for them, but I caution you all, don't get too excited. Remember what team you beat...this wasn't the Super Bowl Champion Colts. This was an extremely beat up Colts team. I was far from excited when the Bears beat them, why? For the exact same reason I am warning you.

Basically, if the Packers win this weekend (which they could) then the Pack will be back.

Stack said...


I guess I don't get what you're saying...

First of all, I never said the game was a trap, the talking heads on tv debated the subject and I thought it was a stupid idea all along.

Secondly, yes, I do expect the second-best or (at very worst) third-best match-up of the weekend to get some attention and analysis. But you're probably right that I should give up bemoaning anything substantive or comprehensive out of the hyperbole-spewing schmucks at the 4 letter network. Still, who expected the Cowboys to beat the Giants, and yet we talk about it near exclusively. So frustrating.

Hadn't heard those Jennings rumors. Where did you come across them? I'd be interested in reading some of that. I guess it never occurred to me that he wasn't happy, he always seemed to be content.

For the record, I was impressed when the Bears beat the Colts.

The bottom line from last Sunday is probably the most depressing thing you can say about your football team: We can't stop the run.


porterbela said...

I think that on Sunday everyone saw why the Titans are undefeated. They have a good defense that can put pressure on the QB and a running game to match. They are just a solid team that finds ways to win against lesser opponents. Are they that good? No. Will they lose a few games this season? Yes. Will they lose to the Bears? Not a chance in hell.