In the maturation of life, you have to deal with bone-crushing, heart-wrenching events. These moments define us and build our character. Such was the case last Sunday for Mike McCarthy and UNO-DOS! We had our chances to win a tremendously difficult road game and to take a giant leap with regards to the long term future of the franchise.
Winning is contagious. Success can be learned. It's unusual for a young QB/Coach to be able to immediately possess the unique trait of rejecting both personal and team failure - at any & all costs.
The Mike McCarthy & UNO-DOS! combo is capable of leading this franchise to SUPER things. Simply stated, we're not battle tested...yet. In time, we will be. But, first, we'll have to deal with the tough experiences that Tampa Bay, Atlanta, and Tennessee have provided. In this era of parity, you've got to play through pain, you've got to be able to come from behind, and you've got to know down, distance, and clock management. More often than not, in today's NFL, games are decided in the last 8 minutes. We could be 7-1. We could also be 2-6. Instead, we're 4-4.
Against Tennessee, we Let Our Nuts Hang. We were aggressive. We played with passion. We were in position to win the game. We did not seal the deal. We failed to make the game-changing play late in the game. We had opportunities. We did execute. We missed out on the chance to remain at the top of the NFC North table. Additionally, for all practical purposes, we lost out on a bid for a Wild Card spot in the NFC.
In some ways, it continues to appear that the Packers are playing for next year. The release of KGB, the enhanced playing time for Jeremy Thompson, and the two passes to J-Mike on crucial downs are some some examples of this theory that just maybe we're building for the future and recognizing that our franchise is in the developmental stages. It could be argued that it's a post-be week kink in the offense. No one wants J-Mike to succeed more than I and I'm happy he was put in position to make plays, but it surprised me that he was our #1 choice on two major plays in a game that would have been a major stepping stone for our franchise.
Regardless, the next 2 weeks are beyond crucial. A loss this week does not end our season as we still play the Bears twice, but it sure complicates things. McCarthy is undefeated vs. the hated Domers. I like the possibility of this streak continuing if we can compete at the line of scrimmage. The OL & DL of the 'Queens are the strength of their organization. For us, it's our weakness. We're pretty. We're not tough. They'll beat you in a fist fight. We won't. Often times, they'll rush 4 and apply pressure. On the contrary, we'll rush 6 and fail to put any heat on the QB. With that being said, AK-74 has dominated Ryan Cook in recent memory. I expect this trend to continue this week. If AK-74 does not win this battle, someone else will have to elevate his game on passing downs. Frankly, if this is not Poppinga, I don't know who has the ability to get to the QB. It was great to see Montgomery get to the QB from the DT spot for the first time this year. It was fantastic to have our first Justin Harrell sighting of the year. I'm OK with the continued and enhanced Jeremy Thompson experiment, but I'm confused as to why Poppinga does not get a shot at rushing the QB on passing downs. We signed him to a big contract. Use him!
The Domers might run left 40 times on Sunday. Candidly speaking, if I were Brad Childress, I would. And yes, AP running left scares me. The Packers are going to have to use Bigby as a 4th LB and force Frerotte to beat us. At some point, AP will be deep in our secondary, but I'm confident Collins' speed will not allow him to take it to the house.
Frerotte will look for Berrian running deep routes. Berrian loves the fly route. Rice will also try to get behind our defense. Visanthe Shiancoe has developed a bond with Frerotte and I'm sure they'll connect on some chain moving passes. Don't be surprised if the 'Queens connect on some big plays.
Defensively, the Domers cannot cover us. But, can we protect ourselves? I'd make protection as much of a non-issue as possible. I'd keep an extra blocker in the backfield. If Jared Allen, the greedy Republican bastard, plays - I'd chip him on every pass play and chop/cut him on every run play.
Again, they cannot cover us. Winfield is a stud, but he can't run with us. Sharper can play CF, but you can hit it over his head.
We'll nickel and dime them with plays to Jordy, Driver, Jones, Lee & B-Jack. Then, we'll drop the Benjamin's on them with a deep ball to Jennings. Speaking of Benjamins, Greg, sign the deal, mate! Also, I was surprised that Jones was both healthy and inactive last week. This week - he'll be active and I would be slightly surprised if he does not make a play.
How is it that the Williams boys are not suspended? The steroid-using Williams boys present a problem with respect to the running game, however I still look for modest running yardage out of Grant. Harris, Greenway, and Leber are above average LB's, but I feel that Grant will occasionally get to the edge and move the sticks with double digit yardage gains.
If this game has a winner with 22 points or less, be scared. If the winner scores more than that, fret not. Green is classier than purple. Esepcially on Sunday. Plus, we're indoors. Uniforms remain in tact & clean. In all 3 facets of the game, we're more elegant than they are. Look good. Feel good. Play good.
We're too fast for them. We're too good for them.
Two big weeks ahead of us. Fire It Up! Ready To Go!
Purple Is Ugly. Be Green.