In 1967, Jimmy Cliff wrote the song "Give a Little, Take a Little." Thankfully, the Packers have not listened or else we'd be 0-3. Our defense has attacked the football like piranhas. And with the exception of a Ryan Grant lapse, we've possessed the ball with heightened care. The end result: turnovers have been the difference in our two wins this season.
Minus Brett Favre the setting would be: The Green Bay Packers at the Minnesota 'queens. On Monday Night. The 'queens at 3-0. The Pack at 2-1. You'd be ready for some football.
Add Brett Favre and this one is personal.
Make no mistake about it, Brett Favre is an egotistical maniac. For 16 years, he was my idol. For the last 16 months, he's been a self-righteous, arrogant jerk. Due to his present state, Favre came back for this game. He's not playing for the records. He has them already. He is not playing for the money. He has plenty. He's not playing for a Super Bowl. He has one. Brett Favre has come back to "stick it" to the Green Bay Packers. You know, that same organization that created his Legendary status. Yeah, you know, that franchise that helped develop the man that could presently be referred to as the greatest REGULAR SEASON QB in the History of the NFL.
Without the Green Bay Packers organization, Brett Favre would be divorced. An alcoholic. A vicodin drug addict. His family home in Mississippi would still be destroyed from Hurricane Katrina. Neither he nor Deanna would have their own charity. Essentially, he'd be living in a shack with Ryan Leaf. What a crying, ungrateful son of a bitch! For now, he's the Drama Viqueen.
The hype that surrounds the Drama Viqueen's reunion has created an event that Aaron Rodgers has never seen. Not of this magnitude. This will be the biggest arena in which he's ever played center stage. He can eliminate the notion that he's unable to replace the Drama Viqueen. He can prove Ted Thompson right, for once and for all. He's presently at the pinnacle of media hype in the national sports world.
Long term - the magnitude of this game is beyond mighty to both franchises. I can only imagine how much this game means to Thompson & McCarthy. I'll never be able to comprehend its importance. For the Packers, a loss could lead to both a divided fan base and locker room. It could envelop questions regarding the future of the teams leadership. Meanwhile, while the Drama Queen is most likely a flash in the pan of the Minnesota franchise, it should be mentioned that Childress went out of his way to ensure he got #4 as his QB. A loss on Monday Night could cloud the focus of the Drama Queen and therefore the future of Childress.
If I were in charge of the Packers, I'd challenge a member of the organization to run towards the media with statements begging Favre to try and beat us. I'd publicly state that we respect the Vikings organization. I'd say that we acknowledge AP is the best back in the league. That they have a great OL. That Shiancoe is an up and coming TE. That they have a special defense with remarkable run defense statistics. But, that we don't think Favre can beat us. That he can't lead them to victory. I'd publicly challenge him in a humiliating way. I'd stroke his ego and play the mind games with the media that he has attempted to master.
Two of the biggest story lines in this weeks box score will be: AP's rushing attempts and the Drama Viqueen's passing attempts. If AP rushes 22 times or more, it could spell difficulty for us. If #4 throws 30 times or more, I would expect a victory.
Clearly, this has the makings of a monumental game. While the Packers have turned the ball over once in 2009, the 'queens have only turned it over twice. The Packers have forced 9 turnovers as the 'queens have forced 6. The Packers have sacked the QB 5 times compared to the 'queens 7 times. All are important statistics to consider leading up to this significant battle.
Over the last two years, Jared Allen has destroyed a healthy Chad Clifton. Once as a Chief. Twice as a 'queen. If Clifton plays, I'm sure he'll be far from 100%, playing on pure grit. This match-up scares me.
The Williams boys up front provide a mismatch against the interior of our OL. Plainly stated, they are far superior to the likes of College, Spitz and Sitton. The Williams boys are probably the most intimidating DT-combo in football.
Ray Edwards is a productive DE. Without help, Barbre will have his hands full.
The 'queens LB core is arguably the most underrated group in the NFL. Chad Greenway can flat out play. Ben Leber is a football player. EJ Henderson is a talented run stuffer, but a bad pass defender.
Antoine Winfield is well, Antoine Winfield. He can play on my team any day - except when he's wearing purple.
After that, I smell weaknesses. You can attack the safeties. Cedric Griffin can be beat. You must be careful as he is slapping wrists when tackling, but he can be had. Benny Sapp is undersized. Karl Paymah can't play.
In 276 games, the Drama Viqueen has thrown 311 interceptions. Most came while I wholeheartedly supported him. Now, it's time for me to be the beneficiary of these statistics.
A.P. is the best player in the NFL. Chester Taylor seems to always make a play against us.
On the OL, Hutchinson and McKinnie are studs. Phil Loadholt has been a pleasant surprise for Minnesota fans as a rookie RT. Anthony Herrera and John Sullivan can be attacked. I've watched every play of every Minnesota game this year. Pressure can come by overloading the right side of the Minnesota OL.
Offensively, if we try to man up against Minnesota, we won't stand a chance. But, if we line up with 4-wide, spread them out, single back - they can't play with us. It's in McCarthy's mental hands to get the ball out of Rodgers hands. Run the delay to the over-pursuing side of Jared Allen. Clifton pushes him forward. Grant will have to make one guy miss before he has a 1st down.
We have to get Minnesota's LB's off the field and force them to play with extra DB's. That's the mismatch. The pass will set up the run. It'll set up manageable 2nd and 3rd downs via productive 1st downs. Thus, simplifying Rodgers' life.
Defensively, I'd match Chuckie one-on-one with Harvin in the slot. I'd stick T-Mon on Sidney Rice. He'd match Rice's speed, height, athleticism and jumping ability. While Berrian has had productive games against Al Harris, I'd put Harris to the task. Challenge him and believe he's game for the match-up.
I'd have Collins play CF to prevent the deep ball. Moreover, Collins is a sure tackler and has the speed to prevent the big HR by A.P.
On nearly every obvious passing down, I'm coming with a middle LB blitz. Pressuring the right side of the OL. At this stage in his career, you know where the Drama Viqueen will be. He's lost his lateral mobility and for the most part, his ability to escape. By utilizing the middle LB blitz, we'll either force turnovers, hurried throws or get to the QB. Trust me.
Early in the game, nerves are high. Almost a state of anxiousness. A couple of 1st downs by each team, but no points.
Late in the 1st Quarter, the Packers get the first break. It's the Drama Viqueen on a short timing route hitting Shiancoe in the shoulder. The ball floats in the air. Into the hands of Nick Barnett.
The Packers take advantage. Rodgers rolling to his right. Launches a rocket that lands in the lap of Jennings. 7-0 Green Bay.
Minnesota shows the ability to move the ball. Shiancoe grabbing 1st downs, frustrating the Packer defense. We bend, but don't break. Giving up FG's.
With Minnesota leading 9-7, Favre takes a shot deep. The ball lands in the lap of T-Mon.
The offense finds our stride and gets into FG range. 10-9. We get the ball back. A late 2-minute drill gives us a 13-9 lead at the half.
Chuckie grabs the Drama Queen's third pick. The Packers capitalize via a Driver TD reception. 20-9.
AP busts into our defensive backfield. Getting loose. Into the Red Zone. It's the Drama Viqueen to Shiancoe for a TD. 20-16.
Minnesota gets the ball back. 10 minutes to play. Drives into Packers territory. AP busts off another one for 20 yards. Drama Viqueen to Harvin. They have all momentum. But, Chillar coming on a center blitz gets the Pack off the field forcing an errant pass. The 'queens settle for 3. 20-19.
Rodgers gets the ball. Utilizing a variety of short passes, the Packers keep the chains moving. And the clock ticking. On a crucial third down, it's Rodgers to Driver for the Packers reception record. We get a late FG. 23-19.
With little time and no timeouts, this time there's no "Majik" in Favre. We're leaving the Dome victorious.
Grant goes for 77 yards. Rodgers efficiently passes for 215 yards and 2 TD's. Peterson tops 110 yards on 19 carries. The Drama Queen finishes 23-38 for 232 yards. 1 TD. 3 Interceptions.
I can't lie - Minnesota might be more talented than us. But, you can't measure spirit. You can't measure intestinal fortitude. You can intensity. For 16 months, the Drama Viqueen has spit in our faces. Tarnished our name. Rubbed it in the dirt. On Monday, we get to prove our might. We want this one. We get this one.
If Minnesota gives the ball to AP and let's him run, it'll be tough. But, I can't see it happening. I can't see #4 tucking his ego aside. Playing in the rhythm of the game. Putting away the gunslinger mentality. I can't see it. Not this game any ways. If he can, we might be in trouble. But, in my eyes, his ego is too large and this time it gets the best of him.
Green Bay 23. Minnesota 19.
Brett, someday, I'll love you again. Just as I do Reggie White, Curly Lambeau and Vince Lombardi. They also finished their careers elsewhere. But, for now, I wish for you to get blindsided. Viciously. Ball falling loose. Into the hands of a Green Bay Packer. After all, while playing for the Packers, one has an individual duty to keep up the legacy & traditions that go along with being a member of the Green Bay Packer organization. And you, I want you to feel defeated. I hope you recognize that your former throne is in good hands - those of Aaron Rodgers.
Aaron, this week you come into my life. Come into stay. This is the first time that I will have met you. I want to feel like I want you all of the time. Come into my life, Aaron. Yes, Aaron, it's all about evolution providing the revolution. Bring it!
We're the Green Bay Packers. We're walking to the front. Opening the gates. Feeling like 12-time World Champions. Performing profoundly.
I'm fired up! Ready to go!