Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Take -> Week 4

Greetings, G-Force.

Absolutely gut-wrenching. Heart-stabbing. In an outright domination, we lose. Truly unbelievable. Until the questionable pass interference call on Morgan Burnett - not for a minute did I believe the Packers were going to lose.

From those that I have spoken with, I seem to be alone with what bothers me most about this game. For some, it's the running game. For others, it's the penalties. For some, it's McCarthy's challenge. For others, it's the play of the offensive tackles. For most, it's the final 2 minutes & McCarthy's decision to not let them score. For me, it's the punt with just over 2 minutes left in the first half. For me, that was the single most important play of the game. The Bears were dead. In hibernation. The crowd was silent. The game was ours. All we needed was to boom the ball into the end zone. Let the Bears start from the 20. 2 minutes left. We were in control. They could not protect Nutler. They wouldn't have moved the ball. It would have been 10-0. Our ball to start the 2nd half with a chance to put the game away. Instead, Matshay kicks a line drive directly to Hester and he's able to catch the ball with a head of steam. Freakin' pathetic. Purely rubbish. Momentum changed. And in the eyes of the Bears and their crass fans, it was game on. Total crap.

I'm not going to whine. We had 18 penalties. Most were blatantly legit. But, I do have a couple of questions. On Nintendo Nick's personal foul call, did Forte ever hit the ground? I didn't think so. Since when does an awful pass - that was mostly uncatchable - warrant a pass interference to decide a hotly contested Division game? News to me. And if the Tauscher penalty was a holding call, wasn't Derrick Martin held on Hester's punt return for a TD? Both looked similar to me.

I understand that there are "Jordan Rules" for officials. You get calls if you've reached a certain stature. It just happens. It'll always happen. But, my question is when do you reach this stature? Aaron Rodgers continually gets hit in the head by defenders. Rarely does he get the call. Early in the game, he got drilled in the back of the head while he was lying on the ground. No call. Why? Where's the justification?

Sure, Tauscher & Clifton had their troubles on MNF. How can you blame them? When our best RB is John Kuhn, we're basically telling Julius Peppers to pin his ears back and rush the QB every single play. That's an unfavorable scenario for any OT. Before we're too hard on our tackles, lets have a running game. Coming into the season, over the last 40 games, Ryan Grant was among the league leaders in rushing. This OL can be an effective running unit. But, we need a RB.

Coming into the season, we had the luxury of keeping 4 TE's & 3 FB's. Now? Not so much. We need a RB that can hit the hole with a burst. Frankly, I don't know who that guy is. But, I also had little to no idea who BenJarvus Green-Ellis & Danny Woodhead were & last week they combined for 140 yards & 2 TD's on only 19 carries for the New England Patriots. I've never played football, but I've talked to a lot of people who have suggested that the RB is the easiest position on an offense to learn on the fly. We need a solution. Now! In '96, immediately after our loss to the Cowboys on MNF, Ron Wolf had Andre "Bad Moon" Rison on our roster. I wish Thompson would make a similar move with someone unless we see that Dmitri Nance is fit for the position THIS WEEK!

As it turns out, the challenge was a boneheaded decision. According to some media outlets, McCarthy was firmly instructed by his staff in the booth to challenge the play.

Finally, as for the last two minutes and whether or not we should have let the Bears score, I point to a couple of things. First, we all remember 1997. We invented this "we'll let you score so we get time on the clock" to go down and try to tie it philosophy. We all know how that worked out. Generally speaking, I'm in favor of maintaining this philosophy. But, in Week 3 of the season, when we're still establishing the mentality of the 2010 NFL Season, I'm not surrendering. I'm not throwing up the white flag. I'm asking the Claymaker or Sir Charles to make a play. To force a fumble. To go for the strip. We battled too hard on defense to give up with less than 2 minutes to play. It's a mentality. Also, this past Sunday, we saw the Raiders & Saints lose games because of missed short FG's. Any way, I'm fine with McCarthy's decision to play defense.

Some observations:

* Good effort Frank "Z-Man" Zombo. We need to find a pass rusher opposite Clawledge at OLB. While Clay has shown that he hasn't needed training camp, Brad Jones has played as though it's a necessity. Granted, he's still battling injury & he didn't play Monday Night, Jones has been non-existent. Great to see the Z-Man hit Nutler for a sack. Also, I'm not going to blame him for the 15-yard roughing the passer on the Barnett pick. Zombo made a beautiful spin move. Next time, though, rook, lower your head.

* Cullen Jenkins continues to be unblockable. LOCK HIM UP!!!

* A really impressive performance by T-Mon. LOCK HIM UP!!!

* If we give Aaron Rodgers a running game, I will trust him to win any game. Against any team. Anywhere.

* In the words of my wife, A*, "I heart our defense."


* I'm anxious for Mike Neal to get healthy! He'll add another physical dimension to our DL & will further the dominance of our pass rush.

* AQ81 must catch that pass. Totally disappointing.

* Watching B-Jack as a 1st down RB is nearly disgusting.

* Chillar has to get his head turned around. He's on the team due to his strength of covering TE's. He's got to learn to see the ball. Unacceptable.

* Nintendo Nick, catch the ball!

* Wish that Bulaga could have held the point of attack on the FG. Hope that's not a sign of things to come. Bummer to watch. Couldn't believe Sitton got ran over as well on the play.

* BJ "Jazz Hands" Raji can play on my team any day.

* After three weeks, we have 13 sacks & 4 turnovers. I still believe that the turnovers are coming. In bunches. We're too active defensively for them not to occur.

This week the Lions come to Lambeau where they haven't won since 1991. Expect that streak to continue. Though the Lions have improved. They'll rush the passer. The front 4 can flat out pressure the QB. Vanden Bosch, Corey Williams, Suh & Cliff Avril make up an above average pass rushing DL. Avril was great against Minnesota. And not only do all 4 want to get to the QB, but all 4 want to knock the ball loose as well.

At LB, Julian Peterson is a play maker. Zach Follett is a guy that I wanted the Packers to draft badly. He missed the Minnesota game after a 6-tackle performance in Week 2. I've heard no word as to his status for this week. DeAndre Levy was slow in coverage at WI. He'll be a target of our offense this week as well.

In the secondary, other than Louis Delmas, the Lions do not have anyone that impresses me. Houston, Smith & Wade can all be had. While Smith was a terrific playmaker in college, he's too small for the NFL. We'll run by him & throw over him this weekend. Randy Phillips wasn't making plays for the []_[] last year in college. And I don't expect him to be making plays for the Lions this weekend either.

Luckily for the Packers, we won't have to face Matthew Stafford. Though Shaun Hill is a decent back-up QB, we'll bury him. Also, Jahvid Best may not play due to injury. Same with Nate Burleson. So, expect the Lions to see a lot of Calvin Johnson & two TE sets with Brandon Pettigrew & Tony Scheffler as the main targets. Kevin Smith & Maurice Morris do not scare me if Best is unable to go.

Lambeau Field, are you ready? Let's make some NOISE!!!!!!!!!

Let's play, baby. Let's get back on track. It's happening. This is our division. This is our home. Let's dominate. Time to roll, baby. It's time to roll. We need 3-1. It's happening.

Rodgers blows up this weekend.

My prediction - Nance gets loose. Pick him up in Fantasy. He's making a play. He's grabbing yards. I'll go bold, Dmitri Nance rushes for 75 yards this week.

Dear Dmitry: See the hole. Plant the foot. Burst the hole. Protect the ball. Use your vision. And your first step. Kid, be patient. The hole will be there. Trust in the line. This is your day to set your family up for life. Play with all your heart. Best of luck, Talkin' S-Mac.

TGIF with his first TD of the season.

Once again, T-Mon shuts down Calvin Johnson. My brother, Chad, & I sat in the stands in 2007 as the Packers hosted the Lions. We thought it was T-Mon's coming out party. He was a total athlete. A joy to watch. We were right. T-Mon is a proud Packer. I'm happy to have him. Again, lock him up. T-Mon picks off a pass this week.

CM3 gets to the QB for his 7th sack.

This one is a blowout. For the 19th year in a row, the Lions fall to the Packers at Lambeau. G-Force, please let it be known that we're the greatest fans in the land.

Packers 38. Lions 13.

Gotta Jibboo at Lambeau,

Talkin' S-Mac.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Take -> Week 3

Greetings, G-Force.

A successful pilgrimage to the American sports Holy Land. The first time my good mate & I were in attendance in which the Packers came away with a victory. Cheers, Vargas.

2-0! Living life. Not playing our best football. It offers hope for a bright future.

First, we need to re-establish a home-field advantage. NOW! I know we've been winning as of late at Lambeau, but in order to capture the Holmgren home-field magic of the '90's, it must start with US! Yes, you & me. Those in the stands provide the energy. Players feed off that energy. Especially the defense. The traditions are passed down from the fans. We pass down the legacies. We have the responsibility of living up to the expectations. Never taking a week off. Regardless of the opponent, On 3rd down, get off your ass. Get on your feet. Or stay home. Encourage those around you to do the same. We can help the defense get off the field & when the defense forces a punt, give them the applause they deserve! The Faithful must be enthusiastically explosive at all times. This is what makes both Lambeau Field & the Green Bay Packers unique. As fans, we must carry the weight! From here on out, get the job done. This team needs us.

In order to become Super, a team needs to deal with obstacles. At some point, there has to be controversy. There must be unsettling moments that build the teams character. Often, these moments force others to propel their game to the next level. This team has seen plenty. Think the Drama Viqueen. Johnny Jolly. Ras Al. Ras-A-tari. Life without Ryan Grant. What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. In 1996, in many ways, Andre Rison & Bruce Wilkerson saved the season. Now, we need a similar savior in 2010. Or the season won't end in Super form. We need a solution at RB. Someone must answer the bell.

The sky is the limit for this team. Take away the quarter in which Michael Vick was a supernatural & this team has outscored the opposition 61-17. And, frankly, we haven't played that well. If we peak, we can dominate. No doubt.

In case you haven't noticed, Clay Matthews III is a beast. A predator. A maniacal animal. Even on the sideline, you can't contain him. He sets the pace for the Defense everytime we step out on the field. He's ALWAYS the 1st one to the huddle. Our unquestioned leader.

Congrats to Morgan "Heritage" Burnett & Brandon Chillar for their 1st picks. Again, great to see Nintendo Nick hungry to play the role of mentor for Burnett. When Burnett go the pick, Collins was looking to celebrate. Pimpin' together. Good ol' boys just being boys! And after the play, they shared a Gatorade with one another & Collins wanted to know ALL details. As if he were a proud big brother. They're mates. T-Mon & Shields were simling onlookers. Sir Charles came over to show small appreciation & acknowledgement. Nonetheless, the reigning Defensive MVP's small pat on the back was certainly noticed by Burnett. Guaranteed. His smile was endless post Woodson's gesture. But, it was Collins who cherished the moment most. Chemistry exists!

A couple other small observations:

In the 40/40 watch, the Packers notched 4 more sacks & forced 2 more turnovers giving us 10 sacks & 3 turnovers after two games. The turnovers are going to come in bunches. Trust it.

I enjoy Nick Barnett's new mouthguard.

YOTTO! Send Finley to Hawaii! He's lethal coming across the middle on the crossing route.

After 2 games, the stats for Rodgers reads 443 passing yards, 4 TD's 2 INT, 94.0 passer rating. And I'd argue that he hasn't played well. Amazing to consider.

Bulaga filled in admirably. Happy that his 1st NFL action is behind him. He's ready for contact. I get the feeling that - at this stage - he might be a better run blocker than a pass protector. Thou Buffalo didn't show much of anything.

Sam Shields with the tackle over the middle to prevent the 1st down & get us off the field on 3rd down! Well played, rook!

I enjoy Cullen Jenkins' energy. SIGN HIM UP!!!

Thanks to AJ Hawk for his professionalism.

John Kuhn was our most impressive RB. That's scary. Though Nance showed small promise on his cutback. Didn't like the false start as I wanted another look to study his vision.

Jordy answering the call of duty on Kickoff Returns! Wish we could get T-Mon off punt return duties. An injury to him would devastate the season.

Props to Crabtree, Martin & Donald Lee for solid special teams play. Swain has to make a tackle on kickoff coverage. He's in position. Has to finish the play!

Double-D! 2 TD's in 2 weeks!

James Jones with an impressive TD grab.

Great camaraderie on the sidelines. Team unity is strong. Units sticking together. Studying together. Growin together. Learning together. Defining team.

The Packers travel to Lambeau South this weekend. Excitingly, perched atop the NFC North standings, you'll find the Packers equal with the hated Chicago Bears. For those of you that know me, there are very few things in life that I hate. For me, at the top of the hatred list is the Chicago Bears. Add Monday Night Football to the equation coupled with the notion that sole possession of 1st place is on the line & man, I'm stoked for this prime time battle.

I've seen every play of both Bears games twice. And it's hurts for me to admit, but there's reason for optimism in Windy City. True, they were fortunate to steal the Lions game, but if you look at the individual performances of many of their players, there are some positives around the hated rivals. Urlacher looks like he's back in 2006. So does Briggs. Same with Tillman. Forte looks like he's back to his 2008 form. All are making plays. Olsen, Hester & Knox have all displayed that they are capable whether it's on offense or special teams. They bring speed to the table.

And then there is Ray Nutler. In 55 career games, Nutler has 64 interceptions. Yet, this year, Nutler has a passer rating of 121. He's thrown 5 TD's compared to 1 interception. Suddenly, he hasn't been throwing into traffic (as much) & he's also making quick decisions. Nutler also showed the ability to escape the rush against the Cowboys. Dallas came with much pressure, yet Nutler was elusive enough to avoid punishment.

It's not rocket science, but this game will be won at the line of scrimmage. Both teams will try to spread each other out. Both teams will take shots down the field. The Packers will look towards the middle of the field. The Bears will look to test us down the sidelines. Look for them to try & get Hester or Knox lined up against Woodson & then try to take advantage of the speed advantage. I'm shocked that teams haven't targeted Shields. Might be Martz's game plan. Martz will try to also find Olsen, Forte & Chester Taylor on short routes when they are in one-on-one coverage against our LB's.

If Nutler holds onto the ball, the Packers DL will dominate the Bears vulnerable OL. The Bears OL can be beaten. Change that, the Bears OL WILL be beaten. Especially if Mike Neal is added to the mix. In fact, I'm so confident that we'll win those match-ups that largely, I'd only rush 4 men. Occasionally, I'd rush Sir Charles or Barnett. But, for the most part, I think we'll win individual match-ups with them. The Bears OL is weak on the edges. And when we do win those battles, it'll force Nutler to make quick decisions. We know how that story goes. Especially when the secondary is polluted with defenders.

This is a big game for Nick Barnett. We need him to play well. His responsibility will be to take away Nutler's bail out option. He'll have opportunities to make plays. Carpe Diem, Nick.

The Bears pass defense showed weaknesses between the LB's & the Safeties. We can win the middle of the field. We can also beat Moore & Bowman. Regardless of Moore's 2 picks last week. He can be had. Watch for Tillman to try for the strip. Also, I'm wondering if Tommie Harris is done.

Early in the game, the Bears rise to the occasion. A motivated crowd inspires goodness to the Bears defense. They get off the field. Find decent field position. The Bears strike first. Taylor, Forte, Hester & Olsen are all involved.

The Packers offense responds with a nice drive. Sitton pushes Tommie Harris 5 yards deep. Changing momentum. It's Nance grabbing carries & pushing for 1st downs. It's Kuhn pounding it at the gut for 3 yards. Play action to J-Mike over the middle. YOTTO! It's B-Jack slipping forward for 3 yards. The Bears hold to 3. But, the tone is set & the LB's have to creep forward. In fact, it's mandatory for the Packers to force the Bears LB to move towards the line of scrimmage early in this game. We can't let them rush 4.

Bulaga holds his own against Peppers. I haven't seen that he's starting, but I'm assuming so.

On & On & ON!!! The pass protection comes after Ray Nutler. CM3 from the blindside! Connects with Nutler. Driving his shoulder into the turf. Forcing the fumble. The big turnover the Packers needed!

Instantly, Rodgers goes to work. Jennings streaking down the right sideline on a deep ball. 10-7. Green Bay.

Back & forth, the game goes. Neither team able to slip away. Then, T-Mon makes the BIG play. Stepping in front of a Nutler pass.

It'll be a dog fight. Notch another victory for the good guys from Titletown. Once again, the Packers walk into Lambeau South & grab success.

Green Bay 27. Chicago 24.

Da Bears Still Suck!

Power From The People,

Talkin' S-Mac.

On a side note, a couple of other things that need mention. I've got notes to get the "Who Are You Watching?" portion of the blog going. Just busy & unable to find the time to put it all together. Hopefully, it'll come next week. Also, thanks to the San Diego Chargers for holding onto Vincent Jackson! Finally, AK-74 was held without a sack in Week 2.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Take - > Week 2

Greetings, G-Force.

Tomorrow, I make the splendid trek from the sunny beaches of South Beach in Miami to mecca of American sports, Titletown. Words can't describe the level of my enthusiasm.

We enter the home opener at 1-0. Fresh off a road victory against a legitimate NFC opponent. At a place where we had not won in nearly 50 years. Not since Lombardi.

Don't let the Michael Vick led comeback distract from just how impressive it was to win in Week 1 at Philly. By the way, Vick made plays the were super human. He is the ONLY player in the game that could have made a handful of those plays.

But, consider this: our MVP candidate QB played what was arguably one of the top-5 worst games of his 3 year starting career. We lost our 1200 yard RB. And we won the game. In a hostile environment.

Also, the statement of this team came when we stopped the Eagles on 4th & 1. Strangely, I was CONFIDENT that the Packers would get the stop. Not since Reggie retired from the Packers in 1998 did I feel that way. Seriously. The 2010 Packers defense is loaded with players that can make plays. We'll give up yards. We'll give up points. We'll give up plays. But, we'll also make game changing plays. Plenty of them.

Small observations:

* Massive props to Josh Sitton. Running B-Jack & Kuhn behind Sitton generated a TD. Dominant display by Sitton. Great to see.
* As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I'm going to track the Packers defensive run to the 40/40 club. In Week 1, we had 5 sacks & 1 turnover. The turnovers are coming.
* The Claymaker for Defensive MVP. Go get it, Clay.
* Sir Charles, the reigning Defensive MVP, playing like, well, Charles Woodson.
* T-Mon stepping up to the occasion. Playing brilliantly.
* BJ "Jazz Hands" Raji was the real deal.
* Cullen Jenkins is a gamer.
* Congrats to Double-D for #50. You the man, Donald!
* Big Ups to Mason Crosby! To Jordy Nelson as well for his Kick Return abilities. I thought Crabtree & Derrick Martin did a great job holding blocks to help spring him.
* Our Safeties must tackle better. Especially in the open field.
* Sam Shields was exposed late in the game. It's on video tape. That's scary. After the game, Maclin made a comment that he was surprised that he was so wide open. Yikes. But, no worries, rook. Gotta stay strong. Liked the way you went for the ball. As a side note, on Monday morning on the Joe Rose show in Miami, 560 AM radio, two different callers were absolutely shocked that he's our nickel back.
* Dear Ryan Grant, get well, mate. Liked that you hopped off the field. No cart. Says a lot about your character. You'll get knocked down. But, you'll fight thru this. You'll come back as a better man, if that's possible. I'm confident of that.
* Props to AK-74, the future Green Bay Packer HOF'er. You're in our hearts forever. Congrats on your Week 1 production. 1.5 sacks for the Jags. I'll be following you all year. Cheers, AK-74.

The injuries can't be ignored. Grant's injury does not end any chance of a Super Bowl. But, we need to improve from where we were in Week 1. With that being said, Mike McCarthy has been here before. Think back to 2007. You can win in the NFL with a top-tier passing attack. Especially in September & October. In 2007, during the months of September & October, the Packers went 6-1. In the wins, the Packers averaged less than 65 yards rushing per game. Spread 'em out. Short 3 step drops mixed in with Shotgun formations. Read the blitz. Find WR's in space. Let your playmakers make plays. Hopefully, over the next 6 weeks, we can figure out who will be our mudder. For when the weather turns, we better be ready to pound away with the running game.

The answer might be B-Jack. I doubt it. Highly. But, I'm not going to fully rule it out. He's had some decent performances in bad weather contests. I've been critical of him in the past. I'm not sold that he's a full time back. He lacks another gear. But, for now, if we can get 65-75 yards from B-Jack & 20-30 yards from Kuhn, we'll be OK over the next 5 weeks.

Coming into the season, I felt that the Packers needed to start at least 5-1. We're well positioned. The schedule stiffens from Week 7-16 before we close with the lowly Bears. Heading into our Week 7 contest with Minnesota, I'd like to have our run game figured out.

I watch a lot of football. Too much, if that's possible. I can't tell you anything about Dimitri Nance. I saw games that he played in. His name doesn't register. For what that's worth. Nonetheless, I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. In 2005, Ted Thompson pulled Samkon Gado out of a hat. Gado received significant carries in 5 games. In those games, he averaged 104.4 yards per game. Gado was a good fit for Mike Sherman's system. In 2007, Thompson played genie once again in the form of Ryan Grant. Is Nance the 2010 version? Or is it James Starks? We've been waiting to see him. He could hold the key to the Packers success in 2010.

Or maybe the answer is Marshawn Lynch...

This week the Buffalo Bills come to town. The Bills have one of the worst OL's in football. Trent Edwards is in the bottom tier of QB's in this league. At WR, they have WI product Lee Evans & Steve Johnson at WR. I'll give you $10 if you can name where Steve Johnson went to college. When I was watching the Dolphins/Bills game in Week 1, I literally had to look him up. No worries, Johnson's from Kentucky & he contributed 1 catch for 3 yards against the vulnerable, young Dolphins secondary. Roscoe Parrish has been a disappointment and he's been demoted to the #3 WR. The Bills are loaded at RB with CJ Spiller, Fred Jackson, and Marshawn Lynch. Lynch should just stay in Green Bay after the game.

Defensively, the Bills have an interesting mix of draft picks & cast-offs. Jairus Byrd, Donte Whitner, Terrence McGee, and Drayton Florence present a defensive backfield that has playmaking capabilities. At ILB, Paul Posluszny is a solid football player. Marcus Stroud, Dwan Edwards, and Kyle Williams make up an interesting DL for a 3-4 yet none of them are going to change a game. Chris Kelsay & Reggie Torbor are not sack masters. Andra Davis is on his 3rd team in 3 years.

Show up. Play your game. And this one is a walk in the park.

Predictably, the Packers come out in 5 WR/TE sets. In Week 1, Rodgers connected with only 6 receivers. In Week 2, he finds 8 different options. He also throws 3 TD's. And he racks up 300 yards. This one will be a laugher. A celebration.

Defensively, I hope we play with the same passion as we did last week. Don't let up. Let's come after Edwards! If we do, we'll make big plays. We'll force at least 2 turnovers. We'll get 2 more sacks. Importantly, we'll also force a number of 3 & outs.

Look for the Bills to try and use last weeks film to their advantage. It wouldn't shock me to see the wildcat this weekend. Jackson taking snaps from center. Flanked by Spiller & Lynch. All three of them have the capability to beat you. All are game breakers. If they get blocking, they could be dangerous. Buffalo has to find a way to slow down our offense. The only way they'll be able to do that is by keeping our offense off the field. Trickery is the only way they'll have success running the ball. Though it wouldn't shock me if Spiller got loose one time.

Look for the Bills to also try to grab small yardage by dumping the ball off to Fred Jackson. He'll be active. They'll try to attack Shields with Lee Evans. Deep down the sideline on a double move.

But, this one is all about Green Bay. We're on a mission. One week at a time. And, this week, our offense has 7 scores in them this week.

Green Bay 41. Buffalo 13.

In an effort to assist the Packers in their attempt to sign additional players, I'm committed to dropping a couple hundred at the Pro Shop this weekend. I ask that you do the same. The team could use a small donation. After all, we are the owners. Let's invest in our franchise. I want Jenkins, T-Mon & J-Mike signed to long term deals and counting against this years non-cap.

Oh, one more thing, VOTE LEROY INTO CANTON!!!

Throw your hands in the air, party style. We're getting down. And feeling good at 2-0.

Go Pack Go!

Talkin' S-Mac.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My Take -> Week 1

Greetings, G-Force.

The season has arrived. Finally. In the progression of a young QB's career, this year is supposed to be the next step. Anything other than a year that includes at least one playoff victory would be a disappointment. If we win 11 regular season games, we'll win the Division. Most are predicting the Packers to make it to the Super Bowl. I'm picking the Packers to finish 11-5. Win the Division. Hopefully, that includes a 1st round bye. From there, let's play. But, in order to get there, we have to take it one game at a time. And it all starts with the Eagles at Philadelphia.

Philadelphia has been a house of horrors for the Packers franchise. In recent history, the City of Brotherly Love has not been so friendly to the Green & Gold. There has been evil demons that have haunted our proud franchise when we've entered the land of the cheese steak. Reggie White tossing Tony Mandarich around like a rag doll. Longwell missing a short FG in '97. 4th & 26. Mike McMahon leading a team to victory. The end of Favre's TD streak. For whatever reason, games at Philly have not been kind. This week - things will be different.

If Philly wins 8 games this year, it'd be a successful season. Playing with a young, inexperienced QB often leads to a less than stellar season. I compare the '10 Eagles to the '08 Packers. Many close games. Lots of losses. For obvious reasons, the careers of Aaron Rodgers & Kevin Kolb will be compared forever. Throw in the fact that Kolb wears #4 and the story becomes more weird.

The Packers must mix it up along the DL and come with a variety of blitzes to confuse Kolb early in the contest. Philly has an unsettling OL. They lack chemistry. We need to pressure them from the outside to contain Kolb, who has a strong ability to extend plays with his legs. If we let him escape, he'll make plays.

Clay Matthews coming from the left side should have success against the Winston Justice, Reggie Wells combination. Wells joined the Eagles less than a week ago. He's ripe for the picking. Expect BJ Raji & Mike Neal to push him around. Additionally, both LeSean McCoy & Mike Bell have limited blitz pick-up experience. It's time to pin our ears back & attack the Kolb.

The Eagles present a tough opponent for the Packers in Week 1. Their strengths seem to be the Packers weakness. The Eagles are loaded at WR. We lack depth at DB. Plus, film on Kolb is limited, so he'll be tough to prepare for.

Defensively for the Eagles, Trent Cole & Brandon Graham will provide stiff challenges for Clifton & Tauscher. Surprisingly, I believe that the Ealges LB's can be had. This might be the worst Eagles LB core that I can remember. Akeem Jordan, Stewart Bradley & the undersized Ernie Sims. Not what you call playmakers. J-Mike, get ready to blow up, kid. YOTTO, you'll be!

On the outside, the Eagles have two strong starters in Ellis Hobbs & Asante Samuel. But they lack depth & experience. At safety, while I like Nate Allen, he's a rookie & he can be confused. Spread 'em out. Let's play.

The Packers come out with 3 WR's & J-Mike. B-Jack sees additional playing time so that he can help on the blitz pick-up. Literally, he's a 6th blocker. A-Rodge uses J-Mike early. He uses him often. TD for the YOTTO! TGIF!

On the Eagles first possession, it's 3rd & 7. The Packers have two down lineman. I hope it's Cullen Jenkins & Neal on the field. CM3 is at LOLB. Jones at ROLB. We load the left side with Sir Charles pressuring alongside the Claymaker on the blitz. Barnett coming up the middle. Chillar dropping in coverage to mark Celek. We come with 6. The pressure gets to Kolb. We're off the field.

It's Driver on a crossing route. Absorbing the hit. Nelson on a puma route. Jones on a deep fly down the right side of the field. The lead grows to double digits.

The Eagles have weapons. Jackson, Maclin, Avant & Celek will ALL make plays. Jackson gets deep down the middle of the field.

In the 2nd half, the Packers begin to lean on Philly's front 4. Grant finds yardage running to the right. We dominate the line of scrimmage. And then, it's play action. Rodgers to Finley.

If you're a gambling man, bet the over.

Packers 37. Eagles 31.

Thanks to Ted Thompson for locking up Sir Charles. You've done well.

Dancing in rhythm. Enjoying ourselves. Defeating the demons.

Go Pack Go!

Talkin' S-Mac.