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.

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