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.
* 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."
* J-MIKE! YOTTO! LOCK HIM UP!!!
* 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,