Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Take -> Week 12

Greetings, G-Force.

Dear Aaron Rodgers, Till death do us part. Promise me, Aaron. Promise me. Aaron, in our short time know, you as player & as fan & shareholder of the Green Bay single favorite moment was when were replaced by Matt Flynn midway thru the 4th Quarter. Your sheepish smile as you both received and offered congratulations to your teammates...ah, Aaron, that was pure. It was sublime. Simply, it was epic. In every sense of the word. Be Proud, Aaron. You deserve it. The NFC North is yours to win.

I'd like to thank the likes of Ryan & Emily Meisinger, Becky & PatRad, & Sean Flanagan for making the trek to the Mall...excuse me, to the Dome for this celebration. As fans, you all deserve a raise. I'm sure it was an absolute treat. A successful adventure. Surely, it was a fantastic victory. And you all played a part in this funky retirement party. Mike McCarthy's press conference was hilarious when asked whether or not he heard the "Go Pack Go!" chants - his response, "well, how could you not?" Great work, G-Force! You brought it!

Sensationally, once again, we witnessed how a Mike McCarthy team performs during tough circumstances. We rise to the top. We are well coached. We needed points to start the 3rd Quarter. We needed a dagger. What does McCarthy draw up? Double TE. Lined up strong to the short side of the field as Crabtree goes in motion. Nance in the backfield. Jennings split wide left. Safety slides to the middle. EVERYONE was expecting a run. Even me. I said, "Dad, well Nance is in. Crabtree in motion. This is a run to the right." Instead, it's play action. Puma route. Jennings coming back to the ball. Making Asher Allen miss. Single coverage. 6 points for Mike McCarthy. Draw it up, Mike!

What I absolutely cherish about this football team is that we have so many players that can pick us up while we're down. Clearly, we were all nervous entering the 2nd Quarter. Down 3-0. Looking for a spark. The 'queens looked to be gaining confidence. Favre hits Gerhardt. And Sir Charles changes the momentum with his right paw. Slap on, Chuckie! Handshakes all around. Well deserved.

Still, Aaron Rodgers needed a bail out. With nearly 10 minutes left in the 2nd Quarter the Packers had one first down. That came on a Dmitry Nance run in which he was stuffed short of the yardage and fought for the extra yardage. In the 1st Quarter, we had minus-8 yards passing.

Enter Greg Jennings.

Aaron Rodgers + Greg Jennings = A true phenomenon that is quickly becoming the most dynamic passing combination in all of football.

Small Observations:

Great to see Favre willingly sit down as the Claymaker was chasing him. Fear, I tell you. Fear. Clay does so much that doesn't show up on the box score. Teams seriously fear Clay Matthews III.

Heavy props to Dmitry Nance. Loved the way he hit the hole. Plants the foot. Small burst. Falls forward upon contact. Focused on ball security. Might be hope.

Aaron Rodgers' two-minute drill to end the 1st half was the best of his career. Saw the field. Used Jones, AQ81 & B-Jack to perfection.

Rodgers on 3rd down is a magical thing. The 3rd & 9 deep ball to Jennings got him out of the funk. He withstood a hit on this throw & showed his physicality. The 3rd & 10 laser to Jones propelled our 1st 10. The 3rd & 8 scramble kept alive the game sealing drive. Rodgers won third down with his patience, his arm, his intelligence, his toughness, & his legs.

James Jones is our #2 WR. Meanwhile, Double-D is tip toeing sidelines for 1st down. Still got it, Quickie!

Vote BJ Raji into the Pro Bowl. Vote early. Vote often. Guy is simply dominant. Seriously. Dominant. He controlled the early portions of that game.

AJ Hawk is flourishing behind Raji. Seeing holes. Hitting holes. Finding ball carriers.

Cullen Jenkins continues to supply a solid pass rush.

T-Mon. Pro Bowl. They need to be together. Show me a CB playing better than T-Mon.

Nintendo Nick beating AP to the corner. Loved it. Good to see him on the blitz as well.

Peprah continues to fight.

Pickett hitting AP in the backfield.

Bishop is a beast.

After a rough start, I really liked the way the Z-Man settled down. I feared that he was in over his head early on. Missing the tackle on 3rd down in the open field against Gerhardt. Jumping off-sides in the red zone. But, he calmed down. Well done, youngster. This week - we need you at the QB.

Defensively, we have so many players that can dramatically impact the outcome on any given play. At all times, offensesmust beware of the big mistake.

Once again, our offensive line played with courage. With fight. With belief. I really like Colledge & Sitton at guard. Man, do they open up the cutback, which is exactly the design of our offensive front. Anxious to see more of Nance & then Starks in the future. Big plays might be coming in the run game as the weather nears single digits.

It was frustrating to watch the normally aggressive McCarthy go overly conservative towards the end of the 3rd & early in the 4th. Then it was 3rd & 1 from the 22. I-Form. Kuhn as the deep back. Play action. 12 to 85. 6 points. Rodgers eclipses 300 yards and rifles his 4th TD. Ah, the significance of the #4.

It was great to rub dirt in the face of Childress. McCarthy gets the last laugh. Terrific vibes. His energy on the sidelines was spectacular. And when Childress was let go, I'm sure there were plenty of high fives running around 1265 Lombardi Ave. Guaranteed.

Also, I liked McCarthy's aggressiveness with the design of the reverse with Sammy Swagga. While it didn't work, I liked the intention. Putting players in position to making plays. Utilizing strengths.

Say what you will, but Ted Thompson claims victory over Brett Favre. Ted also gets the last laugh. Beautiful.

I'd argue that this was my favorite Packer game since the '97 victory over Dallas at Lambeau. Sweet revenge. Served cold. Adios, Chilly!

After 10 games, the Packers have 21 turnovers & 29 sacks.

This week - it's the Falcons. Essentially, the winner will be in 1st place in the NFC. Controllers of home-field throughout. I'm heading to the Dome for the game. Charlie Daniels once wrote, "The Devil went down to Georgia. He was looking for a soul to steal." Well, Charlie, I guess I'm the Devil. And, by the way, Charlie, I'm heading "up" to Georgia. But, yes Charlie, I'm looking for a soul to steal.

The Dirty Birds will present the stiffest challenge of the year for the Packers. In the dome, Matt Ryan has only lost once in his career. After this week - we'll have a barometer to gauge whether the Packers are legitimately a favorite to finish with a Super season. Prior to the season, my Super Bowl was Atlanta vs. Pittsburgh. This week - we find out the true legitimacy of our current status. In my eyes, it's a playoff game.

I'm not trying to overstate, the reality is: Win out at Lambeau. Beat Detroit on the road. Then the worst case scenario is 11-5. This would ensure a playoff berth. The problem is that at 10-6 - you might not get into the playoffs. So, each game carries a heavy weight. I'm sure we'll be ready to perform.

Let me start by giving credit to the Falcons. In 2008, I did not think that either Roddy White or Matt Ryan would have successful NFL careers. What do I know? Boy - was I wrong! Roddy White is playing at peak levels. Ryan is a winner. He wins close games. When his team is trailing/tied late, he leads the game winning drive. When he's had the lead, he engineers drives by pounding away with Michael Turner & using Tony Gonzalez as a safety valve. Seriously, I'm amazed with Ryan's development.

The Falcons have a variety of weapons. I like Jason Snelling & Justin Peele as back-ups as well. The combination of Snelling & Turner packs a powerful punch. Peele & Gonzalez compliment each other well. But, where they are weak is opposite Roddy White. I'm not convinced that either Michael Jenkins or Harry Douglas can play with our DB's. We win those match-ups. I have a small liking for Douglas. While he hasn't developed as I thought he might due to injury, he does show flashes of being similar to Antonio Freeman. He'll occasionally drop passes, but he's not afraid to go over the middle & he's a threat on third down. Also, he's solid with the ball in his hands. Regardless, they can't play with our DB's.

Defensively, the Dirty Birds have done a tremendous job building talent via the draft & FA. John Abraham will present a tough challenge for Clifton & Bulaga. Jonathan Babineaux gets a solid inside push. Kroy Biermann is a fighter. He's not going to get a great pass rush, but he'll play the run at elite levels. I really like their LB core of Lofton, Weatherspoon, & Peterson. Additionally, Dunta Robinson is a solid CB. They've been getting solid play out of their youngsters in the secondary. William Moore has adapted well in the NFL. Brent Grimes plays the ball well. Thomas DeCoud makes plays on the ball, but he'll also bite & can be beat over the top.

We'll beat the Falcons by spreading them out. We need Chris Owens and Brian Williams on the field. They can't cover us. We'll pick on them all day. Gotta throw over Owens' head. Williams couldn't cover us when he was with MN, he won't cover us now. I can't imagine a scenario in which we run the ball well against Atlanta. We have to run occasionally to keep them honest, but if we're going to win this game, it'll be because Aaron Rodgers puts up another MVP performance.

This game will be won on 3rd down. Matt Ryan is also a solid 3rd down QB. He knows the markers. He can roll to his right. Keep plays alive. He'll find the sticks. Or he'll keep his eyes downfield to hit the open man. We've got to pressure Ryan. Woodson & CM3 lining up on the same side of the field. Send Woodson to the outside. Clay to the inside. I love Clay's inside rush. It's beyond elite. By sending Woodson to the outside, it'll contain Ryan from escaping the pocket. He'll have to step up. Hopefully, we can close the gap.

It's a big day for BJ Raji, Howard Green, & Ryan Pickett. I imagine that we'll see plenty of the "Beefy Front" in an effort to slow down the run. We'll force the Falcons to be patient. The mistake will come.

I'm predicting a big victory. Rodgers puts his name into MVP contention. And Jordy Nelson...yes, Jordy Nelson makes a big play.

Green Bay 27. Atlanta 23.

For Thanksgiving weekend, we aren't eating Turkey. Instead, we're eating Falcon. Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Go Pack Go!

Talkin' S-Mac.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Take -> Week 11

Greetings, G-Force.

For those that have followed my writing over the years, I anticipate that you'll understand this week's take. For those that haven't, I hope that you carry an open mind as you read.

It's strange to anticipate closure. It's almost an awkward emotion. Uniquely, this weekend has been anticipated for the last three years. It's even rarer to have emoted closure with such vengeance. Nonetheless, closure is upon us.

So, the day has come for the sun to set on the career of the greatest legend over the last 40 years of our storied franchise. For 16 years, we held onto his every step. Cherished 442 TD passes. Mourned 286 interceptions. We honored his greatness as he played through pain. Through immense personal hardship, he played with spectacular fever. We praised his 3 consecutive NFL MVP's. Endorsed his back-to-back Super Bowl appearances. And with grateful emotions, we celebrated the righteous Return of the Lombardi Trophy to the place where it all began. For 16 years, he was our White Knight. The Don Quixote - el hombre of Lambeau. At times, it seemed he was the Lone Ranger as he pulled out victories throwing crucial TD's to the likes of Bill Schroeder, Corey Bradford, Kitrick Taylor, Jeff Thomason and Terry Mickens. Truly, he was the Leader of the Pack. In time, once again, we will memorialize these moments. Not this Sunday. This Sunday marks the end of a legendary career. The crucifiction of the Football Jesus.

They say that life comes full circle. It's fitting that closure will occur at the hands of the Green Bay Packers. In the dome. For years, when these teams met, Favre struggled when the match-up took place in Minnesota. Once again, Favre will walk off the field & into the losing locker room. And, at that point, for all practical purposes, his career will be over as the Packers will have a 4 game lead with 6 to play. Throw in the fact that we'll have the tie-breaker & the Viqueens will be out of the race. Thoroughly demoralized.

Soon. Yes, soon. With great acceptance, we'll welcome #4 back to Football's Holy Land. Just as we did Curly Lambeau, Vince Lombardi, Jim Taylor, and Reggie White. All who left Green Bay to play elsewhere. Some left with a bitter taste & were welcomed back. All are remembered as Packers legends. The same will happen with the present day Judas.

But, this Sunday is about Aaron Rodgers. He is the ONE. He is the ONLY.

For most Packer fans, the ultimate pain would be to witness Favre winning a Super Bowl in Purple. Until Favre is eliminated, I'm not counting him out. I've seen it before. Too many times to deny him. Most when I was rooting for him. A Minnesota win & our lead is only 2 games. The following two weeks Minnesota plays Washington & Buffalo. They'd be staring 6-6 in the face. They'd have life. For those doubters, all you need to do is look at the Packers in 2003 & 2004. Favre has pulled this magic before. And, call me foolish, but as long as #4 walks out of the tunnel, I fear that he has the capacity to do it again.

It's true that the Land of 10,000 Lakes has immense drama. It's true that they play in a dome that's embarrassingly named Mall of America Field. It's true that Brad Childress is the Coach of the Viqueens. It's true that it appears some players are quitting on their coach. It's true that Bernard Berrian, Sidney Rice & Percy Harvin are all battling injuries. If all of these issues continue, it'll be unimaginable for #4 to muster up the impossible.

The Packers enter the Dome with immense confidence. Winners of three in a row. The 'queens arrive with confusion. Tremendous uncertainty. At 3-6.

While my tone makes it seem like a foregone conclusion - yes, that's intentional - this game is not a certain victory. I'm writing on the assumption that we're well rested. Better prepared. But, the reality is that we must jump out early. Eliminate any and all hope that the 'queens might have. Let's score first and strike negative thoughts.

This is a big game for Cullen Jenkins & CJ Wilson. We need production out of Jenkins & Wilson. I imagine that we'll see significant snaps out of both. They'll need to control the line of scrimmage & beware of Favre's cadence. Couple Pickett's availability with Favre's use of the audible & the use of our "Beefy Front" of Green, Raji & Pickett might be limited. While this defensive front would surely provide a push on assumed run plays, it'd also offer a light pass rush, which certainly would signal an audible.

If Rice & Berrian are unable to go, let's enhance our attention on Shiancoe & Harvin, which will force the 'queens to beat us with a combination of Greg Camarillo, Greg Lewis & Hank Baskett. In this scenario, the Packers might win by 20. But, I expect Rice & Berrian to play. If not for themselves, I believe they'll play for Brett. Sort of a "win one for the gipper" philosophy.

AP is the most dangerous back in the NFL. Occasionally, he'll get loose. But, keep Nintendo in Center Field & AP isn't busting one to the house. Further, keep Peprah inching towards the box & he'll attack the line. Peprah has been totally impressive thus far.

But, this game is for Aaron Rodgers. Aaron Rodgers comes of age this Sunday. It's his day. It'll be a legendary day in the career of our young, Pro Bowl QB. For only the second time in the last 19 years, Brett Favre will not be the best QB in the NFC North. The other time, Favre was with the Jets. This year - it's about Aaron Rodgers. He's the elite QB in the Division. Once again, he proves it on Sunday. In terrific form, Rodgers throws for more than 300 yards. He throws 3 TD's. He's nearly perfect.

With Rodgers as the leader, the offense walks in lockstep. Using a variety of screens, McCarthy slows down the rush. Clifton controls an animated Jared Allen. Bulaga handles Ray Edwards. Rodgers connects with Jennings on a big one.

Once again, Rodgers utilizes the TE's over the middle against the once-dangerous 'queens defense. AQ81 & D-Lee each find 1st down grabs.

Rodgers hits J-squared with a 25 yard fly route as Jones breaks off the jam against Chris Cook.

Don't be surprised if Sammy Swagga gets loose on a KO Return. I have a feeling.

Clay Matthews grabs another sack. T-Mon grabs another pick. So does Nintendo Nick.

Green Bay 30. Minnesota 23.

Dagger. Heart. Inserted. Twisted. Dinner Time. Let's close the curtain. And, Brett, when it happens - please return to your old domain. We're waiting. And when it occurs, maybe I'm too forgiving but Brett, I offer you peace. For when it's all said & done, we'll both have the understanding that Karma is the way of life. It's a must that we all learn to be certain that Karma remains on our side.

When it's all said and done, Favre, I ask that you picture Jerry Garcia singing to you "Lay Down My Dear Brother. Lay Down And Take Your Rest. And I Bid You Good Night. Good Night. Good Night." And Brett, if you let the G-Force know that you've learned from your mistakes and you admit that you put both the organization & its fans in a tough spot - at that point - consider Garcia's voice a melodious mix of angst giving birth to forgiveness and reverence. Brett, "Thank You For A Real Good Time."

Go Pack Go!

Talkin' S-Mac.

Finally, my heart goes out to AK-74 after a 2nd consecutive season ending torn ACL. Wishing you the best on your comeback, AK-74! Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off with my Dad to the Bears at Dolphins game this Thursday night. We're dressing in Green & Gold. We'll be sure to remind Ras Al that he's still loved by the G-Force. We'll also ensure that it's difficult for Ray Nutler to succeed. Fins up! Cheers!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Take -> Week 10

Greetings, G-Force.

Hey Jerry Jones, How 'bout dem Packers? Hope you enjoyed your trip back to America's Dairyland, Jerry.

Greatness is found in the ability to overcome problematic circumstances. It requires a strong-willed mind. Vince Lombardi often stated that "adversity not only tests the character of a man, but it builds it." Over the last 3 years, the Mike McCarthy led Packers have dealt with overwhelming - almost unprecedented - obstacles. Thus far, we're flourishing. At 6-3, the Packers not only have sole possession of 1st place in the NFC North, but as we head into the bye, we also control our own destiny with regards to home field advantage throughout the playoffs. I'm not getting ahead of myself as I'm aware that there are 7 weeks left, however when you consider that we still have dates with the Giants & the Falcons, the NFC is ours to lose. Considering the heavy amount of injuries that we've encountered, I offer a standing ovation to Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy, his staff and the Players within the locker room. Your contributions are absolutely recognized! And appreciated. Keep up the good work, men.

It's a true treat to defeat the NFL's evil empire. It's even more elegant when it's on National TV and when the final score is an absolute massacre, which is the final straw in the Wade Phillips era. We completely destroyed the Cowboys in every facet of the game.

It was great to see Aaron Rodgers in rhythm. Undoubtedly, it was his best game of the year. He was both patient & accurate. But, more so, he was intelligent. He stepped up in the pocket. He chose his running opportunities carefully. He was the master of Sunday Night Football.

Clay Matthews = Defensive MVP. It's not even close. He's a legit playmaker - even when he is either double or triple teamed. He fights with magnificent courage. He's an absolute difference maker. He's undoubtedly the biggest defensive game changer in the National Football League. And - the best part - he makes big plays at key moments. Not since Reggie White have we had a closer. Clay Matthews finishes games.

It's been exciting to see Sir Charles making plays over the last 2 weeks. Notching his first sack and his third forced fumble of the season. It's also noteworthy that Woodson is 7.5 sacks & 3 interceptions away from the exceptional 50 interception, 20 sack club. We need another 2-3 sacks out of Woodson this year as we consistently search for additional ways to pressure the QB.

When Aaron Rodgers & Greg Jennings are mentally united, they are among the elite passing combinations in the league. Jennings in the end zone provides a pleasant buzz.

Nintendo Nick finding paydirt!

Yes, it's nice to have your superstars playing like superstars. But, the true delight was the play of Sammy Swagga, B-Jack, James Jones, Desmond Bishop, the entire OL, and J-Bush. Sammy Swagga was the MVP of the game. His HUGE interception set the tone. His KO Return offers hope for the future. B-Jack running with conviction. I like the pitch to him. Allows him to run with patience and our guards are continuously opening up the cut-back. James Jones eclipsing 100 yards for the 2nd time in 3 games. Desmond Bishop punishing the QB! J-Bush ripping the ball loose, which leads to 6 points.

It was also nice to see the referees show favoritism to the Packers on a couple of plays.

Suddenly, the OL is dominant. Getting a push. Protecting the QB. Winning the line of scrimmage with a tenacious feel. I've been impressed with the interior of the our line. Colledge, Wells & Sitton have played with strong continuity. On the outside, Clifton & Bulaga have been walls. Clifton is playing as well if not better than he's played since his injury at Tampa Bay. Bulaga continues to show his worth - the kid is a fighter.

Also, on the DL, we continue to show maturation & progression. We're well coached. CJ Wilson is a high energy player with a future in this league. Howard Green, BJ Raji & Ryan Pickett lean on you. Plus, Raji's quickness dominates each & every week. Above it all, Cullen Jenkins is arguably our best DL.

Good to see Ras-A-tari back.

Looking forward to seeing James Starks in the coming weeks. Wondering if he might be a KO Return option as well.

Once again, both the Z-Man & AJ Hawk were sound. It was Hawk's deflection that allowed us to see the Claymaker's 1st Lambeau Leap.

Dear Ras Al, you'll be missed. You've been a fan favorite for the last 8 years. No doubt that you'll eventually be enshrined into the Packers Hall of Fame. Thanks for the memories, Ras Al. I sincerely wish you the best. Further, I am stoked to be in attendance as you take on the Bears next week on Thursday Night Football. I promise to elevate on 3rd down to help make difficult for the hated Bears. Thanks for conducting yourself with class. 'Nuff Respect, Ras Al! You'll be missed.

Now, Ted Thompson, I beg of you. We've let go of a fan favorite. I trust that it's the best decision, Ted. But, let's ensure that T-Mon & Jenkins are locked up. Further, it's time to talk to Desmond Bishop as well. Let's get the discussions going. He has flourished in the 3-4 system. Let's communicate with him. He brings a unique dimension to our defense.

I've said it before and I've felt like I've been on an island. But, I'll say it again: I believe in the combination of Ted Thompson & Mike McCarthy. I seriously feel that this could be a Super tandem.

After 9 games, we have forced 19 turnovers & have accumulated 28 sacks. Let the race to the 40/40 club continue. Must continue to force turnovers in November & December as the weather turns.

Maybe I'm stating the obvious, but if this team doesn't turn the ball over & doesn't lose games on special teams, we are capable of having a special season.

Over the bye week, I would like to see two things:

1.) Get healthy.
2.) Find additional ways to get CM3 free. Is Bishop a solution at OLB on 3rd down? Drop AJ & Chillar into coverage. Rush Bishop & Clay. I'd like to see more of Bishop lining up next to the Z-Man as well. Stack the right side of the DL with the Z-Man, Bishop & Jenkins. Therefore, it'd limit the amount of double teams that the future Defensive MVP receives.

6-3. 1st place in the Division. Feelin' Fine.

Go Pack Go!

Talkin' S-Mac.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Take -> Week 9

Greetings, G-Force.

How sweet it is! We went into NYC. Played J.E.T.S. style of football. Got on the plane with a "W." F@ck YES! WOO-HOO! I awoke Monday with a strain in my throat. I also pulled a muscle in my left arm after a forceful fist pump following Crosby's clinching FG. Literally. Clearly, I'm getting old.

This victory was tremendously emphatic.

Dom Capers playing the role of magician. Tim Masthay playing the role of MVP. Mike McCarthy & Aaron Rodgers as game managers. Clay as the Closer. EPIC!

When the Jets tried the fake punt, it was an absolute insult to our franchise. They were spitting in the faces of our coaches. They were laughing at our talent. It was arrogance at its best. It was great to see us rise to the occasion. Namely, happy to see Anthony Smith showing solid awareness.

From the infancy stages of this contest, it was clear that McCarthy's goal offensively was to not commit a game changing turnover. It was his duty to play conservatively & Rodgers' job to control the offense & then clock followed by converting on 3rd downs - often 3rd & long. The Packers wanted to shorten the game. The strategy worked.

Frankly, during the game, I disagreed with the plan. I thought we were unorganized. I was disappointed that we didn't have a play designed to get us into the end zone on 1st & goal. I would have thought that this was a play McCarthy had spent significant time pondering. I was certain that we'd have something in the works for this situation. Instead, we had to call timeout as the play seemed late in getting to the huddle. We also looked disorganized as we faced 3rd & 1. If Rodgers would have improvised, he could have ran a quick-set QB sneak for a 1st down. Instead, we ran the clock down and used B-Jack to the left hand side. B-Jack lost yardage.

Our clock management was also questionable around the 2-minute mark in the 1st half. I thought the Packers should have run the ball on third down so that the Jets would have got the ball back with approximately 1:10 left. Instead, we threw the ball to the outside & Donald Lee was knocked out of bounds. The clock stopped & the Jets got the ball back with around 1:50 left.

It was especially strange to see the Packers run the ball 3 straight times with the game on the line. All we needed was one first down. We ran the ball 3 times for little gain. Weird. But, the normally overly aggressive McCarthy went overly conservative. I strongly disagreed with the strategy. But, it worked. So, who am I to complain?

A huge applause goes to Ted Thompson. Off the streets, he brings in 4 players. Howard Green & Erik Walden were pressed into action with essentially one practice. Both made impressive contributions. Walden had 3 tackles. Green had 1 and it was a huge play as he forced a fumble, which led to an 8-yard loss. Additionally, thanks to Thompson for his more than gracious offer to T-Mon. Now, T-Mon, ink the deal, mate. We want you. We need you. You want us. You need us. It's a match, mate. Get it done!

I've been hesitant to write this, but I'm ready to state my feelings: The Green Bay Packers are a better defense with Desmond Bishop at ILB than we are with Nick Barnett at ILB. In Bishop's 4 games as a starter, he has totaled 13, 10, 8 and 10 tackles. Additionally, he has registered a pass defensed in each game, he has a sack and the vital pick-6 against Minnesota. Bishop has been an enforcer on our defense. Moreover, as a fan, it's thrilling to watch us line up on defense when we show blitz as Bishop & CM3 are lined up next to each other. That's two freakish athletes applying pressure.

It was great to watch Aaron Rodgers. On the road. Against an elite defense. He was cool as a cucumber in hot sauce. Throughout the game, I kept thinking "man, I like their defense, but I love our QB." He was putting the ball where either we'd catch the ball or no one would catch it. Playing with great confidence. For the most part, he was hitting his throws - with the exception of that out pattern on the sideline in which he's consistently missing badly. If Driver, Jones & Quarless would have held onto the ball, his stats would have looked a lot differently.

Small Observations:

Greg Jennings turning on the light switch. When he's in rhythm, he's as good as any WR in the league. I hope Rodgers turns to him on big downs throughout the rest of the year. Over the final 8 games of the year, there's no reason for Jennings not to score 8 more TD's. When those two are on the same page, they're unstoppable. Great to see Jennings involved again.

James Jones has got to catch that ball. Same with AQ81.

Quickie needs to get healthy.

Jordy with a nice sliding grab on 3rd down!

Hey B-Jack, look for the cutback! I was super impressed with Daryn Colledge. Thought Colledge played a great game. The back-side cutback was wide open throughout the 1st half, but B-Jack never saw it.

I was also really enjoying Sitton's game. In fact, our whole OL did a very good job for the 2nd game in a row. Bryan Bulaga has a career in this league.

Gotta love Jazz Hands Raji. Drawing a HUGE penalty flag, which pushed the Jets back 10 yards and eventually aided in the missed FG. Each week, Raji reads a screen. He amazes me with his strength & quickness.

On 3rd down on the final drive, I turned to my buddy, Braulio, who I was watching the game with & I said, back in the day, we'd just shout "Reggie! Reggie!" and we'd grab victory. We need Clay to become that guy. Next thing we see, is the SPIN MOVE! Picture perfect. Clay = Closer.

Send T-Mon to Hawaii.

Great to see Sir Charles making a play.

Charlie Peprah continues to impress against the run.

Liking the look of Cullen Jenkins as Mr. T.

Chillar on the blitz!

The Z-Man was on point. Forcing a fumble. Assignment sure against the run. Fighting at the point of attack. A treat to watch.

AJ Hawk playing steady.

And a BIG TIME shout-out to Sammy "Swagga" Shields. His speed was on display when he beat Brad Smith to the corner on the reverse. That play had the makings of a big time run, but Swagga came out of nowhere to rip Smith to the turf. Great anticipation. Additionally, Swagga made a nice tackle on Smith's long Kickoff Return.

Sounds like Ras-A-tari comes back this weekend. Can't wait to see the 'locks flowing in the secondary.

After 8 games, we have forced 15 turnovers & we have 24 sacks.

This weekend it's the Dallas Cowboys. Sunday Night. Prime time. Under the lights. Lambeau Field. Doesn't get much better than this. Again, it's time to polish those helmets. Show me the sparkle. Shine On, Green & Gold. Shine On. I'd argue that this is the most legendary non-divisional rivalry in the National Football League. So much history between these two teams. I can't wait to bury them.

First, we must come out aggressive. We must attack. Don't mistake this Dallas team. They have a lot of talent. Granted, they seem to be playing lackadaisically, however this team is littered with past Pro Bowlers. If things click, they have the talent to beat almost anyone. Even with Jon Kitna. So we must be prepared.

Offensively, this is Aaron Rodgers' game. Spread these 'boys out. Attack the middle of the field. I want 4-wide. B-Jack helping with D-Ware. I want Jennings in the slot. I want him running a deep post across the middle of the field. We'll get 6 points.

This is a game for the pass to set up the run. And stay patient, A-Rodg. Stay patient. Take what the defense gives you. Get rid of the ball. Don't take the sack. Know that they're going to force you to step out of the pocket with outside, speed rushes. It'll be tough for you to escape to your right. So, stay you. Be calm. Step up. The protection will hold. And release to your open receiver. They'll be all over the place.

While there is no question that I am confident in our defense, I have small concerns about our ability to slow down the playmakers on Dallas. Miles Austin & Felix Jones have beat us badly in the past. Their speed will challenge us. So will Dez Bryant's. Watch the quick passes to Bryant & Austin. They're dangerous in one-on-one situations. Jason Witten is a tough match-up. Wouldn't surprise me if Sir Charles spends some time matched up with Witten.

I see the Packers loading up on the left side of the Cowboys OL. It's Bishop on the blitz. Bishop gets home and knocks Kitna to the turf.

We'll find turnovers this weekend. I expect to see 3 of them. Sir Charles picks one off and takes it to the house. I also see the Packers notching 3 sacks. Cullen Jenkins gets one, so does Clay, and Bishop has the other.

It's another big game for Tim Masthay. Dez Bryant is a dangerous punt returner. Every time he touches it, he's thinking 6 points. Kick it out of bounds. Or at least pin him towards the sidelines.

This game is ours. We're more physical. We'll be more prepared. We're ready to make a statement in front of a national audience.

Packers 34. Cowboys 13.

We're in stride. We're playing with excitement. We have found continuity. The bye is coming, so give your soul this week. Leave it all out on the field. We need this victory as it'd put us in great position as the Bears & Viqueens battle in Week 10. While we're resting. Getting healthy. A win this week & we're in great position as we head into the bye. Let's dominate. This is our house. Own Lambeau Field. And from the fans, it's Power from the People. Bring it, G-Force. Bring it!

Mama, don't let your babies grow up to be Cowboys.


Talkin' S-Mac.

**** On a side note, congrats to AK-74 who notched his 4th sack last week. Keep 'em coming AK-74! Our draft pick is aided by your stats.