Friday, December 21, 2012

My Take -> Week 16

Greetings, G-Force.

I offer you my best Bill Murray voice with this one: We came. We saw. We kicked it's ass!

A tie game. Hotly contested. Bears with the ball. A minute before halftime. The NFC North Title lingering in the balance. Ray Nutler under center. And, in vintage Nutler fashion, he hits Casey Hayward right between the numbers! Yes, trump card was on display again. On the road. Soldier Field, once again, hoisted the trophy. In the Visitors Locker Room. And, again, Bears fans were in a rage over Ray Nutler. My good buddy, Grammy, texted me in the 3rd Quarter: "Stopped watching game. May not watch another game until they get rid of Cutler. I'm done supporting that fuck. I'm playing Madden instead. Just traded Cutler for a 3rd round pick." Meanwhile, my good buddy, Tommy Datullo, was texting me prior to the Bears final possession,  "Don't worry. This fking loser will throw a pick."

Trump card refreshed. The Green Bay Packers own Soldier Field. And, damn it feels good to be a Packers fan! The NFC North title is ours. And, it tastes sweet. Yes, oh, so sweet.

The Packers have overcame an abundance of hurdles so far in 2012. We had a victory stolen from us by the refs. We have battled immense injuries. We have persevered. We are Division Champs.

No, I'm not on a high horse. We aren't playing at an elite level, but we're getting closer. 

* Didn't like the way McCarthy called the game. Got away from the run in the 1st half. Really disappointed that it took a vintage Nutler play to generate points in the 2-minute offense. When the Packers got the ball with 2:11 to play in the first half, I expected points. Instead, we got a 3-and-out. 

* Ray Nutler hit Casey Hayward right in the chest. Then, he pouted on the sidelines. Like the cry baby that he is. Yoda would calmly say to Ray: Ray Nutler, Cry Baby, you are.

* Getting points before the half was crucial as it positioned the Packers to take a 2-score lead when they got the ball to start the 2nd Half. Thank you, Ray Nutler!

* Huge play of the game: Down 7-0. Bears with all of the momentum. 3rd & 6 from the Green Bay 34. Rodgers to Cobb for 31 yards. Brilliance!

* Rodgers won't be the MVP. McCarthy won't win Coach of the Year. But, the Packers have dealt with as much adversity and injuries as anyone and we are 10-4. Division Champs, baby! And, this is mostly due to Rodgers & McCarthy.

* I love holding Trump Card!

* Welcome back, Claymaker! 5 tackles. 1 assist. 2 sacks. 1 pass defensed. All-around football player. He did a remarkable job against the run.

* Randall Cobb had 6 catches. 3 of them were on 3rd down. 1 was on 4th down. All were first downs. Budding superstar! 

* Speaking of Cobb, he's likely to be the 1st player in the history of the NFL to have 1,000 kickoff return yards & 1,000 receiving yards in a season.

* Aaron Rodgers makes plays that Ray Nutler dreams of.

* Well played, Don Barclay! Be a savior, young man!

* BJ Raji. Looking like he's arrived.

* Tough to tell if it was the Bears OL or not, but the 4-man rush of Moses, Matthews, Neal and the Daniels/Raji rotation applied some significant pressure. Dare I say, Championship type pressure.

* Odd to say maybe, but Mike Neal is a key to the long term success of the Packers. Playing thru pain, Neal was relentless in his pursuit of Ray Nutler. 

* Jerel Worthy has 2.5 sacks on the year. 1.5 of them have come against Nutler. I'll take it.

* If our defensive front can apply that type of pressure for the rest of the year, we will be tough to beat. Our secondary will make big plays and make the most of opportunities.

* T-Mon is playing his best football since the XLV title game.

* Sammy Swagga playing at Pro Bowl levels over the last 2 weeks.

* Mike Daniels brings energy. 

* Ray Nutler for President!

* J-Mike = Ballin'!

* Rest up, Jordy! We're going to need you. 

* Be Great, Greg Jennings. Get your form back.

* James Jones with the HAT TRICK!

* Good game, Ryan Pickett. You, too, Brad Jones. The goal line stand was enormous.

* Mason Crosby, that was pathetic. Almost as bad as the fake punt. What were you thinking, Mike McCarthy? The game was over!

* Up 14. Division on the line. With the ball. 5:14 to play in the 3rd. A 3-score game Would have been a dagger. A classic "Championship Drive" was waiting in the wings. Rodgers to Cobb for 27 yards on 3rd & 10. Ryan Grant bursts thru the hole for 14 yards. And, then, inexplicably, he fumbles! Unbelievable.

* Sometimes the defense needs to provide the dagger. And, in Soldier Field, that man was Sammy Swagga.

* In 2 games against the Packers, Brandon Marshall totaled 7 catches, 80 yards, 1 TD, 1 tear infested press conference. Well done, Dom Capers.

*  Liked the force that DaJuan Harris & Alex Green ran with. Both were fighting for yards.

* This team is starting to show signs that we are ready to make a Super Bowl run. There are glimpses that show we are ready. Then, we follow it up with a fumble, an awful pass interference and an idiotic fake on a punt with the game in hand. We've put one complete game together all year and that was against the Texans. I don't have conviction that we have an XLVII run in us, but I see positive things happening, which offers hope that our best football is still in front of us.

After the game, Ray Nutler proclaimed, "It's not a rivalry anymore. It's a domination." Yes, the Bears still suck!

This week, it's the Titans. At Lambeau Field. I've always felt that one of the more glorious moments in sports is when my Dad pipes in John Lennon's "Happy Christmas" and he belts out "And, so this is Christmas..." Snow in the air. Lambeau smiles all around. Victory in the air. That's sport. That's football. That's picturesque beauty! Bring it G-Force!

The Titans are better than their record suggests. They have a fast, hard hitting defense. For those that have followed the blog, you know that I enjoy Colin McCarthy & Akeem Ayers. I thought both would look good in Green & Gold. They'll be tough to run on. Derrick Morgan provides another stiff test for Don Barclay. Though the Titans depth is limited in the secondary, they do have a solid core with Jordan Babineaux, Altereaun Verner, Jason McCourty & Michael Griffin. Prior to getting drafted, I really enjoyed Verner's game at UCLA. 

The Titans offense is not lethal, but they're fairly healthy. Jake Locker can frustrate you with his toughness and mobility. He's fearless. And, he has a knack for Knowing where the chains are. Chris Johnson is a big play waiting to happen. So are Kenny Britt, Nate Washington and Kendall Wright. The Titans are not a push over.

Look for the Packers to pack the box. Give help covering Britt over the top. Expect Raji to have a good game. Neal as well. The Titans will be pesky. They'll annoy you. Frustrate you. Keep it close. Make you believe they can win. Plus, nothing comes easy for this Packers team. Let's make Lambeau a tough place to play. With a slippery track, we can make it a tough world for Chris Johnson. Jake Locker will be in an environment that he's unaccustomed to. 

It'll be tight for a half, but Tennessee cannot run with us for 60 minutes. Harris pounds forward. Keeps the clock running. The yardage marker as well. I enjoy this run game. The Faithful elevate in rowdy fashion.

Green Bay 28. Tennessee 16. 

The college football regular season has ended. With that, here's a mock draft for you to follow during Bowl Season. I'm not advanced with respect to OL knowledge, so once again, I will refrain from drafting OL.  I'm working off of the assumption that thePackers have the 32nd pick of the draft. Additionally, I'm giving the Packers a conditional pick in both the 5th & 6th rounds. Finally, as always, I only comment if I've watched him play previously.

Round 1: I would love to get Sheldon Richardson, DL, Mizzou. The DL needs help as well and I love Richardson's versatility. He can drop in zone coverage. He can move to an end in the 3-4. He can hold the point with only 2-down linemen. He's aggressive in pursuit. He dominates SEC games. I want him. Even if he has attitude concerns. With that said, it is unlikely that Richardson lasts until #32, so my pick is Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford. Ertz has Ted Thompson written all over him. A gifted TE that Thompson would call a "football player." You can spread him wide. He is fearless when the ball is in the air. A match-up nightmare. Plus, Thompson loves his TE's.
Round 2: Chase Thomas, OLB, Stanford. Wish I wasn't picking two players from the same school, but I'm enamored with the maturity level of a number of players on this Stanford team. Thomas is an ideal 3-4 OLB. He can drop in coverage. He's a high effort guy. He attacks Tackles with a vicious approach. An all-around football player. Other: Philip Thomas, S, Fresno State. Ballhawk. Finds the ball in the air. Only saw him play once. Against a pathetic Colorado team. Thomas finds the ball. He reads plays well and takes good angles when the ball is in flight.
Round 3: Max Bullough, ILB, Michigan State. If Bullough declares, I want him. He'd bring attitude and intensity to our defense. A 3-down ILB. He stops the run. He can blitz. He can cover. He gets sideline-to-sideline. He's a leader.
Round 4: Stedman Bailey, WR, Dub-V. I love me some Mountaineer football. Bailey is a great at winning jump balls. He's a gamer. Catches the ball in traffic. He's sure handed. He has a pension for making big plays.
Round 5: Chris Jones, DL, Bowling Green. A bit undersized, but he's a fearless pass rusher. Provides a strong push with maximum effort
Round 5: Josh Evans, S, Florida. While Matt Elam gets most of the praise, Evans steadily goes about his business. He will knock you backwards, he has a knack for making a play on the ball. He takes good angles when going in to make a tackle. He has a shot to be a legit NFL player.
Round 6: Abry Jones, DL, Georgia. Battled injuries. When healthy, he plugs holes and balls with the best of the SEC. Good rotational player with a football mind. Gets a solid push. True play disruptor. Anthony Rashad White, DL, Michigan State. He's been inconsistent. Hasn't had the year that I thought he would, but he has the potential, if motivated, o be a solid rotational DL. 
Round 6: Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas. A classic pick. Super talented. Cannot stay healthy. When he is on the field, he is a baller. Definitely one to watch. Other: Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State. 1st round talent. Poor attitude. Not a team player. Likely to be a Cowboy. All of the talent in the world. Struggles to be focused. Enjoy his talents. Not sure of the mental make-up.
Round 7: Ryan Radcliff, QB, Central Michigan. His arm passes the eye test, but I believe in BJ Coleman. Call me foolish, but Coleman will be our back-up QB next year. Nonetheless, it is tough for me to imagine Graham Harrell being back with the Packers. Need to invest in another QB. Radcliff wen to Iowa and came away victorious. He was cool, calm and confident. Caught my eye.I like Harry Peoples, WR, UL-Lafayette. He's in the Randall Cobb mold. Just get him the ball and let him work.
More to come after the Bowl season.

Go Packk Go! 

Merry Christmas to all!

Talkin' S-Mac.

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