Sometimes you play good football and come up short. Such was the case on Sunday in Minnesota. AP was possessed. He was an absolute beast. And, in this case, I feel I have no choice, but to give credit where credit was due. Props to the 'queens. They beat us. I couldn't envision a situation in which Christian Ponder made big plays to beat us. But, he did. Twice. First on the deep ball to Jarius Wright over Sammy Swagga. And, then, on the crucial 3rd down when Casey Hayward lost track of his responsibility in zone coverage. Because of these occurrences, the Packers are forced to play on Wild Card weekend rather than resting on the couch with a bye.
In many ways, I'm happy we're playing this weekend. Offensively, we have looked Super in 7 of the last 8 quarters. I'm want to stay in rhythm. I don't want the chance to come out rusty. Let's keep the pedal to the medal. And, if we can't beat Minnesota at Lambeau Field in the playoffs, we don't deserve to be Champions. It's projected to be 22 degrees. With wind at single digit mph. Small flurries. That's Packer football.
And, when we win, I'd rather play SF in SF than in Green Bay. Yes, I said that. The track in SF is likely to be better suited for our offense. Not to get ahead of myself, but if we're to play SF and win, we're going to need to put points on the board. Thus, we'll need the passing game to be in full function. Based on the way SF play in poor weather conditions in NE in mid-December, I'm willing to take my chances in SF.
But, first things first, we need to take down the Viqueens. It's playoff football. In Prime Time. Under the Lights. At Lambeau Field. Sooner or later. Yes, sooner or later, it all gets real. On Saturday Night, it gets real. And, unlike the Bears, we're in the mix. The Bears still suck!
In 5 of the last 7 years, the Super Bowl winner has played on Wild Card weekend. With this years Packers team, nothing will surprise me. It would not surprise me if the Packers win the Super Bowl. It also wouldn't surprise me if AP runs wild and the Viqueens push us to the brink.
The Packers must emphasize tackling. Wrap AP up. 2nd man doesn't need to focus on bringing him to the ground as much as slapping at the football. It'll be nice to get Sir Charles back. He's the master at punching the ball loose. Look for him to jab it out of AP's hands at some point on Saturday night. He's going to come swinging.
Imagine how excited Sir Charles Woodson must be for this football game. He's been caged up for 9 weeks. There's talk that it's his last run with the Packers. He was just named captain. He's locked into his safety role. He doesn't have to be overly concerned with dropping into coverage rather he gets to get dirty in the box. Fight on, Sir Charles.
Further, Woodson has made a living off of reading young QB's. One time, Sir Charles. Just one time, mate. Please read the play. See the play action. Know it's going to Rudolph. Be ready, bro. Sir Charles, read the eyes. Bait him. Make the play.
AP will get his yards. We just have to make sure he doesn't get close to 200. Hold him to 120 and the Packers are going to win. But, if he's bursting loose again, we'll be in for a dogfight.
BJ Raji was a star last game. He needs help. And, he needs to play the same way as he did last week.
Clay Matthews has to do a better job shedding blocks.
Morgan Burnett has to come with vicious pursuit. Lowering the shoulder!
T-Mon - listen, man. I get it. He's a big man. But, hold him up. I'm not asking you to slam him to the ground. But, hold him up. Wait for your friends to come and help you. You know that they're running your way. Man up.
Love the way Sammy Swagga has fought. Even though he bit on the double move, I still like the way he's playing.
Defensively, we need to force a turnover. At least one. Hopefully two. Without it, it's going to be a battle.
Offensively, it comes down to blocking Allen and Griffen. Sure, Robison and Williams can play. But Allen and Griffen are total difference makers. Every down. We have to be prepared to block them.
One of the biggest keys to the game is the health of Antoine Winfield. When Winfield went out last Sunday, the Packers offense could not be stopped. The say he's going to play. If so, I'd run at him. Test his broken hand.
DuJuan Harris looked like he has big time potential once again. Could he be a difference maker?
Great to see Greg Jennings tearing up the 'queens defense. Jordy as well.
Excited to get Cobb back this week.
J-Mike was playing large. Need more of that.
Hopefully, James Jones will keep his nose for the end zone.
There will be points on the board for the Packers. If we spread 'em out and the weather allows, the 'queens defense cannot stop the reigning MVP. Let's attack!
One of the biggest surprises was the play of Minnesota's return man, Marcus Sherels. Sherels had quickness and elusiveness. He consistently put the 'queens in good field position. Someone has to bring him to the ground.
Jeremy Ross was a surprise for the Packers. He looked spectacular. Would like to see more of him.
It's important for the Packers to jump out to an early lead. We need to start out hot. The crowd has to be revved. Last week - Rodgers had to burn 3 timeouts due to crowd noise. It'd be nice if we could do the same to Ponder. Elevate, Lambeau!
The Packers jump out to an early lead. Rodgers to J-Mike for the TD. We get the stop. Crosby drills a FG. It's 10-0 early.
Minnesota slows down the clock. AP does what he does. Minnesota keeps it close.
But, in the second half, it's Harris who is the RB that makes the difference. Running patiently, he waits for the cut-back. Exploits the aggressive front 7 of the 'queens.
It's a tight 4th Quarter. But, it's a celebration at Lambeau. It's the playoffs, baby!
Green Bay 23. Minnesota 16.
Go Pack Go!