Yes, the Packers just went DOUBLE NICKEL on the Bears ass! At Lambeau. Under the lights. And, after the defeat, the Bears season is, once again, in pure disarray. THE BEARS STILL SUCK!
To celebrate, I'm drinking a Pipeworks Smoked Porter. I figured it was fitting to drink a "smoked" beer from Chicago's best brewery. After all, the Packers just smoked the Bears. Maybe it's that correlation that's making this beer taste so smooth.
As I write, Railroad Earth offers my listening pleasure. I jam to their show from the Fillmore in Denver on 1/17/14. I've attended some first class concerts over the last year, but none top this show. This night slightly edges a rocker at Red Rocks that included Michael Franti & Spearhead (my favorite band), SOJA, Brett Dennen & Trevor Hall.
Here are my kind vibes from the last week:
* Double Nickel.
* An aggressive Mike McCarthy is a good Mike McCarthy. Last Sunday, Mike McCarthy went for the heart. Early. Often. He inserted that dagger into the heart of the Bears 2014 NFL Season. He twisted that dagger until the Season went lifeless.
* I love you, Ray Nutler.
* Thus far, Aaron Rodgers is the NFL's MVP.
* Jordy Nelson. Forever! He might be the best WR in the NFL.
* TJ Lang and Josh Sitton are true professionals. They'd fit into any era of the NFL. Tough. Gritty. Full o' desire. Winners. I'll never know for sure, but it feels like they're the type of guys that made up the 60's Packers teams. I'd love to see those guys with another Super Bowl ring on their fingers.
* CLAY MATTHEWS! Unbelievable. If that's the new Packers look and if Clay plays with that type of energy, the Packers defense has Super potential. That was the best game a LB has played since Desmond Bishop blew out his knee.
* David Bakhtiari continues to prove himself as an elite pass protector.
* Really solid game from Bryan Bulaga. I really hope he re-signs with the Pack.
* COREY LINSLEY! How epic was it when Aaron Rodgers called for him to be a Pro Bowler? Great camaraderie between a QB & his Center.
* Tretter looked rusty. Sure, he showed versatility, but man, he got bullied on a few occasions.
* Randall Cobb is going to get paid. In a big way. He's been unbelievable. I really hope the Packers can afford him. He's been phenomenal this year. Far exceeded my expectations.
* Welcome to the season, Bostick. Let's hope that jump starts his year. If he can stay healthy, he could offer the Packers a weapon that's yet to be unleashed on the year.
* Eddie Lacy on the screen!
* Clay Matthews as an ILB. WOW!
* The Rodgers to Cobb TD was beyond sublime. Glorious!
* J-Pepp with the pep in his step as he gets after Nutler. Loved how he stared down the Bears sideline after the play. Intimidation at its best!
* Great work by Dom to move Clay to ILB. And, to allow Clay to get after the QB as an OLB on 3rd downs. The Claymaker was absolutely spectacular.
* AJ Hawk is slow. Really slow.
* Need more from Mike Daniels.
* Good to see Datone Jones in uniform, but dude didn't look healthy.
* SHOWCASE! Loved Hayward dancing down the sidelines post the interception.
* Great to see Sammy Swagga back in action. Wish he'd have picked off that pass and ran it back 98 yards for a TD.
* Micah Hyde with his first career interception! J-Pepp with the tip on the play.
* Aaron Rodgers threw 6 TD's in the first half of the game. Yes, SIX! That's been done once before in the HISTORY of the NFL. Amazing!
* J-Bush & Sean Richardson make up a fun special teams tandem.
* It's fantastic to watch Nelson & Cobb sprinting downfield to lay blocks to spring long touchdowns.
* Really wish Ras House could catch. If so, he'd have 6-7 interceptions this year.
* Fun to watch DuJuan Harris roll forward. Bowling his way thru the Bears defense at 6.5 yards per clip.
* DOUBLE NICKEL!
* The Jarrett Boykin punt block was hilarious. Like, literally, laugh out loud funny. I've watched a lot of football thru the years. I've never seen anything like that before. By that time, I was fully outstretched on the chair. Sipping a Cranberry Vielle that had been aging for over a year. It felt like Railroad Earth should be singing "Everything Comes Together."
* When it's all said & done, Corey Linsley might end up being one of the true gems from the 2014 NFL Draft.
* The J-Pepp visor would scare me if he was lining up across from me.
* THE BEARS STILL SUCK!
* AQ81! Absorbing the hit. Grabbing 6 points.
* Mason Crosby. $$$.
* Mike Neal looked quicker than he has all year.
* THE CLAYMAKER!
* Thought Josh Boyd gave great effort.
* Nice hit, Mike Pennel. Wish you'd have been a step faster.
* Was really surprised to see Lattimore as a healthy inactive. Would prefer to see him on special teams units over Davante Adams. Hoping he was a scratch due to the uncertainty at OL and that it's not a permanent thing.
* Nice to see Sam Barrington get home on the blitz.
* Really wanted HaHa to grab the pick early in the game.
* It feels like Randall Cobb is going to break loose on a punt return soon.
* Really solid game from Morgan Burnett. Liked his post sack excitement.
* Well done, Tim Masthay.
* THE BEARS STILL SUCK! What's wild is that the Bears could offer the Packers big help between now and the end of the year as they still have dates with Dallas, NO & two games against the Lions. Dare I say, Go Bears?
* Jayrone Elliot isn't ready for the big time, but he was active. If Clay at ILB is a thing, it could present an opportunity for Elliot to elevate and see playing time. Rise up, Jayrone!
Im getting closer, but I'm still short on being able to give a thoroughly thought out Mock Draft. While I haven't watched enough College Football, I have watched the Washington Huskies play defense. If you haven't seen them, you're missing out. I will try to watch every Washington game between now and the end of the year. As always, I only comment if I've watched the player in action. I gave the Packers two additional 5th round picks as compensation for the losses of James Jones & EDS. It is possible we will receive better. Also, I have the Packers listed with the 32nd selection and I'm clueless about prospects along the OL. Nonetheless, I offer you this Packers mock draft:
1.) Hau'oli Kikaha, OLB, Washington. Kikaha is arguably my favorite player entering the draft. I'd select him in the 1st round. I'm surprised he's listed as a 2nd round prospect. He's a classic 3-4 OLB. High motor. Drops in coverage with a natural backpedal. Elite pass rush moves. Throw him & Clay on the same defense and that's high energy. Other: Danny Shelton, DT, Washington, Devin Funchess, WR/TE, Michigan.
2.) Denzel Perryman, ILB, _. I've been watching him since he was in High School. He's hungry. Knows the game. A hunter.
3.) Kurtis Drummond, S, Michigan State. I'm enamored with his game. He can do it all. He can cover the slot. He can play the run. He can play FS. Others: Justin Hardy, WR, ECU; Rashad Greene, WR, FSU; Jake Ryan, LB, Michigan.
4.) Levi Norwood, WR, Baylor
5.) Curtis Riley, CB, Fresno State
5.) Junior Sylvestre, LB, Toledo. Initially, I thought he was too small for the NFL as he was listed as an OLB. But, then, I studied further. His game translates as an ILB in the 3-4. Ideally, for him, it's possible that he's best at OLB in the 4-3. Hopefully, I'll know more on him in the coming weeks. I'm itching to draft ILB's.
5.) Gerald Christian, TE, Louisville
6.) Olsen Pierre, DT, _
7.) John Timu, ILB, Washington
This week - it's the Eagles. At Lambeau. A mid-November afternoon gem at the most hallowed Stadium in all of American sports. If the Packers want any crack at a 1st round bye, this must be a win. We cannot afford a 4th NFC loss. Prior to November, I felt that the Packers must go at least 3-1 in November to have a shot at a 1st round bye, but after reviewing the schedules, it really feels like this one is a must, if we want a week to rest in January.
Philly comes to Green Bay loaded with weapons. Surprisingly, Matt Sanchez has been solid in his 2 games at QB for Philly. It doesn't hurt to have McCoy, Sproles, Jordan Matthews, Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper, Ertz and Celek as targets. McCoy & Sproles scare me. A lot. Sproles on the HB circle and/or wheel route is absolutely dangerous. I'm seriously afraid of it. I feel like Ras Davon matches up well with Cooper, T-Mon matches up well with Matthews, and Sammy Swagga can run with Maclin. Sammy Swagga can also man-up vs Maclin on the WR bubble screen. Ertz & Celek can play, but they shouldn't destroy us. Both are targets on the jump ball, but HaHa, Burnett and Hyde should be able to limit their successes.
Because of Sproles & McCoy, I'm not sure AJ Hawk should see the field much. It'd be better to put an extra DB on the field. Hawk can't run with them. I'd play a 4-1-6 defense with Clay in the middle.
Philly's OL is finally healthy and should be in tact. I'm looking for Peppers to beat up Lane Johnson and for Mike Daniels to have a big day against Dennis Kelly. Jason Peters can ball at LT. The Packers will have to collapse the right side of Philly's OL.
The Eagles defensive front strikes fear. They'll pressure Rodgers with a variety of blitzes and will offer the stiffest test of the year for our OL. Connor Barwin, Fletcher Cox, Vinny Curry, and Trent Cole can all get to the QB. Mychal Kendricks can come on the blitz. He's become a much better football player than I thought he'd become.
If you've followed this blog for a while, you know I like Bradley Fletcher, Nate Allen, Brandon Boykin and Malcolm Jenkins. Prior to being drafted, I spoke highly of all of them. Fletcher is an immensely underrated talent. Cary Williams is also an extremely talented player. Philly's defense is built to win. Their weak spot: Casey Matthews, Clay's brother. I also have confidence that Lang, Linsley and Sitton can dominate Cedric Thornton & Bennie Logan.
Philly's secondary will give the Packers WR's trouble. Fletcher and Williams will battle Jordy & Davante. Boykin matches up well with Cobb. It'll be a fight for receptions on the outside.
For the Packers to win, we'll have to slow down the pass rush. It'll be crucial for McCarthy to use Lacy to attack the inside of the Eagles defense. If we try to spring Lacy to the outside, we won't find success. Instead, let's punch them in the nose. Then, come back to the screen. And, then the play-action. But, on the opening play of the game, run the football right at the heart of the Eagles defense. Show them that we came to beat them up. Show them that we are more physical.
While Sanchez has been fairly mobile the last two weeks, don't bite on the QB draw. He's handing it off. Keep your lanes. Don't let the big play occur via the legs of McCoy & Sproles. Come with pressure. Our secondary will force turnovers.
This one has a playoff feel. Let's make it a playoff environment. Force an early false start or timeout. Rattle Sanchez early. He'll give us an early turnover. Just as Nutler did. This is our time to show that we are a legitimate contender in the NFC.
With T-Mon covering Jordan Matthews on a crossing route, he jumps in front of it for a game changing play.
With Brandon Bostick out, Richard Rodgers gets loose down the seam for a big play.
It's a Lambeau celebration. A day to remember.
Go Pack Go!