The sky isn't falling. The season isn't collapsing. The Packers are 6-2. And, if we're honest with ourselves, based on the quality of the Packers play through 8 games, we should be stoked that the Packers are currently 6-2. Even at 6-0, it wasn't as if the Packers were playing brilliant football. We're at the halfway point of the season. Last year, through 8 games, the Packers were 5-3. They got hot and finished 12-4. The same could happen this year.
Prior to the season I wrote:
"Last year, I went on record before the season and said that the Packers would win the Super Bowl. This year, I'm feeling a 10-6 to 11-5 season. The schedule is really tough. The Packers could play really good football and finish 10-6."
I still feel that way. But, I'm not concerned. While I don't think we're built to go on a road playoff run, I do think that our best football is ahead of us. I'm banking on McCarthy. First things first, this team needs to get healthy.
Beer is a mental remedy. Especially during STOUT SEASON. If you aren't drinking stouts right now, you're missing out. Evil Twin's "I love you with my stout" is absolutely fantastic. It's an Imperial Stout at 12%. Pours with a beautiful foam at the top. It sweet. It's bold. It's robustly black, in color. It tastes a bit like smoked chocolate. It's a perfect after dinner drink. It's also really good at 8:30 am on game day. And, at 12%, it's absolutely buzzworthy.
Music is the weapon of the future. As people, we have to remember this message. Music cures all. Dance. Daily. Feel the flow. Life will have harmony. I promise. Today's beat is offered by Michael Jackson. His Dangerous album is a fitting choice. It was released in November of 1991. The Lions haven't won in Green Bay since December of 1991, which provides a true reminder of how long the Packers dominance has been over the Lions in the great state of WI. But, the Dangerous album offers the beauty of "Heal the World" and clearly on a day like today, we need healing. It also offers "Keep the Faith" and those words should ring loudly for Packers fans.
Here are some quick vibes from the last week:
* Mike McCarthy needs control of this offense. In full effect. I didn't agree with him giving up the offensive play calling before the year. I don't agree with it this year. We lack creativity on offense. We lack design. We lack strategy. We lack efficiency.
* Hey Aaron, R-E-L-A-X.
* YO EDDIE! CHILL, DUDE. JUST PLAY BALL. You're a pimp. Just play. With confidence. We need you. You need us. Let's be mates.
* James Starks! The Green & Yellow Hornet! Slashing. Fighting. Playing with conviction.
* TJ Lang is a stud. Pro Bowl material.
* Corey Linsley is playing terrible football right now. I'm surprised.
* Josh Sitton is going through the worst stretch of his career right now.
* Bryan Bulaga cannot be healthy. He's being abused with both speed and strength. That doesn't happen to a healthy Bulaga.
* Richard Rodgers can't block. Never has been able to. And, I'm starting to get convinced that he never will be able to. But, Rodgers has a lot of strengths. He can sit down well on routes. He has solid hands. So, why are the Packers spreading him out wide and sending him on 15-20 yard routes? That's not his game. Keep him on short routes where he can use his large frame to shield defenders. He isn't the type of TE who will stretch defenses.
* The Packers need AQ81 back. He'll help the running game as a blocker.
* Great to see Ripkowski running in the open field! Coming at defenders with bruising intent!
* Randall Cobb was targeted 12 times. He had 4 catches. That's strange. He & Rodgers aren't in sync. And, it shows in the body language. Cobb has been open. Rodgers hasn't been able to hit him.
* Solid day for Davante Adams. Wish he'd have pulled in the ball on the final drive, but I couldn't tell if it got tipped. Nonetheless, good footwork from him down the sideline. And, he showed that he could be a prime target for Rodgers, when called upon.
* Great grab on the 4th down play, JJ! Jones is struggling to get consistent separation though.
* Loved the wheel route to Cobb.
* Let's be real. 1st and goal - Rodgers' ball to Cobb was awful. Didn't give him a chance. On 2nd down, he had Jones open. He didn't see him. On third down, after rolling out to buy time, it'd have been best to hold onto the football to see if anything opened up. Instead, he ran the football which killed clock and took it down to the 2-minute warning. There was little to no chance for Rodgers to run it into the end zone on the play. Would've been better off getting the clock stopped with 2:20 to play. And, on 4th down, the play call was perfect. Cobb was wide open. So was Adams on the opposite side. But, the MVP choked. That was devastating. For a while it felt like the Dallas game in 2013. But, on that day, Flynn wasn't afraid of making the tough throw into tight coverage. Last week, Rodgers was scared.
* It was good to see Jeff Janis getting playing time. It was odd to see him used as a blocker. I'm confused.
* Abby got playing time. He was open. He wasn't targeted.
* Hey Aaron, R-E-L-A-X.
* Not included the final drive, the Packers had 9 possessions that were 5 plays or less and ended in a punt or a turnover. WOW.
* YELLOW JAKE! YELLOW JAKE! YELLOW JAKE! Kid played one half of football. He brought a presence. He was physical. He played with passion. He had 10 tackles. 1 tackle for loss. And, 1 open field tackle tackle on Cam on 3rd down that NO ONE else on the team would've made. He needs to start. And, play throughout. If he doesn't that's a significant coaching issue.
* Clay Matthews is a stallion.
* Demetri Goodson can't play in this league. Neither can Nate Palmer.
* Good pressure, Mike Daniels.
* Liked Nick Perry in the run game. Hope he's OK.
* HaHa & Morgan were both confused in coverage. That was ugly.
* Great pick, Damarious Randall! But, dude, on the deep ball, play the ball. Not the man. Should've had another pick. Instead you gave up a 52 yard pass.
* The Packers need a healthy Sammy Swagga. And, a healthy Quinten Rollins.
* Stupid penalty, Ladarius Gunter.
* Get healthy soon, Ty Montgomery.
* HEY AARON! R-E-L-A-X.
This week - it's the Lions. In Green Bay. Where the Lions haven't won since 1991. The Lions are pathetic. A loss would be a potentially devastating moment for the Packers season. Be ready, Lambeau. Be loud. This team needs you. In grand fashion.
The Lions have strengths. Golden Tate, Calvin Johnson and Eric Ebron are legit targets. Joyce Bell always gives the Packers fits. Theo Riddick is a solid receiving option out of the backfield. Ameer Abdullah has great potential. Matthew Stafford has showed good things when he's been given time. But, the Lions OL has struggled. Riley Reiff hasn't been worthy of a 1st round pick. Laken Tomlinson is still developing. Larry Warford and LaAdrian Waddle can be dominated on the right side of the OL. The Lions are prone to multiple penalties a game on the offensive side of the ball. GET LOUD, LAMBEAU!
Defensively, the Lions will put pressure on the QB. Jason Jones and Ziggy Ansah get after the QB with vicious pursuit. Haloti Ngata remains a presence in the run game. Caraun Reid is a developing talent. The Lions defensive weakness is at LB. Tahir Whitehead, Josh Bynes and Stephen Tulloch have all struggled and can be exposed. At CB, Darius Slay continues to play good football. Rashean Mathis continues to battle his age. Somehow, Mathis can still run with WR's. James Ihedigbo is a baller at S. I wish he played in GB. Glover Quin will take risks. He'll make big plays on occasion, but he can also be beaten over the top. The Lions lack depth in the secondary.
Early in the game, look for the Packers to come out in attack mode. Rodgers trying to get over the top. An early play action. After the early shot, the Packers go to the middle range game. 8-12 yard passes. Adams as a big time target. Richard Rodgers sitting down on short crossing routes. The Packers establish a semblance of an offensive rhythm for the first time in 5 weeks. Starks pounds at the heart of the Lions defense and grabs big yards. The Packers grab an early 7-3 lead.
Detroit hangs close. Their strength is the Packers weakness. Tate and Calvin make plays. Enron gets loose down the middle of the field.
It's 14-10. Late 2nd Quarter. Knowing the Lions lack a running game, the Packers sell out on the blitz. Stafford gives one away. Rodgers capitalizes.
This Lions team has no fight. But, you have to stick it to them when you have a chance.
Oh, and the Raiders beat the 'queens. 1st place. All alone. Once again.
Pump up the volume, Lambeau!
Go Pack Go!