Sometimes life grabs a hold of me. The cheetah-like pace of existence prevents me from tackling the human details that often times define us. Instead of naturally reacting, I move with ample trepidation and decision. SO much to do. And, unfortunately, time is not on my side. This week - was one of those weeks. One of my dearest mates, PatRad, was in town. A*, Lisette, Vargas and I were blessed by his presence. In addition, to normal day-to-day career duties, I had to prepare for an interview with the local newspaper to discuss South Florida's economy. I also had my quarterly review. Plus, the Presidential debate & the USA vs Trinidad World Cup qualifying match fought for my attention. This week - A* also won tickets for Phish's comeback weekend. Yes, all 3 nights! You get the point.
Wednesday marked my Dad's 60th B-Day. This morning is my Mom's 60th. Talk about G-Force! If the game's producers 60th B-Day cannot bring fortune, what can? Plus, my siblings & I have flown up for a weekend in Titletown. My parents had NO IDEA we were going to be here. So to help prevent them from finding out - I had to delay the take.
The last time I visited Lambeau, Eli was in town. This time, Peyton is coming. Man, do I despise the Mannings! I want Manning blood!
The Packers come into this weekend tied for first. 3-3 and yet to find our stride. We still struggle to run the football. We have difficulty in pass protection. We are unable to stop the run and our pass rush is non-existent. Yet, we are 3-3. Thankfully, we have faced Tavaris Jackson, John Kitna and Charlie Frye.
Frankly, at times during the Seahawks game, I'd lost hope on this being a successful season. We've looked sloppy. We've looked unprepared. We looked beat-up. In short, we've looked elementary.
But, to a degree, our defense has been opportunistic. After 6 weeks, Charles Woodson is the Defensive MVP in the NFL. T-Mon has shown a knack for finding the football. He's a quick study. While he still makes mistakes, he seems to learn and grow from week-to-week. Nintendo Nick continues to play at Pro Bowl level. When will Ras-a-tari finally return? We need his presence in the run game.
In the Seattle game, we did see some encouraging signs from Jordy Nelson and Jeremy Thompson. Nelson showed football maturity and down and distance awareness. He also used his body to shield defenders like a seasoned veteran. Jeremy Thompson appeared capable of playing in this league. He fought hard. Got low. For the most part, I thought he was steady. I still want to see him rush the passer from the DT spot on 3rd down.
For now, I'm referring to Aaron Rodgers as 12. 12 has formed an elite 1-2 combo with Greg Jennings. 12 has been a gritty gamer. Mentally tough. A competitor. I sympathize with him. He could not have imagined that Clifton & Tauscher's play would have declined as much as they have from one year to the next. On occasion, he's still slow to get rid of the ball, but he was more decisive last week.
This week the Packers catch a break. Joseph Addai & Bob Sanders will not be playing. We need all of the help we can get. The Colts have a high powered offense with an innate ability to rise to the occasion late in the game.
Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison make a scary combo. It'll take everything we have to stop these dynamic weapons and the unbelievable chemistry that they have with Manning. Dominic Rhodes is a competent back-up who knows the Indy system. Indy will score points.
Freeney and Mathis are two of the best pass rushers in the NFL. Their speed rushers who will sell their souls to get to the QB. But, I believe you can run against this defense. You can push thier aggressive DE's up the field & run thru the gaps. Can you say Denver last year?
On Sunday, expect Grant to get another 25 carries. The Packers control the clock. manning is sitting on the sidelines. Brisk temperatures. Waiting his chance. Meanwhile, the Packers eat up clock. I picture 12 finding his check downs. Managing the game. Converting critical 3rd downs. Keeping possession.
The Indy domers are uncomfortably playing outside. The Lambeau faithful is rowdy. Full of believe. The Packers grab a 2 score lead. Then Manning goes to the air. Taking shots deep at T-Mon and Willie B. All day to throw, Manning moves the ball much to the frustration of the G-Force. Manning leads the colts back. Down 3, the Colts look to take the lead, but a blitzing Poppinga makes a play and thwarts the drive. The Packers must search for a pass rushing solution. I believe that Poppinga will be used as an option this week.
12 gets the ball. 2 minutes. A chance to win. It's 12 to Driver. It's 12 to Jordy. It's 12 to Jennings on a curl. It's Mason Crosby supplying the game winning dagger!
Green Bay 26
If I were a gambling man, I'd be enticed by seeing Indy as only a 1 point favorite. After all, our defense has been prone to give up the big play & Indy is as good as anyone other than the Cowboys at producing a big play. Luckily, unless I'm in Vegas, I'm not a gambler. Instead, I envision a BIG win for 12's career. It's Fall. It's Lambeau. The AFC comes to town. I'm in attendance bringing the vibe. As the season's change, so does the Packers run game.
I'll take a block WI cheese. A Riverwest Stein. A Packers win. My Parents surprise 60th B-Day party. Call it vacation.