I wish everyone a Happy Holidays! Packer spirit alive. Packer energy is well. A successful Packers season enhances the Holiday vibe.
Last Sunday, we furthered the notion that the Bears still suck. And because of it, the Packers are on the brink of playoff qualification just two years into the post Brett Favre era. Truly a terrific achievement.
Riding the wave of terrific defense and a maturing QB, the Packers are enjoying a 5-game winning streak. Undoubtedly, the team is both improving and feeling more comfortable each week. Capers' creativity week-in and week-out has opposing QB's confused. The blitz call on 2nd down of the Bears final possession was executed to perfection. Rushing 6, Chillar comes from inside to out. The Bears keep a back in to protect. The back grabs Chillar who does not attempt to rush Cutler. Instead - his purpose is to take the back out of the play. Therefore, T-Mon has a clear path to Cutler. T-Mon tosses Cutler to the turf for an 8-yard loss. Beautiful.
Congrats to Chillar on his contract. It's time to give T-Mon & Nintendo Nick the same. Nintendo Nick is a top-5 safety in the NFL. T-Mon is a legitimate NFL CB. Both are vital components of our franchise.
The NFL's #1 defense held Forte to 51 yards - playing without lead run stuffer Ryan Pickett. CM3 gets another sack. Barnett playing at arguably the best level of his professional career. Hawk playing with both certainty and confidence. Another steady game for Brad Jones. Jolly & Jenkins dominate the line of scrimmage each week. Poppinga making 2 special teams tackles.
The Packers found the running game against the hated Bears - pounding out 146 yards. Ryan Grant might be the most under appreciated back in the league. He's on pace for over 1300 yards. He's averaging 4.3 yards per carry. No one pays any attention. Except for my wife, of course. During the game, in her Valley Girl way, A* says, "He's, like, got his legs back." Cheers, *!
J-Mike is becoming a man. His next step is to learn to step out of the tackle of a undersized CB. He seems to be hitting the ground before contact. I'd love to see him run right at a CB and fight for extra yards. Become mean, J-Mike. Unleash yourself.
Our Red Zone deficiencies could become a major issue at some point this year. The back-shoulder fade to J-Mike is the solution. Get him isolated. Call the play.
I'd cut Mason Crosby. He's unreliable.
This week - it's the Super Bowl Champs, in Pittsburgh. In December. With the possibility of potentially clinching a playoff berth. While we've won 5 games in a row, Pittsburgh has lost 5 in a row. Don't be fooled. The Steelers have great tradition and a champions heart. And even today, they're only one game out of the playoff race. We could end their season with a victory this week.
The Steelers will be without Polamalu & star guard, Chris Kemoeatu. However, Roethlisberger, Ward, Holmes, Farrior, Taylor, Harrison, and Woodley will be on the field. They're well fit to punch anyone in the mouth and provide a stiff test.
They'll test us deep with Mike Wallace. We'll see deep crossing routes to Holmes. Short out passes to Ward. Check downs to Heath Miller. A heavy dose of Mendenhall. Defensively, they'll mix a variety of blitzes to confuse our young QB.
Early in the game Rodgers attacks the center of the Steelers defense. They get behind Ryan Clark & Tyrone Carter in the Steelers secondary. Jennings - matched up with Ike Taylor - gets into the end zone on a double move fly route. 7-0 Good Guys.
Pitt responds. Big Ben to Holmes. Big Ben to Miller for a 1st down. Mendenhall punches it at us. The Terrible Towels are waving. Ben finds Wallace who is lined up against J-Bush for a 35 yard TD.
It's a back and forth contest. It's late. Trailing by 3, Rodgers gets the ball. 3 minutes left. A playoff berth on the line. Battling the Champs. The Steelers '09 life is on the line. Rodgers goes to work.
To Driver. To Jones on an underneath crossing route. To Jennings on a puma route. To J-Mike. The dump to B-Jack for 7. We're in the Red Zone. It's back-shoulder to J-Mike. I want it. I'm calling it. WE'RE IN, BABY! WE'RE IN THE PLAYOFFS, BABY!! WE'RE IN, BABY!!! It's celebration time!
Grant tops 60 yards and 1100 for the season. Rodgers throws 2 TD's. CM3 gets another sack.
It's a stealth-like Packers performance, on the road. We qualify for the playoffs in grand fashion.
Green Bay 24. Pittsburgh 20.
And so this is Christmas. It's Joy to the World. Hark! The Herald. Do you hear what I hear? It's the Packers in the playoffs. It's the Wonderful Time of the Year.