Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Take -> Week 9

Greetings, G-Force.

How sweet it is! We went into NYC. Played J.E.T.S. style of football. Got on the plane with a "W." F@ck YES! WOO-HOO! I awoke Monday with a strain in my throat. I also pulled a muscle in my left arm after a forceful fist pump following Crosby's clinching FG. Literally. Clearly, I'm getting old.

This victory was tremendously emphatic.

Dom Capers playing the role of magician. Tim Masthay playing the role of MVP. Mike McCarthy & Aaron Rodgers as game managers. Clay as the Closer. EPIC!

When the Jets tried the fake punt, it was an absolute insult to our franchise. They were spitting in the faces of our coaches. They were laughing at our talent. It was arrogance at its best. It was great to see us rise to the occasion. Namely, happy to see Anthony Smith showing solid awareness.

From the infancy stages of this contest, it was clear that McCarthy's goal offensively was to not commit a game changing turnover. It was his duty to play conservatively & Rodgers' job to control the offense & then clock followed by converting on 3rd downs - often 3rd & long. The Packers wanted to shorten the game. The strategy worked.

Frankly, during the game, I disagreed with the plan. I thought we were unorganized. I was disappointed that we didn't have a play designed to get us into the end zone on 1st & goal. I would have thought that this was a play McCarthy had spent significant time pondering. I was certain that we'd have something in the works for this situation. Instead, we had to call timeout as the play seemed late in getting to the huddle. We also looked disorganized as we faced 3rd & 1. If Rodgers would have improvised, he could have ran a quick-set QB sneak for a 1st down. Instead, we ran the clock down and used B-Jack to the left hand side. B-Jack lost yardage.

Our clock management was also questionable around the 2-minute mark in the 1st half. I thought the Packers should have run the ball on third down so that the Jets would have got the ball back with approximately 1:10 left. Instead, we threw the ball to the outside & Donald Lee was knocked out of bounds. The clock stopped & the Jets got the ball back with around 1:50 left.

It was especially strange to see the Packers run the ball 3 straight times with the game on the line. All we needed was one first down. We ran the ball 3 times for little gain. Weird. But, the normally overly aggressive McCarthy went overly conservative. I strongly disagreed with the strategy. But, it worked. So, who am I to complain?

A huge applause goes to Ted Thompson. Off the streets, he brings in 4 players. Howard Green & Erik Walden were pressed into action with essentially one practice. Both made impressive contributions. Walden had 3 tackles. Green had 1 and it was a huge play as he forced a fumble, which led to an 8-yard loss. Additionally, thanks to Thompson for his more than gracious offer to T-Mon. Now, T-Mon, ink the deal, mate. We want you. We need you. You want us. You need us. It's a match, mate. Get it done!

I've been hesitant to write this, but I'm ready to state my feelings: The Green Bay Packers are a better defense with Desmond Bishop at ILB than we are with Nick Barnett at ILB. In Bishop's 4 games as a starter, he has totaled 13, 10, 8 and 10 tackles. Additionally, he has registered a pass defensed in each game, he has a sack and the vital pick-6 against Minnesota. Bishop has been an enforcer on our defense. Moreover, as a fan, it's thrilling to watch us line up on defense when we show blitz as Bishop & CM3 are lined up next to each other. That's two freakish athletes applying pressure.

It was great to watch Aaron Rodgers. On the road. Against an elite defense. He was cool as a cucumber in hot sauce. Throughout the game, I kept thinking "man, I like their defense, but I love our QB." He was putting the ball where either we'd catch the ball or no one would catch it. Playing with great confidence. For the most part, he was hitting his throws - with the exception of that out pattern on the sideline in which he's consistently missing badly. If Driver, Jones & Quarless would have held onto the ball, his stats would have looked a lot differently.

Small Observations:

Greg Jennings turning on the light switch. When he's in rhythm, he's as good as any WR in the league. I hope Rodgers turns to him on big downs throughout the rest of the year. Over the final 8 games of the year, there's no reason for Jennings not to score 8 more TD's. When those two are on the same page, they're unstoppable. Great to see Jennings involved again.

James Jones has got to catch that ball. Same with AQ81.

Quickie needs to get healthy.

Jordy with a nice sliding grab on 3rd down!

Hey B-Jack, look for the cutback! I was super impressed with Daryn Colledge. Thought Colledge played a great game. The back-side cutback was wide open throughout the 1st half, but B-Jack never saw it.

I was also really enjoying Sitton's game. In fact, our whole OL did a very good job for the 2nd game in a row. Bryan Bulaga has a career in this league.

Gotta love Jazz Hands Raji. Drawing a HUGE penalty flag, which pushed the Jets back 10 yards and eventually aided in the missed FG. Each week, Raji reads a screen. He amazes me with his strength & quickness.

On 3rd down on the final drive, I turned to my buddy, Braulio, who I was watching the game with & I said, back in the day, we'd just shout "Reggie! Reggie!" and we'd grab victory. We need Clay to become that guy. Next thing we see, is the SPIN MOVE! Picture perfect. Clay = Closer.

Send T-Mon to Hawaii.

Great to see Sir Charles making a play.

Charlie Peprah continues to impress against the run.

Liking the look of Cullen Jenkins as Mr. T.

Chillar on the blitz!

The Z-Man was on point. Forcing a fumble. Assignment sure against the run. Fighting at the point of attack. A treat to watch.

AJ Hawk playing steady.

And a BIG TIME shout-out to Sammy "Swagga" Shields. His speed was on display when he beat Brad Smith to the corner on the reverse. That play had the makings of a big time run, but Swagga came out of nowhere to rip Smith to the turf. Great anticipation. Additionally, Swagga made a nice tackle on Smith's long Kickoff Return.

Sounds like Ras-A-tari comes back this weekend. Can't wait to see the 'locks flowing in the secondary.

After 8 games, we have forced 15 turnovers & we have 24 sacks.

This weekend it's the Dallas Cowboys. Sunday Night. Prime time. Under the lights. Lambeau Field. Doesn't get much better than this. Again, it's time to polish those helmets. Show me the sparkle. Shine On, Green & Gold. Shine On. I'd argue that this is the most legendary non-divisional rivalry in the National Football League. So much history between these two teams. I can't wait to bury them.

First, we must come out aggressive. We must attack. Don't mistake this Dallas team. They have a lot of talent. Granted, they seem to be playing lackadaisically, however this team is littered with past Pro Bowlers. If things click, they have the talent to beat almost anyone. Even with Jon Kitna. So we must be prepared.

Offensively, this is Aaron Rodgers' game. Spread these 'boys out. Attack the middle of the field. I want 4-wide. B-Jack helping with D-Ware. I want Jennings in the slot. I want him running a deep post across the middle of the field. We'll get 6 points.

This is a game for the pass to set up the run. And stay patient, A-Rodg. Stay patient. Take what the defense gives you. Get rid of the ball. Don't take the sack. Know that they're going to force you to step out of the pocket with outside, speed rushes. It'll be tough for you to escape to your right. So, stay you. Be calm. Step up. The protection will hold. And release to your open receiver. They'll be all over the place.

While there is no question that I am confident in our defense, I have small concerns about our ability to slow down the playmakers on Dallas. Miles Austin & Felix Jones have beat us badly in the past. Their speed will challenge us. So will Dez Bryant's. Watch the quick passes to Bryant & Austin. They're dangerous in one-on-one situations. Jason Witten is a tough match-up. Wouldn't surprise me if Sir Charles spends some time matched up with Witten.

I see the Packers loading up on the left side of the Cowboys OL. It's Bishop on the blitz. Bishop gets home and knocks Kitna to the turf.

We'll find turnovers this weekend. I expect to see 3 of them. Sir Charles picks one off and takes it to the house. I also see the Packers notching 3 sacks. Cullen Jenkins gets one, so does Clay, and Bishop has the other.

It's another big game for Tim Masthay. Dez Bryant is a dangerous punt returner. Every time he touches it, he's thinking 6 points. Kick it out of bounds. Or at least pin him towards the sidelines.

This game is ours. We're more physical. We'll be more prepared. We're ready to make a statement in front of a national audience.

Packers 34. Cowboys 13.

We're in stride. We're playing with excitement. We have found continuity. The bye is coming, so give your soul this week. Leave it all out on the field. We need this victory as it'd put us in great position as the Bears & Viqueens battle in Week 10. While we're resting. Getting healthy. A win this week & we're in great position as we head into the bye. Let's dominate. This is our house. Own Lambeau Field. And from the fans, it's Power from the People. Bring it, G-Force. Bring it!

Mama, don't let your babies grow up to be Cowboys.


Talkin' S-Mac.

**** On a side note, congrats to AK-74 who notched his 4th sack last week. Keep 'em coming AK-74! Our draft pick is aided by your stats.

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