Sparked by a festive crowd, a brilliant coaching performance, a superstar QB, and an energized defense, the Green Bay Packers continue to control their own destiny following a complete domination of the New York Football Giants.
If you were in attendance on Sunday, you deserve a massive round of applause. Clearly, the crowd made a difference. Afternoon games in the fall/winter at Lambeau are the best. The lights shine bright towards the end of the 1st Quarter. It brings heightened energy. And the Packer faithful were clearly a major component of the utter domination that the football world witnessed last Sunday. One Love, G-Force!
For all the Mike McCarthy haters, I hope you took notice. This game was won via sheer execution of a well-developed game plan. We attacked the middle of the field early in the game. We attacked it often. We established a light running game on the 1st drive of the game & because of it, McCarthy was able to go to the play-action pass which resulted in an 80-yard TD over the middle of the field to Jordy Nelson. McCarthy knew our strengths. He knew the Giants weaknesses. He attacked with true precision. And, finally, McCarthy had success in short yardage situations.
Further, I've often stated that you can learn a lot about a football team & it's coach when you are faced with legitimate adversity - both during the week & during the game. In the 2nd Quarter, the Packers were in complete control. Leading 14-7. Looking as though we were going in for another TD. Rodgers hits Nelson who fumbles at the 15. The next play, Eli hits Manningham for 85 yards. I said to my father-in-law, "right now, we'll fight out who the 2010 Green Bay Packers really are."
79 yards. 3 minutes. 13 seconds. John Kuhn off left tackle for 8 yards and a Packers TD. The offense never blinked. We were ultra focused. Nothing was going to stop us. When we needed it most, the Packers played their best football of the year. Cheers to Mike McCarthy and his staff!
Aaron Rodgers. What a stud! Aaron Rodgers. Total superstar! Aaron Rodgers. Snubbed from the Pro Bowl! Aaron Rodgers. Use that as motivation to carry the Packers in Week 17 & into the playoffs! Aaron Rodgers. When you are in rhythm, I'd argue that you're as good as any player in the NFL! Aaron Rodgers. I'm happy you are the Quarterback of my Football team!
Dom Capers deserves a raise. A coaching promotion. Assistant Head Coach, give him the title. He controls our defense. This defense is active. Players are improving. And Capers deserves much respect. We beat up the Giants OL. We made the big plays on defense. Forcing turnovers at crucial teams. Disrupting Eli in the pocket. Never did Eli Manning look comfortable. In fact, Eli is probably my 2nd least favorite player in the NFL - behind Ray Nutler. As I was skipping the family Christmas dinner at the in-laws for the Packer game, I was animated. In fact, at one point, in the middle of dinner, my beer-consumed mind belted out, "Hey Eli, are you wearing a thong or a diaper!" Yeah, this was in front of all of my in-laws. Including Grandma & her boyfriend! I had to shrug & once again reiterate the presence & importance of the G-Force. Amazingly, they all smiled & totally understood my vibe.
Last Sunday at Lambeau Field, we witnessed a football game that included many defensive stars. Sir Charles Woodson, Clay Matthews, Justin Tuck, Nintendo Nick Collins, Osi, Keith Bulluck, Antrell Rolle. You know, past & present Pro Bowlers. Yet, the best defensive player on the field was BJ "Jazz Hands" Raji. The Rodgers snub was a bummer, but the Raji snub pissed me off. Dude is the BEST DT in the game! Yeah, I said it. BJ RAJI IS THE BEST DT IN THE NFL! It's a total shame that he didn't get the nomination. And the only national sports writer that I can find that even remotely agrees with me that he should have been a Pro Bowler is Peter King. Someone please justify this!
I'm so irritated that I'm going to add a 2nd paragraph to this "small observation." Consider this: BJ Raji has 6.5 sacks this year. For his career, Wilfork has 7.5. Casey Hampton has 9.0. I know that sacks are only one stat, but still. Jay Ratliff made the Pro Bowl this year. He has 29 tackles, 3.5 sacks. Raji has 39 tackles, 6.5 sacks. Plus, the Packers have been among the league leaders in points allowed all year. We've led the league in rush defense for most of the year. And, all year, Raji has been our 3rd best defender behind CM3 & T-Mon. The NFL whiffed on Raji being absent in Hawaii.
I wish T-Mon would have made it as well, but Samuel & Hall were also deserving. And, if T-Mon would have made it, it should have been at Sir Charles' expense. I imagine that Chuckie won't make the trip & hopefully, that'll mean T-Mon will get the nod.
Props to CM3, Sir Charles, Nintendo Nick, Greg Jennings, & Chad Clifton for their nominations.
John Kuhn! Hat trick!
I thought Bulaga was a battler against Tuck.
Good to see Crabtree run after the catch.
Donald Lee in the end zone!
Aaron Rodgers: 25/37. 404 yards. 4 TD's. 0 interceptions. Phenomenal!
Nance falling forward! Fighting for yards!
James Jones has to catch the ball. So does Jordy.
In back-to-back weeks, our Pro Bowl DB's have dropped potential pick-6's.
Des Bishop: another day at the office with 9 tackles & a pass defensed.
AJ Hawk: Steady.
Sammy Swagga with the pick!
CM3 & Sir Charles making game changing plays.
Double D gone "Quickie" with the one-handed grab!
The most tremendous play of the game came with 6:16 left in the 3rd Quarter. Rodgers stands strong in the pocket. Tuck in his grill. Throws a beauty to Jennings who makes a terrific grab down to the 1-yard line & then asks for additional fan appreciation. Beauty!
Can we please stop giving the ball to B-Jack in short yardage situations?
I always wanted to love Ras-A-tari. He's my kind of guy. Fun-loving. Plays the crowd. Full of flavor. Sadly, his career in Green Bay is probably over after his latest injury. Therefore, thank the Lord for the play of Charlie Peprah. He's been the biggest surprise of 2010.
After 15 weeks, the Packers defense has created 30 turnovers & produced 41 sacks.
This week it's the hated Chicago Bears. The only thing in life that I dislike more than the Bears is Osama bin Laden & Al-Qaeda. I'd like nothing more than to beat the Bears to get into the playoffs!
So, this week, reality occurs. For my analysis, see Week 17 of the 2006 NFL Season. The Bears play their starters. The Packers jump out to the early lead behind a Nintendo Nick pick-6. The Bears rest their starters after falling behind by two scores & claim that the Packers beat their back-ups.
Rodgers throws for 320 yards & once again eclipses 4,000 yards for the season despite missing 6 quarters due to concussion.
Meanwhile, Nutler gives us opportunities to make big plays. It's up to us to seize the moment & hang onto the ball!
No turnovers. Don't lose the game on special teams. This one is a blowout.
Green Bay 27. Chicago 10.
Bring it, G-Force. Loud & in charge. Let's keep the momentum & stay in rhythm. This train is headed to the playoffs. And the 4th Quarter is a polka style sing-a-long to the BEARS STILL SUCK! Happy New Year!
Go Pack Go!