Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Take -> Week 3

Greetings, G-Force.

2-0. It wasn't pretty. In fact, it was frustrating. But, in this league, a win is a win. Especially on the road against an NFC team. Come playoff time, this matters as we jockey for playoff seeds.

I'm happy Cam Newton is behind us. He's scary. He'll win games this year. Hopefully, they come against the likes of the Bucs, Saints, Falcons, Bears and Lions.

Takeaways from the Panthers v Packers game:

* As my good buddy Chico often says, "ifs and ands, pots and pans. Well, the world would be a kitchen." I agree. And I'm also thankful Sir Charles is a Packer. Because, without him, the Packers might have lost by 10 or more points. But, Sir Charles does what Sir Charles does. And, as my buddy Stack texted me, "HoF, dude." Spot on. He's one pick from reaching 50 from a career. I often talked about how I wanted him to finish with 50 picks and 20 sacks. He needs 6.5 more sacks to get to 20. You know he'll be coming after Nutler this weekend. Hopefully, he gets home at least once.

* I saw a glimpse of arrogance inside this team. Yeah, I said it. Didn't like it. Didn't like the 4th down call. Shouldn't have gone for it. Had it not been for a questionable pass interference call on the Panthers, it would have been worse than a 13-7 deficit at the half.

* 3rd & Goal from the 1 does not call for 5 wide. Not with the way the interior of our OL is playing. Lang, Wells and Sitton are dominating right now. Really happy with them.

* I didn't like Rodgers reaction to Kuhn after the incompletion prior to the 1st TD. Rodgers could have run it in. He held onto the ball too long. Put Kuhn in a rough spot. Then, he didn't seem satisfied with Kuhn after Kuhn's terrific end zone to extend over the goal line. This isn't about stats. It's about wins and losses. I hope we haven't lost focus.

* Greg Jennings is a smooth route runner. And you had to love the block to spring Nelson!

* James Starks is legit.

* Why do we get away from getting the ball to J-Mike? He should be touching the ball on nearly every drive. He's that dominant.

* At this point in their careers, it hurts to say, but Randall Cobb is a bigger threat than Double-D. Gotta come up with a nickname for Cobb. Right now, I'm leaning towards Randall the Rabbit. But, if you have suggestions, I'd like to hear 'em.

* The Claymaker makes the play to get us off the field on 4th down! And once again, someone on our defense rises to the occasion as a closer!!!

* Sammy Swagga is not off to a good start this year. I'm worried.

* Morgan Burnett making plays!!! The pick. The forced fumble. Going to need more of that with Nintendo Nick out for the year.

* By the way, best wishes to Nintendo Nick. Get healthy, mate. We'll miss you. You're a fan favorite. Always will be, bro. XLV for life!

* Our defensive front scares me. Other than Raji, it doesn't seem like anyone is getting a consistent push with regards to a pass rush. Wynn is improved, but not where he needs to be in order to fill the void lost by Jenkins. Wilson has not elevated his game. And, obviously, while Pickett is a standout run stopper, he's not scaring anyone with his pass rush.

* Loved the special teams play of Lattimore, Ryan Taylor and DJ Smith.

* I've got no real reason to believe this and maybe it's just hope, but I feel Davon House is going to make a play this year. I know he's yet to be activated, but my pulse tells me that he makes a play this year.

It's Bear week! And, once again, it's time to destroy our favorite enemy, Ray Nutler. While the Packers haven't been playing their best football over the last 6 quarters, they walk into Soldier Field with confidence. After all, how could they not. Last time they went to Soldier Field, must I remind you? Halas Trophy + Soldier Field + Visitors Locker Room = Trump Card. Forever. And, now, it's time for the Packers to experience the carry over effect. A win and the Packers go to 3-0 with a two game lead over the Bears. With the drastically improved Lions in the division, the Bears season would become worrisome.

The Packers have face Nutler 6 times in his career. Once as a Bronco and 5 times as a Bear. Nutler has a 1-5 record against the Packers. In those six games, Nutler has thrown 5 TD's and 10 interceptions. He was also knocked out of the NFC Championship with a questionable injury. Bears fans burned his jersey after the NFC Championship game. He was labeled a quitter. Thus far, the Packers have owned Ray Nutler.

In order for the Packers to continue their dominance over Nutler, the below average pass rush from the Packers defensive line must defeat the porous Bears OL. I imagine Capers will mix in a variety of blitzes and when this happens, we must be aware of Matt Forte. Forte is the Bears offense. Expect him to touch the ball 25 times. Forte is tough to bring down. He's elusive in the open field. He has great vision. And he has deceptive speed. If I were Capers, Charlie Peprah would shadow Forte all game.

Recently, the Packers have had success shadowing Nutler and coming with delayed blitzes. Erik Walden had two tremendous games against the Bears last year. Though Walden has disappointed so far this year, look for him to play big this week.

Nintendo Nick has owned Nutler over the last two years. In order to fill his void, Burnett should move to center field, while Peprah plays in the box and shadows Forte. Burnett should respond to the challenge and I expect him to get a pick again this week.

The Bears DL will present a tough challenge for our OL. They'll play with fire and the crowd will be spirited. In response, McCarthy will spread 'em out and have Starks pound it up the middle with fine success.

With Alex Green apparently fit to play, look for him to get his first touch for the Packers. Coming on a screen, Lang puts a hat on Urlacher. Wells puts a hat on Briggs. Green bounces his way into the Bears secondary.

As is the norm, it'll be a close one. Crosby's 4th FG is the difference.

Green Bay 26. Chicago 23.


Trump Card,

Talkin' S-Mac.

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