Early Saturday morning. Attempting to be in flight. Bloody Mary in hand. Still drinking away sorrows from what feels like the ugliest Packers loss since the Giants in January of 2012. There were no "what ifs" to take away. We were beaten. Badly. By a team that we were better than. And, we played miserably.
I'm headed to Chicago. Stopping in St Louis. Renting a car. Buzzing with my Dad tonight. At the Hilton on the Mag Mile. Ready for Soldier Field. Full of pizzazz. Enthusiastically hoping that my energy can help shift the vibes before our season runs away from us. A loss this weekend and the season is likely doomed.
Here's some quick takes from the last week:
* I realize that it's a long season and that I'm among the Packer fans that need to "relax", but I thought that this team would look way different than it does. Instead of being well oiled, we are clunking along.
* The Lions grabbed two players off of the streets prior to the game. Yet Randall Cobb wasn't the first read? He was guarded by people I'd never heard of before.
* Julius Peppers! That strip sack was legit!
* This defense needs a healthy Clay Matthews. When he's healthy and on the field, the defense balls.
* Nice pick, HaHa.
* Good fight, Mike Neal.
* Rasta Davon playing with great energy! And grabbing the pick.
* Great catch, AQ81!
* I couldn't figure out Mike McCarthy's game plan. Seemed to lack strategy. No design. No creativity. Where was the screen?
* Aaron Rodgers isn't seeing the field well.
* Eddie Lacy lacks confidence right now. Eddie, believe in yourself. Run straight ahead. With zest. Be you. Power forward. None of this East-West bounce to the outside.
* So, does Jarrett Boykin.
* I understand that this offense needs a target like Bostick right now, but man, he's a poor special teams player.
* I'm concerned that Richard Rodgers is a bust. He's not a threat as a receiver and he's an absolutely pathetic blocker.
* T-Mon & Sammy Swagga are off to a nice start.
* Morgan Burnett's attempt at tackling Reggie Bush on Bush's TD run was comical. Also, not sure what Micah Hyde was thinking on the play.
* Liked Dom Capers' schemes. Mixed it up well.
* I'd like to see more of DuJuan Harris in the no-huddle.
* Sign Tom Crabtree. This team needs a blocking TE to spice up the run game.
* I'd be curious to see if Jeff Janis could add a deep threat dimension to this team.
This week - it's the Bears. In Chicago. In three consecutive calendar years, the Packers have won a title in the City on the Lake. A NFC Championship Game in 2011 that landed Trump Card Forever. A NFC North crown in 2012. And, then 2013's epic 4th & 8 play that'll be remembered forever. Grandiose!
Right now, the Bears are playing better football than the Packers. Even with the injuries. Alshon Jeffery has evolved into an elite WR. Brandon Marshall is a Superstar. Matt Forte is dominant regardless of his statistics. Martellus Bennett is a match-up problem. The OL has muscled their way through injuries. And, the defense has both forced turnovers and gotten big stops to secure victory in the last two weeks.
Kyle Fuller has been great. He'll be attacked this week.
The Packers have long struggled to block Jared Allen. Willie Young has also given us fits in past years. Both will test the Packers tackles.
But, they still have Ray Nutler at QB. And, if history continues to repeat itself, Nutler will make a big mistake this week.
Look for Mike Daniels to forcefully dominate the interior of the Bears OL. Look for Julius Peppers and Mike Neal to force Nutler to step into the rush as they pursue on upfield, outside rushes. Clay Matthews always has good games at Soldier.
Aaron Rodgers finds his groove. Once again, playing against a beat-up secondary. He learns from last weeks mistakes. McCarthy gives Rodgers the game. He attacks early through the air. I expect Cobb to catch 8 balls this week. Then, it's Lacy pounding away to seal it late.
Yes, trump card will be on display this week. The reality is that the Bears are probably the better team right now. But,there's another reality: we own Ray Nutler. We also own trump card. It's like playing spades and always having the Ace of Spades in your pocket. It's used when it's necessary. For example, if it's 4th & 8. With the NFC NORTH Crown on the line. What do you do? You throw trump card and drop a 48-yard TD on their ass with 00:38 left in the game. You win the crown. You dance on their turf. You remind them of your superiority. You pop Champaign bottles in the Visitors Locker Room. You place that bottle right next to the Halas Trophy. You not only display TRUMP CARD, but you duplicate it. You Boogie On next to your Reggae Woman.
THE BEARS STILL SUCK!
Go Pack Go!