Life is better when the Green Bay Packers win. With the victory, positivity was restored amongst the Packers fan base. Grasping onto hope that Mike McCarthy's team can, once again, play it's best football in December. And, confident that if the Packers play with the form that they played with on Monday Night, we'll be back to .500 after a Sunday at Lambeau.
To celebrate the victory, I write with a Crooked Stave L'Brett d'Cherry from September 2015. Robustly sour. Heavy Cherry. A mouth full o' Brett yeast. Golden Sour. Golden Flavor. Aging perfectly. I'm listening to the Michael Franti & Spearhead show from Jazz Fest in 2008. Seriously, one of the best shows I've ever seen in my life. Total dance party. It was raining NOLA-style. Total swamp feel. He jammed throughout. I'm super stoked to see Franti two times next weekend.
Here are my quick vibes from the last week:
* An aggressive Mike McCarthy is a good Mike McCarthy. McCarthy had his foot on the gas pedal. He wasn't going to leave anything on the table. He was the dictator. He determined the tempo of the game. He attacked the Eagles defense with quick hits. When the Packers offense plays with that tempo, I'm not sure that there's a defense in the NFL that can defend us.
* Yo, HaHa! ROCK WITH ME! That pick was a game changer. And, the Packers defense was desperate for a turnover. Often, turnovers can come in abundance. I have a feeling that we have a couple of turnovers coming this week as well.
* After the HaHa pick, I was calling for a deep shot. McCarthy did so. I was hoping he'd look for Cook. Instead, he went to Adams. Adams found magic down the sidelines.
* Davante Adams! Playing with shake to the beat of "A Little Bit A Riddim make the world go round."
* Rodgers was in MVP form. Playing with magic. Focused. In rhythm. Cerebral. Smartest player on the field. Concentrating on moving the sticks. When that's Aaron Rodgers, we are tough to beat.
* Jordy showed flashes. He's still not himself on the deep ball, but the footwork was terrific down the sidelines.
* Randall Cobb running with conviction is a scintillating sight.
* I've been critical of Jason Spriggs previously. He held his own. Played well. Still needs to get stronger. But, he played well. Moved his feet well. Like his athleticism.
* Bulaga and Bakhtiari. Hats off. Total studs at Tackle. Glad they're locked up. Need them healthy.
* It was only 1 carry. It was only 4 yards. But, I was really encouraged by Christine Michael's movement. Could be a really nice dimension to this offense. If McCarthy allows it.
* Loved the way McCarthy called the clinching drive. He didn't let up. He played to win. He called safe plays. He trusted his players to make plays. Rodgers did. So, did Jordy. It was a thing of beauty.
* Offensively, we weren't perfect though. There's no reason for James Starks to carry the ball 17 times. Sure, Starks picked up a couple of nice first downs, but I view that as being a product of the system, not a product of Starks' play making abilities. I'm antsy to see more of Michael. And, man, I don't get why Montgomery isn't catching swing passes and curl routes across the field out of the backfield? That should be happening a minimum of 5 times per game. It should be noted that I'm not a Starks hater, but man, we need better than 2.4 yards per carry out of the running game. And, throw in this, Starks had three carries that added up to 22 yards. So, on his 14 other carries, he grabbed a total of 19 yards. That's 1.36 yards per carry. That's not going to scare anyone. With Michael and Montgomery getting those touches, I promise that those statistics will improve. And, in turn, the offense will be even more dynamic.
* Also, want to see comedy? Watch Richard Rodgers block on Starks' 8 yard carry on 3rd & 1 with less than a minute in the 1st Quarter. He doesn't touch a soul. Literally. I have no idea what he was thinking. Also, watch Richard Rodgers on Aaron Rodgers' first down scramble on the first 3rd & 1 of the game. If he had any foresight to throw a block, Aaron Rodgers would've picked up another 5-7 yards easily.
* Remember when Corey Linsley played like the strongest guy on the field? What happened to those days?
* Julius Peppers continues to make plays. Looks fresh. Playing with intensity!
* This defense is so much better with CM3 at ILB. He adds speed. He brings an inside blitz dimension. He makes more plays at ILB than he does at OLB. He shows his instincts. He gets to read and react. His talents are on display. He makes a huge impact as an ILB. I hope he stays there. In fact, a piece of me would like to see Burnett and CM3 as the ILB's with Brice and HaHa at Safety. It'd add more speed to the defense.
* Another nice game for Nick Perry. He's earning coin.
* Mike Daniels was a difference maker.
* Really liked Letroy Guion's play.
* Again, Kenny Clark showed push in the run game. He even powered through for a bit of a pass rush.
* Damarious Randall may have shown terrible tackling skills, but I loved the way that he attacked the slant. I see big plays in his future.
* Liked to see Q-Rollins get his hands on a football. Expecting a big play from him soon.
* Another up-and-down game for Gunter.
* Big play: 17-10. 3rd Quarter. Eagles driving. Clay showing blitz from the inside. Instead he drops and Capers sends Q-Rollins and Hyde. The Packers get pressure from the backside with Hyde and Perry. They hold to a FG. It was a crucial play in the game. Good call by Capers, but if Dom Capers thinks he can win this week with Jake Ryan and Joe Thomas starting at ILB, he's a fool. Keep Matthews at ILB.
* Jayrone Elliott was given an opportunity on defense. He didn't come through. I was excited to see if he could perform. Left disappointed. Was really hoping that he could add an outside rush with Clay playing ILB.
* Jeff Janis continues to disappoint on special teams.
* Marwin Evans continues to impress on special teams.
* RIP! RIP! RIP! Total fan.
* Why is Demetri Goodson still eating up a roster spot? Isn't he done for the year?
* Liked to see Josh Hawkins making a special teams play.
* Felt like Datone Jones added a physical push.
* Good punt, Jacob Schum.
* Someday - Mike McCarthy will learn that his defense can't get off the field at the end of the half and he won't use a timeout to help the opposition.
* The Packers played loose. They were having fun. There was continuity. It was a joy to watch. Now, think of this. Dallas travels to MN on Thursday night. Let's get a Dallas victory. Detroit travels to New Orleans on Sunday afternoon. Let's do this, Drew! With a Packers win, we're one game out.
This week - it's the Texans. In another must win. At Lambeau Field. Frankly, if the Packers can't win this game, we don't deserve to hold out hope. We need Lambeau rockin'. We need Lambeau ready to bring us a victory. Stand up, G-Force! Off yur' ass! On yur' feet! Let's make some noise!!!
The Texans have solid weapons on offense. DeAndre Hopkins is a weapon on the outside. He's as talented as it gets at WR. Will Fuller is rich with athletic gifts. Jaelen Strong is a physical mismatch at WR. Braxton Miller is an athletic gem as a slot WR. CJ Fiedorowicz is a big bodied TE who blocks well, sits in the zone and has great hands. Lamar Miller is a speed back who adds a little shake and a lot of power. But, the Texans have Brock Osweiler at QB. And, he's awful. He plays small. He holds on the ball too long. And, he doesn't see the field. Also, he's mistake prone. Additionally, the Texans OL can be abused. I fully expect the Packers front 4 to dominate the Texans OL.
The Texans are without JJ Watt. And, it shows. Jadeveon Clowney is a decent player, but he hasn't lived up to the billing. I believe that he'll be shut down. Whitney Mercilus is a good pass rusher, but when's he asked to cover, he struggles. Vince Wilfork is still a tough run stopper. Antonio Smith brings energy to the DL. Brian Cushing is tough as nails and even after the injuries, he can play. Benardrick McKinney is an over achiever. I believe the secondary for the Texans can be exposed. They lack depth. They don't tackle well. I'd like to see the Packers spread them out. I'd like to see some shots deep down the sidelines. The Texans don't match up well with the Packers on the outside.
I wanted the Packers to draft Tyler Ervin last year as a scat back and a returner. He's returning kicks for the Texans. He's dangerous.
I'm hoping that Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews are fit to go. Both in playmaking positions. In the spotlight. At the core of the team. Ready to dominate. Saviors to the 2016 season.
Rodgers finds his rhythm. He attacks the secondary with quick hits. He finds Cobb early and often. Cobb moves sticks. He looks to match Nelson on Jonathan Joseph. Nelson stiff arms Joseph to the turf.
I have an odd feeling that Geronimo Allison makes a big play this week. Don't ask me why. But, I feel it.
Osweiler struggles early. He commits two turnovers. Randall makes a pick and has a nice return.
But, with Osweiler, you have to play 60 minutes. He gets hot late in the 3rd and leads a Houston comeback. The crowd gets antsy. Rodgers leads a late scoring drive.
Party up, G-Force!
Go Pack Go!