Sunday, October 25, 2009
The Green Bay Packers are better than the Cleveland Browns. But that does not answer the question; almost everyone is better than the Cleveland Browns.
Despite flashes of excellence in the quick-striking passing game which resulted in multiple touchdown passes; and playing great defense; and protecting quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay failed to answer the question.
Because when you are playing the worst defense in the NFL which also has an anemic offense (think Packers, circa 1984) you SHOULD be able to impose your will with your strengths; but you should also answer the question.
And in the process of beating up on the Browns, the Packers were getting help around the league as both the Bears and the Vikings suffered losses, bringing Green Bay to within one single game of sharing the conference lead; a game which brings up the REAL question: Can the Green Bay Packers beat the Minnesota Vikings?
Though coach Mike McCarthy tried to unleash his running game, it took wayyy more attempts than it should have to unleash Ryan Grant, don't you think? Against the league's worst defense?
So what's going to happen next week when the Minnesota Vikings bring Jared Allen and the Williamsses to Lambeau?
And though Chad Clifton was not in the game to accumulate more bone head penalties, other Packers stepped in to pick up the slack and they penalized their way back on to McCarthy's list.
So if Green Bay still has not mastered the run game, and if they still make an unacceptable number of stupid penalties, CAN THEY BEAT THE VIKINGS?
Yes, they protected the quarterback against Cleveland, but until they can fix those two remaining problems, one game might be the closest they get to the conference lead for the rest of the year.
Game Ball: Defense
Posted by PackSmack at 7:47 PM
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sure we might miss out on a Super Bowl or two. And, yes we would never really know how good we were. But in some other parallel universe, wouldn't it be great just to play the Lions every week? At Lambeau?
I mean, we can give up an embarrassing amount of sacks, get more penalties than ACORN, establish NO run game, and still smoke our opponents. Isn't that a great thing?
It would be a little like pounding up on your little brother every week; or your sister. But we would know that we would win, no matter what.
I kind of wonder if Aaron Rodgers wasn't drawing pass plays in the dirt at Sunday's game at Lambeau. Or else he was saying to his stud receivers, "Just get open. The rest of you block." And then he'd drop back and just shred the Lions defensive backfield time after time. There were circus catches by Donald Driver, big gainers, touchdown passes, the obligatory half-dozen dropped passes and we blow the Lions away.
And just like your stupid kid brother who decides to fake a punt from his own 30-yard line, or something, the Lions were giving us more opportunities than Bill Clinton in his Governor's office. They let us in the red zone more often than Obama lets a radical freak have a White House czar position, and even though we couldn't do anything about it except kick a bevy of field goals, it was nice to be racking up points on the board.
As for Chad Clifton, I am pretty sure that I hurt his leg myself through telepathy or reverse osmosisizing extremely strong negative energy back through the television microwave signals...or maybe that was you. Or perhaps it was all of us together.
But if one player ever deserved to get pulled from a game and sit on the bench, it was Clifton. He drew more flags than Che Guevara at an Obama rally. And it was just as pitiful. No excuses for that kind of inattention, Chad. And if you weren't so monstrously big, I'd say that to your face. Be careful or you might get yourself traded TO the Lions!
Kudos to Donald Driver for earning the all-time Packer pass-catching title. Kudos to Aaron Rodgers for his precision passing. Kudos to the defense. Kudos to whoever let Aaron Kampman rush the quarterback for a change. And kudos to Ted Thompson for finally finding a team he can dominate even though his team always plays sloppy, inconsistent football.
And since Thompson already lives in an alternate universe, maybe he can make this dream come true and get the Lions back at Lambeau every week for the rest of this season, anyway. It sure would be fun.
Posted by PackSmack at 8:10 AM
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Ted Thompson, go dig a hole and crawl into it and just stay there.
Your 'new direction' came face to face with the 'original direction' and wiped your nose in it badly.
Brett Favre tore you new body orifices last night, Ted. And you've got the best corners in the league.
Where the heck was the protection for your prodigy quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, Ted?
So you wanted to go a 'new direction' so you threw Brett Favre out of Green Bay. Well, guess what, he didn't just ride away into the sunset. He came back and blazed more holes through you than the buildings at the Alamo. Brett Favre swiss-cheesed every presumption of genius you though you had.
And you should have been fired long ago, but today, you should be fired IMMEDIATELY!
Your plan has not worked, does not work, and will not work.
And I'm sorry to have to say this, but I TOLD YOU SO!
Great effort by the Pack in stopping Adrian Peterson. They did a good job with that. Also great efforts by Ryan Grant, Aaron Rodgers, Woodson, Harris, and the linebackers.
It is just too bad that the Packers had to play against the deadliest gun-slinger ever, Brett Favre.
Game Ball: Brett Favre.
Posted by PackSmack at 9:41 AM
Sunday, September 27, 2009
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
Donald Driver may not be Superman; but he does a pretty good imitation. Green Bay's leading receiver's several big catches, including an other-worldly one-handed stab, fit in nicely with a big-play offense, big-play defense and big-play special teams as the Packers overwhelmed the St. Louis Rams.
Though plagued by inconsistency, each aspect of Green Bay's game came up with timely heroics which most often helped put points on the board. Some of those include a blocked field goal, fumble recovery, an interception, big tackles and Aaron Rodgers to [name your choice of blazing Packer receivers here] for big yards.
Together, they added up to a good outing and a convincing win.
And Aaron Rodgers, though he missed some open guys, the man certainly does have an NFL arm. And feet. He is the Steve Young of the Packers and there is every reason to believe that he will effectively lead this team. Like Young, Rodgers' quick feet are surprisingly effective once pass protection breaks down. Though he was once again sacked a few times, more often than not, he turned potential sacks into gainers or first downs.
The big play capability is definitely as aspect of the game that other teams should fear this year.
Charles Woodson is a walking big play. His lightening-fast kamakazi strikes into the ball carrier, usually the Ram's Steven Jackson, came swiftly and powerfully and with the same effect; in one brutal assault, he wiped out both the blocker and Jackson.
Likewise, the stubborn Packer defensive line did a good job of generally bottling up a powerful running back. Though Jackson got his yards, the defense never allowed him the big gainer.
But the most lethal, soul-killing weapon in Green Bay's arsenal has to be the Rodgers to Driver/Jennings, etc. down field combinations. When you can advance 60 yards, seemingly at any time, that is a real threat.
And when you can effectively do it multiple times per game, it is a nightmare for the opposing team's defense.
Therefore, it is highly unlikely that the Rams will be getting much sleep tonight.
Game ball: Aaron Rodgers.
Posted by PackSmack at 7:15 PM
Sunday, September 20, 2009
(AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
Either the Cincinnati Bengals are a pretty good team, or the Green Bay Packers are a pretty average team.
In an ugly, infraction-filled contest at Lambeau Field, each team tried hard not to win. The Bengals worked toward achieving a team record of the yellow flags, but also bit hard with their running game and timely big passes.
The Packers, meanwhile, spent much of the day dropping passes and forgetting about protecting quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who was sacked like Obamunist Green Czar, Van Jones.
With Green Bay's running game failing to arrive on the field, Rodgers either overthrew his receivers, had his passes bounce off their chests or was being pummeled into the ground by Cincinnati's Antwan Odom, who almost had several hat-tricks of sacks all by himself.
Defensively, the Bengals opened huge holes in the Packer 3-4 defense and pounded the football through them at will on several long, successful scoring drives. If it were not for Charles Woodson's two Carson Palmer picks, and the rest of his stellar play, one would have thought that Dom Capers had taken the week off.
At times the Packers looked very good. And at times the Bengals looked very good. But maybe it is that both teams have big strengths, yet also big weaknesses, and only one could be successful at giving the game away.
Too bad it was the Packers.
That was one ugly game. Let's hope that the Packers will learn from this one and begin to be able to develop some consistency.
Game ball: Charles Woodson.
Posted by PackSmack at 10:02 PM
Monday, September 14, 2009
Jay Cutler lived a charmed life in Denver. But when he heard their new coach did not have confidence in him, Cutler demanded a trade. So he stepped in this himself...
And then he showed up at Lambeau Field dressed in a Chicago Bears uniform and proved that he is as limp-wristed as Brian Urlacher.
With a performance that should have earned him Green Bay's Most Valuable Player honors, Cutler threw the ball to the Green Bay defense as often as to his own receivers. Granted there was considerable pressure by Dom Caper's frenetic, predatory defense; in fact one might argue that this is what caused Cutler to crack. But Cutler's passes to phantom receivers certainly was indication that he was not on the same page as the rest of his offense. Oh, darn.
Meanwhile, Green Bay's own offense found its own problems as it struggled with a reckless Chicago Bear defense, causing Aaron Rodgers and his receivers to be a half-step out of sync with one another. Perhaps a hard slam by Urlacher early in the game rattled Roger's cage, or perhaps the intensity of the rivalry sped the game up a bit for the receivers. Either way, receivers like Donald Driver and Jordy Nelson were dropping as many balls as Barack Obama.
It was not until the final two minutes of the game that Green Bay could put a convincing touchdown drive together as Rodgers found Greg Jennings open behind the Bears' defense for the lead and eventual win.
As for Urlacher, maybe he hurt himself running into Aaron Rodgers, it's not clear. But somewhere early in the first half he hurt his pansy wrist and then sat out for the rest of the game.
Yes, I said 'sat out for the rest of the game.' Which BEGS the question: What Would Butkus Do?
Dick Butkus would have chewed his wrist off and gotten himself back into the game. What kind of pansy-fest is going on down there in F-I-B land? For heaven's sake, Green Bay's Ray Nitschke played with a BROKEN LEG, and the Packers have had QUARTERBACKS play with broken thumbs, etc. - not supposedly big, tough linebackers, but quarterbacks! And Urlacher sits out because of a little wrist injury?
Perhaps the Bears should start sending a high school team from Chicago up to Green Bay next time to continue this rivalry, because they sure aren't sending up men. I mean, this is the BEARS vs. the PACKERS, and your 'star' linebacker sits the game out because of a sore wrist?
So this great rivalry, an epic slugging match which began in 1921, has come to this - Green Bay sends in great professional players and Chicago sends in pansies. Is that the best you've got Chicago? Is that as close to the '85 Bears as you can get?
Maybe it is simply time to throw in the towel, Chicago. Maybe your players should man up and join a bowling league, or some other pastime that doesn't require stamina, grit and guts.
But I suppose that your Bears bowling team would suck too, because the Chicago Bears have always sucked, they still suck, and they always WILL suck!
GO PACK GO!!!
Game Ball: Packer Defense
Posted by PackSmack at 8:09 AM
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Let's just get this out in the open right away; Chicago sucks. All of it.
If you have been to Chicago you already know what I mean. It's ugly, dirty, colder than crap, windy-er than Bengal's receiver Chad Johnson Ochocinco, and just a slimy place to be. Just driving through makes you feel dank, cheap and hopeless.
If you have never been there, consider yourself lucky.
And every person from Chicago sucks. All of them. They are rude, bossy, pretentious, loud-mouthed, crass, and as dumb as bricks. I even once had a college room-mate from the Chicago area. I was so impressed with him that I can't even remember his name. He liked himself enough for the both of us, so I guess I never had to.
They all have one other thing in common: they think Chicago is the center of the entire universe and people from Chicago are superior to all created beings. I'll bet you just went down the list of every single person you know who is from Chicago and realized that they all fit this mold; you know I'm right.
It's like they always are thinking that they are at the top of the food chain...but why would people view all of life through the lens of a food chain? Is life in that city such a zoo that one can only aspire to attempted domination? It's pathetic.
Which brings us to the football team which hails from this depressing slum: the hated Chicago Bears, who have sucked from the beginning. They are the same pathetic bunch of hacks that they have always been. Some thugs mixed in with some meat-heads, a few greasy pretty-boys, perhaps an athlete or two, some under-achieving former college heroes and a handful of number runners with a coach who's job is never secure past noon.
And none of them can speak a complete sentence without an equal number of adjectival curse words and nouns; check that - none of them can even speak a complete sentence, period.
"But now we've Cutler," one of them mumbles in a growling, caveman-like grunt, sans the complete sentence. So Jay Cutler is the latest Midway Messiah, is he? Too bad for Jay. In only a few short weeks he will reek like all Chicago Bears quarterbacks do. Any attributes of excellence he may have brought with him from Denver will soon be washed to to mediocrity by Chicago's darkish clouds of gloom that always turn all colors to gray.
By the Bears' bye week, he will be throwing his hangover up on the field; by Thanksgiving he will have more interceptions than touchdowns; and by January he will be huddled on the sidelines with either an injury or simply having the life sucked out of him by the overwhelming futility that always comes with being either from Chicago, or a member of the Chicago Bears.
Yes, Jay Cutler's star has entered its dwarf stage just by showing up at training camp; he's doomed.
And Lovee's got no magic, no answers, no talent, no plan, no help, no backing and no strategy; the only apparent qualification he might have by the end of a year of failure is to hold office in Chicago politics...
Because Chicago politicians suck, Lovee sucks, Cutler sucks, Urlacher sucks, the whole team sucks and they always have.
Packers 38. Bears 24.
Posted by PackSmack at 8:24 PM
Friday, September 4, 2009
AP Photo/John Russell
The Tennessee Titans proved that they are better than Green Bay's junior varsity on Thursday night in Tennessee, but there was plenty of opportunity for the Packer coaches to evaluate the talent on the field.
Green Bay's starting offensive and defensive squads are both performing at an effective level, so they got to take most of the night off. This game was the one where those players whose futures as a Packer are questionable, or whose careers are on the bubble, got a generous opportunity to showcase their abilities.
Some of last night's players will never put on a Packer uniform again. Others may never put on an NFL uniform again. So it was a great privilege to get extended playing time for them, I am sure, though, it cannot be easy or fun to be faced with elimination after the game.
One player who probably might be shown the door is backup quarterback Brian Brohm. Or not. He is not exactly bad enough to let go. But he is not really good enough to keep. So maybe the Pack will hang on to him just in case.
But he plays like, well, like a Detroit Lions quarterback; or a Chicago Bears quarterback. Not always horrible. Not ever great. Just alright.
And as Chicago and Detroit were going through a whole census of quarterbacks the past 17 years, Green Bay had one...now two. So we have a different standard for quarterbacks, it seems. And with Aaron Rodgers living up to that extremely high standard nicely, it does not seem like a Brian Brohm will ever make the grade as a Green Bay Packer.
There will also be hard decisions to make at the running back position with some players making better statements than others last night. My guess is that Wynn will be released along with Brohm, or traded.
But all those chips will fall where they may. Our focus now is on the regular season and the hated Chicago Bears on September 13th.
My hate-the-Bears thermometer is already rising...
Go, Pack, Go!
Posted by PackSmack at 11:16 AM
Saturday, August 29, 2009
If Friday night's game at Arizona was any indicator, this could shape up to be a fun year to watch the Green Bay Packers. Both offensively and defensively the Packers consistently came up with big plays; exciting big plays.
The Packer running game is now functional enough that Aaron Rodgers could spend some time baking the Cardinal's defense down-field, cooking up plenty of impressive passes to the many talented Packer receivers.
Green Bay might have the best bunch of receivers in the NFL. Donald Driver, Greg Jennings and James Jones all pose a high degree of threat, and if Rogers keeps getting the kind of protection the offensive line has provided thus far, things could really heat up this year.
And if this was not excitement enough for fans of the team, some idiot in Arizona's new stadium made the mistake of letting Charles Woodson in the building. Woodson, unleashed by the new defensive coordinator, and possibly next governor of Wisconsin, Dom Capers, violated the Cards' offense so much it is surprising that Maricopa County's Sheriff Joe Arpaio didn't put him in a pair of pink boxers, the mandatory attire of those incarcerated in Sheriff Joe's jail.
Woodson got so close so often to Arizona's dangerous veteran quarterback, Kurt Warner, there are some rumors now that they are engaged. Green Bay's most dangerous cornerback was absolutely deadly to Warner and the host's offense- disrupting timing, forcing fumbles, intereceptions, and behaving much like a cat in a bird cage.
And if Woodson isn't part killer-cat, then it's only because no one has checked his DNA, because he is already playing like the league MVP and making a strong case that he should be inducted into the Hall of Fame by Friday.
Some will say that pre-season doesn't mean anything. That is Baloney. It means a great deal to the players, the coaches and the team. When a team can go out in a pre-season game and execute its offensive strategy, and thus its will, against the other team's starting unit, that says something to the players themselves.
When a team can also play solid defense and force a whole basket-full of turnovers and capitalize on them, this means something big to the team. It builds confidence, courage and optimism, all of which are contagious.
The only thing missing from the Packers menu last night was the field goal game. It is noteworthy, however, to bear in mind that both of Crosby's missed field goals were held by someone other than his regular holder, Matt Flynn. Perhaps they threw someone in there on short notice who hadn't practiced much with Crosby. Who knows.
But if Aaron Rodgers and the offense keeps lighting things up, and if people keep letting Charles Woodson in the building with the defense, then we may not even need a kicker.
And it sure could be a fun year.
Posted by PackSmack at 2:28 PM
Friday, August 28, 2009
Like any other player who joins the Minnesota Vikings, Brett Favre is required to know how to choke.
Starting slowly, some of the coaching staff of the Vikings are working with Favre to have him stick his finger down his throat to force the choking spasms, as pictured below.
This will get easier for the quarterback as he spends more time as a Viking, and eventually he will be able to choke at critical moments all on his own without such drastic procedures, like all other Minnesota Viking players can do.
Good luck with that, Brett.
Posted by PackSmack at 8:21 AM
Monday, August 24, 2009
Several Packer sites caught my eye recently which deserve a visit from the rest of us Packer fans. They are both rich with humor and sarcasm.
First is the Central Florida Packer Backers site which includes this beauty:
Absolutely! Love it! That one will live in my memory forever!
Also, love Favre's 'new' name: Brent!
You can catch that action here: http://www.centralfloridapackerbackers.blogspot.com/
Another one, obviously quite new, is also a kick in the pants. It is called Brett Favre Broke My Heart.
On this site, an expatriate (no, not ex-Patriot) Packer fan bemoans being away from Packerland, despises Favre for turning coat, and just hates the Vikings 'because it's the right thing to do.'
Definitely some good stuff in there as well.
Here it is: http://favrebrokemyheart.blogspot.com/
(You can also find links to both sites on the right column here at PackSmack.)
Posted by PackSmack at 2:33 PM
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Don't crown Minnesota North Division Kings yet.
It looks like the Green Bay Packers are expecting to have something to say in that coronation.
With a defense that plays like a caged and cornered wildcat, and an offense that looks as crisp as a mid-season team, the Packers played about as well as an NFL pre-season team can be expected to play in August.
Sure, they were playing the Buffalo Bills, but Green Bay already is playing smarter and more aggressive defense than they ever did last season. With a plethora of defensive take-aways, stops, forced quarterback-hurried passes and creative, unpredictable but fierce pass pressure, the green and yellow made new defensive coordinator look a little like Lombardi; or at least Einstein (yes, this presumes that Vince Lombardi was a greater man than Einstein.)
It would be hard to remember a recent defensive game that was more impressive for the Packers. Perhaps some of what was broken on last year's defense has been fixed. It sure looks like it.
Offensively, Aaron Rodgers looked like a machine. He was sharp, on-target and made the quarterback position of the Green Bay Packers look like it was on auto-pilot, running with smoothness and mechanical ease as if the residual, methodical ghostly energy perpetuated by years of consistency at that spot by a recent previous Packer quarterback might just be ingrained into the position. Let us hope so; sans the interceptions.
Rodgers' line gave him time and space, his receivers gave him space and yardage, and the running game gave him yardage and options.
There were many offensive high points. In fact the whole offense was a high point. Which is not surprising, but married to a strong defense this year, the Packers could likely be strong contenders in the division.
It looks like the Packers have come quite far, because at this point, they certainly look quite good.
Game ball: Packer Defense
Posted by PackSmack at 2:31 PM
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
There is some good news about our Brett Favre suiting up for the Minnesota Vikings this season.
For, what do we know about the Vikings?
What one single thing has been a constant for the Vikings since they first came into the NFL?
You guessed it...they CHOKE.
They ALWAYS choke.
They had Chuck Foreman. They had Fran Tarkenton. They had the Purple People Eaters. They had Herschel Walker. They had Randy Moss. And what have they done every single NFL season since the early 1960's? They have CHOKED.
And now they have the best running back in the NFL. They have arguably the best defensive line in the NFL. Throw in legendary quarterback, Brett Favre and they are loaded to the gills.
But guess what they are going to do with all that talent?
You know it, THEY WILL CHOKE!
You KNOW they aren't going to win a championship because they CAN'T win a championship.
And this thought, this doubt, this subtle futility, this idea that they can't win a championship has been embedded way back in every single Vikings player's mind since Bud Grant was their coach and they were choking outdoors in Metropolitan Stadium.
So what this means for Packer fans is this: We will shortly be able to say, 'Hey, Minnesota, you're loaded with talent, you swooped up Brett Favre and you STILL can't win a championship. You guys are CHOKERS!!!'....with NO EXCUSES!
I mean it was great when they bombed in their Super Bowl appearances. It was sweet when they tanked with Herschel Walker. It was awesome when they missed that field goal against Atlanta which would have put them in the Super Bowl (not that they could have won), and it was fantastic when they couldn't get it done with Randy Moss.
But imagine how, well, satisfying and rewarding it will be for us when they crash and burn once again this football season, Pederson, Favre and all.
That will be sweeeet.
Hey Brett, you've boarded not the Love Boat, but the Titanic!
Posted by PackSmack at 2:07 PM
Well, nobody can change the fact that Brett Favre has now officially signed with the hated Minnesota Vikings.
It bites. Really bites. And what can we do? Nothing. Not a single thing.
But, please, though it is distasteful to us all, stop hating the man, Brett Favre!
Today the media and blogosphere is filled with people's raging rants about what a selfish, arrogant jerk Favre is, as if any of this has anything at all to do with a single author or writer. Sorry to break the news to the Favre haters, but it is not about them; at all.
It just is what it is.
Decisions were made. Some wrong ones, some hard ones. But none of us had to make any of them.
I am of the opinion that Ted Thompson is to blame for not letting Favre back on to the Packers in the spring of 2008 and ushered him into a pre-mature retirement.
But none of that, none of what I think or any other writer thinks, makes Brett Favre anything but a Minnesota Viking this year.
Packer fans will be cheering against our former hero this year, but he has given enough of himself to Green Bay fans over the many years over center to earn a little space to do what he thinks he has to do. And I think only the childish will hate him for it.
Furthermore, it will bring an added level of excitement and significance to the Packer-Viking games this year, will it not? There will be mixed emotions, heightened drama and memorable times.
Enjoy that for, well, what it is.
Posted by PackSmack at 9:46 AM
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Say it ain't so.
Say it ain't real.
Tell me there isn't going to be a purple #4!
Wake me up and tell me I'm dreaming...that Brett Favre is not going to play for the hated Minnesota Vikings!!!!
Tell me his arrival at a local Minneapolis/St. Paul airport is coincidence.
Tell me that his ride with Vikings coach Brad Childress to the Vikings training camp doesn't mean nothing.
Tell me that the purple Favre jerseys spotted around are only speculator's wishes, and will never actually be worn by the Green Bay Packer's Brett Favre.
Tell me that the rumors that Favre is going to sign with them this week is just bad reporting.
Because if Brett Favre plays for the Minnesota Vikings because Ted Thompson forced the legend out of Green Bay, that is just the wrongest thing that can be. And you can't blame Favre for wanting to get back at Thompson.
Favre with the Vikings?
Posted by PackSmack at 11:33 AM