Archive for January, 2011

Polamalu edges Matthews for DPOY

January 31, 2011

Hopefully this will just piss Matthews off. Polamalu, in my estimation, could be DPOY every year. I do think that year after year, Polamalu is the best defensive player in the NFL. He is very, very good. But Matthews had a phenomenal year this year and he should be proud of his second place finish. The amazing thing is that he’s does it often playing with an injury – now that’s talent.

One other thought: if this vote included playoff performance, I wonder if Matthews would have gotten the nod. Polamalu’s playoff contributions have been limited compared to Matthews. (Actually, if playoffs were included, Tramon Williams should have won!)

 

Packers now America’s Team?

January 31, 2011

ESPN’s Gene W38jf9q39p8nrg0uq34 make a good case for it here. I agree with him on most counts – especially when he talks about how knowledgeable Packer fans are. As a blogger for the Pack who reads ALL comments that come through this blog – I am constantly impressed by how intelligent Packer fans/readers are when it comes to football. Players voted a few months ago on the most knowledgeable football fans – and they chose the Packers.

This is a great franchise and we should proudly accept the title of America’s Team.

Pouncey out?

January 27, 2011

Read here from jsonline. Not sure this is true. I read just 2 days ago that he was going to play – I believe Pouncey himself announced that. If he doesn’t play, Pitt could be in serious trouble. I believe Big Ben and Legursky (the back-up center) had at least 2-3 poorly exchanged snaps against the Jets, including a fumble. But Raji would gobble up a guy like Legursky and the already questionable Pitt O-Line would become even more questionable.

In fact, their iffy O-Line could be a significant factor in this game. With Pouncey they are an OK, maybe average unit – but without him, they are a below average unit. So often, when the highlights show Roethlisberger dragging 5 defenders along with him while he’s still managing to throw the ball, what isn’t talked about is that Pitt’s questionable offensive line consistently allows those guys to get after Roethlisberger. My guess is that if we send the right guys (like Bishop, Matthews, Raji, Jenkins, Walden) who are strong enough to drag Big Ben down – Pitt could have some real trouble with our D.

More thoughts on Cutler

January 24, 2011

In my post-game comments I took a shot at Cutler having a “fake injury” in good part because what I saw of him on the sideline gave me the strong impression that he just wasn’t THAT hurt. But the more I’ve read about it, the more certain I am that it wasn’t “fake”.

  • He was sufficiently injured. A torn (or sprained) MCL can be a difficult injury for QBs considering the planting, twisting and pushing they do with their legs. Olin Kreutz vouches for Cutler saying he noticed his leg was “wiggling” coming back to the huddle in the second quarter – it looked seriously unstable.
  • He didn’t pull himself out of the game. The team’s MDs AND Lovie Smith decided to yank him.
  • After reading the rather intense defenses of Cutler offered up by teammates like Urlacher, I get the strong impression that Cutler had to have been seriously hurt to not be in there.

Now, that said. Here are some additional thoughts:

  • As some have pointed out, why was he not more active in trying to help Hanie especially. He did offer some assistance from over on the bench I guess, but a real gamer, in a game like that, would have been on crutches with a headset on next to Martz helping out instead of sulking on his own. As difficult as that is emotionally to be pulled from a game you want to win badly, I was just surprised to see him not actively helping the team. Now, if he had been in tremendous, agonizing pain – then yes I’d understand…he should have gone to the locker room. But he seemed to be at least well enough to offer guidance to his back-up. Rodgers was actively involved helping Matt Flynn at NE despite not having passed his concussion tests yet. Or, like Maurice Pouncey – the Steelers’ all-pro center who went down yesterday, he came back out there in 0 degree weather on crutches to get his guys fired up and to help where he could. Cutler was the guy who studied the Packers all week and he’s the guy who has played against the Pack a bunch. I would think his words of wisdom could have really helped Hanie.
  • What it looked like from the sideline – which is why many are criticizing – is that Cutler was too busy feeling sorry for himself when he probably could have been at least trying to help out his team.
  • Could be that what really happened is Cutler was irate about being pulled from the game so he went to the bench to get away from Lovie and those who made the decision to yank him. Still not the way to handle it.
  • I’m not reading enough out there right now questioning why Lovie would ever put Todd Collins as the #2. I posted this during the game yesterday too – a massive calm swept over me the second I saw that guy warming up. After having one of the worst NFL games ever by a QB earlier this year (Chic @ Carolina), Todd Collins was rightfully demoted. Yet, a few games later, somehow, he emerged again as their #2 QB. I wrote about this when it happened wondering if perhaps Caleb Hanie hit on Lovie Smith’s wife or something. There could be no other explanation, Collins is so bad.

Game Thoughts Packers/Bears

January 23, 2011
  • Absolutely fantastic. We are going to the Super Bowl!!! Fantastic!!!!
  • Sam Shields just played a Tramon Williamsesque game today. Really really quality. Second pick was really nice – he looked like a WR on that catch. I’m glad he didn’t fumble!
  • A complete effort in the first half won this game. We didn’t show up in the second half, but fortunately we had essentially already won.
  • Tim Masthay is phenomenal. Devin Hester tracking back having to make over the should catches near the sideline is nowhere near as effective as Hester catching the ball in the open field. Masthay was masterful today. 5 of his 8 punts landed inside the Bears’ 20, and 2 of the other 3 outside the 20 (I believe) were 60+ yard kicks. He was just fantastic today.
  • Rodgers did set the tone early. He really struggled in the 2nd half. But his first couple drives really set the tone and proved to be too much for the Bears to handle.
  • Starks was good again. He had some nice holes to run through but he was also really good running after contact. His emergence has been huge.
  • Jennings was great today. It makes sense to lean on your best player offensively and right now, Jennings is our best offensive weapon.
  • Bishop was solid today despite one costly play when he didn’t bring Forte down right away (and Forte got a first down).
  • Raji’s TD was awesome, simply awesome.
  • Todd Collins is the worst player on any NFL team.
  • Caleb Hanie was infinitely better than Cutler could have been had he not faked his injury.
  • Mike Martz was had some good stuff dialed up in the second half, but made a critically bad 3rd and 3 play call on the reverse call to Bennett. That was really bad and Bishop lit him up.
  • McCarthy was calling a great game early in the first half. Just very solid. Second half – totally different story.
  • Capers was calling a great game early in the first half. Just very solid. Second half – totally different story.
  • How we let Forte run wild I’ll just never know. He’s the only guy on that offense worth covering and we let him gash us for 160 yards. We focus on him (maybe just put Woodson on him) and Chicago has zero offense. Zero.
  • Capers really fell off in the second half with his play calls. His one all out blitz (can’t remember what point that was at exactly now), was a terrible call. Olsen got the first. We had been getting through no problem rushing just 4 – there was no need to bring the house there.
  • McCarthy’s play calling toward the end was very concerning. You can’t argue he was trying to eat up clock time because Starks went out of bounds on one of those very very obvious running plays. At the very least, bring in some WRs to pull some DBs away from the line of scrimmage. The obvious run plays that yielded nothing were so worthless down the stretch.
  • Chicago’s quick drives with Hanie at the helm should be really concerning for us heading to the Super Bowl. (Still getting used to the sound of that – we’re going to the SUPER BOWL!!!). I know we were totally exhausted out there on D and Capers was trying to rotate lots of guys in and out but man, that was WAY too easy for a 3rd string QB.
  • Rodgers play was concerning. I seriously think he got a concussion on that one hit by Peppers (which was a massive penalty by the way – why the Bears complained there I have no idea). Rodgers was just off especially in the second half tonight.
  • Our O-Line was weird. There were some unbelievably massive holes for Starks (and Jackson) tonight which looked like phenomenal blocking – then there would be nothing – absolutely nothing. Overall, getting Starks to 74 yards rushing, I’d have to say the O-Line did there job (though Starks gets some credit for breaking tackles).
  • I would have liked to have seen some more screens tonight. I know it’s tough to throw screens on a crappy field, but that would have been smart tonight in particular to Starks.
  • Jackson had the best move of the night leaving Urlacher picking up his jock. That was a tremendous shake and a huge first down.
  • Our tight ends are nonexistent. Rodgers should not have thrown that one key 3rd down to Quarless who was so uninvolved until that point – though Quarless should have caught that.
  • Jordy Nelson really is big. He is reliable, gets open and I think he’s a match-up nightmare for any #3 or #4 corner. Lining up to defend our multiple WR sets just has to suck for opposing defenses.
  • Our short yardage plays were not good today. We need to just figure that out. I don’t like the plays when it’s completely obvious that we’re running. We should at least have 1-2 WRs out there to keep defenses honest. If we had a massive O-Line that usually won line of scrimmage battles, I wouldn’t mind. But we don’t have that – so we shouldn’t run totally obvious run plays.
  • I still can’t imagine what happened to Cutler short of a torn ACL or something that would have kept him out of the game.
  • The better team won today – definitely. Our defense rendered Chicago’s offense mostly worthless, especially in the first half, but our overall team proved today that we are much better.
  • Can’t wait for the Super Bowl now! We definitely deserve a trip to the Super Bowl – this is absolutely fantastic. And as concerned as I was/am about McCarthy’s second half play calling – I have to give him a lot of credit for taking the team this far. He has done a whale of a job since the Detroit meltdown as a coach. He has made sure all the players have been ready to play in each game, he has brought good strategies to each game and he has, for the most part, managed games quite well. I’m really proud of McCarthy for helping to drag the team through the tough times this season. He and Capers (and the rest of the coaching staff) should get lots of credit for what this team has accomplished – and in particular, for bringing up to speed/developing guys who have come out of nowhere and contributed big time (Starks, Walden, Shields, Masthay, etc). When a team has so many injuries in one year yet still manages to make it to the Super Bowl, that is a clear indication that the rest of the guys have been coached up beautifully.
  • TT also has done a great job of picking up key guys throughout the year off the scrap heap. I still think the Howard Green pick up was huge – literally.
  • Just proud to be a Packer fan today. Great feeling.

Shields and Masthay co MVPs

January 23, 2011

terrible play call there by Martz

January 23, 2011

Man are we lucky. Martz 3rd down play call there was awful. Just dumb.

Capers a goat tonight in second half at least

January 23, 2011

Before the game…

January 23, 2011

I said to stop Forte. That’s all we had to do. Right now Forte has 147 yards total and nobody has done anything. It’s not necessarily the fault of Bishop and Hawk either because lots of the gains have been a result our defensive set ups. Capers not having a stellar game tonight.

Shields continues huge game

January 23, 2011

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