Posts Tagged ‘football’

Play of the Game

November 30, 2007

There are several nominees. The questionable pass interference on Tramon Williams, good for 40 yards on the Cowboys decisive drive. The botched call on Al Harris’ strip of Terrell Owens on the Cowboys first drive. Mason Crosby’s 52-yard field goal late in the game on 4th and 1, a decision that meant the Packers would rely on their defense to stop the Cowboys before getting another shot with the ball.

But for me, the clear play of the game was the Packers’ failure to stop the Cowboys on 3rd and 19 deep in Cowboys territory. At the time, the score was 27-24, and if the Packers had been able to hold them on that play, we would have gotten the ball back with good field position and a chance to have our second-string quarterback lead the team on its third touchdown drive. That would have not only changed the score, but would have likely been very demoralizing to a Cowboy team that looked out of sorts at the beginning of the second half.

But the Packers looked to be playing some kind of zone, and when three Packers followed Terrell Owens over the middle, Patrick Crayton was wide open — and I mean W I D E open — on the left sideline.

There wasn’t much written today about the Packers defensive scheme, but I hope we get some more analysis of it in the second-day stories. Maybe I’m wrong, but it sure seemed like we went away from our man-to-man press coverage (perhaps to compensate for the loss of Woodson). It would be great to know more.

Frustrating game review

November 30, 2007

I don’t like the Cowboys. Somehow, I find myself fighting not to dislike Wisconsin’s own Tony Romo even. He just seems cocky or something – I take it back, I kind of do like him, but I just hate Dallas. I don’t like Wade Phillips and his fat face. I don’t like Dallas fans, never have – what with their giant class rings and their hair parted to the side like a Ken doll. Losing to them doesn’t sit well with me and had we not staged that impressive comeback, I would have felt horrible because we might have been blown out. (About that comeback by the way, if you looked at the Cowboys sideline when they were up 27-10, they all assumed the game was over and were being quite cocky. Serves them right.)

Rodgers did do well with his opportunity. His scrambling abilities do offer a very new and different threat for our offense (considering Favre almost never runs past the line of scrimmage). I was concerned though when Rodgers got hit hard a few times – would the Rooster have come in to QB? Or Favre come back and thrown left-handed? I also think McCarthy did make some needed adjustments (though arguably too late on a few like benching Jarrett Bush). And, I’m not sure that all those deep passes in the first quarter were 100% McCarthy’s doing – I have a feeling Favre may have wanted to throw a couple of those. Favre looked bad last night, quite bad. He’s entitled to a game like that now and again – but I hope he doesn’t have another one like that until next year.

Steve and I talked last night about one thing we might have done differently while it was happening early in the second half. Though Rodgers was on a hot streak passing, it might have been a good idea to mix more run in with the pass (the Dallas run D was not impressive) during that time to help our defense have more time to rest.

But to me, one of the biggest problems I had last night was with the broadcast. The NFL Network absolutely sucks. They made the game feel weird and like brother Steve said, I wonder how in the world they settled on having Bryant Gumbel be the play-by-play guy. He may be the worst annoucer ever…seriously. Every time he opened his mouth, it sounded like he wanted to tell some heart-warming story about an athlete who had overcome adversity – like he was just doing a piece for the 90% female-viewed Today Show – or the Olympics. He also sounded so meek. Collinsworth was fine (mostly because he clearly wanted the Packers until an exec told him he also needed to talk about Dallas). To me, if you’re a network trying to assert itself as the future for NFL broadcasts, then you have to deliver a quality product and holy crap, did that not happen.

Anyway, no party today, no party.

Upon Further Review

November 19, 2007

I was certainly not as impressed with the Packers yesterday as Gred Bedard (as reflected in his Packer Insider chat) or Mike McCarthy (as reflected in his postgame press conference). The offense played reasonably well and the special teams was uneven — spectacular on Tramon Williams return and Koren Robinson’s 67 yard return, but lacking on Mason Crosby’s two missed field goals.

But the defense turned in a subpar performance, especially given the level of talent the Panthers put on the field. The Packers allowed the Panthers to score more points than at any time during their current four-game skid; 17 this week, twice they were held to 7. At times, DeShaun Foster looked like DeShaun Foster used to look at UCLA. He averaged a healthy 4.4 yards/per carry and one of the real questions of the game is why John Fox didn’t just keep feeding him the ball, even after they were down. (It’s tempting to point out that Vinny Testaverde averaged 9.5 yards/carry, but that’s a little unfair since almost all of it came on a 16 yard run late in the game. It is, however, completely fair to ask how Vinny Testaverde could have run 16 yards anywhere on the field without a Packer catching him. Shouldn’t Ryan Pickett be able to beat him in a 40 yard dash?) Testaverde threw for 258 yards, though he was picked twice and his passer rating (69.8) was just over half of Favre’s (126.8).

It was an adequate, if somewhat lethargic performance, that was good enough to beat a really bad team. But if we’d been playing Dallas or even Detroit, it’s hard to see how such an output would amount to a win.

Live Blog Sunday — Green Bay vs. Carolina

November 17, 2007

Still no word from Pabst regarding sponsorship, so we’ll do our best without any PBR Light.

Desmond “Big Hit” Bishop to See More Time

November 16, 2007

At his news conference Friday, Mike McCarthy said that Desmond Bishop will likely get more playing time this Sunday because of an injury to Tracy White. Bishop was sixth round pick out of California who led the PAC-10 in tackles his senior year. He was beast in training camp (benched 225 lbs 33 times at the combine). Remember this hit in the Jacksonville preseason game?

McCarthy, a high quality guy

November 16, 2007

Check out this jsonline.com article by Tom Silverstein. For a coach to hold off on negotiating a new contract when an offer to do so has been put forward by management is pure class. Some might argue that he is holding off on negotiating until the Pack runs deep into the playoffs, thereby increasing his value. And if this is his motivation, I’m not bothered by it because it demonstrates to me that he is then very confident about this team this year because there would also be a risk for him that the Pack doesn’t perform up to this year’s new expectations which could hurt his value. But I also think he just wants to focus on this season and not bring in any potential distractions. Every day, I grow more and more comfortable with the way McCarthy goes about things. While I still love Jim Bates, the pain of TT overlooking him lessens with each day. Coach of the year? McCarthy would have my vote.

On Carolina, Mike McCarthy, and Sean Payton’s Lameness

November 15, 2007

Last year, I thought we might have missed out on getting the top young coach in the NFL by passing on Sean Payton. He worked a miracle in New Orleans. But now I’m not so sure. His attempts to motivate his team are so asinine that I’m becoming convinced that they actually serve to de-motivate (new word, it’s my blog) his players. Before the season, Payton held a New Orleans-style funeral to metaphorically “bury” all of their accomplishments in order to turn their full attention to this year. Stupid. Then, he reportedly exhumed the awards when the Saints started out by losing their first four games. Are you serious?

Last week, Payton set dozens of blue-and-gold mousetraps throughout the Saints locker room in order to remind them that playing the St. Louis Rams could be a “trap” game. Rams, 37. Saints, 29. I’m glad Mike McCarthy doesn’t use such kindergarten tactics to motivate the Packers.

McCarthy, in fact, might be a bit too blunt about his preparations for the upcoming games. I was going to post a cautionary note about looking past this Sunday’s game against Carolina, after reading in a couple of different places Mike McCarthy talking openly about game-planning for Detroit on Thanksgiving. McCarthy has to be preparing ahead, of course, but I’m not sure he should be talking about it. Might be good bulletin-board material for Carolina. In any case, I don’t need to do that post because Aaron at Cheesehead.tv has done it better than I could have. So just go here.

One newsy note to consider, however: Steve Smith sat out his second practice today with some kind of leg injury. If he doesn’t play, it might be okay to quit game-planning for the Panthers entirely and let Favre just draw up plays on his hand.

UPDATE: More good stuff at Bratsandbeer.com. “t could be argued this is the biggest trap game of the year so far.

The Panthers come into Lambeau Field with a three-game losing streak, but they are still 4-5 on the year with wins over St. Louis, Atlanta, New Orleans, and Arizona. All of those were road wins and in each one Carolina held its opponent to 20 points or less. The Panthers defense ranks 13th in the league for points allowed and yards given up and 14th against the pass.” Truedat.


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