Archive for November, 2010

Preview Pack/Falcons

November 28, 2010
  • I’ve had this game circled on my schedule for a while now. Not true, I don’t circle important games on my schedule. But I am excited for it and believe it should be one of the best games in the NFL this year.
  • I like Atlanta. They are a very good, balanced, and well coached team.
  • Mike Smith is a coach I admire. I can’t say I know a huge amount about what he does to manage games or much about what his coaching philosophy is. I just know he gets the job done and appears to have a very good sense for what is happening during the game. I like coaches like that – guys who react on the sidelines when things happen vs the guys who indicate they’ll have to watch the film to know what’s happened. One of the keys to being a quality head coach is being fully aware of what is happening as it’s happening.
  • Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers are two guys I’d strongly consider if asked “which youngish QB would you most want to build your team around?” These guys are both very good. Ryan has the same moxie that Rodgers seems to have and he has the raw talent to throw some difficult passes.
  • While we all got a little glimpse into why Roddy White may get the ball so much (he chucks defenders to the ground with impunity – see Balt game), the guy is still really good. Somehow though, I like having either Tramon or Charles on him right about now.
  • Michael Turner is a guy we could have made a play on a few years ago when he was a free agent. Brother Steve and I lobbied for it – nobody heard. He’s very good. He’s incredibly strong in the legs and has a rather low center of gravity. While we’ve been tough against the run recently, Michael Turner is a guy who seriously concerns me this week.
  • One key match-up might be Desmond Bishop and AJ Hawk on Tony Gonzalez. Even though Gonzalez at this point can be considered just plain slow, he clears out space around himself to catch the ball so effectively. I’ve been saying it for years – good basketball players/rebounders make good TEs because they have to clear space for themselves in both sports.
  • Atlanta’s pass D has been somewhat suspect this year. We could have some real opportunities through the air – especially if quality pass rusher John Abraham is either unable to play or limited (he missed the game last week).
  • Atlanta’s rush D, on the other hand, has been pretty good. They’ve given up the 6th fewest rushing yards this year – perhaps in part because teams know they can throw it against them. Still, we’ll want Jackson to break off a few 6-7+ yard runs if possible just to bring some offensive balance.
  • This will likely be a big game for Tim Masthay. Field position will matter in this one so a few nice kicks inside the 20 or a few huge punts from deep in our own territory would really be helpful.
  • Play action will be helpful against this defense to make sure that Abraham and Kroy Biermann are kept honest.
  • An early pick on Ryan in particular might help. He has the mental make-up to overcome one early pick, but it would really help our defense because I think we all realize that this Atlanta offense is much better than any of the previous 3 teams we’ve shut down.
  • A win here would be huge. In the end, unless some wacky special teams things happen, I do think that our passing offense will overwhelm their weak pass defense. Packers 27, Atlanta 20.

2 random Packer thoughts

November 26, 2010
  1. Since Brett Favre left Green Bay, we are a far less dramatic team. When he was around it seemed, as a blogger, that there were a million things to write about all the time. Now there seem to be fewer things. (Of course, part of this could be skewed by my life…and having a bit more of  one now – far busier.) But there was just so much drama before. I think a good part of that may have to do with our star player (Aaron Rodgers) now and his approach to the media – he has boundaries. Anyone who read Lori Nickel’s jsonline summer interviews with Rodgers would know he isn’t afraid to draw boundary lines with media, fans, others. He does this because he’s smart and it’s appropriate. Anyway,  ultimately I have to say, I rather enjoy quietly going from week to week without the drama and just following a quality football team that gets down to business and stays focused on business.
  2. Could it be that Desmond Bishop, who previously had been accused of NOT being assignment-sure, is more assignment-sure than Nick Barnett? Don’t mean to rip into Barnett while he’s out etc, but the fact is, the play from the two ILBs since Barnett has been out has been better, arguably significantly better, since Barnett went on IR. When coaches were desperate to explain their poor decision to keep Bishop off the field before, we’d hear silly comments about him not being assignment-sure. Not sure how you can or can’t be assignment-sure when you hardly ever play. It’s like telling the water boy he can’t coach at all… Anyway, every since he’s been in, he’s been very assignment-sure and what’s more, AJ Hawk appears to be complementing him far more effectively than he did Barnett. And the knock, interestingly, on Hawk before was the he was TOO assignment-sure – all he did was follow his assignment…not paying attention, for example, to RBs streaking toward the end zone because they weren’t technically his responsibility. Now, he and Bishop seem to be playing with a togetherness that is not only very effective but also quite refreshing.

Ryan Grant, pure class…wow

November 24, 2010

Read here. Absolutely terrific story from Lori Nickel at jsonline. Ryan Grant is a good guy, period.

Man, do I hope this Ryan Luxem boy can pull through somehow.


Week 12 NFL Picks

November 24, 2010

check here.

Al Harris – classy

November 22, 2010

Check out this ad Harris took out to thank the Packer faithful. What a guy.


Childress fired

November 22, 2010

Thanks for pointing this out DaveK. Jay Glazer reports (via twitter it appears) that Brad Childress has, mercifully for Vikings fans, been fired. Leslie Frazier has been named interim.

Too bad for Packer fans.

I thought this would happen – wrote it yesterday. Makes sense. I realize the season is officially lost for them, but considering the attention Frazier has received nationally the past couple years, it makes sense for the Vikes to see if he can do something. Nothing to lose by going in this direction.

Now, here’s a question: will Frazier bench Favre?

Game thoughts Pack/Vikings

November 21, 2010
  • Tremendously satisfying victory.
  • Thanks to Schaef and son for watching the game with us – lots of fun.
  • I thoroughly enjoyed watching Rodgers come off the field with a huge smile. There is no question this game meant a ton to him. He was the difference maker he had to be in a huge game and it was over the team/the guy that Rodgers quietly wanted to destroy. Very nice game Rodgers – you responded big-time.
  • It was lots of fun to watch Favre and Bevell jawing at each other. I know things like that happen during a game more than we can usually see on TV – but that was fun to watch.
  • Hard to feel sorry for Childress – and as much as I don’t typically have sympathy for the guy, it was kind of hard to watch/listen to the fire Childress chant while Fox put the camera right on his face. He was hurting big-time while that was happening – couldn’t stop fidgeting. But the crowd was absolutely right – the guy is a bad coach. While it is a bit late to act now, if I were MN, I’d seriously consider making the move to give Leslie Frazier a trial run.
  • Defense was outstanding. Woodson was all over the place – when he’s on I’m not sure there is a more exciting defender out there. I find it sometimes simply stunning how Charles can see plays developing all while covering his guy – then make a break for it at the right moment and make a play.
  • Tramon was good early in the year, but over the last 4-5 games, he has played like one of the top 3-4 CBs in the NFL – no exaggeration. He’s been that good and right now, at the risk of over-hyping a bit, I think it’s safe to say we have the best corner duo in the NFL.
  • Bishop continues to add a presence in the middle of the field that changes games. Sometimes it’s quite evident – like on a big hit or a reliable tackle. Other times, it’s not so obvious. I’m finding it very interesting that teams either haven’t or can’t go over the middle on us as well as they used to. That is in good part because of Bishop, but also because Hawk has been playing very good football.
  • The duo of Collins and Peprah has become very solid. Peprah appears to have a very good feel for the defensive calls that Capers makes. Unless I’m missing something, when I watch him he almost always appears to be in a good position.
  • Matthews looked good dropping back and disrupting plays today. It was interesting because on a number of occasions, it seemed Capers pulled him back instead of rushing him and this clearly confused the Vikes’ offense.
  • Capers was money again. He called a fantastic game. The defense has a tremendous rhythm right now.
  • Brandon Jackson continues to be a very nice receiving option for Rodgers. He’s very sure-handed. While his running doesn’t appear to be anything special, his receiving and run-after-catch stats are nice.
  • Jennings looks like himself again. Wow. He is so smooth it’s fun to watch. He is the Fred Couples of the NFL. His catches look effortless, him turning up the speed looks effortless and even his breaking off of jams on the line of scrimmage looks effortless. He is really good.
  • Jones had a nice game and a beautiful TD catch.
  • There was a nice mix of play-calling by McCarthy today. After the first quarter, there was a very good rhythm offensively.
  • I really liked Nance running at the end. Even though you might be surprised to learn he only averaged 3 yards a carry – he runs with a toughness, almost guaranteeing those 3 yards. Funny too that he looks like Lynch.
  • MN just looks out of sorts. Like I was hoping would happen, after the offense got it going in the 2nd quarter, I think MN began to shut down mentally. I still believe they have a lot of talent, but they are just not getting it done. It’s coaching, it’s Favre being bad, it’s having some attitude issues on the team – ultimately, it’s just being the Vikings.
  • Huge game coming up next – and a brutally difficult one – at Atlanta.

Is Nance really Marshawn Lynch?

November 21, 2010

I’ve noticed that Nance and Lynch look…exactly the same. Same hair, same build and apparently same ability. Nance runs hard, and seems the kind of back who will just get 4 yards no matter what.

I like this game – Pack playing very well

November 21, 2010

Rodgers responded emphatically after a slow start. Wow – this has to feel so good for Rodgers and teh Pack.

Nance looks very strong.

Jackson has solid hands

November 21, 2010

Been noticing the last few weeks that if the ball is within the vicinity, Jackson catches the ball effortlessly.

Nice run there by Nance.