Archive for October, 2011

Interesting article on Favre/Rodgers

October 21, 2011

Read here from the startribune’s Jim Souhan. (Article is titled “Rodgers surpassing Favre’s legend”).

In the article, Souhan doesn’t give enough credit to Favre for his streak (which like Cal Ripkin’s streak, truly was amazing) and how reliability at the QB position can be key to the development of a winning organization. (Though Rodgers has been fairly reliable too…despite not having a streak to speak of.) And he also doesn’t make enough of the fact that Favre does hold many NFL records – a huge accomplishment to be sure. Nor does he talk much about the league being a bit different in the 90s (as it’s more of a passing league now than it was then).

Still, his other arguments are quite sound and frankly difficult to refute. Rodgers is an astonishingly efficient QB who can make all the plays that great QBs need to be able to make in the modern game. His career passer rating of 101.2 (through I believe week 3 of this season – so it’s probably higher now) is nearly 5 points higher than anyone else in history – and the next tier includes QBs like Steve Young, Tom Brady, Tony Romo. Given how many quality QBs are within just a few points of one another in the 94-96 QB rating range, Rodgers’ 5+ point lead is simply staggering.

Some of you may recall a post I put up a few years ago after Favre retired (the 2008 retirement). I’ll admit after re-reading it, it was a rather meek/tentative post. But my general point was, just before Rodgers’ first full season as a starter, that maybe, just maybe the Pack would be OK with this guy. The title of the post was “Could Rodgers be…more effective than the recent Favre? ” He’s definitely been that.


The Packers lucked out with their schedule

October 21, 2011

Not sure why more folks aren’t talking about this (of course they could be, but I haven’t read much on it) – but the Packers have had a very easy schedule so far. Their schedule through the bye week has featured the following opponents:

  • Saints 4-2
  • Panthers 1-5
  • Bears 3-3
  • Broncos 1-4
  • Falcons 3-3
  • Rams 0-5
  • Vikings -5

So we’ve played 1 team with a winning record – yep, 1 team. And the combined records of our opponents?¬† 13-27.

I’m excited about this season and I recognize the obvious fact that the Packers are awesome. But I just wanted to point out the fact that we have played a soft schedule so far this year. The second half of the year will feature a few tougher games (San Diego, Oakland, NYG, Det) but we still won’t be playing against any of the early powerhouse teams like NE, Balt, San Fran, etc).

Interesting read on Bishop/Hawk

October 19, 2011

Read here from Lori Nickel at Nice article. However, something struck me while reading through this article.

I’ve heard it said before that Hawk is the set-up guy and Bishop then is more responsible somehow for making plays. But one thing I find peculiar is that everyone noticed Hawk’s play last weekend because he was all over the place and importantly, making plays. But in the previous 5 games, Hawk hasn’t done much at all statistically. While I understand a player can purposefully be given a role that is more position/assignment oriented in an effort to help the overall defense, I have trouble getting past the massive discrepancy in production between he and Bishop. Bishop is almost perfectly twice as productive – Bishop 57 tackles 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble; Hawk 27 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 0 forced fumbles. So this leads to the bigger point – how can Hawk make over $2million per year more than Bishop? I know he was a first round pick and I know he should get something extra if he is essentially the playcaller for the defense etc etc – but the fact is Bishop is the better player and he’s earning far less. I know Bishop is a good guy/a team player etc – but somewhere in his head he has to wonder why it is that despite being significantly more productive than Hawk, he earns significantly less.

Drama at the World Scrabble Championship

October 19, 2011

Great stuff. One player accused another of hiding a tile. Read here.

I have to admit, I have a sort of odd interest in some day attending the World Scrabble Championship. Not only do I generally love words – words are great – but I would love to see what the competitors are like. It would be great to interview them and try to understand their motives and how their lives evolved to the point where entering Scrabble competitions was thought to be the next logical step. I would love to learn more about what their family members think of all of this. Would be fascinating.

After this I could go to the World Chess Championship.

Hilarious video

October 18, 2011

Check out this video of a college football prospect. Hilarious.

Vikings to start Ponder

October 18, 2011

As expected, the Donovan McNabb era appears to have ended in MN. He has been a poor QB option for the Vikes this year. He is slow and just doesn’t have it. In fact, I saw a TV interview with him not long ago and the guy just plain looked fat. He used to be surprisingly nimble back there and could escape the heat more than you’d think he could. But in MN – he just looks way too slow and has not been good. (I am growing increasingly embarrassed, by the way, that I picked the Vikes to finish reasonably well this year.)

Ponder isn’t bad. I watched that 4th quarter against the Bears. He can definitely move around in the pocket well. He even had one move to escape the pressure that bordered on spectacular. That could be a problem this week. But his throws weren’t always on target. Harvin is a guy he seems to like so we’ll need to keep tabs on him – but otherwise their WR group is not scary. I think this will be a game in which Capers will do his best to confuse Ponder – lots of disguises, odd blitzes – generally looks that Ponder will have trouble deciphering.

Game Thoughts Rams/Packers

October 16, 2011
  • The Pack’s D gave up over 400 yards to the St Louis Rams. It is somewhat concerning that StL was able to move the ball so easily on us. They don’t have much in the way of receiving targets for Bradford¬† – but he did well to make them look as good as he did. (There were some drops too – his 321 yards passing should have been higher.)
  • But I’m not going to lose sleep over this. Our defense is not great and we may just need to accept that. But one thing that we can get behind is a welcome trend that seems to be brewing – the D is tough in the red zone. We’ve kept opponents out of the end zone for the last 7 quarters – not bad.
  • Also, I’m not too concerned the D gave up 96 yards to Steven Jackson. I think that guy is so good – he’s brutally difficult to bring down and he has a nice initial burst for a man of his size.
  • Rodgers was awesome again – his only “error” was not even his fault as he made a great throw that went right through the WR’s hands (was it Jennings?) to the opponent for an easy pick.
  • AJ Hawk finally played well. He was disruptive today. He had one sack, several pressures, 7 tackles and 2 assists. He played inspired – angry. He was so angry about something, in fact that he flipped off the Packer sideline for some reason – see here.
  • Matthews had a nice sack.
  • Bishop had 9 tackles and 5 assists. He was solid.
  • Burnett made an error or two and was the victim of a massive stiff-arm by Kenricks – but overall he wasn’t bad for a guy playing with a club on his hand.
  • I like that Shields continues to make plays – he had a nice pick today. But he needs to be careful running around in the end zone like that.
  • Our running game was not as good as it should have been. Whenever you have Rodgers back there – a guy willing to throw to absolutely anyone on the offense – it shouldn’t be difficult to get our running game going. I know it was tougher to run in the second half when we were more obviously backing off and burning up the clock. But even before that, we never really got the running game going.
  • Besides some questionable run blocking (a big part of our lack of running success), I think there are 2 main reasons our run game suffers: 1) Rodgers telegraphs his handoffs – it’s way too obvious when we’re running because of it and 2) so many of our run plays are the same play- that stretch play right or left. Other teams know it ‘s coming and so often they simply fill the gaps and make the plays. We need to be more creative running the ball.
  • We should be encouraged by the Vikings play. If we can hold Peterson to under 150 yards, we should win. McNabb is unbelievably bad.

Pretty boring game

October 16, 2011

Some good things/some bad thing. Expected the game to kind of go like this. Rams are not good and while we didn’t put up more points in the 2nd half we didn’t need to. 21 point victory still registers as a blowout.

Nicely done.

Hawk wreaking havoc

October 16, 2011

Hawk is playing very well today.

Rodgers entering ridiculous territory

October 16, 2011

Even when plays appear to be broken, Rodgers is so focused on what he’s doing he can make throws like the one he just made to Driver. He KNEW that Driver was going to break away from that double coverage – he KNEW it. He just bought some time and then made the throw. He is ridiculously talented.