Wow – we stumbled down the stretch but pulled it out mostly because of how we played for the first 50 minutes of the game.
McCarthy’s call on the punt with Cobb throwing it was really an all-time terrible call – as RayMidge noted. Just an unbelievably stupid call. I love that kind of play normally but at that moment, it was incredible bad. Concerning that McCarthy would authorize that play at that time.
The conservative calls down the stretch gave Cutler 2 extra opportunities there that the Bears should not have had.
Ok – that out of the way, the rest of the game was impressive. Rodgers was unreal. His accuracy was special today. He made huge plays at huge moments. Just an all-pro effort from Rodgers today. And importantly, for the first time in the last several games, Rodgers seemed dialed in – all there mentally and just fantastic overall.
Cobb continues to be special. The guy is great finding spots on broken plays. I remember Driver was always pretty good at that in the early years with Favre. Smart players do that well.
Finley was huge today. He had a really good game. He must have read the article at jsonline about how we won’t be keeping him next year. He was just really good today.
James Jones was great as well. His TDs were helpful but he had a few nice, important catches as well.
What happened to our running game? It was good early on and showed promise and except for a few decent runs by Grant down the stretch, it just faded. That made it tougher for us offensively and it was after the running game faded that Rodgers really stepped up.
Jennings is slower than he used to be. He never was blazing fast but he looks quite a bit slower to me now.
I was tough on Brad Jones early on as he was terrible trying to account for Forte a few times (he just seems to really struggle laterally). But he really stepped up in the second half and made some huge plays. He really stood out and ended up having a fantastic game.
Our secondary had another interesting game. Made some fantastic plays and some really questionable ones. Indicative of younger players. It will be interesting to see how Woodson is worked back in next week or whenever he returns.
I think Matthews return was huge for us. The pressure he put on Cutler really helped limit the Bears offense and also helped free up some of our other guys for sacks. Mike Neal had a nice sack.
Mason Crosby should be cut. I’ve been saying this for weeks now. He is beyond help mentally – and I speak with some authority on that. He is just gone. It’s sad and I feel terrible for him – he’s a good guy etc. But his ineptitude is changing games for us and changing our range of options as far as scoring points. He just needs to go.
Jarrett Bush’s catch on that last punt was unreal. That was amazing and I’m not entirely sure that the ball was necessarily headed out. It would have been close but that was a cool play.
The Bears are not good. We’ve all know that for years – but this is just how things evolve for a Lovie Smith team. I listen to “the Score”, a Chicago radio station here and there and they were totally out of control when the Bears were 8-1. Condescending calls coming in from fans, everyone in love with Lovie etc etc. Now, it should be entertaining to listen to the shows as everyone will want Lovie fired. He should have been fired years ago.
Big win. Our defense really came up big today. They were very good overall.
Congrats to the Packers on another division title. They have dealt with a number of significant injuries this year and some unreal officiating (thinking mainly of officiating in the Seattle game that cost us a victory). We’ve also overcome unprecedented incompetence from players like Mason Crosby – not a small thing considering how many points he cost us. We got hot when it counted and won a ton of games. I feel especially proud of this group considering all that they’ve had to deal with. Coaches and players alike – great overall effort. I also feel the need to offer up special kudos to Dom Capers for getting the D to play without Matthews and Woodson, without 2 starting MLBs and with a bunch of young dudes in the secondary. It was shaky early on but he’s gotten this unit to perform under difficult circumstances. Nicely done Capers!
I thought Raji played an outstanding game. There was a stunt where he lined up next to CM. Raji rushed right and enveloped two OLs, leaving Clay to go around Raji to the inside with a clear path to Cutler resulting in a sack. I hope to see the two of them do that many more times this season. 🙂
Shields played great, even if he did get away with a blatant PI on that last play. The entire secondary is really coming on.
Matthews just lifts everyone on that front 7, but I think Raji (as mentioned above) and the DL depth that is returning from the injured list is equally as important for a deep playoff run. The good news is that we have every reason to believe that the young guys up front will get better and better. After the opening Chi drive, the line really shut down the running game.
Just a thought…do you put Driver on IR with Jordy and Jennings back and add a kicker? Keep Crosby just for kickoffs and onside kicks. It’s not like Driver is going to see the field anymore and he does nothing on STs. Then after Driver ‘retires’ add him to staff as special ‘WR consultant’ and give him his ‘salary’ that way. That would let Driver ‘retire’ on his terms due to injury but still let him stick around the team his final season. Sort of like what they did with Leroy Butler when he retired/went on IR.
I think this sounds crazy…he is just not getting it done. TIme for a back up at least. Writer, Dunne, points out, “Both the NFC and AFC Championship Games were decided by kicks. New York’s Lawrence Tynes made one, Baltimore’s Billy Cundiff missed one. There’s a very good chance the Packers’ season comes down to the right foot of Mason Crosby.”
Who feels comfortable with Crosby after reading that?