Our announcing team today is Ron Pitts and Terry Donahue. We seem to get these guys a lot. Although a 2-4 vs 1-6 matchup should be pretty low on the network's list of important games. I guess I have no point here. For what it's worth I'm sort of indifferent to this tandem. They're not great by any stretch but they suck less than most. The NFL on FOX slogan for the year! Our announcer suck less than you would expect!
Should be an interesting game today. We've got Leinart, the rookie QB, on the road with a bunch of talented wideouts (even without Larry Fitz) going against a defense that likes to give up big plays. But the Cards have also been absolutely punched in the pants the last couple of weeks with heartbreaking losses to the the Bears and the Raiders. It's the moveable object versus the stoppable force! I haven't seen this kind of non-competition since the time I gave in to my urges and ate a whole tray of chex mix in 2 hours.
Mmmmm Chex Mix. It's officially time to roll it out. Some people have holiday traditions with that divinity candy or pumpkin pie or whatever. For the Pack household it is Chex Mix. I hate the 5 o'clock darkness, the cold, and the snow but I must say this season is absolutely delicious.
Just a reminder. Italics means the opponent has the ball.
14:06 - Continuing his own running joke Al Harris decides NOT to intercept a lob from Leinart on Arizona's first series. Well done Al. For a second there I thought you might go ahead and catch that one just for the heck of it. You got me! Leinart, for all his college success, looks skittish so far.
13:47 - Ahman Green bursts up the middle for 12 yards. Darryn Colledge was still blocking his guy at the end of the play and then stopped and head butted AG. He held that block for 12 yards. We might just be okay with this o-line.
11:52 - 4 straight runs from the Packers to start the game. On the sidelines the conversation goes something like this...Mike III: "No, no Ruvell. We trust you. You're a starting wideout. We're not going to run on every down I swear!"
11:05 - Was that a fake figgie or did Jon Ryan just think it would be a good idea to run around like a moron for the heck of it? Who was he supposed to pass to? It didn't look like a botched snap or hold or whatever. Please tell me on 4th and 1 they didn't call for that. I'm chalking that up to a broken play. I like Mike III's playcalling so far and I don't think I could handle that sort of stupidity.
9:20 - After AZ does nothing with the ball the Packers begin a new series. And... what the hell just happened? I'm all confused. The quarterback did NOT hand the ball off to Ahman. He...he just sort of tossed it to a guy who progressed forward with it. Huh. I'm at a loss for what to say. Why, if you could throw the ball like that you more often you might just have something!
8:10 - 20 yard pass to fullback Brandon Miree on a checkdown. I don't know how many pump fakes and reads Favre went through on that play but I do know he pump faked throwing to my mom and she's on a quilting retreat in Minnesota right now. My mom was really bummed out too, she thought she had some separation there.
5:45 - See, this is why I like Morency more than Herron. 25-30 yard burst through a gigantic seam. The line is blocking really well right now and Morency has the speed to make a big play. Herron would have had 8 yards there.
5:15 - Donald Driver just misses making a beautiful diving catch in the corner of the end zone. Terry Donahue on the broadcast mentions that he was trying to "run to the grass" roughly 19 times in 7 seconds. There's grass everywhere Terry. It's the unoccupied grass that is valuable.
5:09 - Back to back pass interference calls on AZ. You can't cover Chris Francies without cheating Cardinals! You just can't! Don't even try! Percent chance that Francies even has 1 catch today? 5%.
5:05 - From the 1 yard line (thanks to the pass interference call) Favre drills David Martin from 4 feet away for the TD. That route he just "ran" was 4 feet. GREEN BAY 7 - ARIZONA 0.
3:40 - In an effort to better illustrate how many different lineups the Cards have had on the o-line FOX put together this little time lapse video montage thing. Except it was really slow and broken up by a play or two. I was riveted waiting to see what their week 6 lineup was going to be.
3:00 - What is the over/under on how many times Chuck Woodson hurts himself on a third down play and therefore can't return the ensuing punt for the season? I'm going with 9. Moments later Bodiford (I don't know his first name) returns the punt 15 yards or so. Ron Pitts mentioned that he was just signed two days ago. I was available two days ago! Where's my chance TT?
:48 - On 2nd and 5 Favre's pass gets tipped at the line and falls 5 feet short of David Martin in the flat. The announcers just note that Favre missed badly. Um...what? You don't think it was odd that the ball wobbled and came up several feet short on a 10 yard pass?
:00 - Ahman just drives a linebacker backwards for a 5 yard pickup. Huge power from him. I think the hammy's gonna be okay.
14:22 - Ahman Green plows forward for a TD. He tied Paul Hornung for second place all time on the Packers for rushing TD's with that run. Huge power right now. Huge! GREEN BAY 14 - ARIZONA 0.
10:40 - FOX just pulled up a comparison of Favre and Leinart over their first 3 starts in the league. Why must they do this? 3 starts is insignificant and not much of an indicator of potential ability. For evidence of this please take a look at Scott Mitchell with the Dolphins. You think Detroit fans know that you want a little more information first?
10:11 - Chuck Woodson and Nick Barnett both blitz, both reach Leinart for the sack and both then hop around happily. How often do both blitzers get to the qb? I'm excited to see Arizona's next game so I can see what their o-line will look like then!
10:02 - Leinart has absolutely all day long to find a receiver. He finally does and the wide open man drops the ball. It won't show up in the stats but we're still not covering guys very well. No matter what the numbers show just remember how many guys dropped passes today. The D is not fixed.
8:40 - After Donald Driver picks up 8 on first down we have a second and 2 situation. This is the 4th time we've had this down and distance already today. I'm no scientician but picking up 8 yards on 1st down is usually a pretty good indicator that you're doing something right.
7:54 - 36 yard burst from Morency! He might just be the perfect change of pace back. He's got electric speed.
6:24 - Ahman Green finishes the drive with another rushing TD. I'd say more but that whole drive was just a series of solid running. GREEN BAY 21 - ARIZONA 0.
6:19 - JJ Arrington muffs the kickoff and then, just for the challenge, kicks the ball into the the oncoming Packers. AZ recovers. I think if the Pack picked up the ball and scored right there Denny would have gotten a tap on the shoulder and been fired right on the spot.
5:50 - The Cardinals improbably decide not to roll up and die. Leinart completes his second pass OF THE GAME and everything.
:29 - After a solid drive the Cardinals take 6 plays from the 3 yard line and finally A) get a first down and B) get the touchdown on 4th and 1. Edge James carries it in. They gave up the TD but still, this Defense was downright stout there for a bunch of plays. GREEN BAY 21 - ARIZONA 7.
13:50 - Arizona has a 5 man line and linebackers just a foot behind them. Ahman picks up 7 yards and a 1st down. That's not frustrating is it Cardinals fans?
13:20 - Green goes for 12 against that 5 man line and another first down. Huge hole. It wasn't exactly the Snake River canyon but if Evel Knievel were around he would have tried to jump it. He also would have crashed into Jason Spitz's left side.
11:40 - Morency has 2 carries in a row for 12 yards. Sadly it looks like he's struggling after those two long runs earlier. I sense a pattern with this running thing.
10:25 - 4th and 5 on the Arizona 34. Arizona bites on the hard count from Favre. It's now 4th and inches. Seriously who, other than Arizona and Oakland, bites on the hard count there? That play NEVER works!
10:18 - Green goes for 10 on 4th and inches. Yeesh. I don't know if Arizona knows this but we have one legit wide receiver and two solid running backs that are gashing them. They may want to go to a 6 man line.
8:05 - Clancy Pendergrast is my new hero. He's the Arizona DC and his name is Clancy Pendergrast but neither of those things are what make him hero-worthy. He's got his laminated playsheet stuffed in the front of his pants. Showing the ultimate honor to Lindy Infante. Impressively done sir!
7:40 - Favre rolls right from the 2, finds no one and dives in for the TD. He then does the Lambeau Leap. Those fans have a day to remember don't they? Then, just for good measure, DD spanks Favre on his way back to the bench. Fantastic. GREEN BAY 28 - ARIZONA 7.
4:08 - Aaron Kampman picks up his second sack of this drive. I was wondering if he was going to disappear on us.
3:00 - Gah! Al Harris gets flagged for defensive holding. For an automatic first down. On third and 25! Dagnabbit, now you've got me talking like a prospector!
1:33 - Completely broken coverage leaves Troy Walters wide open. He walks in from the 17 or so. Ugly. GREEN BAY 28 - ARIZONA 14.
:14 - On third down and nothing (the chains showed that the Packers had a first down) we get nailed for a false start. Sooooo it's now 3rd and 5 and we don't pick it up. No bueno. On the plus side Jon Ryan finally gets a chance to punt!
13:26 - Despite absolutely no pressure on Leinart the defense holds up and forces the punt. In the FOX scoreboard I see that San Francisco is rallying. Down 41-0 they nail the figgie to cut the lead to 38. I hate that more than I hate watching a marathon of Growing Pains. And I can only take so much of Kirk Cameron and his buddy, the inexplicably named "boner".
11:37 - Beautiful 50 yard pass and catch from Favre and Driver. When asked what he thought of the play Chad Clifton said this: "I couldn't see because I was busy holding the absolute hell out of a Cardinals player, thus negating the play, I am disappointed in myself".
9:08 - Driver picks up 11 yards on a 2 yard out. He juked 11 players and the ball boy for the other 9 yards. He then hurts his ankle. Hmm. If AJ Hawk is lined up in the slot on the next play we can officially panic.
8:30 - Morency and Green both go over 100 yards on the day. 1st time since 1985. That's just crazy. When two backs go over 100 you know the line is blocking everything there is to block.
6:56 - Ho hum drive from the Packers but they get what they need. Another score. Rayner from 42. GREEN BAY 31 - ARIZONA 14.
5:25 - Barnett with the sack of Leinart straight up the gut. Nick's been very active. I've seen him do his little swordsman thing more today than when we hung out and watched the extended edition Lord of the Rings films back to back to back. That was a fun day. I wish it had happened.
3:15 - Despite being down by 17 and having only 3+ minutes left on the clock Arizona is running the ball. I wonder why they're 1-6?
1:55 - Nick Collins sprawls out covering Troy Walters. I only mention this because it's the first time I've seen Nick all day. This isn't a slam on Nick, the Cards haven't gotten any plays past our linebackers all day.
1:43 - Al Harris, hell bent on not getting any interceptions intentionally this year, manages to bat down another easy pick. Is he trying to catch the ball only with fists or something?
1:38 - On 4th and 5 Chuck Woodson DOES make the interception to lock up the win. Nice jumping of the route there. He can still make some plays.
:45 - Morency gets carted off the field. Hopefully it's just cramps. And who thought we'd care about Vernand a few weeks ago? Well I did, which is why I bring it up, to remind everyone how awesome I am.
31-14 is the final. More importantly the fans get to see a win at Lambeau. Good day all around.