Sunday, October 22, 2006

Packer Gameday: Green Bay (1-4) at Miami (1-5)

When you're sitting at 1-4 it's not always easy to find a team that is worse off than yourself. Fortunately we have that scenario today. We are also fortunate to be blessed with (perpetually) Joey Harrington as an opponent. If we're lucky we'll not only get to see him but we'll get to see his backing band, the Wounded Ducks. I feel confident. Very confident.

Our announcers today are JC Pearson and Matt Vasgergian. I don't know either of them but I seem to recall getting fired up as a youngster when JC's catalogue came out before Christmas. I might have that confused with something else though. For now I'm going to assume I'm right. Hopefully he can call a game better than he can run a catalogue because I never got a damn toy that I circled in those things. I used red ink and everything.

It's 88 degrees in Miami today. There's an ocean and warm weather and presumably girls in bikinis and whatnot. It's already snowed twice up here in the past couple of weeks. I had a point at the beginning of this paragraph but after uncontrollable sobbing for the past 5 minutes I don't think I should elaborate. So I shall once again distract myself by wondering when the heck "drinking water" suddenly became "hydrating?" Personally I'm having a Heineken Light (the lady of the house likes it, don't judge). I'm wondering if drinking a beer should now be called alcoholizing? I'm for it.

Reading Note - (programming note for readers) - Italics means the opponent has the ball and non-italicized means the Packers do. It's psychological, sort of like painting the opponents locker rooms pink like they do at Iowa. Everyone knows having their plays denoted with italics is demeaning. I'm trying to make this somewhat cogent for those of you who haven't seen the games. Lemme know if anything else might help, other than, y'know, better notes.

1st Quarter

With the shaky secondaries involved today I'll be interested to see who can actually step up and make a play. This is not the Dolphin D of the past few years. They can be had. Of course I say this before watching our guys make (Lil) Joey look like a pro bowler. No, not a professional stalker of the pins, I mean the trip to Hawaii and everything. I'm hoping he looks like his normal terrible self but, well, we haven't really defended the ol' forward pass so well.

14:48 - DD gets nailed for offensive pass interference on the first play from scrimmage. At least we're going to attack a bit. Assuming that our first play is the only indicator one can go on. I only mention this because announcers do it all the time and I can't imagine a team meeting in which the OC says he wants to pass 20+ yards and that is now the gameplan for the day.

14:30 -
They just ran the intros and apparently Zach Thomas is 4 and a half feet tall. I mean, I knew he was short, but does it say "freakishly short" in his bio? They certainly have room to talk about him in there because I have no idea who the other two linebackers are for this team. Who the hell are Crowder and Spragan? Sounds like a financial advice show on Fox.

11:44 - Chuck Woodson dekes Randy McMichael and sacks (young) Joey. As a youngun I once made a quick run around the base of the Statue of Liberty. It was basically the same thing, only I think Lady Liberty made at least a half hearted attempt at blocking me.

10:20 - DD makes back to back catches for a 1st down. We're around the 25 yard line on our side so it's no big deal, so why do I mention it? I think DD will have a big game today after basically getting shut down and hurt against the Rams. Plus he's my NSMC*.

7:56 - Jason Taylor sacks Favre and forces a fumble. Miami recovers on the 7 or so. Faaaaantastic. With Chad Clifton out today we have a line of Colledge (LT), Spitz (LG), Wells (C) and Moll (RG) to go along with Tauscher on the right side. I'm hoping for sweeps to the right on every running play. Colledge just got destroyed on that sack and I've already seen Taylor in our backfield more than Herron has been for the entire year.

7:51 - (Kid) Joey hits Marty Booker for a quick TD. Way too easy. GB 0 - MIAMI 7.

7:13 - Bubba Franks tips the ball upwards for the 1900th time in his Packer career and it nearly gets intercepted. Can we coach this? Doesn't it seem like our guys have a nasty habit of tipping balls upwards? This HAS to happen to us more than other teams right?

5:50 - The Packers look like they're going to try a halfback pass with Ahman. He wisely eats it. Should we be trying this sort of play when we can't pass block for more than 2 seconds?

5:08 - Second sack of the game for Taylor. He also forced another fumble that we managed to hang on to. That Taylor's pretty good. We should maybe block him on occasion, y'know, just to mess with him.

:52 - Brady Poppinga picks off Joey (Lawrence) Harrington and even gets a solid return. I don't know if this means Brady's coverage skills are improving or if it just means he's good enough to pick off the worst starting qb in the league from the past 4-5 years but it's a start.

2nd Quarter

12:08 - Rayner nails a kick from 42. I don't miss Longwell. Too much history with him and I only remembered the missed kicks. I'm not saying he was a bad kicker, but I'm okay with the new guy. GB 3 - MIAMI 7.

Between the Jay-Z/Budweiser music video/commercial and now the John Mellencamp/Chevy music video/commercial I would say that it's not a question of blurring the line between integrity and commercialization, I would ask if the line ever existed at all. Wow. Plus both ads/songs are just effing terrible. I won't be buying any Bud or Chevy products anytime soon. Or Jay-Z and Johnny Cougar stuff either by the way. Thank God for Tivo.

11:22 - McMichael apparently goes to the Tipping the Ball Up school with Bubba in the offseason. I wonder if there's a nice montage ESPN can do with some tinkling piano in the background as they talk about what's expected of an NFL tight end. "tip the ball down? where's the drama?" Nick Barnett is the beneficiary. Two INT's for the LB's today.

9:54 - Favre throws into the corner of the end zone where roughly 19 players have decided to meet. The ball is tipped by, well, I don't know how many people. I can't really say. I can say that I had time to fly down to Miami, eat a delicious Cuban pork samich by the seaside and still try to tip it to DD before it finally hit the damn ground. GB 6 - MIAMI 7.

9:43 - Nick Collins sticks Ronnie Brown in the backfield for a 2 yard loss. Huge cheer. I love Packer fans.

6:00 - Third and 1. Ahman gets stuffed for a loss. I'm not saying the O-line got pushed back there. I'm no scientician but I think the world shifted forward 2 feet and thus they all fell on their tails at the same time due to this unusual geological shift. We should be looking into this. Instead we punt.

3:57 - Third and 9 for Miami. All out blitz from the Pack. 40 yards later the Dolphins are looking at first and goal from the 6 or so. I get queasy with all out blitzes. Most NFL teams, even the terrible ones, will pick up an obvious blitz.

1:49 - Nice pursuit by AJ Hawk for a sack on third and 2. He's having a very solid game right now.

1:07 - Miami runs 42 seconds off the clock. The Packers don't seem to mind. Mare splits the uprights with the Figgie. GB 6 - MIAMI 10.

:25 - After a couple plays we're at midfield and call a timeout. We could have just over a minute remaining here but we don't. For no particular reason.

:04 - 55 yarder by Rayner (think Longwell even gets a shot from that distance?) is good. But the Dolphins are classless (or cagey, depending on your allegiance) and perform an illegal shift. 15 yard penalty. Then things get really weird. Rayner hits from 40 but Mike Montgomery absolutely mauls the facemask of a Dolphin. 15 yard penalty. After roughly 95 minutes the officials decide that the penalty calls for a 10 second runoff and the half ends ignominously. Yay. I'll try not to be bitter about the fact that the rules don't allow the Packers to keep the original 55 yarder on the board. Why is it the competition committee meets every year, makes a few changes, and yet this sort of thing still exists?

3rd Quarter

14:10 - Tip Drill! Not only is McMichael a member of the Tipping School, he's on the board of directors! Another tipped pass lands right in Chuck Woodson's hands. 23 yards later I'm high fiving myself. GB 13 - MIAMI 10.

11:35 - Greg Jennings is out for the game after that nasty hit right before halftime. They say "ankle" which is good because I thought his head was twisted around in a funky way on the tackle. We have 2 receivers. I just got the call from Coach Jags and I'm suiting up. Man, that Cuban pork samich ain't sitting too well. I may not be able to play today.

8:51 - DD makes a ridiculous diving catch for a TD. It's ridiculous because he had two guys on him all the way. If he had one guy in a baby carrier on the front and the other in a Duluth Pack on the back they wouldn't have been closer to him. I love DD. GB 20 - MIAMI 10.

For some reason Favre is vacuuming himself on the sideline. See the thing is Suck doesn't remove itself. The only way you can remove the Suck is with more Sucking. Topnotch work with the vacuum fellas. And yes I realize it's blowing cold air on him (He needs to aerate).

6:30 - Miami marches, MARCHES, down the field. No Bueno. GB 20 - MIAMI 13.

2:40 - The Catalogue guy is all over Favre for holding the ball too long on 3rd and short. Vasgergian notes that he tried to hit the fullback "in the ankles". He hit Miree in the hands, about chest high, and all he had to do was fall back for the first down. What exactly should Favre have done?

4th Quarter

14:00 - Miami finishes a boring drive with a boring Figgee. The most entertaining thing about the whole ordeal was me writing "figgie" just now. GB 20 - MIAMI 16.

13:14 - Welcome back Ahman Green! AG goes up the left side for a 70 yard TD. He read the blocks perfectly (and they were executed as such) and then turned on the ol' jets to finish the play. Wow! Please be back! Please let that be the old Ahman. I don't want him to just stop by for one last fling, I want the whole deal. GB 27 - MIAMI 16.

On a side note, I want to see more of that just so I can watch Mike III and Coach Jags do the awkward high five/chest bump thing again. I mean who does those things at the same time? With headsets on? I'd rather see them do the weird dance the two Miami fans were doing earlier. Which, up to this point, had been the nerdiest thing I've seen in weeks.

11:56 - Way too easy TD pass. GB 27 - MIAMI 22.

11:56 - Way too easy 2 point conversion. GB 27 - Miami 24.

11:40 - AG takes the ball on 1st down for 8 yards. Be back! C'mon Ahman.

8:55 - 4th and 1 and the Packers run a reverse to DD for the 1st down. My least favorite Holladay (it used to be Arbor Day, now it's Vonnie) nearly broke up the play in the backfield, but the NSMC just doesn't allow that sort of thing to happen. By the way I crapped my pants on that play.

6:11 - David Martin makes a pretty little catch for a TD, narrowly avoiding an INT by the safety. JC, the man who every year forgot to send out the Erector Set I circled, is not happy with the playcalls and with Favre's passes. I'm okay with it.
GB 34 - MIAMI 24.

2:11 - The reason why Miami has one win? They take a delay of game while lining up a 47 yard Figgie, pushing it back to 52. The Football Gods demand this sort of incompetence must result in a missed figgie. It's a must. Mare dutifully hits the left upright. I am now required to note that the kick would have been good from 47. Ouch.

2:01 - Why is Morency running the ball here? The man fumbles does he not?

:40 - The Miami Lions fail to execute yet again. This one is wrapped up. So what have we learned? Tune in throughout the week for now we must review the game tape. I know that I'm solidly out of the "maybe Saban is as good a coach as Belichek" camp. I got that cleared up, which is nice.

* NSMC = Non Sexual Man Crush

Final Score
Green Bay 34 - Miami 24


Packman said...

Nice write up. We won, we won!

Anonymous said...

So in a nutshell, the Packers can only beat teams that have Joey Harrington, or used to have Joey Harrington. Is there any chance that Miami will trade Harrington to the Bears?

MF said...

It's unlikely but we can all dream right? I'll have more of a breakdown on this on Wednesday but yeah, basically we're good enough to win on occasion and that's it. I like where the offense is at (considering the makeshift O-line it's impressive we can score like this) but obviously we need to be more than half a team.

Anonymous said...

While it was only a win over the Harrington-led(?) Fins...and Culpepper was firmly on the bench (hey-maybe we were right all along, and he really DOES suck )
I'm still happy to see thePackers wind up on the good side of this game. It would have been easy for them to hang their heads and let the Fins have their way with them, but they managed to right themselves and play like a professional football team. What makes this even MORE amazing is the fact that this team only has TWO pro-grade receivers on the roster and one of them was hurt for the second half........

MF said...

I agree. Hopefully Ruvell is a quick study but I'm sorta doubting it. It's amazing how little offensive talent we have.

Anonymous said...

What's REALLY amazing is how many Pckers' fans are touting this as a season-changing win--and describing how THIS game shows what a master of personnel Thomposon is and what a great coach MM is....I'd like to agree, but I'd like to see the Pack win over someone who has more than one least before I annoit those guys as geniuses

MF said...

We still haven't figured out how to stop a passing game so no, we haven't changed anything. When we shut down a decent team and force them out of their gameplan we'll have our season changing win. For now we just get to enjoy the week.

We're probably going to give up another 300+ passing yards and still get a win this week against the suddenly flammable Denny Green and the Cardinals. We won't know if we've turned a corner until the week after.