When last we spoke (and yes, I'm pretending that we've been having conversations) the Packers were busy blowing a game against the Bears. It was disheartening. But, on the plus side we were still alone in first place. We hadn't been blown out (like last year, or the year before that, or the year before that...). All told, if you had asked Packer fans if they'd be happy with 4-1 they'd all say "yes" so really, what was the issue?
For me it was the next month of the schedule. Home game against an up and coming Washington team, bye week, then road games against Denver and KC. Frankly, I thought the possibility of 0 for October was a possibility. So those antsies in the pantsies were a might bit fired up last week.
Kenny Albert and Troy Aikman are in the booth today. I like Aikman more now that he's not with the insufferable douche that is Joe Buck. I'm still troubled that a grown man goes by the name "Kenny" but he's not a douche so I'll call this an improvement. Terry McAuley is reffing today. I have no idea who he is. Make a good memory for me Terry.
I think a win today puts us on the right track for a division title. I know it's early, but it's these sorts of games that you have to win in order to be relevant in the NFL. Plus, I saw Washington higher up in a few Power Rankings lately so this can be considered a solid team (in the public's eye, at least).
Jason Campbell, the young QB for Washington, has a boy band mustache. A 'stache like that doesn't want to play football at Lambeau, that sort of 'stache wants to be crooning to some blonde teen from Chippewa Falls while wearing a jean jacket themed ensemble. I feel better about our chances.
As always, italics mean that the opponent has the ball.
9:02 - Both teams trade short and/or meaningless drives to open up. Favre was nearly picked on a wobbler. But he was not. I'm reaaaaaally hoping the offense isn't the same one from the second half last week. Fortunately on the second series Favre hits Don Lee over the middle. Don busts a tackle or two and carries it 60 yards all the way to the Washington 3.
8:16 - DeShawn Wynn in for the TD off right tackle. That was nice.
GREEN BAY 7 - WASHINGTON 0
3:43 - Hmm. Despite missing on some short passes J.C. (the love machine) manages to lead a drive down the field. Once again Tight Ends are our nemesis. Chris Cooley made the big play with a 30 yard catch and run off a screen pass down to our 3. That sucked. J.C. (the ladies' man) scrambles in for the TD. It seemed like Al Harris and a few others stopped playing on defense halfway through the play. That also sucked.
GREEN BAY 7 - WASHINGTON 7
2:06 - I'm noticing a trend. Cooley just had a drop (his first) but to this point has 4 catches for 55 yards at this point. We should probably cover him.
12:44 - Favre gets hit as he's throwing and fumbles. Tony Moll recovers. We're a little loosey goosey with the ball right now. After last week's butterfinger bowl you'd think we'd stop doing that sort of thing. By the by, Moll is in because Coston is out. And Spitz (who lost his job to Coston) is in for Wells at Center because he broke his eye socket. Seriously. Who breaks their eye socket?
12:43 - I would like to point out that this particular blogger doesn't want his eye socket broken by any of the Wells extended family, particularly if size runs in the family. Get well soon!
9:23 - Right now Washington looks like the better team. They have a nice mix of pass (to a Tight End) and run. Fortunately Santana Moss tipped a pass and Chuck Woodson picked it. So we're hanging on.
6:45 - After another ugly three and out by the offense the D again comes up big. On 3rd and 3 from the GB 41 Randle El drops the 1st down catch. Poppinga almost had a pick. Okay, when I said "the D again comes up big" I mean that the receiver for Washington dropped the ball. I want to be totally clear on this issue. Much like every announcer ever I will completely disavow any in-depth analysis.
5:47 - For the what, 3rd time now, we attempt a deep pass. I mention this because we haven't come close to completing any of them. You know how the Cowboys cheerleaders look in their little cowgirl outfits? Our offense is like the opposite of that right now.
1:17 - Well. There's a fucking shock. Chris Cooley just caught a touchdown. He was wide open. It was weird because he also had a couple catches on the drive and nearly has 100 yards receiving on the day. So odd. I didn't even know Washington had a tight end!
1:16 - Sorry, I was away from the computer, that last entry was from Bob Sanders. What happened? What the fuck? Bob! Stop blogging and get someone to cover the dang tight end, man!
GREEN BAY 7 - WASHINGTON 14
:03 - The Packers run a nice two minute drill down to the Washington 30 yard line. It's 45 degrees. It's raining. Why run another play with 12 seconds left when you can have your rookie kicker line up from 46? Crosby pulls it wide left.
13:20 - I know I was ranting about Cooley earlier but really the D has kept us in the game. Other than the 60 yard strike to Don Lee the offense has contributed little. James Thrash just made a 40 yard completion but it's coming back. As it turns out there are rules against tackling the cornerback, throwing him to the ground, and then going on as if nothing has happened.
11:20 - Dammit! James Jones was wide open deep but the ball was underthrown and picked off. Why are we throwing deep? The only time we've moved the ball was when we went with short passes and some runs. But we keep punching ourselves in the pants.
3:55 - The D forced a 3 and out. Punt to the 49. From the 20 Clifton gets called for a hold. Even Aikman and Albert note that there was no holding on the play. Excellent call Terry McAuley! The Packers are pushed back, then complete a pass for 13 over the middle to Bubba. Finally, Favre finds James Jones in the end zone for 6! Oh, no wait. This time Terry has called Tauscher for holding. Aikman and Albert agree that there was no penalty.
3:07 - Crosby hits from 37. I contemplate starting a website called www.terry'steam.com where people can go to find out more about how Terry and his team of refs overcame profound stupidity to become NFL employees. There'd be a link to Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder's site for similar information on becoming owners despite this affliction.
GREEN BAY 10 - WASHINGTON 14
2:05 - Rock Cartwright (Flintstones character? Yes or no?) returns the kick to the Green Bay 45. That's not ideal. Fortunately, on an end-around Santana Moss continues to contribute to a Packer win by being stripped by Corey Williams (of the football, ahem). Chuck Woodson pounces as only a former Wolverine can and returns it 55 yards for a touchdown! Wow, that was amazing. We've made exactly 2 big plays in this game and we're ahead.
GREEN BAY 17 - WASHINGTON 14
10:58 - The D forced another 3 and out. Cooley has been mostly silent in the second half with I think just one catch for 5 yards or so. On 3rd and 2 we went deep again. We failed to come close to connecting again. How does the game plan include 8 deep passes when attempts 1 thru 7 have failed miserably?
10:42 - Clinton Portis fumbles on his own 9 yard line. AJ Hawk pounces, as only a former offshoot from a tree can, and recovers.
10:00 - Ahem. Bubba Franks just made a beautiful TD catch in the back of the end zone. Despite getting violently hit in the chest he managed to get one foot in and the other 3 inches out. Now, he went up vertically and would have come down easily in bounds but Terry's Team somehow felt this was not a force out. This is the most ridiculous call in sports. How is that not a TD?
9:55 - Favre manages to lose 12 yards on the sack. Making the Crosby attempt from 38 instead of 26. Of course he hits the left upright. No points. 1st and goal from the 9 and we get no points. Well, I mean other than the 6 Bubba got. Not that I'm bitter.
6:57 - Washington has driven to the Green Bay 38. They complete a pass to Cooley (who?) for 7. Forcing a 4th and 1 from our 33 or so. Washington burned a timeout before the play and one after. They're putting all they have into this play.
6:43 - Nick Barnett stuff Ladell Betts for a loss on a little flare pass. I love Nick. He doesn't get a lot of credit but he makes big plays.
4:15 - "You want to antagonize me? Antagonize me motherfucker! I'll kick your bitchy little ass, punk." This quote off of Guns N' Roses excellent Use Your Illusion II's "Get in the Ring" brought to you by me. For no reason we went deep again. It was intercepted by Sean Taylor again.
:20 - Wow. That's not how you run an offense. Washington got the ball for one final drive with a little over 1 minute left on their own 20. 1st down - KGB flushes J.C. Love and forces a desperation dumpoff. 2nd down - Aaron Kampman sacks J.C. and rubs grass stains all over his Girbaud jean jacket. An O-Lineman gets hurt, 10 second runoff because they have no timeouts. 3rd Down - False start, another 10 second runoff. Then Jarrett Bush swats away the pass. On 4th down Ladell Betts gets tackled 7 yards short and doesn't even try to lateral or keep the play alive.
FINAL: GREEN BAY 17 - WASHINGTON 14
The story today was the Defense. They were helped by a lot of drops by Washington receivers, by Santana Moss being an absolute trainwreck and J.C. having eyes only for tight ends. But still, the Defense couldn't have won this game for us last year. I'm gonna call that progress.
Great job MF. I think the refs gave us more trouble than the Redskins today. The end of the 3rd quarter, with the Packers marching backward on phantom holding calls, and the end of the 4th quarter, with two clock runoffs, was just bizarre.
The announcers wanted Gibbs to use his last TO before the 2 minute warning, but I think he kept it thinking he'd need it if they got within field goal range and had to get his kicker out there on the field.
If we don't win the NFC North, they should certainly give us the NFC East -- we're 3-0! Bring on the Cowboys!
The weird nature of the game fits perfectly with the weird nature of the Packers' season so far.
While I am Thrilled to see the boys at 5-1 going into the bye--I can't let myself get too excited, because I feel like the proverbial 'other shoe' is going to drop soon....
How has this team gotten so far with that abomination the Packers laughingly call a running game??
While the overall results of the Packers' D look great-it's still taking too many BIG plays to sew up wins--I'd like to see them be able to get off the field on 3rd down a little more consistently-
AND- I'd like to see Poppinga at least acknowledge that there is a Tight End on the field and trip him or something..the penatlies would be less expensive that the 100+ yards and TD's that opposing TE's are racking up.
Kudos to Brett for playing as well as he has with very little OL support-and I'm hoping the WRs will continue to improve....
It's a little too unstable for me to be thrilled--happy? Yes--but there needs to be improvement in the season's second stanza.
Oh-and Mike M needs to stop dragging guys into the spotlight. There need to be a culture of team responsibility rather than scapegoating in my humble opinion....
There-now THAT's off my chest !!
GO PACK !!!!!
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