I must be the 8 millionth Packer's blogger to make that reference in the past 24 hours, but whatever, laughing at the Bear's expense never gets old! So another Packers win....ho-hum, 5 in a row on their way to the playoffs for an inevitable showdown with the Vikings at which point Aaron Rodgers with rectify his two previous loses to Brent Favre all while validating Ted Thompson's decisions and faith in an unproven quarterback last year. Wow. That escalated quickly. I mean that really got out of hand. At least there was no trident being thrown.
- Literally this was a yawner. I'm not sure what the atmosphere was at field level, but from my living room this was as boring as December football gets. I may have fallen asleep. Twice. Times three. But either way it was a victory and a season sweep of the Bears. By the way, that was the 179th meeting between the Packers and Bears, 178 of which were during the regular season. I don't know what shocks me more, the length of the rivalry or the fact that these teams have only met up in the playoffs once? Really?
- Speaking of the rivalry, has this one lost a bit of its luster? Don't get me wrong, I hate the Bears as much as anyone, but my blood truly boils when the Cubs and Brewers hook up for one of their 18 yearly showdowns. It just appeared as though some of the passion was lacking yesterday. Could that have something to do with the Bear's complete irrelevance at this point in the season? Ohhhhhh burn. See what I did there? Jon:1 Bears:0!
- How Shawn Slocum, Jeremy Kapinos, and even Mason Crosby at this point, still have jobs is beyond me. They must have dirt on Ted Thompson that he doesn't want to get out. Only explanation. Again this hurts me a bit because we had Mason on for the past two seasons for a weekly segment, but the guy needs to figure it out from the right hash mark (6 of his 8 misses this season are from the right hash). How confident are you feeling if we are down by 2 in the playoffs on the road with less than two minutes that he can make a game winning field goal? Right now about as confident as I am that I will see a ticker tape parade in downtown Milwaukee for a Bucks championship. Kapinos is also in a gots to go situation when this season concludes, can he put ONE frieking punt inside the 10? Not even the 5 yard line, I'll take the 10, or even the 15 at this point! He is a walking touchback right now.
- Packers may need to work on their killer instinct a bit. It looked like they were going to win this game by 6 TDs after Grant went 62 yards on the opening play from scrimmage for the Packer's offense. Then a bunch of drives stalled out and they not only allowed the Bears to get back into the game, they allowed them to take a brief one point lead. We're not playing first to 10 here. A knockout punch is needed.
- Speaking of Ryan Grant, how about the season he has put together. I mentioned this on a blog earlier in the year, but now he's over 1,000 yards, he is averaging 4.3 yards per carry and is 7th in the LEAGUE in rushing. Makes me wish I wouldn't have passed him up while drafting Steve Slaton in the second round of one of my fantasy leagues (I do have him in about 3 other's though. Also, I have a fantasy football addiction).
- You know how some losses look better as the year goes on? Like that loss to the Bengals in week 2 doesn't look all that awful now that the Bengals are knocking on the door of winning the AFC North? The Tampa Bay loss does not fit into that category. They have not even been close to winning another game all year. It is shocking that we gave up 38 points to that team and lost, it may have been a wakeup call that led to the current 5 game winning streak, but man, that is going to be the only win Tampa gets all year.
No matter how you want to characterize this win, 'boring,' 'sloppy,' 'uneventful,' the bottom line is it is a win. And if you told me before kickoff that Rodgers wouldn't throw a TD pass, would have only 180 yards passing and turn the ball over, I would have told you they would lose by two TDs. But they didn't. The defense was solid, Woodson further added to his defensive MVP resume, Clay Matthews got his EIGHTH sack (I am all about caps today apparently), and Nick Collins continues to be steady at the safety spot. Seriously if it looks like there will be an NFL devoid of a salary cap next year, we can't carry our money over. Not a cent. They spent some of it today on Brandon Chillar (what?), spend the rest on extending Collin's contract. Also, was anyone really concerned when we went down 14-13? Yeah it was a little perplexing that the lead melted away like it did, but as is the game plan for every team playing the Bears, just wait for Jay Cutler to make another big mistake and capitalize on it. In the two meetings with the Bears this season Cutler has easily been our MVP.
So the Packers now sit at 9-4 and probably have all but locke....nah I'm not going to say it yet. Even though Pittsburgh concerns me, Seattle is a must win situation, given the current state of affairs in the NFC I think 10 wins should give you a very solid chance. Let's not forget this was only a 6 win team last year as well, yesterday's 'W' guarantees a winning year. And yesterday's win along with Monday night's win are both games we don't win last season. Last year if the Bears grab that one point lead, they win the game in the end. Last year with all of the penalties and the Ravens back into it in a blink, we lose that game too. So there have been signs of maturity here week by week. Bonus word: maturity.