Dear Mason Crosby,
They're running out of YOU!!! Sigh....alright well there are a million and one reasons to point to and about 18 different players you could hold accountable for this loss. But the bottom line is in the NFL everything balances out. We had won 5 in a row, the Steelers, the defending Super Bowl champion Steelers, had lost 5 in a row. It was in Pittsburgh. They were desperate for a win and have lost 4 heartbreakers this season in similar fashion. At some point the schedule and the season balances out. I'm not saying the Packers shouldn't have won, they should have, but every team has 2 or 3 games they should have won or in some cases HAD won and couldn't hang on in the end. So chalk this up to the Steelers being due and needing it more. I thought typing that would make me feel better. I=wrong.
- Any way you slice it this was an instant classic. Almost a thousand yards of total offense, lead changes, comebacks, it had all the drama of a playoff game. Not to mention it got my heart trained for playoff football based on the 9 heart attacks I had in the last 39 seconds alone. It more than made up for the Jets/Falcons borefest I watched prior to our game. I wish I had those three hours of my life back.
- This morning and last night there will be a lot of deserved ire thrown the way of Mason Crosby. Another critical field goal missed. No this is not a repeat from last week. Or the week before that. Or the week before that. Or the...alright you get the picture, he has been all sorts of bad this season. And I have had my fill of the excuses; snaps, ball placement, holder, cleats, his breakfast burrito wasn't warm enough, WHATEVER. He's got more excuses than me when I miss my first five shots and am winded 7 minutes into open gym. So are you confident if we need a kick in the playoffs? FOR SURE NOT. Shaun Suisham is available, he kicked in Washington this season and was 18/21. Why was he cut? He missed a 23 yarder two weeks ago that would have iced a Redskin victory over the Saints. Even with that miss he is still hitting 85% this season, as opposed to Crosby's 70%. (creidt Dan Podell, facebook friend, status update yesterday 4pm for bringing up Suisham's name). If school taught me one thing it's to site all sources.
- Clay Matthews had two more sacks yesterday (should have been three), ho-hum, 10 sacks on the year and relentless pressure on the QB. He should have the defensive rookie of the year on lock, but has he entered into the NFL defensive player of the year conversation? How much fun is Dom Capers having with this kid in his 3-4 defense? It's like getting pocket aces in hold'em on every hand.
- While Derrick Martin has been unquivocally awful on defense this season he has been a beast on special teams. 5 tackles on special teams is not easy to accomplish, especially when the Packer's special teams have lacked the 'special' adjective.
- When Aaron Rodgers does the WWE championship belt move at the end of rushing touchdowns I can't help but get turned on a little. TMI.
- What was with the drops yesterday? Driver had 3? In the first half? Look Donald, if I'm going to campaign for your Hall of Fame nomination you're going to have to cut down on the drops. He did have that sweet 47 yard catch and run though. See? I can't stay mad at him.
- Lord beer me patience with instant replay. Last week Jennings had a TD overturned and this week Matthews loses out on a clear fumble out of the hand of Roeslesdfjakldfjwoefjeaer.
- You know how there's the saying in baseball for Manny Ramirez when he goofs off? Manny being Manny? Well the same can be said when Jarret Bush is playing terrible football. That's just Jarret being Jarret. He gave up two pivotal bombs, the first on the first Steeler play from scrimmage resulting in a touchdown. What has he done to justify a roster spot? If Crosby's job is in trouble Bush's should be as well.
- Was Mike McCarthy playing against someone who had Ryan Grant as their running back in a fantasy championship? He had to be right? That's the only explanation for EIGHT carries the entire game. And on those carries he averaged 4.6 yards per carry and got a touchdown. I know the passing offense was prolific, but running eats the clock up a bit and helps ice a game in December. Just sayin.
- You know what I think about when I'm sad? How dominant Jermichael Finley is going to be in 2 years.
- Was anyone else sort of hoping that James Jones would have taken a fall at the 2 yard line on that last touchdown? Then three knees and a (cringe) 19 yard game winning field goal? That's how suspect the Packer defense was yesterday. I'm going to attribute this to the Steelers having an intimate knowledge of the 3-4 (which they run) and knowing how to defeat it. Now if the Seahawks rack up 500 yards through the air, then there is reason to be concerned.
So after 5 straight weeks of writing post-victory blogs, the Packers finally lost a game. Still in control of their own destiny, with a win on Sunday and a Cowboy's or Giant's loss we lock a spot in the playoffs. Giants play tonight in Washington. The room for error is less, but clean up the secondary, bring in a kicker to compete with Mason, and figure out the still relevant problem with a plethora of penalties and we should be okay. That plus watching Favre lose ANOTHER game in the cold in December makes me feel better. Bonus word: cookies. Cause I anger-ate 42 of them after that loss.