Sunday, January 9, 2011

and the beat goes on for the Packers...

The Green Bay Packers won another game today.   If they hadn’t, they wouldn’t be playing next week.  The playoffs are obviously a win or go home scenario, which is one that scares the crap out of me when it comes to this team.  My beloved Packers are a two-headed animal.  One head is like a beautiful mermaid.  The other looks like Susan Boyle.  You get the team that looks like a well oiled machine or you get the one that played against the Lions late in the season.  You never know which head wears the helmet from week to week.

Fortunately, this weekend’s wildcard game against the Eagles was played by the pretty head of the monster.   The Packers held the lead as soon as they got it.   They were firing on all cylinders in the first half.  They looked utterly unstoppable on offense and defense.  Michael Vick was on a leash (pun totally intended).  Then the second half came around and the fuggle head put on the helmet from time to time.   The offense couldn’t sustain a drive like we needed them to.  However, the defense decided they weren’t going allow another disappointing nail-biting defeat.   The Pack moves on because the defense once again bent a little, but did not break.

That is the story of this 2010 Packers team.  They may bend a little, but they do not break.  This is especially true of the defense.   They may let a team get down the field, but they eventually put a stop to most drives and force a punt, field goal, or turnover.  Twice this came up today when the Pack forced the Eagles to kick field goals after they looked hot.  What happened?  Akers missed them.  This adds to my ever growing confidence in that defense.  We are at a point where I am actually excited to have them go out there.   I anticipate big plays being made.  Matthews is almost always in the mix.  Raji could bust through that line at any moment.   Woodson is always within reason of getting a defensive touchdown.  The Packers defense makes as many plays as the offense these days.  This is something Green Bay hasn’t had since the mid 90s.  A defense like this is built for a championship run.

Aaron Rodgers played as good as he could have given the play calls and dropped passes.  The running game found a spark with James Starks.  They ate up a lot of time which was beneficial because that meant Vick wasn’t out there chucking the ball downfield to DeSean Jackson.  The most important accomplishment by the offense was that they didn’t make any huge mistakes.  They didn’t force anything that wasn’t there.  That was something that happened from time to time during the regular season.  Tonight they went with what was given to them.  It happened to be the running game for the most part.  They also made sure to get the ball to whoever was open.  Rodgers did more checking down than usual.  The ball was spread out and everyone had a chance.  That’s how Tom Crabtree scored that touchdown in the first half.  He was the best option and Rodgers got him the ball.

Rodgers will benefit from being in the dome next week.  He can electrify the air by throwing it everywhere.  The last time he was in Atlanta he completed a career defining 90 yard drive with a Jordy Nelson bullet touchdown pass on 4th down.   It was the most clutch he has ever been.  The Packers would have won that game if it wasn’t for poor special teams play and a shit brained facemask penalty.   I expect Rodge to pick up where he left off.  Now only if the defense can stop Tony Gonzalez.

Speaking of the defense let me make one last point before I call it a night.  Tramon Williams.   He is the defensive player of the year for this team.  He might not be the flashy choice like Clay Matthews or Chuck Woodson, but he deserves the credit.   Tramon was snubbed from the Pro Bowl.  He had a better year than Woodson did.   The reason many people didn’t notice was because we didn’t hear his name mentioned a lot.  Williams didn’t get burned as much as Woodson did this year.  There may have been other guys in the NFL with more interceptions, but that isn’t any indication of Williams’ effectiveness.  It is hard to get interceptions when they aren’t throwing the ball your way because you have their guy covered.  With Tramon being that damn awesome, it allows Woodson to roam around every once in a while.  That usually leads to good things.   For that, Tramon Williams, you are my pick for Packers’ defensive MVP.  

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