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Packers sink the Vikings, Favre admits to sending Sterger voicemails. Packers 28- Vikings 24.

October 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Jenn Sterger, voicemail recipient.

Great win for the Packers tonight.

Keys to the game: The Packers did not give up any big special teams plays this week. The defense came through when they had to and did just enough to help the pack win. There were good things and bad things about the Packers’ game execution this week. Let’s break it down.

The Good: the Favre interceptions, of course, especially the Pick 6. The pressure finally getting to an opposing quarterback – mostly thanks to Clay Matthews – it is clear that his presence makes a huge difference for the Pack’s D. How about that face mask penalty in the 4th quarter? That was HUGE. Also good: Aaron Rodgers – he did just enough to win and for once he did not have to try to put the team on his back for a miraculous comeback.I bet he loved being the team with the lead in the 4th quarter for a change. Let’s also give some props to A.J. Hawk, Nick Collins and Desmond Bishop for picking off Gandalf the Grey. Excuse me, I mean Brett Favre. Or is it Rip Van Winkle? Or Hobbles McHobbally? Yeah, I guess it was Favre. Game ball goes to Bishop for the return touchdown. Notice that his 6 points were 2 points more than the Packers won by.

The Bad: The Packers defense could not seem to stop Percy Harvin or Adrian Peterson. They were lucky to slow them down just enough to win. It is clear how much they are missing guys like Nick Barnett and Atari Bigby right now. Guys who can tackle hard and blow plays up in the backfield. Charlie Peprah is definitely not the answer. Thank god for Woodson. At least Woodson can tackle Peterson. And Harvin. He might want to demonstrate for the rest of  the team. It was also disgusting to see almost the exact same play on consecutive 4th-and-1’s. Come on man! They had to be expecting it. Kuhn is okay but how about letting Rodgers run it? Or sweeping outside? It would have been better to do something they wouldn’t expect. Then there was the 4th down fake. Ugh. It would have been amazing if it worked. Unfortunately, it didn’t.

The ugly: Favre admitted this week to sending the voice mails in question to Jenn Sterger. We will have to wait and see if any punishment from the league will result from his admission. He has denied sending her the texts of his “nether regions”, though. If that is the case, this could be the end of the investigation. IF it turns out he was lying, well…. this could get uglier than the Michael Vick dog fighting fallout.

Here’s my recap: Great win for the Pack, they got the monkey off their back, Brett Favre almost had a heart attack and Jenn Sterger now thinks that he’s on crack. Yeah, rhyming. That just happened. Sorry. It was cheap, I know. That’s why it is in the ugly section.

Summary: Great win for the Packers. Enough said. Go Pack Go!

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Packers drop another heartbreaker in OT as they lose to the β€˜Fins. Dolphins 23 – Packers 20.

October 18, 2010 Leave a comment

I can tell you exactly what was the difference in this game: pass rush. The Packers put almost no pressure on Dolphins QB Chad Henne Sunday and they paid the price for it. Without their top pass-rusher and play-maker Clay Matthews the Packers Defense could barely sniff a sack. By contrast, Miami’s Cameron Wake seemed to be all over the field, sacking Aaron Rodgers at will and chasing him up and down the field.

Remember that shoelace tackle of Rodgers in overtime? Yeah, that was Wake. Apparently he is the Dolphins best kept secret because the Pack had no answer for him in this game. No matter who lined up against Wake, whether it was Chad Clifton or Bryan Bulaga, the Packers just could not stop him from getting good pressure on Aaron Rodgers.

If the Packers had any semblance of a running game or some better blocking, then maybe we wouldn’t have to all collectively hold our breath every time Rodgers takes a hard hit, because we all know a decent running game or some better pass blocking would help Rodgers unleash his inner beast.

I want to give credit to the Packers Defense for playing hard and hanging around all game despite getting dominated in the time of possession battle and missing some key players on defense. Man, they really missed Clay Matthews on defense today, you can tell that the Packers just aren’t the same team without him in there. I also think that they missed some of the big plays usually created by MLB Nick Barnett. Desmond Bishop did a pretty decent job filling in for Barnett though, so give him some credit.

Usually I want to complain about the defense after a loss, but I was actually surprised by how well they held  up, especially after Brandon Marshall seemed unstoppable. It was nothing the Packers’ D did wrong, that guy is just a beast. So I kept yelling at my TV: Put Woodson on him!! I wonder how many of us were thinking that until Tramon Williams came up with that nice interception in the first half. He jumped a quick curl by Marshall and just took that one away from him – a great play, but it still couldn’t put the Packers D over the top.

What really disappointed today was actually the Packers offense. They still haven’t found any answer for having such a poor running game and that is allowing opposing defenses to just sit back and play the pass. And since we aren’t the Colts, we can’t allow that to happen. I was very frustrated by the poor pass protection today in addition the lack of a running game, as usual. When the Packers got the ball in overtime, they should have been able to put the ‘Fins away. Instead, Aaron Rodgers had guys chasing him all over the place and couldn’t complete a pass. C’mon man!

So to recap: another disappointing loss, and pretty much the same story as last week. The Packers now fall to 3-3 and second place in the NFC North Division. They have a critical match-up next Sunday night against the Favre-led  Minnesota Vikings and I fully expect them to bounce back with a win. It will be a great game. You can watch it on NBC @ 7 p.m.central time.

Now for the food: I guess we’ve gotta go with some tuna this week, in honor of losing to those Miami snorkelers. Finheads. Pinheads. Tuna. Insult of your choice. Anyway, here it is: seared ahi tuna. I had this for the first time on my honeymoon and it was pretty good. That’s my official review. Of course, Rachel Ray wasn’t the one who prepared it, but it was still good. Maybe it just lacked a bit more sultry-ness? I don’t know, that was supposed to be a Rachel Ray joke but maybe it didn’t go over. Just like the Packers didn’t go over the ‘Fins. Oh well, it’s a long season. So I raise my glass to you in the hopes that next week will be better.

Happy reading, happier eating! – JL

Washington gets the win and Aaron Rodgers gets a concussion as the Pack fall in OT. Redskins 16 – Packers 13.

October 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Well well well, that was one buzzkill of a game for Packers Nation. This could mean that our boys in the Green and Gold are in some serious trouble, folks. Now, I never want to blame a win or a loss on injuries or officiating but those two factors may have had something to do with the Packers late game collapse as they lost on an overtime Field Goal to the Washington Native Americans or American Indians against abuse or whatever you think they should be called. (If you’ve never read about the controversy over this NFL team’s offensive name, do so here and then decide for yourself.)

I never like games where pass interference or defensive holding calls turn the tides or the game in favor of a team. I thought that there were two bad calls in overtime – one holding penalty called on Poppinga, and the PI called on Woodson. Everybody knows that Woodson is an extremely savvy veteran player and he did nothing to deserve that call. That’s the shitty thing about the NFL, sometimes the Refs can help decide the game. Of course, I wouldn’t be bitching about the game if the Packers had won or gotten questionable calls in their favor, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes in today’s NFL.

Donovan McFavre, er I mean, McNabb, looked like the washed up soup salesman that we all know he is during the game – especially in the first half. But, in the immortal words of Dennis Green – We had ’em, and we let ’em off the hook. Even a broken clock can tell the right time twice a day, and in this case it was McNabb’s Favre-ing of an injury decimated Packers’ defense. By which, I mean, he made some miraculously lucky throws when he had to. I’d like to say that his talents won the game, but I guess Fourth-and-26 is just too fresh in my memory and we all know that McNabb is garbage, anyone who watched the game could see how many times he failed to hit some wide-open receivers. I can’t believe we lost to that soup-chucking giant-headed goon again… (end of rant.)

Anyway, after holding the ‘Skins offense to a pathetic showing and only 3 points in the first half, Clay Matthews‘ hamstring tightened up as the Pack’s defense loosened up in the second half. Washington’s stellar defense also started to lock in on Aaron Rodgers and they took advantage of the fact that Green Bay was either afraid to or couldn’t run the ball at all near the end of the game.

I also was disappointed with coach Mike McCarthy‘s call to go for it on fourth-and-goal so early in the game (second quarter). A chip-shot field goal there for an even bigger lead might have changed the outcome of the game. Plus, it usually frustrates an opponent when you can put any points on the board while already leading – it also could have been a factor in taking the crowd out of the game too. It is especially frustrating when you consider that the Pack only lost this game by three.

I never liked coaches making decisions like going for it in the first half when their team is already leading, there is just way too much football left to play. An easy field goal at that point would have put the Packers up 10-0. Instead they drove the ball 85 yards and came away with nothing. Not good, McBumbles. I mean… McCarthy.

Adding to the list of our (packers fans’) woes is the fact that Aaron Rodgers took a hard hit and may have sustained a concussion on his last throw of the game, when he got rocked as he threw that interception to Laron Landry. Because concussions have become a huge league concern, this could be an even bigger concern for all Pack fans – Rodgers could be held out of the next game if he doesn’t check out OK with the medical staff. Jay Cutler of the Bears had a similar knock to the head last week, and he was held out of a game as a medical precaution. I don’t know about you, but I don’t love the Packers chances next week without Rodgers commanding the offense.

The blow to Rodgers’ head wasn’t the only thing that might derail the Packer’s playoff hopes. Injuries to starting linebacker Nick Barnett (wrist), starting safety Morgan Burnett (ACL) , OLB Clay Matthews (hamstring), TE’s Jermichael Finley (knee) and Donald Lee (shoulder) , DE Ryan Pickett (ankle) and yes, dare I say, Al Harris (PUP) have really hurt the Pack’s chances of making a deep playoff run.

Both Barnett and Burnett suffered injuries last week and both are likely out for the rest of the season. It remains to be seen how serious the injuries are to the other players on the team. For that we will have to wait for the injury report, which comes out Tuesday. Harris could return to action as early as next week, which would be a huge lift to an underwhelming Packers’ secondary.

Ahhh well, at least we can take comfort in the food that rules the fall – that classic food of all foods to warm your insides and then sizzle your outsides on the way out, of course I mean some homemade chili. Tis’ the season, people. I was going to give you my own hand-crafted recipe but then I realized I probably shouldn’t reveal any ancient family secrets on the Web. So you’ll all just have to settle for second best and try cooking up what you find here. Remember to top that off with some udderly fantastic Wisconsin CHEDDAR. What could be better, right?

Happy eating and thanks for reading!!

Next week the Packers take on the Miami Dolphins at home. I’m too full to make a prediction, so shoot me your own here or on Facebook. Best of luck, and Go Pack!

Packers escape with another victory, as the Lions show some teeth. Packers 28 – Lions 26.

October 5, 2010 Leave a comment

What an exciting game to watch! Especially when you consider that no one thought it would even be close. Most people had the Packers winning over the Lions easily, but these are not the same old Lions that the Pack beats up on every year. No, this is a good young Lions team and they deserve credit for hanging around with the Packers the entire game. Here’s a fun fact – the Lions have not won a game in Wisconsin since 1991. Wow!

From my vantage point in the South End Zone at Lambeau Field, it looked to me as if Aaron Rodgers was pressing a bit in the second half when he got to throw the ball. I don’t think he liked being coached to run the ball more often when the passing game was working so well, and in my opinion, it was kind of stupid for coach Mike McCarthy to get away from what was working just because he might have something to prove with the running game.

The running back tandem of Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn did not look good on Sunday. The Packers should have been able to run it on Detroit, a team that has one of the worst run defenses in the league. They couldn’t. Except for the last five minutes of the game when they used John Kuhn repeatedly to run out the clock.

It looked to me like Kuhn should have been the starter. At least he can gain one or two yards every play when there is no hole to run through. Unlike Jackson who will consistently lose two yards. And now it needs to be said – when one of your fullbacks is your best option at Running Back, I think your ground game is in trouble.

Still a win is a win, no matter how you slice it, and we will be grateful for that. Me, I’m just grateful that Charles Woodson is on our team and not anybody else’s. How about the pick-six? That got the 70,000+ people at Lambeau fired up and on their feet! I liked his form on the six-yard dive into the end zone. πŸ™‚

And now for something spicy to get you fired up! How about a Game Day staple – Nachos with cheese!! What do you call the cheese that doesn’t belong to you? That’s right, Na Cho cheese. Try combining the cheese listed in the recipe with some other varieties – I recommend using some WISCONSIN CHEDDAR. I found a nice recipe for nachos at Simply Recipes.com

Next week the Packers travel to Washington D.C. to take on the Donovan McNabb led Redskins. Should be a great game! Fearless Prediction: Packers 31 – Redskins 24

Happy reading and happy eating!! Go Pack Go!!!