I remember having to do homework in grade school of finishing an analogy. Remember doing that? Well maybe you do and maybe you don’t. But I thought of an analogy this morning I was pretty proud of. So I will share it with you all now: If Jay Cutler is to the terrorist in the movie “Taken” who says good luck to Liam Neeson then the Packers defensive performance from last night is……
The complete ass whooping Liam Neeson puts on the terrorists in an attempt to find his daughter. If you have not seen “Taken” do it right after reading the rest of this blog. You will not be disappointed.
The trash talk the Bears put on accounted for nothing and the Packers defense made them pay. Here are some things I liked and areas to show improvement from last night’s 23-10 win.
Pressure– This was one of my points last night for a key to victory. I knew they could get good pressure on Cutler because of the vulnerability of the Bears offensive line which has been downgraded from a wet piece of swiss cheese to a wet paper bag. The Pack blew up the Bears o-line for seven sacks with Clay Matthews accounting for 3.5. In a side not Michael Irvin is lucky he didn’t get sacked as well by Matthews. Look for the darts from Clay to Irvin. The Packers wont see a line this bad until they see the Bears again but they need to keep finding ways to apply pressure. They are over a third of the way to last year’s total of 29 sacks in just two games this season. Plus picking off Cutler four times doesn’t hurt either after he gave the Packers secondary plenty of bulletin board material.
Running game– Cedric Benson had some extra motivation playing against the team that drafted him. Benson ran for 81 yards on 20 carries and another 35 yards in receiving. Yes a Packers running back had 20 carries in a game. It is refreshing to see a Packers running back get hit and not fall down right away or backwards. Plus always a nice thing when Rodgers doesn’t lead this team in rushing.
Trickery– Yes the Packers pulled off a trick play last night. On a fourth and 26 which is basically equal to 666 for Packer fans the Pack dialed up a fake field goal. The last time I remember the Pack running any trick play outside of a reverse or a Cobb pass in the Wildcat was when Bubba Franks did a double pass back in 2002 or 2003? I don’t remember the actual year, it’s been that long! The fake fg was pulled off beautifully with a quick pass to Tom Crabtree from punter Tim Masthay. It was also a huge gamble because the Packers either had to score or get to the one-yard line for a first down.
Announcers– Listening to the game last night was music to my ears to hear two guys, Mike Mayock and Brad Nessler commentate. Mayock brings a lot of insight to the game and Brad Nessler has the perfect balance between getting excited for each team and when to be critical. Wish I could listen to these guys every week.
Areas of improvement:
Drops– Apparently the Jermichael Finley of 2011 is still around, and the Jordy Nelson and James Jones of 2010 came out last night. The Pack had five drops with at least three of them being very catchable passes and the other two being more difficult but still makable plays for guys of their talent. Finley got a two year deal for a reason and he is proving why the Pack didn’t lock him up long term. I have always stuck by Finley because I know the talent he posses and I will continue to do so but he needs to start making the easy catches.
Offense– I am not worried about this offense and it hasn’t been terrible by any means, but something is just not clicking yet. The starting offense had very little time together in the preseason with both Finley and WR Greg Jennings missing time. I think the slow start is part of that and playing two good defenses who love taking away the big play from teams. Without Greg Jennings last night the Pack’s offense were missing another guy to stretch the field and a pure, crisp route-runner. I hope last night was just a hiccup without him and not a preview of things to come next year when Jennings will more than likely leave in free agency.
Overall it was a dominant performance by the defense and while it wasn’t a must win, it was definitely a big victory because 0-2 and a game back in the division is not a great way to start the season. Let me know your thoughts!