Today's game has the NFC North title on the line, and a far easier path on the playoffs for the victor. But the Lions never measure up as a "rivalry game" for the Packers like the Vikings and Bears do. Why is that? It all has to do with respect.
The Atlanta Falcons are sick and tired of hearing about how the Packers are going to waltz into Atlanta and win handily. They'd like to remind you that they're the #1 seed, they won the FIRST time, and they're going to do it again.
So I’ve slept on it, and here’s what I come away with from yesterday’s games:
Colts 30, Jets 17
The Jets ground game was MIA. Yes, they ran the ball alright in the first half, but not nearly well enough to allow any serious play-action in the second. I figured that the only way the Jets were going to win this game was by pounding the ball up the middle with Thomas Jones, off-tackle with Shonn Greene, and with fun end-around and reverse plays out of the Wildcat with Brad Smith. Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene gained a total of 39 yards on the ground in the second half. Foolishly, I figured that the Jets would “dance with the girl that brung ya.” Silly me.**
I had only planned on doing a little preview, since I’m not generally a betting woman. However. Now that Aaron’s given you his picks, I can’t let him completely take over my turf without chiming in myself, now can I?
Apologies for the lag time. Work + life + inability to visit an NFL page without reading about how great Warner was against Green Bay = Holly took some time off from football.
After watching the weekend’s games, however, I’m left with a few lingering thoughts:
1. The Cowboys-Vikings game reminded me at points of each of the Packers-Vikings games. In each game against Minnesota, the Packers were down significantly at the start of the 4th quarter (28-14, 31-20 – 24-3 in 3d!), but managed to tighten the score in the face of serious pressure from Minnesota’s front four. On Sunday, Dallas was still theoretically “in the game” going into the 4th quarter. Yes, they were down 17-3, yes, Flozell Adams had left the game before halftime, and yes, Romo was getting his butt kicked. But 14 points wasn’t so much that Dallas’s offense couldn’t make something happen. The Vikings were letting them stick around.
Before anything else, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for reading, for giving me feedback, and for letting me geek out on football stats without pointing and laughing (overtly, anyway). It’s been a treat.
Welcome to the first playoff edition of Opposition Research, where I’ll be taking stock of the Packers instant-replay wild card opponent, the Arizona Cardinals. Considering that the two teams just played, there isn’t much to add or change from last week’s more standard take on the Cardinals. With the national media descending on the match, there’s no shortage of articles, angles, and predictions. Let me walk you through just a few as we get set for the Packers return to the postseason.
"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."