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This one hurt. Big time. But life goes on.





First, my apologies for being so scarce in the Lounge lately. I’ve been away from home and away from the Internet for most of the past two weeks. In fact, I was not able to watch the Packer-Viking game until Wednesday night, as I spent the first half of the week on a deserted island in Lake Superior--a mini-vacation that had been arranged over a year ago.


I had mixed feelings about not being able to see the game live. On the one hand, I wished I could’ve shared in that collective experience of watching a major sporting event at the same time as millions of other people. But on the other hand, I absolutely hated this game. I never wanted it to be played. And I’m going to hate the game in November even more.


Now I’ll admit that if the Packers had won on Monday night, I would’ve been very, very happy. But I didn’t expect them to win. When the Vikings are good, the Packers almost never beat them in Minnesota. But the stakes were higher than ever for this one, so I knew a loss would be especially painful.


Watching Brett Favre saunter out onto the field in a purple uniform to play against his old team was every bit as surreal as I expected it to be. And I felt one overriding emotion: absolute loathing for the man. It was a little scary, because I’m not a guy who hates people. But I’d been getting sick of Favre for years, even when he was still playing for the Packers, and when he pulled the prima donna act last year, sitting out the off-season activities and then demanding to be reinstated, he lost me for good. I rooted against the Jets all last season and was delighted when they missed the playoffs and Brett got dissed by a couple of his teammates. But then he maneuvered his way onto the Vikings, which is where he’d wanted to play all along, keeping them on a string as he sat out most of training camp before making his grand entrance.


As I watched the game on videotape Wednesday night, my hatred for Favre did subside a bit, but it was replaced by sheer horror, as he played one of the better games of his career. So many times we’ve been on the good side of those games where Favre just gets into a groove and cannot be stopped. To have it happen to us, as Packer fans, was galling beyond belief—just as Brett intended it to be. But if nothing else, the guy deserves some props for his performance. Sure, he benefits from playing alongside the best running back in football. And Dom Capers’ game plan, which was heavy on the three-man rushes, provided the perfect scenario for Favre’s rejuvenation. But Favre made all the throws, including some very difficult ones. On that level, at least, we have to give the man his due.


There are other images that stand out from Monday night’s game. On the plus side, there were great plays by Jermichael Finley, Clay Matthews, and Jordy Nelson. On the minus side, there was the offensive line, which is in a shambles. There were some poor decisions by Aaron Rodgers. There was B.J. Raji, our 340-pound would-be stud, getting drilled into the ground by Steve Hutchinson on one play. Jason Spitz totally whiffing on a block, leading to a sack and an injury to his teammate Darryn Colledge. Our DB’s barking at each other because of blown assignments. And so on.


But I’m not writing the Packers off just yet. The best-case scenario is that they are like the ’95 Packers, who had a lot of talent but were not yet solid at the line of scrimmage. The more likely scenario is that the offensive line is a mess, plain and simple--but messes like this can sometimes get cleaned up during the course of a season.


Until or unless that happens, Aaron Rodgers needs to be our Ben Roethlisberger. Remember, the Steelers managed to win a Super Bowl last year with a dodgy offensive line, because their QB was a great improviser who was willing to take a lot of hits. It’s a low percentage approach to winning a championship, and it will require our defense to play a lot better than it has so far, but for now, it’s all we have.


And here’s the irony: Brett Favre has always been known as a great improviser, while Aaron Rodgers has been criticized for being an overly conservative “system” QB. But now their roles are reversed. Favre has the luxury of being able to play completely within himself—and at least so far, he appears very willing to do just that—while Aaron Rodgers is on the sandlot, dodging the pass rush as best he can and heaving the ball downfield. If our offensive line ever settles down, this will be valuable experience for Aaron, provided he lives to tell about it.


I’m so glad it’s our bye week. Even better, we get to play the Lions at Green Bay the following week. And Mark Tauscher is coming back. We need a fresh start in a big way, and this is just what the doctor ordered. As for Favre, we’ll have to wait and see if he can keep this up into December and January. I still think the odds are against him, but I’m not feeling as good about it as I did a week ago. Hurry, cold weather! 


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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (11) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Stan's picture

We aint the Steelers of last season, far from it.

I'm honestly finding it hard to see much good about our team right now. We are slowly getting better, but it's at a snails pace and we're still riddled with dumb mistakes. We have the makeup of a team that should be competitive in the NFC North but we always find some way to shoot ourselves in the foot (both players, coaches and management). I think the Vikings game told us one thing, the Vikings are a better team than we are, plain and simple.

... okay, now someboady tell me I'm wrong.

Greg C.'s picture

Yep, the Vikings are clearly better right now. The game was not as close as the score suggested. I think the Vikes' only glaring weakness is in the secondary, once you get past Winfield, who of course is a great player.

RonLC's picture

Me too, Stan! MM has got to use the next week to instill some urgency and energy in the team. Both offense and defense. Don't take Detroit or the Browns lightly they could be more trouble than given credit for. The Packers have to step up and beat both those teams impressively. Going into the Queenie game they need to rebuild a semblence of the team that looked so good in pre-season. It all starts in the O line and D line. Put some fire into this team, MM.

Jeremiah's Johnson's picture


"Favre You", Packer fans..."Favre you"...


I hope that "L" sinks to the bottom of your bitter hearts and give you heartburn for a long, long time.

It's nothing less than you deserve!

YOu never learned this simple lesson..

"Don't bet against the Favre, or you'll get the horns"...

That lizard TT did, and now he's moaning in the fetal position on a bed somewhere in a bathouse in Green Bay..

Stan's picture

LOL, it's always fun reading your insane ramblings JJ. . . anyway, time for the medication again.

Tuck's picture

Wow Johnson... Did that last game mark the end of the season or am I missing something?

Ted's done for!'s picture

You want to see the Packers make the playoffs again? Then lets get TT & MM out of the team. They're failures and holding onto them has made us failures. This team is a great team but it needs coached well and needs depth help through FA. Ted's too dumb to do that, and McLardy's ruined this team from the ground up. It's time for change folks, get behind it! cause it's gonna happen!!

PackersRS's picture

I don't think we're going to go anywhere this season.
That being said, the queens played the worst team in the AFC North, the worst team in the NFC West, the worst team in the NFC north, the 49ers, who just got embarassed by a real team (atlanta) at home, and us, with arguably the worst OL in the history of football, which had 3 changed positions, at their home, and it was still a 7 point game, in which their players could hold their way to the touchdown. All of those teams were under .500 last season.
They still play Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cincinatti (yes, leader of the AFC North Cincinatti, won from the Ravens in Baltimore Cincinatti), us at Lambeau, Chicaco at Soldier Field, Arizona in the west and the Giants.
Favre has a history of falling down late in seasons, a history of failing in playoffs, and they are widely regarded, together with the Bills, as a choker franchise (4 SBs, 4 losses, NFCN versus Atlanta to name a few.)

Greg C.'s picture

Those are all reasons for optimism, and they are good points. So far the Vikings' schedule has played into their hands almost perfectly. The only "hot" team they've run into was the 49ers, who they barely beat, and who lost embarrassingly this week.

I have to admit, though, that up to this point Childress's Favre experiment has been a smashing success--better than almost anyone thought it would be.

By the way, I'm one of a small minority (maybe a minority of one) who does not believe that stopping Adrian Peterson is the key to beating the Vikings. I say, let him have his 100 yards, maybe even 150, as long as you prevent the big play. Concentrate on shutting down the passing game and making them a one-dimensional running team. Then they will end up mostly kicking field goals instead of scoring TD's, and their drives will usually die when they get into long-yardage situations.

Coming into this season, the Packers had won three out of four against the Vikings in the Adrian Peterson era, even though he had gained more yards against the Packers than any other team.

PackersRS's picture

It's that they had no passing game. So even if Peterson played lights out, they would still be a small score team.

About the big play, I totally agree with you. But Peterson is so good that if you don't focus on him he WILL make big plays. And with the current ILB we have, that just cannot make plays on their own, we need to assign the whole team to stopping the run.

Stan's picture

All I know is come November 1st the Packers WILL NOT be losing. I don't care if they mess up the rest of the season, guys get release, coaches fired... whatever. You win this game or Stan's coming for ya with his big rusty axe.

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"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."
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