It wasn’t the best game the Packers played this year, but it also wasn’t the worst. In the most important game of the year, the Packers came away with a hard fought victory, which is all that matters. They also didn’t do anything to sway my opinion that they can go into Philadelphia and win again (however, having the entire receiving corp play with James Jones’ hands in the first half cannot happen again).
Anyways, what I am trying to say is that even though it was a low-scoring game, it provided encouragement that this team can win a close game heading into madhouse that is the NFL playoffs. With Gene driving back from Green Bay and Chris on the road from Milwaukee, here are some of quick reactions from Sunday’s game.
- I thought Eric Walden had his breakout game a few weeks ago in Foxboro when he basically wasn’t a liability against the Patriots. How was I ever so wrong about that?
- Chris will have more about this sometime this week, but is there a better player that represents the 2010 Packers than Walden? Not Rodgers, not Matthews, but guys like Walden, Howard Green, Sam Shields, Desmond Bishop, etc. that were either not on the team or expected to have much impact stepping up huge in key games? Never underestimate guys like Walden and Green who for them there might not be a tomorrow in the league.
- Outside of Walden, the MVP of the defense today was Charles Woodson. Raji played elite again and Matthews was all over the place, but the pressure from Woodson made Cutler uncomfortable the whole second half.
- More on this later this week, but the key to stopping Vick will be Woodson.
- It was a tough 10 points and the first half wasn’t pretty, but this a tough Bears defense who were at the top of their game today. The low score was more indicative of that and not a poor game by the Packers’ offense.
- They corrected it at halftime, but those drops cannot continue. It is nothing new from Jones, but everyone else? If that happens next week, it will be a short visit to the playoffs again.
- Gene tweeted it the best after the game: “Thanks, Lovie, for playing your starters and proving we can beat you anyway.”
- Our friends at Bleeding Green Nation also had a good quote Sunday night about the next week’s game: “This game pits the NFC’s best defense against the NFC’s best offense. It’ll be exciting.” Hard to argue with that.
- Read that Rodgers said after the game the offense needs to carry the load next week, couldn’t agree more.
- Bryan Bulaga. Didn’t like all of those false starts, but even more didn’t like you pointing fingers and not accepting blame at the end.
- Tim Masthay was the Special Teams MVP today, not Tramon Williams. He kept the ball away from Hester for most of the game and had his best performance since the Jets game.
- However, that doesn’t take anything away from Williams’ return which might have been the turning point of the game.
- Sorry McCarthy, but I think the league has caught onto John Kuhn.
- Have no real complaints about the coaching today, but the cute throwback at the goal line is something you try in October against the Lions, not in Week 17 with the playoffs on the line.
- We have been hard on McCarthy’s success in close games, so here is your due Mike Mac. You were victorious today in a close game that was essentially a playoff game for the Packers. Now carry this over to the playoffs and we’ll try to lay off.
- Donald Lee is turning into a poorman’s Bubba Franks.
- Saw some talk this past week about Rodgers and Williams being snubbed for the Pro Bowl. First, it’s the Pro Bowl and is not that big of a deal. Second, if you are going to talk about snubs it needs to start with Raji who is playing as well as any interior defensive lineman right now.
- My midseason defensive MVP was Matthews, but it may be hard NOT to give the end of the year award to Raji (aka, Bearclaw).
- It is way too early to think about the draft, but to everyone who watched the Rose Bowl, wouldn’t TCU’s Tank Carder look good in green and gold?
- Was hoping the game would be picked by NBC for Saturday night, but thrilled it is at 3:30 CST on Sunday. I have important broomball game earlier that afternoon .
- Roger Goodell has made a lot of questionable decisions, but having divisional games in Week 17 was one of his best ones this year.
- If the Packers defense puts together yet another top performance like they did today, they will win in Philly.
- I have been on record about my hatred of Michael Vick (p.s. listen to our podcast) and that hasn’t change. I like dogs and you suck Vick.
- It wasn’t the path we all expected, but the playoffs are here!
We will have a lot to talk about this week and will probably record an epic podcast, so gang you know where to turn to. Like the Packers, there is no tomorrow if you lose in the playoffs. Well, I guess there is for us, but we aren’t ready for any savagery just yet.