Tag Archives: Aaron Rodgers

Let’s Get Real Green Bay

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Ok, so I know all of you are beyond miffed by this call that cost Green Bay the game on Monday night.

You can’t go anywhere online or turn on any channel without seeing a replay of M.D Jennings and Golden Tate fighting over a Russell Wilson hail Mary with two referees confused on which call to make.

It is comical and controversial and the exact kind of thing that everyone was afraid of when this referee strike began weeks ago. We were all afraid of officials swinging a game due to their ineptitude in understanding the rule book and on Monday night it sort of came true.

ESPN analysts acted as if a funeral had just occurred, Packer nation cried foul, Packer players sent out profanity laced tweets blasting the NFL and its referees and rightfully so.

Everyone has a right to be mad, to scream bloody murder and wish death on everyone in the NFL that doesn’t play on every down…

But can I please bring everyone back down to earth with some logical thinking and understandable banter…

THE GREEN BAY PACKERS SHOULD’VE LOST THAT GAME MONDAY NIGHT BECAUSE THEY LOOK TERRIBLE!!!!!!

We’ve been so caught up in the monster of media that is driving a story making the Packers look like they were robbed a victory when they weren’t worthy of victory before this whole thing happened.

Funny, I hear death threats loading my inbox soon.

Let’s stop talking about the last 8 seconds for at least an hour an talk about the previous 59:52. The Packers were not even a reasonable facsimile of a title contending football team. The Seahawks bruised and bullied Green Bay in every area of the game.

Their front four sacked Aaron Rodgers 8 times, all in the first half with Chris Clemons and the verge of challenging Derrick Thomas for the NFL single game sack record. When Rodgers did have time to throw the ball the Seattle secondary limited all gains and shut down Green Bay’s big play capability.

Even the uber-conservative Seahawks offense was able to find holes in the Packer defense with Marshawn Lynch rushing for 100 yards and Wilson throwing a few beautiful passes including a second quarter touchdown to Tate who beat a confused Tramond Williams on the play.

Throughout the game the Packers were beaten up, beaten down and had very few answers.

Here’s the funny thing though, that’s been the story of the Packers season so far.

This was supposed to be a team that would challenge for another Super Bowl crown with reigning MVP Rodgers expected to torch defenses like he did last year. Unfortunately that has been nothing like the case.

The Packers are 1-2 averaging 100 yards less per game and 14 points less per contest than in 2011. They haven’t been able to replicate their big play ability like last year and they have regressed in all offensive areas with their defense still weak in areas in the pass game.

In short this isn’t a championship contender but rather a middle of the road team fighting for a playoff spot.

The road doesn’t get easier, they have New Orleans this week, who are fighting for their lives as well, tough matchups in the upcoming weeks against a reenergized Vikings team, the best defense in the league in Arizona plus the Giants and Lions looming. That’s 5 playoff caliber teams over the next 8 games.

After watching on Monday night are the Packers for this stretch? Hell no.

“The Fail Mary,” “The Golden Gate,” and “The Immaculate Deception” (whatever you want to call it) did a great job of glossing over a simple fact that Packers fans and players alike know, this is not a very good football and have a lot of work to do if they want to make the playoffs.

So while everyone is crying foul and saying that Green Bay got hosed I want all of you to take a step back, watch some of those highlights and ask yourself a question; did Green Bay really deserve to win that game on Monday?

You might find yourself singing a different tune once you take it all in.


Random Thoughts Vol. 3

OH GOD THERE'S MORE?!?!

Beginning of the month, been watching a lot of sports… yep, it’s time for another round of random thoughts.

Fernando Torres has scored one goal since being acquired by Chelsea in January… one. I always pick the best teams to follow don’t I?

The Yankees wouldn’t trade for Ubaldo Jimenez due to concerns about his velocity. In a possible trade the Rockies would’ve wanted Ivan Nova as part of the deal… Jimenez hasn’t made it past the 5th inning in 3 of his 7 starts with the Indians, Nova hasn’t lost since June… I think Cashman got that one right.

Losing to a FCS school should be like relegation in soccer shouldn’t it? Hi Oregon State.

Me at 8:30 pm last Saturday of the Boise State-Georgia game: “those Georgia uniforms are hideous.”

Me 48 hours  while watching the Maryland-Miami game: “those are the worst uniforms I have ever seen.”

Nyjer Morgan called Albert Pujols “Alberta,” does he realize Pujols is 4 inches taller and 50 pounds heavier than him?

Oregon State should probably leave this out of the recruiting package.

Baylor is mad that Texas A&M is leaving the Big 12 and possibly breaking up the conference leaving them in football limbo. Somewhere Rice, TCU and SMU are uttering to themselves karma is a mother.

Wait a minute, Kevin Durant has tattoos?

At least David Garrard and Byron Leftwich have something in common to be mad about.

The way that analysts were criticizing his QB skills you would’ve swore Tim Tebow was black.

Appalachian wants to join the FBS… after getting drubbed 66-13 by Virginia Tech they should reconsider.

Tom Brady said he would welcome back Randy Moss with open arms. I’m not saying that’s in some way related to Chad Ochocinco… but I’m saying.

So if John Isner wins the U.S. Open is his career a bigger success than Andy Roddick’s?

Utah State almost beat Auburn, BYU beat Ole Miss, and Utah beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl years ago… maybe the SEC should stop playing teams from Utah.

Stephen Strasburg’s back, and he looks good.

(honestly it didn’t matter if the Nats lost that game or not, all that mattered was if Strasburg looked like he was the same pitcher he was before he left or not and he was. His movement and velocity were pretty darn good, he made everything look effortless and dominated a decent Dodgers lineup. If I’m the Nats and I look at a rotation with Strasburg, a rejuvenated Chien-Ming Wang, Jordan Zimmerman and John Lannon at bats like Ryan Zimmerman and Mike Morse then I’m feeling good about next year. that is if Jayson Werth can hit with that $18 million per year salary on his back.)

That Carlos Beltran deal isn’t working out so well for the Giants… shocker.

Who’s the next program to get stung by the NCAA? I’ll take South Carolina.

I’m still blinded by Maryland’s uniforms.

TIki Barber is shocked that no one threw him a bone this offseason. I mean who wouldn’t want a 36 year-old running back that hasn’t played in 5 years with tons of public baggage?

Ndamukong Suh is not dirty, he’s just playing football the way Deacon Jones would like.

It might be time for Tiger Woods to consider new career options.

This hasn't gone exactly as planned.

I will not talk about A.J. Burnett, I will not talk about A.J. Burnett, I will not talk about A.J. Burnett.

Aaron Rodgers called out Mark Sanchez for his GQ pictures. What can Sanchez respond with? Rodgers just won a Super Bowl he can say what he wants.

I think we might actually have a season without Brett Favre.

I have a feeling Luke Fickell might be more conservative than Jim Tressel.

By the way, how does Tressel get a six game suspension from the NFL for his NCAA violations?

(Goodell needs to keep college problems in college. Their penalties don’t transfer to the NFL. Tressel quit/ got fired by the Ohio State University so his 5 game suspension is pretty much obliterated. The fact that Tressel and Terrelle Pryor for that matter have carry over suspensions from college shows that maybe Goodell has too much power when it come to these disciplinary actions and should some of that power stripped. And it will be… in ten years with a new CBA. Good job NFLPA.)

Doesn’t it seem like Lance Briggs and the Bears have been beefing since 2006?

Apparently the NBA is making strides to getting a CBA done real soon. How does Wilson Chandler feel about that?

If the Philadelphia Phillies don’t win the World Series it would be a Greek tragedy.

I have a few choice words for how the Baltimore Orioles handled the makeup games with the New York Yankees and the results of those games. I can’t say them on this blog but I’ll let your mind wander.

After all of the controversy surrounding Ohio State this year how do three more players get suspended for taking benefits? I should’ve went to Ohio University.

I expected more from the Winnipeg Jets jerseys.

Mike Fisher you lucky son of a gun.

At least they weren’t Maryland’s.

(you know what’s even scarier than what we witnessed on Monday night? There are more than 12 color combinations that Under Armour has in store for this year. Under Armour is based in Baltimore, Maryland and I guess they are doing to the Terps what Nike did to the Oregon Ducks… except Oregon’s outfits look extremely cool. Oregon’s designs have flair and eye popping designs, Maryland’s are a horror show. There was way too much of the Maryland flag for any human being to take. A message to UA: emulation is the sincerest form of flattery but leave the flashy stuff to Oregon. By the way Maryland’s football team is going to make some noise this year and you should pay more attention to Danny O’Brian than his jersey.)

What Ana Ivonivic could’ve been.

Derek Jeter and Minka Kelly broke up… hide your girlfriends New York.

NHL training camps start this week…

That mean we’re a month a away from Rachel McAdams shots at Vancouver games and Carrie Underwood at Predators games.

God I love hockey.


Enjoy The NFL Season, Because I Won’t

It's going to be a long season for my Giants.

So football’s back… woo-hoo!!! But I don’t care really.

Yeah I’m bitter about my Giants I can’t lie, that’s what happens when you have your top defensive end act salty over not getting a new deal, you lose half of your team to injury in the preseason (its and exaggeration but losing 3 DB’s including your best one Terrell Thomas, your starting middle linebacker, his backup is not fun) and your division rival just bought half of the NFL including your best receiver. Also the fact that your GM just stood there and did nothing about any of this. Not that I’m salty or anything.

The Eagles offseason has put them ahead of the pack as the team to beat in the NFC and the NFL as well. Their acquisitions including Nmandi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Ronnie Brown and Jason Babin help to strengthen a team that won 10 games last year and could have them in prime position to knock over the defending champion Packers.

What you may have forgotten about the Packers is that they won the title last year with a depleted unit as well. starting running back Ryan Grant, tight end Jermichael Finley as well as several others suffered season ending injuries early in season and jeopardized the Packers playoff chances. Aaron Rodgers suffered two concussion last year as well and misses a game due to his injury. Yet they overcame those injuries to steamroll their way to the playoffs and eventually a Super Bowl crown. Now with everyone back healthy how can they not be primed for a second straight run?

That last paragraph gives me hope for the Giants but not really. Especially when the team that we share a stadium with is getting all of the buzz in the city of New York. Whether its Rex Ryan’s mouth, Mark Sanchez on GQ, or obtaining Plaxico Buress the Jets have remained the talk of football in New York and with good reasoning. The Jets have made two straight AFC title games under Ryan and are on the cusp of finally making it to Super Bowl this year… that is if they can’t beat the Patriots.

Nmandi Asomugha was one of Philly's many big splashes.

The Patriots did some retooling themselves after their 28-21 loss to the Jets in the playoffs this past January. They rescued Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth from poor situations in Cincinnati and Washington and Bill Belichick is working them into his system and despite some early concerns about their inability to learn the schemes you know both will be ready and that the Patriots, and Tom Brady will be in line at the top of the heap of the AFC.

So who else has a shot at Super Bowl 46 this year? who’s going to be fun to watch? Who’s not worth our time and who is dead in the water?… well I think I just named the basis for my blog today now didn’t I?

AFC

DON’T EVEN BOTHER WATCHING

Cincinnati Bengals: Andy Dalton and AJ Green could hook up to be a great combo in this league… just not this year. Dalton has targets in Green, Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Greshiam but the Bengals have no defense to speak of and little depth.

(Side Note: how does Marvin Lewis still have a job? the Bengals have perennially underachieved under him and have had a string of poor behavior from their players. Yet he’s still there without an inkling of heat underneath his seat. Maybe Mike Brown is cheap but he can’t be stupid. If Lewis doesn’t get it done this year or next he’s got to go… right?)

Jacksonville Jaguars: you get on this list for firing your QB 5 days before the opener. That and having no real receivers to speak of after Mike Sims-Walker left for St. Louis and very little on defense. Hi Jack Del Rio, welcome to the hot seat.

Buffalo Bills: name me three Buffalo Bills… don’t worry I’ll wait.

DEAD IN THE WATER

Miami Dolphins: Reggie Bush looks like a new man, Cameron Wake is a top 10 defensive end in the league and the tandem of Vontae Davis and Sean Smith are one of the best in the league at defensive back. So why are they on this list? Chad Henne is their starting QB… no need to elaborate, let’s move on.

Tennessee Titans: Matt Hasselback is a good replacement until Jake Locker is ready to take the reins and Chris Johnson is in the fold again after signing a huge extension. Yet in a division with the Colts and Texans who made strides to get better in terms of depth , the Titans have a ways to go to catch up.

TRENDING UP

Denver Broncos: I have and always will like Kyle Orton. He is a capable starting QB with enough sense to lead a team to the playoffs. John Fox has made a lot of smart decision this offseason when it came to figuring out a better defensive scheme to make that poor unit better but his best decision was make Orton the starter. Tim Tebow as much as the fans love him is nowhere near ready to be on the field as an NFL starter. Hell Brady Quinn looked better than him this preseason… BRADY QUINN! As much as the fans were calling for Tebow and that John Elway loves him they all need to wake the heck up. Tebow Is not a starting QB in the NFL right now, if you start him you hurt your teams chances at making the playoffs and the Broncos can become a player if their defense holds up.

This is not how the Colts envisioned seeing Peyton Manning.

Oakland Raiders: Yep you’re reading that right. Even with the loss of Asomuha on defense the Raiders have more than enough up front to be scary led by Richard Seymour. My biggest concern with them is if they can score enough points. They have a ton of speed with Jacoby Ford, Darrius Heyward-Bey, and Darren McFadden but can it be utilized by any of their QB’s?

Cleveland Browns: they’re not ready to compete this year, but I have a feeling that Colt McCoy and Joe Haden will give teams fits on both ends of the ball. I know Cleveland is wary about expectations but 9-7 isn’t crazy to me.

THEY CAN GO EITHER WAY

Indianapolis Colts: this isn’t just because Peyton Manning will miss the time due to his neck injury it’s because I don’t trust their wide receivers to stay healthy, their secondary to be effective and their front 7 to be consistent. However, if Manning does come back slinging it like he does then none of this will matter.

Kansas City Chiefs: this team would be a contender if someone other than Matt Cassel was their QB. He’s not bad by any means but I think he inhibits them offensively. As for the defense… hey Glenn Dorsey… DO SOMETHING!!!

San Diego Chargers: they’re in good hands with Philip Rivers but consistency on offense worries me. Also can Shaun Phillips make enough plays on defense to make them forget about Shawne Merriman?

EITHER GET IT DONE OR BE DONE

Houston Texans: If they don’t breakthrough this year then it’ll never happen. Peyton’s injured, the Titans and Jags are rebuilding and the Texans stand on the cusp of a divisional title if they can actually man up in big games (hi, Matt Schaub). With Wade Phillips running the defense they should improve and actually be marginally good against the pass. But it really it comes down to this; we’ve been saying now for the last two seasons that this is the year for the Texans… I’m not saying it. Either get it done or start over.

THE ONLY FOUR THAT MATTER

Baltimore Ravens: the only thing that worries me about them is Joe Flacco. After last postseason in Pittsburgh Flacco looks frightened of the moment to me and that could be an issue going down the stretch. Does he have the fortitude to lead the Ravens in late game situations or is he just an average QB? This year we’ll find out.

New York jets: no excuse not to make it all the way this year. they have the experience, the players and the coaching, now they’ve got to get over the hump.

Pittsburgh Steelers: so, you think Dan Rooney is happy that this offseason is over? James Harrison, Hines Ward and Rashard Mendenhall gave him heartburn with their off the field issues and left a stain on the Steeler logo. Well now that it’s over and football is all that matters the focus is there and Mike Tomlin won’t let it slip. The league’s best defense can lead the Steelers back to the promise land and make everyone forget about a forgettable offseason.

New England Patriots: Tom Brady and Bill Belichick after a postseason loss to a divisional rival and all offseason to think about it? yeah, get scared.

NFC

CHANGE THE CHANNEL

Washington Redskins: their starter is Rex Grossman, they have no one to run the ball, and they have no real secondary… Washington is counting the days until the Capitals are back.

Good luck with this Washington.

San Francisco 49ers: Alex Smith is still their QB…

THERE’S A CHANCE BUT NOT A GOOD ONE

New York Giants: no depth, no chance. Also… STOP TURNING THE DAMN BALL OVER ALL OF YOU!!!!!!

Carolina Panthers: very young, very raw, but very talented. Give them time to gel and check back next year or the year after.

Minnesota Vikings: Donovan McNabb’s number one receiver is Percy Harvin, Jared Allen is coming off of a poor season and needs a bounce back badly. Sounds like it’ll be a heavy dose of Adrian Peterson this year.

UMMM… I COULDN’T EVEN TELL YOU

Dallas Cowboys: Tony Romo is in a make or break year for his career. If he can’t get to the playoffs this year and go deep then the Cowboys will look for a new QB to lead the team in 2012. The problem is does he have everything he needs to succeed around him. who’s the team’s number one running back? Can Dez Bryant step his game up and compliment Miles Austin on the outside? Can their secondary stop anybody? Will Jason Garrett strangle Mike Jenkins by year’s end? I would hate to be in Romo’s position right now.

Arizona Cardinals: Now we get to see what the big deal is with Kevin Kolb. If he’s all that he’s cracked up to be then the Cardinals will contend. If not then Ken Whisenhunt will be feeling a little fire under his seat.

Seattle Seahawks: all of these offseason moves to improve your offense and the best you can do at QB is Tavaris Jackson? Maybe they should’ve resigned Hasselback.

YOU SHOULD BE AFRAID… VERY AFRAID

Detroit Lions: if Matt Stafford can stay healthy… IF… then look out. This is everyone’s chic pick to be the breakout team in the NFL and it’s not hard to see why. The main reason is Ndamukong Suh who is becoming the best defensive player in the NFL leading a defensive line that once it gets Nick Fairley back will be one of the best in the game. However, it comes back to Stafford. He has shown in limited action that he can be a really good QB and can put lots of points on the board with Calvin Johnson. His health decides their season; if he’s healthy then they’re in the playoffs, if not… wait until next year.

St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford almost lead them to the playoffs throwing to Danny Amendola… the defense has been together for a solid three years under Steve Spagnuolo’s complicated scheme and is getting it down to a science… the other three teams in the division are trying to figure themselves out in all areas while the Rams are set in there’s… if they don’t win the NFC West then it’ll be a huge disappointment.

It's now or never for Houston.

(Side note 2: remember the 2009 NFL Draft where Aaron Curry was the next great NFL linebacker, Brian Cushing was a stud, Rey Maualuga was a huge playmaker in the making and James Laurinaitis had concerns that he wasn’t fast enough to be an effective NFL linebacker? Guess who has become the best young middle linebacker in the league? Yep the slow kid from Ohio State who won two Butkis Awards in college. You know I wonder if scouts actually watch college games sometimes.)

THE ENIGMA

Chicago Bears: Is the defense set? Yes. Is Jay Cutler mentally ready to lead this team after the controversy from the NFC title game? I don’t know. Cutler has always been mercurial and hasn’t seemed like the greatest leader in the world but it’ll tested more than ever this year. he has to have a strong year under center and make very few mistakes and do so without a clear cut number one receiver, no respectable tight end and an agitated Matt Forte. If he can keep it all in line then the memory of him on the sidelines while his team struggles for yardage in the biggest game of the year will be a memory.

THE FIGHT TO THE DEATH FOR THE PLAYOFFS

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Josh Freeman, Josh Freeman, Josh Freeman… oh and LeGarrette Blount, Mike Williams and a revamped defense looking to bring back the Warren Sapp days. Their out to prove that last year was not a fluke… and they will.

New Orleans Saints: they couldn’t get over the Super Bowl hangover until it was too late. Plus the fact that they lost to 7-9 Seattle in the playoffs still hurts. Expect them to come out lighting it up from day one with nothing but a Super Bowl on their minds.

Atlanta Falcons: Hi Matt Ryan, welcome to Alex Ovechkin’s world. You play for one of the best teams in the league and you have matched all of your hype except in one area… you can’t get it done in the playoffs. You’ve been twice and gotten beaten up both times. Last year you ran into a smoldering hot Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay and you couldn’t keep up with them. Well guess what Matty Ice, now you have an issue. You’re in your 4th year in the league and are considered an elite QB, so guess what were all expecting you to do now? that’s right, win when it matters. You can win all of the regular season games that you want but if you can’t win the close ones or get to the playoffs and win there then we don’t care. Your mission is to win the NFC South and make a Super Bowl run and nothing less. If you can’t do that then you’ll be sitting next to Ovechkin having a beer and wondering what more do you have to do to make your team elite.

THE CHAMP

Green Bay Packers: Clay Matthews had 17 sacks last year, mostly on a broken leg… he’s healthy now… every QB in the league just got scared.

THE MIAMI HEAT

Philadelphia Eagles: Vince Young said that they were a super team and with the moves that they made how can you deny that claim? Young, Cromartie, Asomugha, Babin, Brown, Steve Smith and a cast of thousands joined the Eagles within the span of two weeks and expectations catapulted the Eagles to the top of the NFC class. Paper does not make a champion, but it does create some fun banter. Can this team finally gain short yardage with Brown and LeSean McCoy? Can the offensive line protect Michael Vick? With the new additions to the secondary will they be able to stop the pass? We won’t know until week 1 and even then we need more proof. The City of Philadelphia has been all about big name acquisitions this year with the Phillies getting Cliff Lee, the Flyers obtaining goalie Ilya Bryzgalov and now the Eagles with, well everyone. Can they make the title game? Sure. But they have to gel first and get all of their parts in order.

Yep we're still here.

Funny enough… I think that they will, but they won’t win. The Eagles vs. The Patriots sounds like a great matchup for Super Bowl 46 and The Patriots sound like a good winner. The Patriots have lost their swagger from previous years and it shows in their games versus the Jets, Steelers and other in previous years. They are still one of the top teams in the league but they needed to get kicked in the rear to get it together. The Jets provided them with that spark last year and it will carry over into this one.

Well I hope the Patriots enjoy their title run, the Jets enjoy contending, the Eagles enjoy the hype and the Packers enjoy their title defense. I won’t enjoy any of it thanks to the gloomy outlook that the Giants are facing this year. Oh well, it could be worse, I could pick the Bengals to win it all again.

AFC EAST- PATRIOTS

AFC NORTH- STEELERS

AFC SOUTH- TEXANS

AFC WEST- CHARGERS

AFC WILDCARDS- JETS, RAVENS

AFC CHAMPIONSHIP- STEELERS VS. PATRIOTS

NFC EAST- EAGLES

NFC NORTH- PACKERS

NFC SOUTH- SAINTS

NFC WEST- RAMS

NFC WILDCARDS- FALCONS, BUCS

NFC CHAMPIONSHIP- EAGLES VS. PACKERS

SUPER BOWL- PATRIOTS VS. EAGLES

MVP- DREW BREES

DPOY- NDAMUKONG SUH

OPOY- BREES

COACH OF THE YEAR- RAHEEM MORRIS

OROY- MARK INGRAM

DROY- PATRICK PETERSON


One Ridiculous NIght

Good luck with this one Carolina.

I really don’t want to talk about the first round of last night’s NFL draft. It was the most ridiculous first round in the history of the league.

The questions left unanswered, the constant reaching for draft picks, the fact that Daquan Bowers is still on the board and Jake Locker is off of it.

You know what? Forget the introduction let’s just get into it:

1. CAROLINA PANTHERS- CAM NEWTON, QB, AUBURN

They should’ve taken Marcel Daerus instead because he’s ready to make an impact now while Newton is still a work in progress. Also why take the bigger, blacker version of Jimmy Clausen? Highly-touted, arrogant and filled with question marks.

2. DENVER BRONCOS- VON MILLER, LB, TEXAS A&M

On a scale of one to ten how happy do you think John Fox is right now? A definite upgrade for a poor defense.

3. BUFFALO BILLS- MARCEL DAERUS, DT, ALABAMA

Paul Pozluszny you’re welcome.

4. CINCINATTI BENGALS- A.J. GREEN, WR, GEORGIA

The best receiver in the draft goes to a team that really needed defensive line help. The Bengals already have Jordan Shipley, Jermaine Gresham and Chad whatever his name is now, so why more help on the outside. On the other hand you have to like the fact that the Bengals realize that Chad is getting older and won’t be able to be a primary receiver for much longer. But here’s the big question, who’s going to throw them the ball?

5. ARIZONA CARDINALS- PATRICK PETERSON, DB, LSU

Peterson on one side, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on the other? Sam Bradford, Pete Carroll, and Jim Harbaugh all puked in their mouths a little bit.

6. ATLANTA FALCONS (FROM CLEVELAND) – JULIO JONES, WR, ALABAMA

The Falcons should file a police report against the Browns for this.

The Falcons traded 5 draft picks in this years and next year’s draft to pick a wide receiver… A WIDE RECEIVER!!! Did they know that they could’ve stayed in that same 27 spot and gotten Jon Baldwin and Greg little who both can actually catch?

(Side Note: did Mike Holmgren hold a gun to the Falcons head to make this trade? Because there is no way that the Falcons could’ve proposed this deal. Well maybe if they were drunk.)

7. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS- ALDON SMITH, DE, MISSOURI

The first time in the draft I asked, is this guy better than Bowers? Also the 49ers taking a guy named A. Smith… not a good sign.

8. TENNESSEE TITANS- JAKE LOCKER, QB, WASHINGTON

Ok, if you like a guy and he’s rated high on your then you take him… but taking a QB that everyone had rated in the late first to second round at number, who is an inaccurate passer and has an injury filled past, c’mon son!

9. DALLAS COWBOYS, TYRON SMITH, OT, USC

The Cowboys find the man to protect Tony Romo’s backside, or the next Flozell Adams.

10. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (FROM WASHINGTON) – BLAINE GABBERT, QB, MISSOURI

A good trade to get the replacement for David Garrard. Also I think Blaine will fit into the L.A. scene perfectly once this team moves.

11. HOUSTON TEXANS- J.J. WATT, DE, WISCONSIN

The Texans get some much needed help for Mario Williams on the other side of the D-line. Now if they could only fix their secondary then they would have a decent defensive unit.

12. MINNESOTA VIKINGS- CHRISTIAN PONDER, QB, FLORIDA STATE

Um… ok… you couldn’t trade down and get him in the early second round where he was going to go?

(At this point in the draft I was so annoyed with teams reaching for quarterbacks, making stupid trades and not drafting Daquan Bowers that I considered slamming my head into a wall. Note to the commissioner, don’t ever hold a draft before free agency ever again.)

13. DETROIT LIONS- NICK FAIRLEY, DT, AUBURN

Did you watch the national title game? Now picture that with Ndamukong Suh… now picture Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler and Ponder all wetting themselves.

14. ST. LOUIS RAMS- ROBERT QUINN, DE, NORTH CAROLINA

Yeah, Steve Spagnuolo is really going to let a freak like Quinn slip by him any longer. Yet two question linger; 1. How pissed do you think Sam Bradford was the Jones was gone at 6 and that Danny Amendola is still his number 1 receiver and 2. Is Quinn better than Bowers?

15. MIAMI DOLPHINS- MIKE POUNCEY, C, FLORIDA

Him and Suh together? GULP!

I wanted the Giants to get Pouncey badly, but it’s good that Miami got a good offensive lineman to protect their scaredy cat quarterback.

16. WASHINGTON REDSKINS (FROM JACKSONVILLE) – RYAN KERRIGAN, DE, PURDUE

The Redskins need everything at this point so Kerrigan is a start, but again, is he better than Bowers?

17. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS- NATE SOLDER, OT, COLORADO

Solder had questions about his size but his technique is on point and he should help that aging offensive line immediately.

18. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS- COREY LIUGET, DT, ILLINOIS

A good pick but Prince Amakamura would’ve been better for a poor pass coverage unit that needs a stout cornerback.

19. NEW YORK GIANTS- PRINCE AMAKAMURA, CB, NEBRASKA

Ask me how worried I was that Jerry Reese was going to take another pass rusher… go ahead ask.

Do I like the Amakamura pick? Yeah. With no offensive linemen worth reaching for why not take the second best defensive back in the draft and bolster your pass coverage?

20. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS- ADRAIN CLAYBORN, DE, IOWA

If he replicates what he did at Iowa then Tampa’s defense will be back to the Warren Sapp-Simeon Rice days in no time.

21. CLEVELAND BROWNS (FROM ATLANTA) – PHIL TAYLOR, DT, BAYLOR

The Browns begin rebuilding at every position with the Taylor pick. The first of many gifts from Atlanta at no cost.

(No seriously, I can’t believe Arthur Blank Ok’d that trade. Julio Jones better be the second coming of Jerry Rice or Jesus Christ or the Falcons will pay dearly for this.)

22. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS- ANTHONY COSTANZO, OT, BOSTON COLLEGE

The rebuilding of the offensive line continues with Costanzo. Gotta wonder if they’ll improve that run defense though through free agency… whenever that starts.

23. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES- DANNY WATKINS, OG, BAYLOR

The Eagles under Andy Reid have drafted 39 offensive linemen from 1998-2011… and they had one of the worst offensive lines in the league last year. So really it doesn’t matter that they picked another lineman.

24. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS- CAMERON JORDAN, DE, CALIFORNIA

Somehow he's still available.

He shot up the boards with an impressive workout and pro day, but again, is he really better than Bowers?

(Come on now. I know that there are huge concerns about Bowers knee, but this many teams are worried about it? Bowers was a consensus top pick about two months ago now he’s not even going in the first round. Whoever gets Bowers will get a monster with a gigantic chip on his shoulder.)

25. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS- JON CARPENTER, OG, ALABAMA

So they need offensive line help? Yeah. But who’s he going to block for? Charlie Whitehurst?

26. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS- JON BALDWIN, WR, PITTSBURGH

The Chiefs get Dwayne Bowe’s right hand man who has great skill and hands but is a headache on and off of the field. Todd Haley will either set him straight or stab him in the throat…and that wasn’t a joke.

27. BALTIMORE RAVENS- JASON SMITH, DB, COLORADO

The Ravens had ten minutes to work out a deal with Chicago for this deal and couldn’t get it done and Kansas City leapfrogged them for their pick. I see where Joe Flacco gets his bad decision making under pressure from.

28. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (FROM NEW ENGLANS) – MARK INGRAM, RB, ALABAMA

The Patriots trade for more future picks (shocker) and the Saints draft the underrated Ingram who could be a huge help in the run game.

(Tweet of the night: Reggie Bush: “it’s been fun New Orleans.” For you it has been Reggie, for them it’s been expensive. See ya backing up Darren McFadden in Oakland.)

29. CHICAGO BEARS- GABE CARIMI, OT, WISCONSIN

Jay Cutler had his day made with the All Big Ten lineman. Now if they can only find a receiver or 4.

30. NEW YORK JETS- MUHAMMED WILKERSON, DT, TEMPLE

The one bad thing about watching the draft at a bar with no sound was not being able to hear if the Jets booed their pick or not. Oh well, Wilkerson can’t be any worse than Vernon Gholston.

31. PITTSBURGH STEELERS- CAMERON HEYWARD, DE, OHIO STATE

Because the Steelers really need another front 7 player who’s big, strong and skilled. I hate the Steelers I really do.

32. GREEN BAY PACKERS- DEREK SHERROD, OT, MISSISSIPPI STATE

The possible conversation between Aaron Rodgers and Ted Thompson:

AR: did you see what the Lions did?

TT: yeah.

AR: Ok… so what are you going to do about it?

TT: well there really aren’t any linemen on our board Aaron.

AR: (just staring at Thompson)

TT: ok I’ll do something about it

Rodgers then leaves.

So what did we learn about this draft so far?

Cam Newton is worth all of the problems, Julio Jones is football’s Lebron James, Jake Locker and Christian Ponder’s mediocre college careers were just aberrations and apparently Daquan Bowers isn’t that good.

I’m a combination of intrigued and scared to watch the rest of this draft.


Aaron Rodgers Stands Alone

For Aaron Rodgers, this was worth the wait.

Aaron Rodgers stood on a stage on the 50 yard line with confetti falling all around him like the snowflakes that littered the Dallas area the previous week.

He held the Vince Lombardi trophy in one hand and linebacker Clay Matthews rested a WWE Championship belt across his shoulder.

His smile was as wide as that gigantic HD TV that spans from one 20 yard line to another in Cowboys Stadium as he banged his chest and saluted the Packers faithful.

The moment was his, years and a ton of baggage in the making.

Ever since his senior high school year when Rodgers was offered not one scholarship he has had to prove his worth and has never complained. Not when Cal was passed up for Texas in the Rose Bowl, not when he had to wait in a green room for four and a half hours in the 2005 NFL Draft and saw Alex Smith, Matt Jones and Troy Williamson picked ahead of him, and not when he had to endure three seasons of the Brett Favre saga while he sat behind him ready for action.

If it wasn’t waiting it was the criticism of his game.

Some viewed him as cocky, some said his arm wasn’t strong enough to make him an NFL quarterback, some said he would wilt under the pressure of the legacy that Favre left behind. GM Ted Thompson knew better.

Thompson knew what he had in Rodgers ever since that long day in New York 6 years ago when he fell from a possible #1 to the 23rd player selected in the draft.

Ted Thompson ended Rodgers' draft day horrors and knew he could be the man in Green Bay.

He knew Rodgers m.o., that he was a hard worker, that he wanted to improve his game and did what it took to do it.

No school wanted him, he went to Butte Community College. Jeff Tedford found him and put him in his system than helped make Akili Smith and Joey Harrington NFL Draft pick and Rodgers excelled. Fast forward to the draft and while San Fran felt Alex Smith was a better fit (oops) Thompson knew better.

He scooped up Rodgers and picked him to succeed Favre much to his, and critics, disliking. Rodgers developed so well that after the 2008 NFC Championship game the Packers didn’t want to go through another Favre episode and pushed ahead with Rodgers. Even when Favre changed his mind the message was clear, Aaron Rodgers is our guy.

Thompson looks like a genius.

After an up and down first year Rodgers excelled in his second year and took the Packers to the playoffs behind a monster year where he became the game’s best passer when it comes to the deep ball (so much for him having a weak arm). However, after losing to the Arizona Cardinals new questions carried into this season as to whether or not he was capable of coming through in the clutch. Was he the kind of guy who could lead Green Bay to the top of the division and into the playoffs. All he did was answer the bell every single this year and in the process put himself into the same class of quarterback as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.

Whenever the injuries mounted and key players like Ryan Grant, Jermichael Finley and others went down, Rodgers kept the troops moving. Even after suffering two concussions that knocked him out of a Sunday night match against New England Rodgers returned with a vengeance and led a masterful run to playoffs that saw Rodgers destroy defences like the Giants and Falcons and amaze everyone with his strong arm and fancy feet.

Not only did he win big games, he was dominant. Three scores versus the Eagles. A 31-36, 366 yard performance versus Atlanta that left us shaking our heads and dropping our jaws. In a dog fight against the Bears he wasn’t his best, but he steadied his offense against a very good defense and put the Packers in the the Super Bowl.

All he did there was turn the Steel Curtain into a pair of cotton drapes.

Rodgers has separated himself from Brett Favre for good.

Rodgers executed Mike McCarthy’s pass heavy game game plan to perfection as he caught the Steelers secondary out of position and never let their pass rushers become effective. His quick release and timing with his receivers made life hell for Troy Polamalu and James Harrison and they never were a factor.

Rodgers never lost his poise even when Donald Driver was lost to injury and his receivers let him down with more than a handful of drops (hi Jordy Nelson). He continued to stick with them and Nelson and others atoned for their sins. When Ben Roethlisberger’s final pass fell incomplete, Rodgers leapt in the air in jubilation and took the final snap to seal his victory.

He no longer had to prove anything to anyone or wait his turn, this is his time and his legacy that was being built.

This was the moment he and Thompson had envisioned and had come to pass. At 27, Rodgers has equaled his predecessor (favre) in titles and vanquished the bitterness he left in his departure. Though he claims there was no bitterness to be had trust me that Rodgers is happy that he never has to hear about Brett Favre again in regards to his name.
Favre is long gone, this is Rodgers team now. There are more 12’s than 4’s in the stands. There is no talk of the old man with young man’s enthusiasm or the old gunslinger, instead there is the precision passer with a cannon for an arm and an infectious swagger that can’t be knocked.

Aaron Rodgers rough road and triumph is reason for any player to smile. He has overcome doubts in his game and a legend that wouldn’t die to become a champion. He never once complained, showed anger, or frustration. He was patient and when the time came he let his game do the talking.

For Rodgers, patience has most certainly been a virtue. He’ got the hardware to prove it.


The Reason Why We Hate The Pittsburgh Steelers

Don't feel bad about hating the Pittsburgh Steelers. It happens when winning becomes a habit

Back in the 90’s when I was a San Francisco 49ers fan I remembered their rivalry with the Dallas Cowboys. It dated back to “The Catch” in 1981 (even though other than that game you couldn’t name me one big 49ers-Cowboys game from 81-92) and ran from their NFC title in 1992 until the end of the decade.

 

To be honest with you I couldn’t understand what the big deal was with the rivalry. I never really hated the Cowboys up until they beat the niners in 92 and then again in 93. Its not like they were in the same division like they are now with the Giants, they just beat my favorite team and then they continued winning.

 

That’s how most of these “most hated” teams in each sport become so hated, they win too much and we as fans become so sickened by them that we don’t care who beats them as long as they lose.

 

How do you think teams like the Yankees, Red Wings and Lakers became so hated? They always win.

 

I went to a Capitals game a while ago and I kept overhearing a bunch of fans screaming about how much they hated the Red Wings and I wondered why? The Caps and Wings have no history against each other (except that little sweep in the 98 Stanley Cup Final.). There are no classic games like there has been between the Caps and Pens. They just hate the Wings because the Wings always win.

 

I hate the Lakers. No reason in particular, I just do.

 

They’ve never killed the Knicks like Reggie Miller and the Pacers or Jordan and the Bulls, they just win a lot and I they always do it with ease.

This is why you hate the Red Wings... admit it.

When the Detroit Pistons played them in the NBA Finals in 2002 I remembered praying to God that the Pistons would kill the Lakers. Keep in mind, I’m also a Bulls fan… remember the Detroit Bad Boys of the 80’s and how they bullied Jordan and the Bulls? Yeah… I was hoping they beat the Lakers. I didn’t want the Lakers to win because they just won three straight titles. They didn’t need another ring. They cost Reggie Miller a title, and Jason Kidd and Allen Iverson, three of this generation’s best players. Winning another one would just be rubbing it in. its not fair I thought too myself, let someone else win who deserves it.

 

That’s why I kind of understand everyone’s hatred of the Yankees. The Yankees win and win a lot and they do it by spending lots of money (not that we should care because if you had 2 billion dollars wouldn’t you get the best players for your team?).

 

Every year we (the Yankees) shell out hundreds of millions to bring in Alex Rodriguez, C.C. Sabathia and others to put on the pinstripes and create a bigger gap between them and the competition. That’s why fans of the Royals, Rangers, Braves and Orioles hate us. There are no classic game seven’s like we had against the Pirates, or battles like we have with the Red Sox, it’s just you get tired of going to the ballpark and watching a team of triple A players and maybe one or two really good major leaguers to take on a bunch of guys who got paid a ton of money to wear the same jerseys as Mickey Mantle and Reggie Jackson.

 

The flip side of this is how people take their hatred of a team and somehow try to turn it into a rivalry. Living in Maryland I saw this with most of their fans mostly fans of the Orioles and the Terrapins.

 

People in Maryland hate New York for some odd reason that I’ll never understand. When the Ravens beat the Giants in Super Bowl 35 the entire city almost creamed on themselves they were so happy that they beat New York in something. It’s silly to hate an entire city because you can’t beat them and try to tell people that they are your most hated rival.

 

True hatred that isn’t intra-divisional occur when another team costs you a shot at a title or beats you too often you develop a clear hatred for them. Rivalries start when you actually beat the other team in a big time situation.

 

I have a reason to hate the Anaheim Angels. They beat the Yankees in the playoffs twice in the 2000’s and owned us in the regular season. However, it wasn’t a rivalry until two years ago when we finally beat them in the playoffs and went on to win the World Series. We beat our bully and got over the hump.

 

What makes the Orioles a rival? Nothing. Going to Orioles games is annoying because the fans chant Yankees suck, boo Derek Jeter and start fights in the crowd due to the fact that they feel we are their rivals. Um… it’s kind of hard to be rivals with a team who is terrible every year and allows Yankees fans to take over their stadium 9 times a year and turn it into Yankees Stadium South.

Orioles fans have one reason to hate the Yankees. Unfortunarly that doesn't make them the Yankees rival.

(What really annoys me is that the Red Sox do the exact same thing but the fans are ok with it. Boston owns Camden Yards 9 times a year and people in Baltimore walk around in Red Sox gear cheer for them and call themselves Orioles fans. They walk around the city and pledge allegiance to two teams, ONE IN THEIR OWN DIVISION! They say if they play each other I’m an O’s fan but other than that I cheer for the Red Sox. NO! YOU CAN’T DO THAT! WHO TEACHES YOU THIS ETTIQUETTE!!

 

You don’t cheer for a team with in your own division. Redskins fans don’t like the Giants, Braves fans don’t like the Mets, Twins and ChiSox fans don’t like each other because that’s just how it is. That’s why Baltimore is the most fair-weather town in America and only supports its teams when they’re good.

 

Sorry about that rant. Just annoys me that’s all. Ok back to the blog.)

 

Same thing for the Terps and their beef with Duke. I still don’t consider their battles rivalries because Maryland still hasn’t cost Duke anything yet.

The fighting Testudos have had better luck against the Devils in recent years but its not Duke-UNC nor is it even Duke-UCONN. Its just Maryland, who has no rival, starting a beef with a team that they hate just because of their name and pedigree.

 

Maryland can through insults, chant obscenities and wear F*** Duke tees all they want, but they still aren’t really a rival. They’re just a team trying to get under Duke’s skin and start a war that they really have no reason starting.

 

However, that’s how hate works.

 

That’s you and I take a disliking to certain teams. It’s a matter of the success of the team and the players on the team.

 

That’s why no one likes the Yankees, Lakers, Duke, the Red Wings and the Cowboys.

 

Funny thing is that I came up with this thought after looking at media day at the Super Bowl and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Actually it was a thought that lingered before the Super Bowl as far back as last season.

 

Like I said, I have no reason to hate Pittsburgh. They’ve done nothing to the Giants, they don’t play in the NFC, and they haven’t beaten un in the playoffs or in any big time situation. So why in God’s name do I hate the Pittsburgh Steelers?

 

In the beginning of the playoffs I remember looking at the AFC playoffs and saying how I hoped Baltimore, the Jets and the Steelers all lost.

 

I have reason to be mad at Baltimore (Super Bowl 35) and the Jets (intercity rival, plus the Jets act like they own the city when their only great player had more all-time interceptions than touchdowns.). Yet Pittsburgh I really have no reason to hate.

 

The Steelers just annoy me for some reason. Their fans travel in packs no matter where the Steelers are playing that week, the whole Steeler toughness thing gets overdone with their defense (I don’t think they know tough until Jack Ham, Jack Lambert and Joe Greene get a load of LT, Harry Carson and Leonard Marshall) and it doesn’t help that their QB is an accused rapist yet the town acts like nothing happens. Not to mention those stupid freaking “Terrible Towels.”

 

More than anything they just win. They have 6 Super Bowls, they do physically beat up teams, they have their own theme song (Wiz Khalifa’s “Black & Yellow”)… their more successful than the Giants or your team and it gets on your nerves and mine because we feel like we can beat them.

More than enough reason to hate the Steelers.

They’re actually more annoying than the Cowboys or Red Wings or any other successful, except the Sox of course, because it’s the whole package of annoyance; legacy, winning and loads of fans. You can’t dis the Steelers because you have know reason to. So instead you sit around and hope they fail in the comfort of your own home and amongst friends. Its jealousy, its envy, its natural.

 

I should hope the Steelers tar & feather the Packers after what they did to the Giants in week 16 at Lambeau Field. The Packers cost the Giants a playoff spot by beating us 45-17, and it wasn’t that close. I should want James Harrison and company to beat Aaron Rodgers to a bloody pulp, yet I don’t.

 

I want to see Aaron Rodgers fully exercise the Favre demon once and for all, I want Charles Woodson to add a Super Bowl ring to his hall of fame resume especially after “The Tuck Rule” game, above anything else I just don’t want the Steelers to win another Super Bowl.

 

I cant take “Six-burgh” becoming “Seven-burgh.” I don’t want Roethlisberger to get another ring. Even though I like Mike Tomlin and the way he runs the Steelers I don’t like him enough to see him leading Pittsburgh to another title. It’s not his fault; he’s just wearing the wrong colors.

 

Call me a hater, call me whatever, but you feel the same way too. You sit at home as fans of the Bengals, Dolphins, Eagles or Jets and you don’t want to see it either. They’re not your rivals, you shouldn’t even care but you do. That’s the way it is. They’re not your team and they keep on winning while you have to settle for second place. Sucks I know but that’s the way it works.

 

About 80% of America will be cheering for the Green Bay Packers this Sunday in Dallas. 75% of us aren’t from Wisconsin. We have nothing in common except the fact that we hate the Pittsburgh Steelers 100%. Why? Because they win a lot and our teams don’t. That’s just the way hate works in sports. It’s not their fault.

 


Mike Martz “Genius” Costs The Bears

The Bears offensive game plan doomed them.

I’ll never understand the silliness of NFL “gurus.” You know, the guys that are supposed to know more than you and I and anyone else involved in the game?

 

They’re the guys who get jobs based on their brilliance in their designed field of offense or defense because they seem to make the right calls with the right personnel and everything seems to work.

 

Think about all of the “geniuses” that have gotten head coaching jobs based on their repertoire; Bill Belichick, defensive guru, Brian Billick, QB guru, Mike Shanahan, QB genius and last but not least Mike Martz, offensive genius. Have these men had success? Absolutely. However, more times than not their success at the head coaching position is due to players on the other side of the ball and in recent years their genius has come into question, especially Martz.

 

After the Bears loss to the Packers on Sunday you may see why.

 

The Bears looked dreadful on offense through three quarters unable to move the ball past Green Bay’s defense. There was no flow, no ability to move the ball especially through the air. Martz had changed his philosophy on offense with this team because midway through the season it was apparent that their line couldn’t protect Jay Cutler and that they didn’t have the receivers to run his vertical attack.

 

(And all it took was a nine sack first-half against the New York Giants that concussed QB Jay Cutler and cost them a game to figure it out. Just saying.)

 

Martz stuck with the ground game and the short passing game because Matt Forte was his most reliable playmaker and it worked.

 

The Bears were a much different team relying on controlling the line of scrimmage and their defense to win games while limiting their mistakes.

 

This philosophy carried the Bears to a NFC North title and a number two seed in the playoffs and to the NFC title game. So with it working so well and the Bears winning ball games why did Martz go back to his old “Greatest show on Turf” days and go vertical again today against the Packers dominant pass rush? I’m sure the Bear faithful and Lovie Smith would like to know as well.

 

The run game disappeared as the Bears decided to test the Packers stellar secondary and it failed. The Bears were blanked through three quarters, had less than 150 yards of total offense and Forte had little impact on the ground. Sure you could blame some of their woes on the fact that Cutler was injured before the end of the first half and didn’t return, but before he left the Bears looked clueless on offense.

 

Speaking of the quarterback play give third-stringer Caleb Hanie credit for the way he played under duress and to Smith for putting him in their under the circumstances of the game (Cutler’s injury and Todd Collins looking like Phil Collins) and trusting him. Hanie showed great poise late in the game giving the Bears a shot to win in the end even though he finished with two picks.

 

Hanie’s play mixed with the fact that the Bears finally went back to the run game got them back into the game late and set up their final drive with under three minutes left.

Martz's ridiculous call late in the game doomed the Bears.

 

Hanie used Forte throughout his fourth quarter stint as his favorite weapon checking down three of four times for large gains including twice on this drive. Then on a third & three with close to a minute left the Bears called timeout to setup a play and the result left me wondering why in the world would that have been called in any situation anywhere.

 

They called an end around on third & 3 with one minute left deep in Green Bay territory… I’m not a Bears fan but I was mad as hell.

 

A reverse, with your season on the line and two downs left was about as idiotic a play as you can call. It was worse than the Forte halfback pass last week against Seattle. The play lost two yards and forced a bad fourth down throw from Hanie, which was then intercepted. Game over, have a good night.

 

After Chicago fought back from such a poor start and whose defense played so well and kept them in it with two picks of Aaron Rodgers, that was the sequence that ended their season. I would be ticked.

 

Martz’s genius and gimmick play calling cost the Bears a shot at playing in the Super Bowl. Not Jay Cutler, not their backup quarterback, not Aaron Rodgers, the brain child of the vertical passing game that took St. Louis to the top but has bottomed out since.

 

His game plan put them in a hole and his play calling killed them.

 

Don’t get me wrong, Green Bay won this game and deserved to play in the Super Bowl. They just got one big assist from one of those great NFL gurus.