Posts tagged ‘Green Bay Packers’

February 7, 2011

“It’s a Great Day to Be Great, Baby!”

by npiller88

Here’s your obligatory Super Bowl post:

Some random observations:

-Most watched tv event ever.. The Super bowl is in a class of its own, but ever notice how one-shot events always draw the most viewers? This is part of why March Madness is so popular. Single Elimination. Gotta love it.

-The Packers’ receivers had some trouble catching the ball (just pause for a moment and imagine: if only Jordy Nelson had held on to all those balls he dropped, he would have racked up about 13 catches for 200 yards. Just sayin’)

-We have witnessed the ascendancy of Aaron Rodgers.

-So much for Jerry Jones’ hopes that hosting the game would go off without a hitch (much less feature his beloved and awful Cowboys). Besides the poor handling of the unexpected snowy weather, there were countless other glitches, such as the seats deemed unsafe (preventing the fans who purchased them from attending the game), the busted microphones during the half time show, and of course Christina Aguilera’s botching of the National Anthem (Okay, so maybe this one wasn’t Jerry’s fault, but we’ll blame him for it anyway).

-The Steelers outgained the Packers by about 50 yards, and still lost. This isn’t that noteworthy of a statistic, other than that it gives pundits an excuse to blame the Steelers’ loss entirely on turnovers. There’s nothing wrong with that analysis, but instead of making the implicit assumption that the loss of the turnover battle means that the Steelers gave the game away, can’t we just applaud the Packers’ defense for forcing turnovers? This is an underrated capability of defenses in the NFL.. It’s a much different skill than just being a stout run defense, like the Steelers (not that such a tactic isn’t a good one in its own right). On the season, only the Falcons had a better turnover margin than the Packers in the NFC. The Steelers were second in the AFC, but all that matters is this game. On Roethlisberger’s first interception (the one returned for a touchdown), the blame can’t really go on Big Ben, because his arm was deflected in the act of throwing. This means he didn’t necessarily make a bad read, or force an ill-advised pass, just that the pressure caused a wobbly throw. The fumble late in the game by the Steelers’ Rashard Mendenhall was also cited as a reason why the Steelers choked, but let’s take a moment to praise Clay Matthews and his suspiciously roided-out looking body for causing that turnover to happen with a beastly, jarring hit. Let’s not blindly look at the total yards and the turnover battle and just say: “The Steelers could have/should have won.” The Packers shined on offense, and made plays on defense. No need to say more.

-This is a sad day for the 49ers. Mike McCarthy was actually the Offensive Coordinator for the ‘Niners when they opted for Alex Smith over Aaron Rodgers in the 2005 NFL draft. McCarthy had no idea that he would soon take over the Packers’ coaching job, but he later admitted to having believed Smith would be the better pro at the time, and to making his preference for Smith at No. 1 known. Clearly, it was an easier road for Rodgers than for Smith. While Smith was passed around between five different offensive coordinators and began his career as the starter on a team with talent befitting of an expansion franchise, Rodgers sat around behind Favre for over 2 years, learning about how to lead. He also witnessed first hand the balls to the wall style of Favre, and probably learned what NOT to do as well (see Rodgers’ stat line devoid of interceptions in the Super Bowl, as well as his career passer rating of 98–don’t forget: Favre’s career rating is at 86). So don’t blame the 49ers for passing on Rodgers. Blame them for failing to develop Smith. But all the same, a tough one to swallow for 49er fans, who just saw their former OC and QB combo that never was explode on the earth’s biggest sports entertainment stage (apologies to the World Cup).

-A final thanks to Greg Jennings, whose post-game quote became the title of this post. For the curious among you who may not recall, he followed up that gem with a nice “to God be the Glory” (it couldn’t have come soon enough, because I heard God missed on a bunch of the prop bets, including guessing incorrectly on what color the Gatorade poured on Mike McCarthy would be (it was orange)).

January 23, 2011

Defending Jay Cutler

by Jeeves

Full disclosure: I am from Chicago and am indeed a Bears fan. I think it is important to get all biases out front and center

Update: Turns out Cutler has a torn MCL, so I suppose I was correct.

Update 2: The official prognosis is a grade 2 MCL tear which takes 3-4 weeks to heal. Also it should be noted that a tear and sprain for all intents and purposes are synonymous when dealing with the MCL, per here.

The above picture is from the front page of Yahoo! Sports’ NFL section and is a large motivating factor for this post. I realize that Cutler didn’t play a great game today; his deep ball was off and the pressure limited his performance on shorter routes. He missed Hester a couple times though he did make a nice pass to Knox, but that’s not why I’m writing.

The excessive hyperbole and complete vilification of Cutler for being forced out of the game is absurd. I realize and understand that part of sports writing is to capture the emotion of the moment and the feelings of the fan, but I think it’s clear that the ensuing clusterf*** (or Cutlerf****, if you will) is going to move beyond the means of any reasonable literary device. Steve Bartman (rightly or wrongly) is one of the most hated ‘characters’ in  Chicago. Fans were so angry, so enraged at him, that the governor recommended he go into the witness protection program. Naturally, Yahoo! equates the Bartman situation to Cutler having an, at best, sprained MCL, at worst, torn MCL.

It just strikes me as absurd that this amount of vitriol is coming out when the extent of the injury hasn’t even been determined. It strikes me as doubly absurd when you question Cutler’s toughness, as Kerry Rhodes of the Arizona Cardinals did, because this requires you to also forget every other game that he has played for the Bears. Cutler has been the picture of resolve in his short time in Chicago. He has been sacked 87 times and hit countless other occasions in just 31 regular season games due to a horrendous, porous offensive line. Up until today, save for his concussion against the Giants, he got up, dusted himself off and went back to work. You would think that such continual perseverance would buy the guy the benefit of the doubt. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think he’s even complained about the line and how often he’s been hit let alone sulk his way off the field because of it.

If you really, really think about it; separate out the emotion and the magnitude of today’s loss, and ask yourself, what is more likely?: “Jay Cutler was legitimately hurt and unable to plant while throwing the football, thus rendering him useless” or “Jay Cutler is a gutless wimp who quit on his team during the biggest game of the season even though he had absorbed countless hits this season and never asked out of a previous game.” I don’t understand how you can reconcile Cutler as gutless while completely ignoring his body of work/toughness up until now.

I realize the rebuttals to this line of thinking would go something like, “Yeah, but he wasn’t even limping after he came out!” Right. Ligament damage, though, isn’t necessarily crippling during low impact movements. I have a friend who has torn multiple ligaments in both knees on multiple occasions. Prior to surgery he was able to walk around no problem. Granted he was moving around slowly, much like Cutler, I’ll add, but he looked totally fine until being faced with the task of climbing stairs. It’s dynamic movements like pushing upwards and forwards or planting to throw a football where the lack of stability in the knee comes into play; so the fact that he could pace the sideline shouldn’t be used as an indictment of his character or his toughness.

Jay Cutler may come off as brash or whiny. He may not have charmed the media with his interactions or endeared himself to Bears’ fans with his interceptions, but the one thing I could always say without reservation is that, at least, Cutler is tough as nails. No matter what the others may say, I will still continue to consider Cutler one tough S.O.B.