Last week Sunday, I was working during the entire slate of NFL games (which is why I asked y'all for help). This week, I didn't have to work, but I did have another committment: dinner with the future in-laws for my fiance's mother's birthday.
Now, before the jokes are let loose, let me just say that my lady's family is awesome. They are extremely fascinated by my Midwestern heritage, and I've shaped that into a general sense of good will. It helps that the first time I met them was when I (a Packer fan) went over to watch the NFC Championship at their house (Giants fans). Naturally, the Giants winning that game and then the Super Bowl made me into some sort of good luck charm.
Anyway, I would have been able to at least pay attention to the score updates as they watched the Giants absolutely dominate Tampa Bay, but I drew the shortest of short straws that day: baby chasing duty.
My fiance has a nephew, Tommy. He's about a year and a half. He's adorable. And energetic. And when he's at Amma and Papa's house, he needs to run around the kitchen, dining rooms, bedrooms, and up the stairs.
Naturally, I didn't find out any details about the game until well after it was over. Following are what was expected and unexpected, without watching any more than the highlights provided by NFL.com.I did expect...the defense to take Marc Bulger out of the game. Granted, I thought that he would be benched for poor performance rather than leaving with an injury after four attempts, but it's all the same. The defense didn't make life easy for Kyle Boller, except on those two TD passes where Brandon Chillar showed why he didn't try out for cornerback. Getting a fumble off of Bulger and a pick off of Boller brought two of Green Bay's three forced turnovers (four if you count the blocked kick), which is really the lifeblood of this defense. If they can't get at least two takeaways per game, opposing offenses will have much more success. Besides, Charles Woodson is good for at least one turnover per game, so it's up to one of the other 10 guys to get the ball.
I did not expect...the Rams' defense to make Aaron Rodgers' life so difficult. Yes, the offensive line has been an issue, but we knew that, and even the 2 sacks from Leonard Little aren't a shock. But 13 of 23? Add on another 10 attempts and that's JaMarcus Russell on a good day. Were the receivers running bad routes? Was Rodgers running too much? Or have the boys still not shaken off whatever gave them the dropsies?
I did expect...Ryan Grant to reach (or nearly reach) the century mark in yardage. He may be overrated, his offensive line may be iffy, but gosh-dangit, it's the Rams, and if you don't break 90 yards without getting hurt, there's something wrong with you.
I did not expect...it to take him 26 attempts. It might be a 3.8 average per carry, but gosh-dangit, it's the Rams! Steven Jackson put up 117 on 27 carries, not to mention another 46 on five catches. That's 5.1 yards per touch. Those are numbers Grant should be putting up against bad defenses. Was he making bad cuts? Was the offensive line stuffing him in the backfield? Or was he simply running into his own linemen's backs again?
I did expect...the team to put up at least 30 points in this game. They may not have a lockdown defense yet, but this offense simply has too much talent to not score the football. Granted, Mason Crosby did the heavy lifting early on with 3 first-half field goals, but still. You gotta get into the end zone.
I did not expect...Mason Crosby to miss an extra point. That abdominal injury must be more serious than anyone is letting on. I guess he did too much heavy lifting!
Now, let's shake things up a bit.
I do expect...the coaches to go all-out in preparation for the next game.
I do not expect...for them to solve every problem that plagues this team in time for Monday night.