The Packers are now in a nasty little stretch of games that may define the 2011 season. This is the stretch of games that we knew would be trouble when the schedule came out. Three games in 10 days with two of them in prime time. That's not an easy lot for any team to carry but this is our schedule and so we take it and move on.
The next game is one that is going to be boom or bust in my view. The Buccaneers are a team that is fluky. One week they are able to hang with some of the best in the NFC and look to compete for the playoffs. The next week they are completely owned and get dominated in all three phases of the game. They are a team that has given the Packers trouble, but they are also a team that has made some desperation moves in the last couple weeks in order to keep things going for this year. In short it's a team that I can't seem to get a handle on at this moment and should promise for an interesting game.
Then the Lions. Maybe the toughest game of the year for every reason not pertaining to the football team in Detroit. Sure they are good and all, but they have been slumping as of late and seem to play less and less sound football with each passing week. No, what makes this game tough is the crowd, the setting, and the day of all days. Thanksgiving. This is a game that, even when the Lions are terrible, they are driven to win and to look good. This is a setting similar to what the Bears faced @Detroit when they played the Lions on MNF in the Detroit's first appearance on MNF for 10 years. The crowd will be frenzied and the team will feed on that.
If we can take these two games and play them as complete as last night the Packers are in great shape. Which brings me to the confession part of the post.....
I'm not sure what exactly to write about the Packers anymore. On some level a part of me feels that all the superlatives have been used up and the nits have been picked. Rodgers is out of his mind good, yup. The defense is coming around and looking right for once but the communication needs to be shored up a bit more (there was ONE blown coverage), yup. We all know that the receivers are the best in the league, that the Pack have playmakers on both sides of the ball, and that Randall Cobb is a beast. So what is there left to say?
I really don't know how to answer that other than answering direct questions about the team and getting frustrated when I hear talking heads talk about how all these other teams can beat us. I'm sorry NFL Network guy, I don't see the Niners coming into Lambeau and beating us. Is it possible? Sure! Is it likely? No. Lambeau isn't really a frozen tundra as it once was and keeps a pretty good surface for our passing game even in the dead of winter....and I really don't see the Niners putting up 30ish points on us in the playoffs. Their passing game isn't that good on either side of the ball. Do I see the Saints beating us in a rematch? Possibly....but not likely either. See there is this general misnomer that the Saints took us to the edge in the first game of the year. What this analysis fails to take into place is that our offense took its foot off the gas in the second half of that game, something I don't see happening if there is a rematch. Look for MM to call a game like he did last night if they were to meet again. What about the Giants? Sure, if Eli gets hot and their defense can pressure Rodgers it could happen, heck I even think they might have one of the better chances of beating us in the regular season. That said, their offense still isn't good at ball security and our defense can create turnovers.
In short as great as this moment is right now I'm left speechless with the Packers performance with a mix of frustration at some of the fanboys and talking heads. On some level this should be par for the course, but really I'm not exactly sure how to respond other than to sit back, enjoy the ride, and let this great season continue to wash over me.