12.28.2009

Packers-Seahawks game observations

It's hard to analyze a thorough beat down without gushing, so there's really not much to say about the Packers' 48-10 deconstruction of the Seattle Seahawks. Jermichael Finley is still impossible to cover (and tackle), Grant continues to improve as the season goes on, and the defense is still piling up the sacks and turnovers. A lot of this comes from playing the hapless Seahawks--Matt Hasselbeck lost his cool near the end of the game in shouting at a ref for missing what one would assume was pass interference, though the game was all but over--but if you're a playoff team, you take care of these games in convincing fashion. The Pack did just that.

Some interesting observations worth noting:

Grant : Levens :: Jackson : Bennett - Plenty has been made in the past few years of the resemblance Ryan Grant bears to Dorsey Levens. From number to size to playing style, there's no denying the comparison has merit. But what about Brandon Jackson and Edgar Bennett? Jackson is stuck playing second fiddle to Grant, the opposite of the Bennett/Levens scenario in 1996, but what he brings to the table is very Edgar Bennett: a sure-footed 3rd down back who is a receving threat in the flat. Jackson has better agility, but the body-types are the same and with Bennett coaching the running-backs, its easy to understand why there's a resemblance. He had 3 TDs against the Seahawks, and should see more playing time next week should McCarthy decide to keep Grant fresh for the playoffs.


Kickers good and bad - Mason Crosby got himself back on track by hitting both his field goal attempts, including a 51 yarder, and likely has Mike McCarthy breathing a lot easier going into the playoffs. The other foot man on the other hand continues to stink, and Jon Ryan no doubt enjoyed showing his former team just what they were missing. Luckily when you beat a team by almost 40 points your punter doesn't have much of an impact. Still, Kapinos and his dead-last net punting average are as good as gone.

Memories of the playoffs - A few fans showed that Green Bay doesn't forget easily. Two fans held a sign reading in block letters, "WE WANT THE BALL," while their cohorts on the right finished the statement with, "AND WE'RE GONNA SCORE." I'm sure Hasselbeck was hoping those words would go up like steam in Lambeau in January, but there's no doubt that people will be telling their kids about them, and the subsequent pick-6 courtesy of Al Harris. Thanks for the memories, Matt!


2 x 1,000? - Congrats to Greg Jennings for going over the 1,000 yard mark, and seeing as he's only 4 yards away, I'll just go ahead and say the same to Donald Driver. Having a quarterback of Aaron Rodgers' caliber is a big help on putting those deep balls right on the money, but they've created enough yardage themselves in the open field that they deserve a lot of credit for those totals. Getting the ball to those two on a slant is like handing the ball off to a running back 5 yards downfield--if they're behind the linebackers, look out.

Matt Flynn looks solid - This was probably my favorite part of the game. On a day where former Packer backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was on the opposing sideline and last year's 2nd round pick Brian Brohm made his first NFL start for Buffalo, we got a look at Matt Flynn, and it was a pretty good look. He was poised in the pocket, and showed good presence when he got flushed to his right and completed a nice 17 yard pass down the sideline to Jordy Nelson for a first down. Granted it was garbage time, but the last Packer QB to look good in garbage time was Aaron Rodgers. Its unlikely (we hope) that Flynn will ever get a chance to be The Man in Green Bay, but he could be the next in line to start elsewhere once he leaves. Props to Ted Thompson on what looks like a nice find in the 7th round, and to Mike McCarthy and his famed quarterback school for seemingly converting another college QB into a serviceable pro.

A Giant help - Beating the Seahawks was huge, thanks to the Panthers drubbing of the G-Men on their own turf. The Packers have now clinched a playoff spot. All that's left to decide is who the Packers play after the Cardinals. The most likely team? Well...the Cardinals. Should be interesting to see how these teams go at each other in week 17. My guess is we'll see two more quarters of Matt Flynn, but the real question is what will Dom Capers bring to the table--do you go vanilla and not show anything, go for momentum and attack to find the weak spots, or throw a red herring out there and switch up the tempo in the playoffs? Its a tough call, and one I'm happy I don't have to make.

Final Word: GO...Bears? - Did anyone else find themselves rooting for the Bears to beat the Vikings, and not feeling the least bit sick over it? Has the Packers-Bears rivalry fizzled to a point where we can bond over a common #1 enemy? That question may be explored here in the near future, but for now I'll say this: the Bears rivalry is fun and all, but I just flat out HATE the Vikings, and I was glad to see Chicago drop Minnesota in the cold on Monday night.

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